Title: One Small Thing
Series: One Thing, Book 1
Author: Piper Vaughn & M.J. O’Shea
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy from publisher
Published: May 2012 by Dreamspinner Press
“Daddy” is not a title Rue Murray wanted, but he never thought he’d have sex with a woman either. Now he’s the unwitting father of a newborn named Alice. Between bartending and cosmetology school, Rue doesn’t have time for babies, but he can’t give her up. What Rue needs is a babysitter, and he’s running out of options. He’s on the verge of quitting school to watch Alice himself when he remembers his reclusive new neighbor, Erik.
Erik Van Nuys is a sci-fi novelist with anxiety issues to spare. He doesn’t like people in general, and he likes babies even less. Still, with his royalties dwindling, he could use the extra cash. Reluctantly, he takes on the role of manny—and even more reluctantly, he finds himself falling for Alice and her flamboyant father.
Rue and Erik are as different as two people can be, and Alice is the unlikeliest of babies, but Rue has never been happier than when Alice and Erik are by his side. At least, not until he receives an offer that puts all his dreams within reach and he’s forced to choose: the future he’s always wanted, or the family he thought he never did.
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: This book completely captivated me.
The Set Up: Rue is a self-proclaimed flaming (and aging!) club boy who decided one drunken night to try the hetro-side of life. Only now he’s an unwitting father trying to take care of a newborn, bartender at a twink club and finishing cosmetology school. He’s desperate for a babysitter so asks his odd neighbor Erik to watch baby Alice. Erik is a struggling author with crippling anxiety issues but can’t turn down the money Rue’s offering. Though polar opposites, Rue and Erik start falling for each other and build a family with Alice but when Rue’s dream job is offered what will happen to this makeshift family?
Why I Read this Book: I’ve seen this on a lot of best of MM romance lists but the dual first-person narration always prevented me from trying it. Then I hit the bottom of my TBR pile so as unglamorous as that is, I started reading.
What I Liked: I cannot say how much I loved this unique novel—I almost don’t know where to begin! First up are the charming characters: Rue, Erik, Alice and Dustin. Rue’s life changes in mere minutes when he learns his one-night-girl-stand is pregnant and how he steps up to be a father while retaining who he is is absolutely charming and heartwarming. I don’t usually fall in love with the flaming twinks in MM romance but I totally fell for Rue and his fishnets! But just as wonderful is dear Erik who has anxiety issues but also falls within the autism spectrum, in my opinion. His life struggles are just as important to the story and romance as Rue’s new parenting. Then we have baby Alice. I love that the authors didn’t make Alice a perfect baby but instead a real baby who cries for no apparent reason and spits up and poos regularly. Dustin is the best friend who offers gentle wisdom and rounds out this makeshift family. I do hope he gets his well-deserved HEA.
My concern about the changing first person narration was totally warrantless and I admit to being a totally moron about it. I love hearing Rue’s version of events and then suddenly switching to Erik’s. I worried it would fracture the storytelling but it did the opposite, it enhanced it.
What I Also Liked: The romance and family building are simultaneous in this book and so delicious because of it. Rue and Erik’s relationship develops over months and so does them building a family together. For instance, Erik helps ground flighty Rue when he’s nerved up at taking Alice to her doctor’s check-up. Rue helps Erik feel in control and strong because for the first time in his life, people rely on Erik. The romance is an emotional one with Erik suddenly feeling deep emotions and Rue feeling for Erik what he never has before. These young men bumble into a relationship with each other and it’s a supremely intense relationship, both emotionally and sexually.
I know blog readers often hear me complain that too many MM romances have lopsided age differences and I adored that Erik and Rue were at the same maturity level in life. This is a romance of men making a life commitment to each other and to a child and I could see both characters being ready for this. In any other book these two leads would never be paired together since they both seem so emotionally fragile and it would be tempting to put them with stoic, “manly” men instead. But I think this romance works so well because the two leads are emotionally depended upon each other.
Finally, I’m just a plan sucker for struggling people finding their port in life’s storm. Unlike some MM I’ve read recently, these men struggle financially and they have emotional baggage that a loving relationship isn’t going to fix. This romance offers Rue and Erik a refuge from all that where they support and love each other through all of their problems. I want this for everyone in real life and adore it being reflected in books.
What I Didn’t Like: Only that the book ended.
IMO: I can’t believe I didn’t want to start this book! I was captivated within ten pages and was devastated when it was over. READ THIS BOOK ALREADY!