Erryn reviews ‘Rules to Obey (Davey’s Rules Book 5)’ by Susan Hawke. The ebook was published December 12, 2019 and is 223 pages. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Michael Dean , released on January 9, 2020 and is 6 hrs and 50 mins long. A copy was provided for an honest review.
Why Erryn read this book: I’ve been looking forward to Jeff’s story.
Davey’s rule number 83: Daddy will encourage his boy to be the best he can be and be supportive of his boy’s career choices.
Marcus Alves has waited most of his adult life to find the perfect match. A sweetheart who will love cuddles, need a daddy to help him thrive, and most importantly, be the type of boy that might want to use the binky that Marcus keeps hidden in his pocket. Now in his forties, he’s refusing to give up on his dream or the unused playroom that’s waiting for someone to enjoy.
Jeff Robustelli has had a rough life. Growing up in a commune with absent parents was hard for a rule-following, straitlaced guy with a genius IQ. When the uncle who saved him died, Jeff did what he does best – buried his head in the sand and pretended life wasn’t changing. Working in a daddy club has shown him what he really wants, but Jeff is too afraid to take a chance on something new.
When Jeff has a sudden need for a fake fiancé, he strikes a deal with the older man who always seems to be there when his world is crumbling and makes him feel safe. In exchange, he agrees to a fake daddy/boy experiment designed to let him try out being little…without any pressure.
While Marcus and Jeff navigate their “deal” and the unexpected new feelings that begin to emerge, Marcus also must help the younger man through a series of life changes that put him on the road to being the adult he’s been too afraid to be.
When everything in Jeff’s life is in turmoil, Marcus is his one stability. But can Jeff trust his own heart when nothing else in his life is making sense anymore?
This is the fifth book in a 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 that you’d want from a Susan Hawke book.
Rule #52 – If a boy is a little, Daddy never forgets a boy’s stuffie while traveling.
This is the fifth book in the Davey’s Rules series and I have to say it’s on par with the others. Which is to say I loved it. Jeff was introduced previously in the series and my heart went out to him. His uncle Raphael owned the club Daddy’s Lap along with his partner Sammy. Then Raphael died way too young, leaving Sammy alone with two young children. Jeff was living with them and so was happy to step into a helper role, even as his heart broke. Raphael saved him from a horrible home situation and showed him a whole new world of freedom. Losing his uncle devastated him.
There’s a lot to unpack with Jeff. He was raised in a cult with an authoritarian father and a drugged mother. He was whip smart but his father was hell-bent on him marrying an elderly woman in their ‘church’.
Marcus is a daddy. He’s prepared a room just for the perfect boy who he has yet to meet. While having lunch with Davey, the ultimate boy, Davey offers this advice with regard to Jeff:
Here’s my tip. Take the lead and go full Daddy with him. He needs that. And for the love of Gaga, do not ask the boy to make a decision because you’ll be waiting for hours while he weighs the pros and cons.
At that point Marcus isn’t even sure Jeff will want to be his little boy, but they have set up a date because of a charity auction. Before that happens, Marcus witnesses Jeff have a breakdown of sorts and he realizes Jeff’s in a lot of pain. Jeff’s father has reappeared with more demands Jeff marry. Although the old woman has died, she apparently has offspring that will be suitable. Forget that Jeff is young and, uh, gay. In order to thwart his father’s plans, Jeff needs to get married. Enter the fake marriage trope – one of my favorites.
The relationship between Marcus and Jeff was clearly special from the start. Marcus always carries a binkie around and when he spots Jeff sucking his thumb, he hands it over. Jeff is reticent about the whole little boy thing, but he knows he can’t take much more stress. Having someone to shoulder the burdens? Well, kind of like heaven.
This book is a great addition to the series and I’m (somewhat) patiently waiting for Davey’s book. I also wouldn’t mind if Sammy eventually found someone, but that’s just greediness on my part. The story is narrated by the great Michael Dean (formerly Michael Pauley), who does great justice to this series. His transition from regular voice to little boy voice is brilliant and I just keep being more and more impressed. Great book and a wonderful telling of it.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Susan Hawke is more widely known for her 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; the only difference is that this name has no male pregnancy.