Rainbow Book Reviews, Alex
The undercurrent of seething attraction between Dan and Louis is the engine that powers the romantic drive of this book. From the opening chapter their slow burn of hunger provides a steamy overtone to the whole of the story, and kept me eagerly turning the pages seeking the answer to the titillating question of will they or won’t they…cross the line between employer and employee? And what will happen to the family dynamic if they do?
Joyfully Reviewed, Cassie, 5 stars
There are a lot of interesting secondary characters, and the plot is fast-paced. Anyone who enjoys Hollywood tales, or m/m re-imaginings of romance tropes, will find a lot to like in THE AU PAIR AFFAIR.
Rainbow Book Reviews, Alex
Beautifully consistent in voice and pace, the character-driven story reminded me of a Lifetime channel movie of the week; a crisp, poignant, astute drama, with emotional intimacy and an undercurrent of steamy lust.
Sizzling yet tenderly romantic sex scenes balance well with the sweet family moments, and all three adults get turns in the spotlight, making a perfect feel-good read with a tearjerker ending.
Romantic Times Book Reviews
The nanny angle is fresh and the ex-wife’s reaction to her ex-husband’s relationship with a man is honest and real. This is one of Dee’s signature awesome works.
Gaylist Book Reviews, A list
This book had me smiling, laughing, and sweating from beginning to end. As always with the really good ones, it was suddenly hours later and I was amazed that the story had ended. Sexy, sweet, charming and full of love with a great happy ending.
Top 2 Bottom Reviews, Lydia, 4 stars
THE AU PAIR AFFAIR by author Bonnie Dee was a fun, fast paced read. The characters were interesting and pulled me into their story from the first page. The chemistry between these two men is intense and in no time Louis is helping Dan find his way, resulting in some hot scenes.
Dan leaned back in his chair. A photo of their family taken shortly after Liam’s birth popped up on the screen. Dan’s arm was around Crissi, the kids cradled in the middle, sheltered by their love. It looked like a magazine illustration of a family—perfectly happy. But Dan remembered those last couple of years of marriage had been the darkest part of his struggle, those days when he’d finally begun to admit who he was and what he wanted. Emerging from the closet had been a slow, extremely painful process. Hell, he wasn’t finished with the journey yet. He still hadn’t told his parents why he’d divorced Crissi. That was one last hurdle he hadn’t mustered enough courage to face.
Dan thought about Louis Guzman and wondered what his story was. From his demeanor, Louis was pretty obviously gay. Foster homes suggested a tough background. When had Louis admitted to his inclinations? Who had such a boy confided to? Someone must have steered him right, because Louis seemed comfortable and confident in his own skin. He probably had no trouble finding guys to date.
Imagining Louis connecting with other men soon had Dan fantasizing about the hot prospective nanny in wildly inappropriate ways. Jesus. Maybe it was time he hit the club scene and started acting on his new gay life instead of just daydreaming. But the club scene—gay or straight—wasn’t really his thing. He and Crissi’s mutual friend, Mara, had been trying to get Dan to meet her gay cousin practically since Dan and Crissi split up. Maybe it was time to take her up on that offer to arrange a blind date. He’d call her. Sometime.
But right now he had work to do—talk to the director of Birthright and get his spending back in line. Dan picked up the phone.
“Wanna play Legos?” The blonde, curly-haired girl looked up at Louis with eyes as bright a blue as her mother’s, but something about the set of her jaw and her intent gaze reminded Louis more of her father. He’d met Dan Krefman only briefly, but the guy had left a strong impression. Too strong. Louis had been ridiculously disappointed to discover Dan wouldn’t be on hand for the play date.
“Sure. What do you want to build?” Louis scooped up a handful of smooth building pieces and let them trickle through his fingers. He’d loved Legos as a kid and would’ve given his left nut to have as many as this girl had instead of the sparse collection that could hardly make anything. “A castle? A skyscraper? A rocket ship?”
“Fort. The ponies have to defend themselves from the invazing horde.”
Louis’s eyebrows shot up at the mangled word, and he looked at Crissi, who was observing them at play from a distance. Nothing awkward or uncomfortable about that.
Crissi smiled. “Cara has an extensive vocabulary for a five-year-old.”
“I guess so.” He turned his attention back to the child. “All right, then, Miss Cara, let’s build some protection for these ponies and fortify it.”
He hoped the Krefmans didn’t have an issue about using weapons in fantasy play. In his opinion, fighting bad guys was part of being a kid. It was empowering for little ones, who probably felt pretty helpless most of the time living under adult rule. Keeping evil at bay and protecting worlds they created was a constructive thing, which just happened to sometimes require swords or heavy artillery.
Together Louis and Cara slowly raised the walls of the fort, snapping in piece after piece.
“No windows. The bad guys might get through,” the little girl ordered. “They want to take over the kingdom and kidnap Princess Bright.”
“Why?” Louis asked, curious about what motivation she attributed to the baddies.
“Because they’re bad guys.” She gave him a duh expression and plugged a gap in the wall with a square of yellow.
“Of course, but maybe they have another reason,” Louis suggested.
Cara pursed her lips. “Maybe the head bad guy is in love with Princess Bright. He wants to marry her and carry her off to his kingdom.”
“Could be.” He was about to embroider the story some more when Liam’s sleepy whine came over the monitor. “Sounds like your baby brother’s awake. Want to come check on him with me, or keep working on the fort? Your choice.”
“Fort. Gotta hurry before the hordes come.” Cara continued building.
Louis glanced at Crissi as he climbed to his feet. Not weird at all to be babysitting right under a mother’s watchful eyes. But her expression was more relaxed than it had been during the interview the other day. Maybe she liked how he was relating to her daughter.
Crissi accompanied him to Liam’s bedroom but stayed out in the hall as Louis got Liam from his bed. He was glad she was smart enough to realize seeing Mommy would not allow Liam to bond with Louis.
“Hey, little man, good nap?” he asked, holding out a hand and giving Liam time to decide whether to come to him or not. “Want to go to the bathroom and then get a snack?”
Liam stared at him for a few moments with his dad’s serious, dark eyes. Louis waited. The boy would either burst out crying at the stranger in his room, even though they’d been introduced before Crissi laid him down for his nap or he’d accept Louis as a new friend. At last, Liam climbed out of bed and took Louis’s hand.
“You like juice? How about animal cookies? I like the lions best.”
Pretty soon Louis had the boy roaring and laughing so hard it was a wonder he didn’t wet himself before they made it to the bathroom.
Two for two. Both the kids had taken to him, and he found them sweet and much less spoiled than he’d expected Beverly Hills kids would be. There were a few moments of stress as Cara kept begging him to come help her build while Louis was still getting Liam his snack, but overall the rest of his visit went well. He managed to prevent the three-year-old from eating Legos, anyway.
At the end of the afternoon, Crissi bid him good-bye. “Thanks for coming. You have a great rapport with the kids. Either Dan or I will be in touch with you soon.”
Interview finished, Louis drove back to his apartment in a shittier part of the city. He felt pretty good about his chances of landing the job, but nervous too. His finances were precarious, the money from his last gig nearly gone and bills looming. If the nanny agency had learned more about his checkered past than what was revealed by a cursory investigation, Louis knew they wouldn’t have put him on their roster. He didn’t know how many interviews he’d get. Landing this job felt like his last chance somehow.
If only he’d been able to have his “audition” with the kids under Dan Krefman’s watch, Louis was sure he’d stand a better chance of getting the job. Ah, but that was thinking like old Louis, not new Louis, the guy who didn’t flirt or fuck his way to a goal.