One Small Thing - Piper Vaughn 4+ stars. Heart-warming and really sweet m/m romance with very likable and sympathetic characters. I really enjoyed it.

The story, briefly.
Rue and Erik are neighbors, despite never having seen each other for the six months Erik has lived there. Erik's a recluse, you see, who has something of a social disorder wherein he dislikes leaving his familiar surroundings and interacting with people. However, his royalty checks are slowly getting smaller and smaller, so when Rue stops by, desperate for a babysitter for Alice, the adorable product of his one-night-stand girl-periment, Erik can't refuse the money Rue is offering for nanny services. The men develop a friendship that brings Erik out of his shell, and this friendship develops into...something more.

The characters.
This story is written in the alternating first person POV. I'm not a huge fan of this style, but it worked well enough in this case. The voices were unique enough that I didn't really get confused. There was a really great supporting cast, including Alice the baby and Dusty, Rue's best friend.

Rue is a former club kid who's trying to make something of himself. By day, he goes to cosmetology school to become a hairdresser; by night, he bartends at a local gay club. I liked him, and I especially liked how he loved Alice, no matter how different (and difficult sometimes) she made his life. He's ambitious and confident, but at the same time, he's vulnerable when it comes to his feelings for Erik, for whom he feels something deeper than his usual quick pick-ups.

I LOVED Erik. Erik is a reclusive sci-fi writer with neurotic tendencies. "Star Wars" calms him. He doesn't like change. He gets his groceries delivered so that he doesn't have to venture out into the real world. I loved seeing him grow and expand beyond the very rigid parameters he'd set for himself. I also loved it when he would buy stuff for Alice, which showed an attachment for her (and Rue??) beyond just being the nanny. Being a recluse, Erik hasn't ever been kissed, let alone in a relationship. I really liked seeing him recognize his feelings for Rue and how that unfolded in the story.

The sexytimes.
This story had a slow burn, which I thought was entirely appropriate for the characters and situation. When the sexytimes do commence, they're not extremely explicit, but they're well written and do an excellent job of revealing character growth, in my opinion.

The relationship conflicts and HEA.
Their relationship goes incredibly smoothly as they go from strangers to friends to lovers. Outside forces enter the picture ~70-80% of the way into the story, though, to introduce roadblocks in their HEA. While I recognize the appropriateness of addressing these outside forces, I also felt like the way they popped up was a little...sudden and contrived at the same time. When the HEA finally did arrive, I felt a little worn out from the back-and-forth of those sudden conflicts.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well-drawn, and their relationship was really wonderful to watch as it unfolded. Recommended!

Note: Thanks to Dreamspinner Press and the author for providing a copy of this book through NetGalley.