Review: The Teddy Bear Club by Sean Michael

Two lonely men. One perfect family.

Aiden Lake adopted his institutionalized sister’s two daughters, and he’s a good dad. He works nights on websites and gets in his adult time twice a week at the Roasty Bean, where he meets with other single gay parents.

Devon Smithson wants to be a good dad now that his sixteen-year-old sister asked him to babysit her newborn… three months ago. But he’s overwhelmed with the colicky baby. An invitation to the daddy-and-kid gatherings at the café is a godsend. The pot is sweetened when his friendship with Aiden develops into more—maybe even something that can last.

But the mother who kicked Dev out for being gay wants to get her claws into the baby, and she doesn’t care if she tears Dev, Aiden, and everything they’re building apart in the process.

I was curious how the author would mesh with the Dreamspun formula and while the book was an easy read, it didn’t make me feel much. The blurb really lays out the framework and story arc for the book making it a straight forward read. And um… I wonder who is supposed to be on the cover because neither man fits the Jamie Dornan wanna be with that smolder.


Devon and Aiden meet at a group for single gay fathers with Devon coming in as a newbie to the small group of friends who are there to support one another. Though neither man acknowledges any sort of attraction to the other, Dev and Aiden begin an easy friendship with their shared careers of media related content and that they both have become fathers because their sisters were unable to care for their children.

This moved really fast in the insta love department for me and honestly, I didn’t feel the chemistry between the men. They read younger than their told 28 years and all the “man’s” was a bit of a turnoff for me with the constant usage in dialogue.

But, for a book in this line that should be easily romantic, the story fell flat for me. I wanted more, I wanted a deeper connection between the men that I could feel instead of being told what they were feeling. I felt that Dev pushed himself onto Aiden and into his life way too fast that I felt uncomfortable even when they didn’t. I mean, inviting yourself for a sleepover to a stranger’s house with his children and your child and you met one day ago? It felt a kinda creepy and as a parent, this wasn’t something I was comfortable with. I know when I dated my husband, we didn’t include his toddler right away with more permanent things as sleep overs until we were certain of permanency between us but… that’s just me.

The “drama” with Devon’s mother was ridiculously over the top and didn’t feel as urgent and threatening as Dev made it out to be but once again, *shrugs* to each his own.

I did like how dedicated both Devon and Aiden were to their children and how regardless of what Dev ends up naming his son, he will always be a beautiful Unicorn boy. I do like that the kids acted as kids even though two were babies but I was concerned about Dev tossing them up in the air with them being so young but that’s the overprotective parent in me.

Honestly, if you don’t like reading about the daily grind of being a parent including exploding diapers up the back, spit up, toddlers who draw all over themselves, colicky babies, putting kids down for naps, wearing kids in slings and just literally EVERY REAL thing that comes with having a baby around, this isn’t the book for you.

But again, I don’t know if I could recommend this one at all even though it was an easy read because it was pretty much forgettable aside from the Unicorn in the story.

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