Life isn't always responsible.
After his mother tragically dies and his deadbeat father goes off the rails, nineteen-year-old Micky is left to care for his disabled little brother, Flynn.
Juggling college, a dead-end job and Flynn's special needs means Micky has to put his bad-boy past behind him and be the responsible adult to keep his brother out of care. He doesn't have time for anything else in his life.
Until he meets Dan…
- 1 To Be Read list
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Class Differences, Death of Parent, Families/Raising Kids, Find Love and Come Out, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Office / Workplace Romance, Opposites Attract
Word Count: 77,559
Setting: Small town, England
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
The Sun Keeps Rising
Micky cursed loudly and squinted through the morning glare to read the alarm clock that was obviously having trouble performing its one and only basic function. He threw off his duvet and jumped out of bed, his foot landing on a plastic wind-up toy penguin discarded on the floor. The penguin openly mocked him by tossing itself into a noisy backflip.
Micky cursed again, bending down to pick up the toy and throw it savagely against the wall. It shattered into a million pieces and Micky felt instantly guilty.
“Flynn!” he yelled, hopping over to his bedroom door and yanking it open. Treading more carefully to the bathroom opposite, he rubbed his eyes before coming face-to-face with himself in the mirror above the sink.READ MORE
He looked like shit. No change there. The three hours of almost sleep he’d gotten obviously hadn’t done anything to improve on his disheveled appearance. He ran a hand over the stubble on his chin. He needed to shave but now didn’t have the time. Micky turned on the tap, dunked his head under the cold stream and squeezed paste onto his toothbrush.
“Flynn!” he shouted again, louder this time, before shoving the toothbrush into his gob and brushing vigorously. The minty taste did nothing for his dry mouth.
“Yes, Micky,” came a quiet little voice from the bathroom doorway.
Still holding the toothbrush between his lips, foam dripping out from the side of his mouth, Micky turned.
“We’re late,” he said, trying to suck the minty drool back up and stop it escaping from the corners.
“I’m dressed,” Flynn replied with a huge proud smile.
Flynn stood in the doorway, clutching another wind-up plastic toy. He kept spinning the thing around, setting off an ear-piercing buzz as it unwound at double speed. He appeared so small and fragile. More like a five-year-old than his actual eight years. He’d gotten dressed. Sort of. He’d managed to pull on his gray school trousers over his pajama bottoms and his army-green jumper clung inside out. No socks, and his mousy-brown curls stuck out from his head in all directions.
Micky’s heart melted a little at the sight.
“Well done, Flynn.” Micky finished brushing his teeth, spat down the plughole and cupped a handful of water into his mouth to rinse. Turning back to his brother, Micky then crouched in front of him. “But how about we try taking the pajamas off?”
Flynn looked down, waggling his toes, and back up at his big brother. “Why?” he asked, confused. “I put them back on later.”
Micky laughed. The kid had a point.
“Come on.” Micky took hold of Flynn’s hand to walk him back into the small box room. It had twin beds, pushed up against opposite sides. One had used to belong to Micky before he’d moved into the master bedroom.
“What time did you get up today?” Micky asked, dragging Flynn’s jumper over his head.
“Five five two,” Flynn replied.
He wound up the blasted plastic toy again and Micky breathed in deeply, preventing his immediate instinctive reaction to take the thing and smash it against the wall in comradeship with its penguin mate.
“That’s early,” Micky said, pulling off Flynn’s pajama top then rooting around in the drawer for his brother’s school polo shirt. He found it scrunched at the bottom and helped Flynn squirm into it while trying to smooth out the creases.
“For what?” Flynn asked, holding on to Micky’s shoulder as he knelt and stepped out of his trousers.
“Everything,” Micky replied with a yawn.
“Daddy didn’t say it was.”
Micky looked into Flynn’s blue eyes. The white starburst pattern within them gave him the feeling of being hypnotized. Micky blinked.
“Dad’s not here, Flynn,” Micky said slowly, standing to inspect his now school-uniform-clad little brother.
“Yes, he is.” Flynn smiled widely, his plastic toy buzzing in his hands.
Micky stared down at for a brief moment, then spun around and ran full pelt down the stairs and into the living room. The place was dark and dank, stinking of booze and fags with beer cans littering the floor.
Micky yanked open the curtains to witness the disgusting figure sprawled on the sofa. Tatty stonewashed denim jeans bagged around his knees and the T-shirt he wore, once white in color, was stained yellow with patches of Micky didn’t want to know what. His greasy, graying hair hung around his face like rats’ tails. He was snoring and every breath out from his wide-open mouth filled the room with a putrid stench.
Micky kicked at the arm dangling off the sofa. The man grumbled but didn’t move. Micky kicked him again, more fiercely. Opening one eye, the brute belched as he squinted through the glaring sunlight.
