Review: Rafe: A Buff Male Nanny by Rebekah Weatherspoon (2018)

Loose Ends, Book 1

Heat Factor: Thinking about sex, talking about sex, having sex. Sexytimes abound!

Character Chemistry: You can’t help but have chemistry with Rafe, because he is the Perfect Man

Plot: My nanny is so hot! Let’s do this!

Overall: It’s sexy and smart and political and I wish I loved it more than I did

I loved many things about Rafe, but it’s not a book that made me feel all enthusiastic and mushy. I therefore will be using this review to process this dynamic, and figure out what exactly is going on here, because I can’t immediately put my finger on it. There will be lists.

Let’s start with the titular Rafe. He is the perfect hero:

  1. He is good with kids.
  2. He cooks. Like, really well. Quiche with homemade pastry crust, that kind of thing.
  3. He cleans and does laundry. (Maybe that’s part of his official job description? Whatever, he proactively does laundry like, all the time.)
  4. He rides a motorcycle.
  5. He is a ginger.
  6. He is a big dude with nice muscles and sexy tattoos.
  7. He gives good head.
  8. He lets Sloan take the lead in terms of when they consummate their relationship, even though he definitely wants to bone her immediately.
  9. He is emotionally intelligent and open about sharing his feelings.
  10. This awesome promo that I found on Weatherspoon’s Twitter feed basically says it all:

Sorry, husband. I am in love, and clearly need to get a nanny.

Jumping off from #8 and #9 above, let’s make another list, showing the development of their relationship. Because Rafe and Sloan are grown-ass adults they communicate frequently and openly about their desires and the ways in which their relationship is progressing. Bonus realism points to Weatherspoon for showing both Rafe and Sloan talking about the relationship with friends and family members. There is very little drama, except with Sloan’s Terrible Ex-Husband. Here’s how their relationship goes down:

  1. Openly admitting that we’re attracted to each other
  2. Talking about how we’d like to bone
  3. Watching TV on the couch together
  4. Boning
  5. Processing what’s going on with various friends and family members
  6. Discussing the timeline for talking to the kids about us, and what exactly we’ll say
  7. More boning
  8. Parental meet and greet – family is important!
  10. Fall-out from ex-husband drama which we will process like the emotionally-mature adults we are
  11. Talking about being in love
  12. Happily Ever After

Basically, we have a nice progression to the relationship here, which is a solid change from the durm und strang of some other romance novels.

In addition, the power dynamics in this book are awesome, and a nice corrective to so many of the expected tropes. Like, if I told you that I was reading a book about a doctor banging a nanny, you’d probably be like, oh yeah, another governess book, just set in the 21st century. And yes, but absolutely not.

Sloan, our heroine, is the boss. She is a Black woman who is also a genius heart surgeon. She is also a single mom because her ex is terrrrrrrrible, so she needs live-in childcare help. Also, did I mention that she is a heart surgeon? So she can afford live-in childcare. She is killing it in terms of class status, education, and generally living her best life.

Generally in these governess books, the children are having trouble adjusting, due to benign neglect on their part of their fathers. The governess comes in, Mary Poppins style, and fixes everyone’s behavior and emotions. Sloan, on the other hand, works hard, and loves her work, but she also loves her kids, and they know it. She is an involved parent, and her children are a handful, but in the way that all 6 year-olds are a handful.

Since Rafe, our hero, the Buff Male Nanny, does not have to fix things emotionally for anyone, nor does he have to wrangle extreme behavioral issues, maybe he’ll just be super-alpha in the sack? Our hero has to fit into the correct box! Sorry, but no. He lets Sloan take the lead in terms of initiating their sexual relationship and how she wants to integrate their relationship into her family life. But he’s also upfront with her about his desires. Again: open and honest communication for the win!

Maybe I didn’t love it because everything was too perfect? Sloan has the “women can have it all” thing going on. (Except the terrible ex-husband.) I think part of it is unrealistic. And I’m not talking about the fact that it’s a happily ever after or that our banging and very together heroine is a Black woman or any of that. But Sloan was sort of perfect, and Rafe was sort of perfect, and why can’t someone have a flaw and still be loved?

Or maybe I should have paid more attention to the blurb, which clearly states: “This stand-alone romance is fluffy. So fluffy. It’s fluff. Low. Angst. Fluff. featuring a large tatted, motorcycle riding ginger man, who bakes a mean bacon quiche and knows exactly how to wrangle clever six year olds while making their mom feel loved, loved, loved.” But then Weatherspoon went and showed me how smart she was about all kinds of power stuff regarding race and gender and class that I started expecting more but then got excellent wish-fulfillment sexytimes instead.

I don’t think the thousand words or so I just wrote got me any closer to figuring this book out, which means that you should probably just read it.

Buy Now: Amazon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s