Reviewed by Mandi and Tori
Tyler Henderson, a 45 year old former golden boy with the personality of the grinch, just wants to be called daddy but isn’t sure how to ask without sounding like a pervert.
Kate ‘Middleton’ McGrath, a 25 year old engineer who looks and dresses like Lolita just happens to be looking for a daddy.
Kate knows Ty would be the perfect daddy for her fantasies, but she’s pretty sure he can’t stand her. That is until a business trip, one too many drinks, and a case of mistaken identity shows them just how good it can be between them.
As Ty and Kate explore their mutual kinks, acting out all their fantasies, their feelings for one another begin to deepen. When Ty has a chance to prove he’s all in, he fails. Now he has to convince Kate that not only can he be her daddy…he can also be her man.
Tori: I have never been one for the daddy kink. Most erotic romances I’ve encountered portray it as 24/7 acting like a baby and that’s just not for me. However, I have been a fan of Eve Dangerfield’s racy contemps since reading her debut, Degrees of Control, and more than willing to give this one a shot. And I’m so glad I did. Act Your Age is a sexy, humorous, and bittersweet opposite attraction erotic romance that places its focus more on the characters and their issues rather than the kink the storyline is built around. Dangerfield has a fantastic voice that creates a sense of comraderie between the reader and her characters. She writes about everyday people, with regular lives and problems who like kinky sex. The angst levels are fairly low with some drama but nothing over the top
Heavily character driven, Dangerfield introduces us to our hero and heroine, Ty Henderson and Kate McGrath, setting up the storyline while allowing us ample time to get to know them. I found both of them to be delightfully messy contradictions. I laughed while cringing at the two of them more often than not at their awkward and HAWT scenes. Ty works at a large engineering firm where Kate was recently hired on as an engineer. Though he isn’t her immediate boss, he is higher up the chain of command than she is. Still recovering from a bad break up, Ty stomps around like a grumpy butthead with one leg in the grave. Drinking too much and avoiding the home he shared with his cheating ex fiancee, Ty’s attraction to Kate only makes him angry and he directs all that anger towards her.
Ty didn’t think Middleton was a great girl. He thought Middleton was a pain in the ass. Waltzing around with her shiny hair and long legs and her throaty voice, being cuter than a fistful of buttons. Where did she get off?
Kate is young, energetic, and flints around like Pollyanna on acid. She indulges in juvenile clothing and brings homemade baked good to the office on a daily basis. Suffering from ADHD that resulted in some bad childhood behavior and teasing, Kate now takes Ritalin and quietly pines for some positive attention from Ty.
That he didn’t like her always would have hurt. That he didn’t like her and she was so hopelessly attracted to him burned. In the kind of all-encompassing obsession she’d only ever read about in books, but unlike books, her obsession never went anywhere or did anything. She just got sweaty palms whenever she saw him and it made her work-life very awkward. Her obsession wasn’t even original. Everyone had a crush on Tyler Henderson. Women, gay men, straight men, more perceptive animals. It was like having a crush on a Hemsworth brother—it made you basic as hell
What did you think of Kate and Ty in the beginning, Mandi?
Mandi: Before I get into our joint review, I wanted to take a quick minute to highlight what this author and Kate, our heroine, means when she says she likes daddy kink. Maybe you have never read this kink, or you have a preconceived notion as to what it is. So in Kate’s words:
When I imagine daddy-daughter play, I imagine entering a state of mind in which I’m entirely innocent and the man I’m with corrupts and disciplines me. To me, this is power play, not a desire to experience incest or genuine trauma. I’m NOT into the extreme aspects of age-play or daddy-daughter kink (infantilization, pacifiers, baby-talk, or nappies). I consider myself more of a submissive with a twist.
Let me note, their main form of role-playing is Ty is the “step dad” and Kate is the “teenage daughter home alone while mom is at work.” There are times Kate pretends she doesn’t want her “step dad” to have sex with her and he forces himself. It’s all 100% consensual and they are both totally into it – but I wanted to make sure you know that, in case that is not your jam.
I ended up liking this book a lot. It’s over the top sometimes. The book got nicknamed, “The baseball bat” book on Twitter because I tweeted this quote:
Erect, his penis was approximately the width of a baseball bat, properly and ridiculously huge. “What the heck…?”
Yes, that is some girth but don’t let this over the top description deter you. This is a very erotic, and explicit book but it’s not all just sex – the relationship is built up very well. But first, the sex. They go heavy into role-playing and Kate calling Ty daddy. Remember they are in role play here….
