I’m a widower who is too scared to have the stupid test that would tell me whether or not I even have the gene that would mean dealing with a horrible illness and certain death. A gene that could’ve also been passed to my child, had she been mine.
She’ll need her father, if something ever does happen to me…That’s why I search for Maddie’s biological father, and when I find him, ask him to become part of her life.
What I didn’t expect is for him to become my best friend. Shane is fun and easygoing, the exact opposite of me. He makes me laugh. He’s the perfect antidote for my neurotic existence. And he’s bi, like me.
But am I courageous enough to take the leap into falling in love with him?
Dancing with Daddy is a super sweet, full-length, standalone, feel good mm romance. There’s no angst, just two very opposite men who befriend each other super fast then slowly find their way to love…all while parenting the precocious five-year-old who belongs to both of them.
Audio coming soon. Narrated by Michael Dean
Maddie’s eyes popped open. “I’m awake!” A sleepy smile spread over her face as she took a good look at Gary. “Your hair is blue.”
Gary struck a pose. “I know, isn’t it delish? And before you say it, yes, I’m aware there are holes in my ears.”
I smiled when Maddie started giggling. She pushed the button on her bed—a neat trick the nurse had taught her the night before—until she was sitting up. She studied him for a moment, her eyes sparkling with delight. “You’re silly.”
“I know you are, but what am I?” Gary teased and lifted a lollipop and a large sticker from his bin. “Listen, my precious. Don’t hate me but I have to poke you with a super tiny needle so we can check your blood. Don’t worry, I promise I won’t feel a thing. You might, but I won’t. Isn’t that great? And even better? If you’re super brave while I take your blood for my dumb test, I’ll give you a sticker and this red sucker. What do you say, gorgeous? Can Gary do his job so your doctor can decide if you can go home this morning?”
Maddie’s head bobbed up and down. “Yes, I want to go home.” She nervously eyed the small bin of supplies he carried. “Promise it won’t hurt?”
Gary grimaced and shrugged. “Wee-eell… promise is an awfully big word. How about I promise to try my best? If I do it right, it probably won’t hurt any more than getting bitten by a mosquito.”
Maddie wrinkled her nose. “Mosquito bites are itchy. I got stung by a bee one time when I was little. Will it hurt that bad?” She held up her index finger, as if Gary could see the ghost of the bee sting she’d gotten last summer.
“Hmm…” Gary pretended to think about it while he tapped his chin. “I’m pretty good at my job, so I don’t think it will hurt as bad as a bee sting but I can promise it won’t be itchy like a mosquito bite. So what do you say, do we have a deal?” He held out his pinky to swear and flashed her a wink.
Maddie hesitated for a few seconds before holding her small finger out to hook it around his for the official pinky swear. “Deal.”
While Gary got to work, he kept her preoccupied by discussing the new Frozen movie. I was impressed when Maddie didn’t do more than flinch when he poked her with the needle. If anything, she’d been more upset by the pinch from the length of rubber he’d used as a tourniquet. I fought a yawn while I watched as Gary answered a stream of curious questions when she saw the blood filling the vials.
I’d been halfway prepared for her to freak out, so it was a relief when she was fascinated instead. When he was done, Gary let her pick the Band-Aid color—blue to match his hair, she decided—that he used to cover the wound. Next came the sticker, a three-inch circle with a picture of a cartoon vampire with a big letter A beside his head.
Whether it was from my lack of sleep or my relief that this hospital ordeal was nearly done, I couldn’t say. But… I didn’t give any thought as to what the A represented until Maddie asked an innocent question.
“Does my sticker have an A on it because I passed the blood test?” She smiled proudly at the sticker then held it up for me to see.
Gary chuckled. “Nope, it’s not that kind of test, silly girl. The letter on your sticker stands for the kind of blood you have. Everyone’s blood has a letter that says what type it is and yours is A. Isn’t that cool?”
I sucked in such a deep breath that I nearly choked on my own spit when I realized what he’d said. Shaking my head as I coughed, I was quick to correct him. “That can’t be right, Gary. My wife was type O like I am. If I’m correctly remembering what I learned in biology, isn’t that impossible?”
He winced and looked uncomfortable as he quickly started packing up his things. “There’s no mistake, Mr. Weston. I’m surprised it didn’t come up when your daughter was born or you would’ve already known. We even verified it against the records her doctor sent over before surgery yesterday. I don’t know what to tell you but your daughter is definitely type A.”