“Get the fuck out,” Micky demanded.
The laughter that followed made Micky’s skin crawl, along with the irritating scratching of fingernails across the man’s chest. The shirt rubbed against the curly dark hairs scattering his fat body and made the unbearable scraping of nails down a chalk board.
“Now,” Micky growled.
The grunted response wasn’t something Micky could decipher, nor did he care to. Micky watched with contempt as he rolled off the sofa and landed on the floor with a thump. Several beer cans crunched under his heavy frame and he rolled again to push up on to all fours. Grunting once more, he heaved himself to stand. He tripped on his own feet and clutched at the wall. Micky clenched his fists at the ready as the second loud belch blasted out and Micky had to turn away from the oncoming stink.
“Money,” he demanded, holding out a hand.
“Get fucked,” Micky spat back.
“Then I take his.”
He staggered over to the fireplace mantelpiece and made a grab for the handmade clay moneybox shaped like a car. Micky wrapped firm fingers around his wrist and squeezed tightly.
“Over my dead body.” Micky gritted his teeth. Clutching the wrist harder, he used his other hand to root around in the dirty jeans pocket and yanked out a key. Shaking his head, Micky shoved him away. “Now leave, before I fucking kill you.”
“Micky?” Flynn’s delicate little voice squeaked from the living room door. He clung to the plastic toy still in his hand, his eyes tightly shut.
Micky ran over, picked him up and settled him on his hip. For an eight-year-old, Flynn weighed no more than a couple of stone, his body skin and bones. It wasn’t his fault. It was the condition. Flynn rested his head on Micky’s shoulder, wrapping his arms around his big brother’s neck, still clamping his eyes shut.
“It’s okay, Flynn. Dad’s leaving now.”COLLAPSE
Jane on Sinfully Gay Romance wrote:
5 out of 5 (exceptional)
Now, first thing I must say is that if you are looking for something light and fluffy, full of sparkles and rainbows, then you have definitely got the wrong book! Misdemeanor is a dark, gritty piece of work, telling how one man is trying to do the right thing after doing so many wrong things. How he doesn't think he deserves help, or anything good in his life, and the reasons why. You find out just how hard he is trying, and Micky will worm his way into your emotions without you even realising it. As for Flynn, well, I dare you to deny him entrance to your heart!
Dan and Micky appear to be complete opposites, but they are just what the other needs. With funny situations to lighten up the darkness at times, this is a hard-hitting book that will stay with you. Trust me, it's not all good. And at times characters act like first-class jerks, but that just gives it that slice of realism.
With two outstanding main characters, plus a host of brilliant supporting characters, this book is exceptionally written and with no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow. It does end on one helluva cliffhanger though, so fair warning! An excellent start to the series, and I can't wait to read more. Definitely recommended by me.
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
Cheryl on Alpha Book Club wrote:
I loved this book. Micky is a nineteen year old bad boy trying to be good for the sake of his younger brother Flynn. Their mum has died and their dad is an alcoholic deadbeat that Micky has kicked out. He is trying to leave his old life behind and parent Flynn. I do love a bad boy trying to be good and that's what we get here in bucket loads with Micky. He is a complicated character, a walking contradiction. At once rough and ready with a long rap sheet, yet a doting brother, working hard at trying to move on from his past and he's an English student too. He has a crowd of friends that are bordering on criminal. They all believe that Micky is straight and still into all of their old shenanigans like going out drinking and pulling, maybe a bit of stealing, but they are a loyal lot.
Flynn is the most adorable little boy. I fell in love with him immediately. He is eight years old and has a rare chromosomal disorder called Williams Syndrome. He has learning disabilities, meaning he thinks and acts more like a five year old. He is overly social with people, has no awareness of stranger danger and he also suffers with heart defects and other medical issues. Micky knows that with his prior history of criminal offences that getting custody of Flynn as his guardian will be almost impossible. So even though he takes care of him and gets him to school etc. He is always aware at the back of his mind that Flynn could be taken away so he tries desperately to cover up the fact that his dad is no longer living with them.
At his new job at the local supermarket he makes a connection with his new boss Dan, he discloses his past misdemeanours and Dan sees past that. He is sweet and has an English degree and wants to be a teacher but has drifted into being the manager of a section in the supermarket. Their relationship blossoms in fits and starts behind closed doors and I loved how Dan brought out Micky’s softer side. Dan is very supportive of Micky and Flynn but Micky believes he's not good enough for someone like Dan. He's also worried about his friends finding out.
The British tone and flavour of this book is spot on. I love the way Micky spoke and the writing is superb. I was totally sucked in, just couldn't put it down, this was right up my street. The secondary cast of characters like Micky's best friend Jason and Dougie from work add so much too. It was like watching my favourite soap, voyeuristically viewing the minutiae of people’s lives in a small town.