“Say that again.” Kate’s heart leapt into her mouth. Was he angry? Was he going to yell at her? “I-I like sucking your cock.”
“Little girl.” His voice was icy with disdain. “Say what you just called me again.”
But she couldn’t. Instead she asked, “Are you mad at me?”
There was a silence more loaded than all the guns in a gun-nut’s gun locker. Then he spoke.
“No, but I want you to say it again.”
“Not what I want to hear, sweetheart.” He gently forced her head back, not hard, but firm. His manhandling and the sense of powerlessness it arose in her made Kate quiver. How did you know? she wanted to ask. I never told you, how did you know? But, she supposed in the scheme of things that didn’t matter as much as following orders. She swallowed.
“I like sucking your cock, Daddy.”
I could go on and on with sex quotes – there are a lot! But there is more to this story. The author takes her time letting us get to know Kate. From initial reaction, I thought disney princess. But as the author peels back her layers – we learn she was diagnosed with severe ADHD when she was seventeen and has been on Ritalin ever since. She didn’t have that great of a childhood. She struggles with friendships. She struggles with being assertive and doesn’t really know who she is.
On the other hand, Ty was dumped by his fiancée two years prior for not wanting to have kids. He has had a hard time getting over her. He likes to be assertive and in control and when he does finally go in the bedroom with Kate, he can’t believe he actually found someone who can fulfill his desires – same with her.
Kate eventually finds female friendships, and loses some too – for so many pages devoted to spanking, we dive into complicated, personal issues as well. I appreciated that.
Tori, aside from the erotic scenes, did you find their relationship solid and well done?
Tori: Yes. I loved their relationship. The imperfections, the miscommunications, and all the jagged little edges only made it more real and endearing to me. Dangerfield doesn’t pull any punches with this couple as she guides us through their relationship using dual narrative. We see them at the best and worst. I enjoy when an author tries to convince me two people who seem completely wrong for one another are actually perfect together. Dangerfield gently cuts through all the artifice and layers, letting us see what she’s always known-that our protagonists are indeed perfect for one another.
Ty and Kate grow so much during this story. Both of them have problems with communication and their sexuality. Kate is already working towards inner acceptance while Ty is just beginning. Their age difference and working relationship is a huge stumbling block for Ty. He’s already lost one woman he loved and he is scared to take another risk.
Middleton crawled into my hotel bed because she’s attracted to old men and I was in the right place at the right time. We start dating. The sex is good. Her family think she’s insane for fucking someone old enough to be her dad. All my friends think I’m having a mid-life crisis. People whisper behind our backs at parties. The age gap sounds bad and she’s so baby-faced it looks worse. The fact I used to be her boss is the cherry on top of the shit sundae. Doesn’t stop us from fucking one another, but the smell of it taints everything like when there’s a dead rat in your ventilation. A few years pass, I get even fucking older, my hair starts to fall out, and my dick doesn’t work. Middleton meets a guy her own age. She leaves me. I die alone.
The erotic sexual components are exquisitely written and blend perfectly with the building romance and main storyline. Dangerfield hits all the emotional tones in here. While their role playing starts out as just a way to scratch each others itches, they soon they begin to take on the personalities in those roles. Ty’s protective instincts roar to the front as he becomes more invested in Kate’s happiness while Kate flourishes by all the attention and comfort Ty lavishes on her.
“When she pressed her face against his chest he wanted to give her everything. He’d never, ever felt that before.”
What did you think of their relationship and the path Dangerfield choose to take them down, Mandi?
Mandi: I thought their relationship was so well-developed. I love the balance of erotic scenes with courtship and learning about Ty and Kate’s background and establishing a foundation for their relationship. I’ve read a few other Eve Dangerfield books and she is an author that has now made my “anticipation list.”
Tori: A personable cast of secondary characters are used to push Kate and Ty forward as individuals and as a couple. The Derby team not only gives Kate a much-needed boost of self-confidence to grab for what she wants, but also the courage to walk away. I loved their banter , energy, and the hidden dynamics of Kate’s relationship with them that Eve teases out.
Eve Dangerfield is definitely on my list of authors to watch for
Tori’s Favorite Quotes: “If I fuck you, you’ll think all your prayers have been answered. I’ll make you see god, Middleton. I’ll make you think I am god.”
“You’re so behind on the oral sex ratio it’s not even funny.”
Tori’s Grade: B+