The poor guy looked like he was hoping the floor would swallow him. I was too stunned to smooth it over while I tried to make sense of this new information when I felt Maddie tugging at my arm. “Why, Daddy? Does that mean my blood is bad?”
And just like that, everything was okay. As I shook my head and began to answer that simple childish question, I felt lighter than I had in years. It was as if a gigantic weight had been lifted from my shoulders that I hadn’t known was there. Discovering my precious little girl wasn’t biologically my daughter was the best news I’d heard since Trina found out she was pregnant.
Gary looked worried when I started laughing. And laughing. Then laughing some more.
Super slow burn at warp speed.
Confusing, right? If you love stories with single dads, you’ll enjoy this story, though if you’re a parent at all, you’ll likely spend the first half like me, saying whaaaaaaat are you doing???
See, Bradley lost his wife with whom he had a good relationship and a very sweet daughter. After losing her, he was a bit neurotic when it came to making sure Maddie stayed safe and happy, as someone who might carry the gene for Huntington’s Disease, I think it was… so he was worried about what might happen if he was diagnosed with it, what that means for his daughter Maddie (who is seriously, so cute).
Not having the best relationship with his deceased wife’s mother, he worried who would get Maddie if something should happen to him. I know, morbid, but you think about these things as a parent. So, when Maddie gets rushed to the hospital with appendicitis and has to have it removed, an ‘off-handed’ comment about blood type has Bradley realizing that he’s not Maddie’s biological father. Instead of being upset by this, he’s thrilled. No way she might have the same gene he was worried about, right?
Okay, I can see that being a relief, especially because he saw his dad suffer from it at a very young age and he lost him at a young age as well. So, I can definitely see the plus side… but just being okay with the fact that your wife got pregnant by another man and never told you, then to find out that this little girl that is your whole entire world is not yours? I would be devastated. Simply put, devastated. I’d be so mad at my SO for lying to me for so long, but not Bradley. He’s just happy…. So happy, in fact, that he jumps on social media and finds this girl’s real dad and messages him out of the blue without doing any other background search on him other than social media and a quick question or two from his wife’s crazy (and I do mean crazy) sister.
Not for me. Not in today’s world, not without an extensive background check, contacting a lawyer to see what my options are or if there’s a chance that she could be taken away, literally anything. But nope, not Bradley… he messages him out of the blue, tells the dude he has a daughter, and then offers for him to move in with him without doing any of the above-mentioned things at all! I mean, a few messages on social media where he tells you that he’s not an ax murderer is not the same as knowing he’s not an ax murderer! I dunno… I found it very hard to get past this, as a parent myself and a single parent for much of their toddler years, I could’ve never….
If you forget that these guys are virtual strangers and a little girl is in the middle of it. I actually did really enjoy the three as a little family, though it took the guys over half the book to admit anything towards each other, nothing really happened between them til about 80% in, though it was an entertaining 2/3 of the story. That’s where I went with slow burn that happened at warp speed because everything felt so rushed until the romance came in.
And everything wasn’t always easy, I liked the realness of a lot of situations, if you forget the whole first bit and how that went down… it was definitely a very cute, low angst read. I loved the relationship between Shane and Maddie and I hated that he missed so much time with her and ended up thankful that Bradley reached out to him, I just wished he’d have done it in a smarter way lol alls well that ended well though, these two were perfect for each other. I was glad about that because honestly, I wasn’t so sure about Shane in the beginning, but he grew on me quickly. I loved the way he was with Bradley, especially after they got together. He made him not seem so neurotic and overly ….everything lol
I also loved their support system, the few family members sprinkled throughout, and then Shane’s little old lady neighbor was the cutest. Overall, it was a cute story and if you like single dad romances with cute kids and hot guys, you won’t regret picking this one up. Super cute ending, too!
As an avid reader and big romance fan myself, I love sharing the stories of the different people who live in my imagination. My stories are filled with humor, a few tears, and the underlying message to not give up hope, even in the darkest of times, because life can change on a dime when you least expect it. This theme comes from a lifetime of lessons learned on my own hard journey through the pains of poverty, the loss of more loved ones than I’d care to count, and the struggles of living through chronic illnesses. Life can be hard, but it can also be good! Through it all I’ve found that love, laughter, and family can make all the difference, and that’s what I try to bring to every tale I tell.
I’m a happily married mom with one snarky teenage boy, and three grown “kids of my heart.” I’m more widely known for my 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 I mentioned; the only difference is that this name has no male pregnancy. I look forward to sharing my stories with you, and to bringing more romance and laughter into this world that needs it so very badly.