The only slightly disappointing drawback for me was the ending, it was so abrupt I got whiplash. It finished partway through a scene and though I get it was to make it a cliffhanger, I was just left trying to turn the page to finish the scene first. Otherwise this is a glorious book and I cannot wait to read the next one. An absolute winner for me.
Pixie on MM Good Book Reviews wrote:
I’ve just finished this book and I want to stomp my feet and scream like a 15-year-old girl because although I very much enjoyed this story, it ended on a whopping great cliff-hanger!!! That is my own personal version of a ‘hard limit’. I’d rather wait till the entire series was released and read them all at once than find myself waiting months for the next book.
So, tantrum out of the way, I can tell you how good this story was. Micky hasn’t had the easiest of lives, he’s had several encounters with the law and has a love of fighting, his mother is dead, his father a dead-beat but the one real ray of light in his world is his eight-year-old brother Flynn. Trying to make a better life for him and his brother, Micky has gone back to school, he’s keeping out of trouble and has a job to keep their heads above water. Hiding the fact that he is Flynn’s sole caretaker from the authorities and dealing with William’s Syndrome that affects so many aspects of Flynn’s life, is almost a full-time job in itself but then there’s the fact that Micky is also hiding his true sexuality from his friends. He has literally no time to think about himself so when he starts his new job at the supermarket and meets his boss, Dan, there doesn’t seem any way he can squeeze in time for the feelings he is developing for the man.
This story runs at full speed the whole way and there’s never a dull moment and despite Micky’s situation, you don’t feel sorry for him. He’s clearly a good guy who’s been delt a bad hand and the fact that he copes at all is amazing. Him and Dan both deserve to be happy but they have so many obstacles in their way.
The absolute highlight of the book for me, however, was Flynn. He steals the show with his warm, enthusiastic and permanently happy personality. If only we could all live in his world. So, despite how annoyed I am about the aforementioned cliff-hanger, I will be wanting to get my hands on book two as soon as it’s available.
Micky has had a difficult life but now at nineteen he has begun to turn his life around, he’s just got a half decent job, he’s studying for his exam re-takes and he’s desperate to keep his little brother Flynn out of care. He hasn’t got time for relationships and then he meets his new manager Dan.
This is a wonderful story that shows a more true to life living than is usually seen in books. Micky is a guy who has been handed a crappy life, he’s determined to turn it around though for his little brother but life keeps throwing up obstacles that threaten to destroy everything he is working towards. Dan has had a pretty easy life and although he’s working a job that he never thought would be permanent he’s pretty happy except for the lack of a boyfriend.
When Micky and Dan get together, it isn’t easy for either of them. Micky can’t just throw himself into a relationship, not just because he’s in the closet, but also because he’s worried about Flynn. Flynn is an absolute darling, he has Williams syndrome and you just want to snatch him up and snuggle him to death for his sweetness. Dan has his own small demons from previous relationship break-ups so he feels like he’s on rocky ground especially when Micky pushes him away.
The characters in this story are brilliant written, they jump off the page with their vitality and I’m not just talking about Micky, Dan and Flynn, I mean all the characters. They have an air of realness to them, I know that I myself was reminded by some of the characters to friends I’ve had over the years. They really do remind me a lot of my teenage year’s friends… and I now find that really creepy LOL.
This storyline is an amazing one; it brings the simple mundane life to the forefront and shows the struggles against a system and snobbery by a young man just trying to improve his lot in life for his younger brother. I dare anyone not to fall in love with Flynn, to admire Micky, and to hope that Dan can continue to wear Micky’s walls away.
My only niggle at this story was the ending, the abrupt way it cut off on a cliff-hanger had me gritting my teeth and cursing the author out… come on did you have to end it just there?
Anyway, I recommend this story to those who love more lower class real life stories, who adore young children who are cherubs, who want to see two young men find each other and the beginnings of love, and who want a story that has you hooked from the first couple of pages.
Responsible Adult Serial
The Responsible Adult series follows bad boy Micky O’Neill as he attempts to better his life to bring up his disabled little brother. A past full of juvenile delinquency and living in a small town rife with idle gossip means Micky struggles to be seen as anything other than a no-hoper from the wrong side of the tracks... until he takes a job at the local supermarket and meets his boss, Dan, a university graduate and self-proclaimed shy, awkward bookworm.
Dan, older and burned from a past relationship, is the one person who sees through Micky’s tough-guy facade to the true heart underneath. With fear and mistrust on both sides, the two must steer their way through a complicated relationship where outside forces are determined to break them up at every turn.
Responsible Adult is a series about growing up and learning that love always brings responsibility.