Rules to Follow (Davey’s Rules Series, Book 1)
By Susan Hawke
Narrated by Michael Pauley
Davey’s Rule #86: A good Daddy will never lie to his boy… even by omission.
Travis Miller has a pretty solid life in the small California beach town he calls home. He’s working his way up in the district attorney’s office, he owns a home with an ocean view, and he has close ties with his family. Life is good. If only he could find a sweet boy to call his own, life would be… perfect.
Adam Nichols’ life has never been easy. Growing up in foster care taught him to be strong, so finding himself in a violent relationship was a shock. Now that he’s finally free of it, he faces new problems. He’s jobless, homeless, and terrified of starting from scratch.
With a little help from an old friend, Adam discovers a whole new world. He goes from rock bottom to renting a room from a hot assistant DA and working at Daddy’s Lap, a kink club that opens his vanilla eyes to things he’d never imagined. His new roommate is a balm to Adam’s damaged soul. The tender way Travis cares for him is almost like the Daddy kink community he’s seen at the club. But Travis isn’t a Daddy… right? If he were, surely he’d have said so.
What happens when a lie by omission threatens to bring their budding relationship tumbling down around them? Will Travis ever be able to earn Adam’s trust again?
This is the first book in a new series about not-so-perfect Daddies, adorable “boys,” and one sassy brat with an insane list of rules. Grab your fan and tissues because this series comes with both a high heat advisory and all the squishy feels you’d want from a Susan Hawke book. Possible trigger for references to domestic violence.
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5 stars
🔥🔥🔥🔥 Heat Level: 4
🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧 Narration: 5
An emotionally gripping, poignant and healing story!!
This story is so real and authentic it will grab your heart from the start. Knowing this story has so much of Susan in it makes it even more enthralling and emotional. The story follows Adam, as he gets the courage to leave an abusive partner and turn to an old friend, Davey, to help start his life again. The story is witty, humorous and real, with characters that are so unique and just totally loveable, I couldn’t put the book down.
The journey these characters go through is authentic and realistic and with the help of Davey, eye-opening and a little kinky LOL. I loved Adam and Travis and their connection. I enjoyed watching them grow and find their kink together. I enjoyed the healing elements and ultimate care Travis has for Adam. I was frustrated when there was a lie of omission and felt the ‘betrayal’ but understand why and thought Susan approached this character development really well and in a real-world way rather than the dramatic ways we can sometimes expect from a romance.
Adam and Travis are perfect together, they just fit! I found their connection organic and really enjoyed their journey. All the secondary characters Susan has created are fantastic and there are so many I want to know more about and I can’t wait for Davey and Travis’ brother Brian’s story up next. I love this collection of characters and hope there will be many more stories from Davey and his tribe!!!!
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Exclusive Guest Post From Susan!
Let me tell you why you’re going to fall in love with the MCs of Rules to Follow. Don’t let Davey distract you, he’ll try! But Davey needs to wait his turn. He’ll get his book, this one belongs to Adam and Daddy Travis.
We begin chapter one watching Adam wake up after having been beaten and left in a heap on his living room floor. It’s painful to watch him make himself get up and find the courage to leave, but he does it. Adam is a former foster kid who’s worked hard and is finally in his last semester of college. He’s not overly macho or flamboyant, he’s just an average guy who happens to be gay. Watching him rediscover his independence and find the love he deserves is a satisfying journey. Even when he’s terrified, he still stands up for himself.
To me, these kind of broken everyday heroes are the best. I had a few hard moments writing his story, because it brought back painful memories of my childhood. I dedicated this book to my mom, and mentioned how she didn’t leave. I can’t judge my mother’s choices, but I lived it with her and I know she felt trapped. It was cathartic for me to write about a guy does leave and get the new start I wish she could’ve had. Another thing I like about Adam is that he doesn’t just curl up and wait for life to get better, he picks himself up and charges along, making the changes he wants in his life. Of all the characters I’ve written, I wish I could hug this one!
The other MC is Travis, and he is pretty much my dream guy. Funny enough, he’s also the character most like myself, so that’s a little telling, isn’t it? Travis is a nurturing caretaker like me. Also like me, he’s not afraid to offer the loan of a vehicle, rent a room in his home, or feed someone who needs it. He’s not a pushover either. Travis is a lawyer who workers for the district attorney’s office in his town. He’s an easygoing guy who is close to his brother, and loyal to those he cares about.
Travis is, at his core, just an overall nice guy who is exactly what Adam needs. He makes one mistake, which is silly actually. He’s afraid of making Adam feel weird by telling him about his Daddy kink when they first meet, and by the time he should’ve told him, it’s past time and awkward. A lie of omission is still a lie, no matter how good the intentions at the time. This is what they have to overcome, if they have any hope of a future together. I wanted this to be a low-angst, feel good type of book and I think I achieved that.
As an avid reader and big romance fan myself, I love sharing the stories of the different people who live in my imagination. My stories are filled with humor, a few tears, and the underlying message to not give up hope, even in the darkest of times, because life can change on a dime when you least expect it. This theme comes from a lifetime of lessons learned on my own hard journey through the pains of poverty, the loss of more loved ones than I’d care to count, and the struggles of living through chronic illnesses. Life can be hard, but it can also be good! Through it all I’ve found that love, laughter, and family can make all the difference, and that’s what I try to bring to every tale I tell.
I’m a happily married mom with one snarky teenage boy, and three grown “kids of my heart.” I’m more widely known for my mpreg writings as Susi Hawke; this new name is a departure from that. Whether written by Susan or Susi, the books are filled with that all-important love, laughter, and family I mentioned; the only difference is that this name has no male pregnancy. I look forward to sharing my stories with you, and to bringing more romance and laughter into this world that needs it so very badly
Reader Group: www.facebook.com/groups/TheHawkesNest