Professor Marek Janos’s genius at analyzing stellar explosions doesn’t apply to his own disordered world. Forgetting to eat, sleep, and leave his lab has triggered some epic personal disasters. When his family insists he hire live-in help, he discovers home life has awesome benefits. His new housekeeper’s smile sparks more energy than a supernova. And the way he moves? It rocks Marek’s galaxy.
Pete Schulz took a tough fall from his high-flying life in Hollywood. But how does a guy whose best skill is getting dirty clean up his act? His new gig with Domesticated Inc seems like a great first step. Keeping house for a nerdy young astrophysics professor is exactly the low-key, no-chance-for-trouble job he needs, right?
Living together is surprisingly easy for both men. And fun. And more than a little hot. It’s when they’re faced with the idea of living apart that the truly messy work begins…
Title: Professor Adorkable
Series: Domesticated Inc, Book One
Author: Edie Danford
Publisher: Edie Danford
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex
Length: 90,000 words
Genre: Romance, Boss, Housekeeper, Best Friends, Nerd
“I made the mess,” I tell my housekeeper. “So I will clean it up.”
“Yeah, I know you can clean it up if given several hours,” Pete responds, his smile crooked. There are no signs of exasperation on his face or in his tone. No signs that he’s upset I’ve woken him up with the sound of breaking glass, and that his once-pristine kitchen floor is now covered with a mess I could have easily avoided if I’d been paying attention. “But it’s my job. Tomorrow morning your job is to go teach a class. You’ll sleep until eight, eat a good breakfast, and then be off.”
I raise my eyebrows. “That is exactly how it will happen?”
“I’ll make sure of it.”
“What if I want to negotiate?”
“Yes. Things can be negotiated in a democratic household, yes?”
I smile. “We have no dictators here. Or kings or queens.”
“Well.” He snorts. “There is that matter of your uncle signing my paycheck. But I get what you’re saying, I guess. What were you interested in negotiating?”
“Tonight I feel…antsy? Unable to relax.” I move my shoulders up and down to show him all this tension I’m experiencing. “I’ll go upstairs and sleep, but first I would like company. To hang out with you. For a while.”
His mouth droops as he folds his arms across his bare chest and stares at me. “So you’re saying you’ll let me do my job. But only if I give up my free time for you?”
“Um.” It’s cool in the kitchen, but my face suddenly becomes steam-burn hot.
Damn. I’m incredibly bad at talking to him—or any guy—I find attractive. Doesn’t matter where I am—Prague, Pasadena, Chicago. My language barrier isn’t about Czech versus English. It’s about my head versus my tongue.
What I want with Pete is complicated, not simple. But, as usual, I’ve said words that could be construed as—
God, I don’t even know what.
“You suck at negotiating, Marek.” He says it with a kind note in his voice.
“Yes.” I clear my throat. “I do.”
He sighs and runs his hand over his short hair—hair I want so fucking badly to touch. Is it bristly, soft? Would it sift through my fingers easily, or would it be like my hair and cling to my skin?
“I suppose we could listen to one Harry Potter chapter,” he says, lacking his usual enthusiasm for the idea. “But just one. And if you fall asleep or if I fall asleep or if we both fall asleep, it will be your job to wake up and go back to bed. No sleepovers. That’s a rule that’s not allowed to change.”
I swallow. Ordinarily I would give him shit about the unreasonableness of his request—if we’re asleep, how will we know we’re asleep and thus breaking his rules?
But I keep quiet tonight. I know I’m pushing him. I know he’s beginning to figure out I want more than just his company. So much more.
If this were a work-related matter, I would get my way with a few basic words. Logic applies in my lab. When it comes to my personal life, however, logic rarely applies. Basic words never seem to work.
If I tell Pete what I really want—to take him into his room, to put him on his comfortable bed, to kiss his clever mouth over and over and over, to blow him until his sweet hotness spills down my throat, to hold him tightly and use friction to excellent effect (inside or outside our bodies, I don’t care) until we both come—then he would say “no” quickly and firmly, and quietly shut that detestable door in my face. And I’ll be lucky if he’s still around in the morning.
