Lust to Love in its purest form...
Alfred Leung’s life is in the crapper. From his gold-digging, racist mother and a cheating ex-boyfriend to his hang-ups about sex—everything in his existence depresses him. Add to it spending his days serving faux French food in a diner. It isn’t how he planned on spending the rest of his life—the fates have definitely conspired against him. Just out of a relationship, he decides to focus on work and going back to one of the things that makes him happy—photography. Then Darius Stark in his Armani suit walks through the door of the diner, and Alfred’s world is about to take on a spin he never saw coming.
Darius Stark hasn’t been with a man in years. Men see the suit and run screaming in the other direction or they tear-ass toward him because they see dancing dollar signs. He decides to focus on his business, but soon he’s buried himself so deeply in his work that years goes by without someone to love. Finally, he sees Alfred and wants him, but Darius is about to find out not everyone thinks he’s almighty and that some men are flawed.
Guest Reviewer: Fantasy Living
Darius is tired of finding himself with people who only see his money, and his power, so he has been on a two year celibacy ride. When he sees the awkward waiter, Alfred, at a little restaurant he is forced to eat at, because his usual stomping grounds are all full, he is intrigued.
Thus begins his pursuit of Alfred, and Alfred’s resistance to his charms, because why would someone who looks like that want someone like him? Alfred does not believe that multi-millionaire Game developer Darius would really be interested in him, but he sure does love looking at the man in his power suits.
It takes a bit of convincing, and some serious seduction, the get Alfred to believe that Darius is really into him. Poor awkward Alfred. On top of that, Alfred’s mother wants him to go back to the ex who cheated on him simply because he is Chinese, and rich. She will never accept a black man as a viable mate for Alfred.
This story started off shaky. I had some issues with the conversation Alfred had with his friend Ravinder in a bar after he has met Darius. It was teenage-girlish. I wasn’t impressed. I was tempted to skip the exchange entirely, but didn’t want to miss any important information. I just rolled my eyes and kept going like it didn’t even happen, once I got over it.
I enjoyed Darius, immensely. He was sexy and seductive, and if he breathed on me the way he breathed on Alfred during their first official date, I think I would have cum in my pants too. Hawt! Very hot!
Alfred’s inexperience and inability to talk about sex without blushing was irritating. But I got it. Being repressed by your environment and upbring is a real thing. I’m sure of it. I had a catholic friend once who almost keeled over when I and another friend started discussing our favourite positions for quickest achievable orgasm. She was on her third baby at the time…… Should we have had “the talk” with her? Before anyone gets angry at my generalisation, I wasn’t judging her any more than she was judging me and my slutty ways. I wanted Alfred to turn into a slutty freak. With all the slutty, freakish thoughts he was having about being tied up and debauched, I wanted him to let go and be a real screamer. That would have taken the sex to the next level. A bossy bottom is so hot.
Moving away from the sex (sometimes it was awkward, but mostly it was sweet and sexy), and to the relationship building. This relationship worked because it was a slow build relationship. In the feels department anyway. You could tell they were taking it seriously, and moving towards something strong. I enjoyed seeing Alfred come out of his shell and become more confident. His relationship with Darius’ family was equally sweet to see. They welcomed him in and gave him the support he couldn’t get from his mother.
A grammatical choice I found jarring: The use of “for” as a conjunction created this formal flow that didn’t really fit into the contemporary language of the story. This quote shows why I found the word “for” to be a poor choice.
“I do? Well, I was reading a few books. I want to do well by you for this is new to me” - Loc 900
No one speaks like that anymore! Not even a mother born in the 50’s. I asked my own mother before I passed judgment and she said it sounded weird in this context. If this were a historical novel, it may have passed without notice, but I have never met anyone, my extremely formal grandmother included, who would ever speak like this in real life during a casual conversation. I started logging the use of this word at Loc 900 (I noticed it before then but this was the point that really got to me) and found that there were 10 instances where this word created issues for me. I would recommend the author re-think using it so often and thinking carefully about placement of this word in contemporary work.
Aside from that distraction, I found the story compelling. The heat factor could have been pumped up a little (remember I mentioned bossy, screaming bottoms are hawt?! I meant it). The plot was good and consistent. I think Alfred was supposed to be awkward and naive, and he definitely came across that way. This is an author I would go to for a feel-good, sweet romance with an edge. This story is low angst, but with enough to make this new relationship believable.
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