Kindly note that I was supplied with an Advance Review Copy (ARC) of this book in exchange for this honest review.
Rogan is an ex-undercover policeman who now teaches at the academy. As our story begins, he’s just about to attend the funeral of a man he’s known since high school. A man who turned out to be a sadistic serial killer that lured young men then tortured them to death. Rogan is overwhelmed with guilt over not seeing what his old friend Cam had become. As he’s leaving the service, Rogan is approached by a young man who turns out to be Cam’s boy Tate. He is also seeking answers about the man he trusted and called “Daddy”. Suspicion turns to sympathy as Rogan soon realizes Tate had no idea of what Cam was doing, and the two quickly bond over their mutual feelings of guilt about what has happened. It soon becomes clear to both of them that there’s possibly more to their relationship than just friendship and commiseration, but their mutual past still looms large.
Although part of the Command & Care series, this story is unrelated to the first. The characters are completely new and even the setting is on a different coast, so if the first book didn’t appeal to you, you won’t be missing anything. The commonality for this series is the type of relationships depicted and not on a continuing set of characters or over-arching plot.
Rogan is definitely an atypical character for this kind of story. He’s lead a very vanilla life and although he knew about Cam’s interest in kink, he was never curious about it. Yet Rogan is a very caring and compassionate man, and in seeking to understand the Daddy/boy lifestyle in order to help Tate, he begins to see what Tate has already observed, that, as the title suggests, Rogan was a “Born Daddy”. Of course, it’s not as easy as that, and I like the struggle Rogan has with himself over whether or not he can really step up to being the kind of lover that Tate needs.
Tate at first seems a little bit too sweet and innocent to be believed, but as the story progresses it begins to build a picture of a young man whose need to belong made him an easy to manipulate target for the psychopathic Cam. As the relationship develops between Rogan and Cam, it’s good to see Rogan focus on developing Tate’s own sense of self, and showing him that it’s okay to have, as well as voice, his own likes and dislikes.
In addition to the two main characters, there’s a good set of secondary characters that all help to move the plot along. They’re all distinct individuals who help make the story well-rounded and believable.
I haven’t tagged this as a mystery story, but there is an element of that to the story, in the question of what made Tate’s former daddy Cam do the things he did. That sub-plot comes together at the very end and helps tie the story up nicely so there aren’t any loose ends at the close.
“Born Daddy” is available from Amazon.