KAI’S HEALING SMILES by Vivi Anne Hunt
Fiction, Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ+, 201 Pages
3***. Steamy heat level (5+)
BLURB: Silas is mourning the loss of his wife. Every day, he is going through the motions and barely managing to keep the excruciating pain from overtaking his life. There is precisely one ray of sunshine in his days — Kai — the smiley, awkward barista at Starbucks. For some reason, Silas finds comfort being around Kai and soaks up as much light as this sweet boy could give him. For the short time Kai has worked at Starbucks, he has secretly watched one man from afar, hoping that one day he would notice him back. He looks all mature, business-like, and always sad. One day Kai finally gets the chance to speak to him. And this is where their story begins. Will Silas be able to let go of the past and start fresh? And will Kai be able to heal the gloomy man with his smiles?
Tropes: age gap, hurt comfort, Daddy/boy kink
Content warnings: mature sexual content and language
Trigger warnings: sexual assault, grief
Thoughts: This was a very well-written story with great characters who came across as being real. The emotions pulled at you and the conflicts added to the overall feel of the story.
What I liked: The characters. Kai Is sweet and a bit naïve. May is a hoot. Silas is broken, but on the mend and Wes is a good friend. They all blend together, along with others who come into their circle, to make an interesting blend—just like in real life. They are messy and broken and have problems and don’t always do the right thing at the right time, but so is everyone else in real life.
Silas’s grief over losing his wife is real. Then Kai comes into his life and he finally stars to heal. Their relationship starts off slow and builds in a realistic fashion that works.
What I didn’t like: The whole “daddy” thing was off-putting for me. And that’s a personal issue. I just didn’t care for that aspect of Silas and Kai’s relationship.
Recommendation: If you are okay with the tropes and high heat level, then get this one. It’s a good story with a satisfying ending that will leave you smiling.
Disclaimer: I received a final and/or advanced reader copy of this book with the hope that I will leave my unbiased opinion. I was not required to leave a review, positive or otherwise, and my opinions are just that… My Opinions. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”