The situation between us is confusing. I hope this is more than just his workplace. We are friends. He’s my best friend, actually. And he’s the one who makes this place a home.
Occasionally, I have a hard time understanding…what had my language tutor called it? Nuance. Nuanced meanings. Pete and I have a lot of nuances happening between us.
“One chapter would be good,” I tell him. “Chapter Twelve. ‘The Tri-wizard Tournament.’ I need to know all about it.”
He nods and tips his head toward the open door to his suite. “I’ll meet you in there.”
My heart bounces around in my chest—more zaps from that ionizer—but my head doesn’t like the take-care-of-business look on Pete’s face. No smile, no teasing, no dancing notes to the way his boots clap against the tile floor. He checks the locks and the deadbolts on the back door and walks toward his room.
He glances at his doorway and then me, his eyebrows rising. He looks as though he’s holding his breath, maybe holding back a sigh.
Maybe it would be better to give him space tonight. Better for me to be apart from what I want so much, but can’t have. I should walk away, go back to my room without bothering Pete.
My damp toes stick to the cold floor. I want to be more than a job for him. I want to be more than some guy he feels sorry for, some guy who can’t even say what he wants.
I walk over to the sink and retrieve a glass from the nearby cabinet. I fill the glass half full at the tap and then drink. I set it down carefully. The water is cold, but my skin feels hot. I can feel Pete watching me, waiting.
My eyes shift to the hallway. But my feet carry me toward Pete.
This book was adorable. I’m was so charmed by both characters, I’m not sure which one I adored more. See, Professor Marek, simply put…. Is a genius. His mind is a beautiful thing, as are the things that come out of his mouth. He might be a little socially awkward, being that he speaks facts, because that’s just the way his mega brain works. He may seem enept in other ways, socially especially, but it’s the most charming thing about him, I feel like. He’s just so…. adorable. He’s the kind of guy you want to put in your pocket and just hug him whenever you think about how precious he is…
Having achieved so much in his short life, he’s got everything a person could need, but no need for it…. As a new professor, and studier of the astrophysics, it takes up a lot of his time; all of it really, that is, until his uncle hires him a housekeeper named Pete… Pete keeps him alive in every way. He takes care of him, but not just in the way he was hired to, but in all the ways that Marek needed.
Unfortunately, Pete is hiding his past, not only from Marek, but from everyone, even himself. He was complex in the way that, he cared about Marek, but didn’t want to. He wanted to take care of him, no matter how hard he tried to keep things professional, he couldn’t stop his feelings in check, but honestly…. You’d love him too! And in the way that he tried to put rules in place so that the past wouldn’t repeat itself for him. I’ll admit, he hadn’t made the best decisions in his previous line of work… but honestly, he was young….and when you’re young is the time for making mistakes. He learned from them, I truly believe that he did; he just wouldn’t let himself recognize that. He was a better person, he didn’t have to try, he just was. The way he was with Marek was proof of that.
Of course, with every happily ever after, there has to be bumps in the road; and their was…and there was a time when both men needed to prove that they could stand on their own two feet, but together, Marek had said that they could fix anything, as long as they did it together…. I loved that. He knew he loved Pete and he never stopped fighting for him, even when it hurt him to step back and give Pete his space to work things out for himself.
Other than Marek’s uncle…. I loved the secondary character’s and all of the friends and family. I love the family that’s unwaveringly supportive, and the friends, even the unlikely seventeen year old girl that taught them some amazeballs new words… they were all just so sweet. I’m definitely going back to read about Josh and Nick. I hope to see more of these two in the future as well….
Sigh….. did I do that already? It was just cute. Perfectly adorkable. I loved it. Great ending <3
5 stars from me.
Edie lives in Vermont with her husband, two sons, and random creatures that might or might not be pets. She loves libraries (where she’s found play, work, and love since she was a kid), long walks (unless ice is involved), lewd language (in the right context), luscious romance (of any variety), and alliteration.