“The only journey is the one within.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke
Author: Lynn Kelling
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 267 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: What happens when two different sets of identical twins fall in love with the other? Growing up gay in a small town with no mother, Evan Savage learned the hard way to cherish his secrets above all else. Now he’s eighteen, not even his father can hurt him anymore. When his long-lost twin brother Brennan shows up out of nowhere looking for a new home, Evan’s world, and his very identity, comes crashing down around him all over again. Evan’s twin, Brennan, is searching for a sense of connection after their mother’s death. Together, frustrated and reckless, anonymous sexual encounters are just the first step on a journey of self-discovery for both Evan and Brennan, when the two meet Alek and Luka, another set of twins whose love leads them to find in each other things they never knew they had lost…and lures them all into danger.
Review: Having never read anything by this author before, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’m a fan of taboo relationships and have no problem reading them. Let’s just say, after reading this story, I will definitely be ready more from Ms. Kelling, though if twincest isn’t your cup of tea, you may want to leave this one alone.
I find that most stories about brotherly love revolve around sex and not much else. Not the case with My Brother’s Lover. I found myself so taken with the depth of the storyline, so invested in the lives of two sets of twin brothers with very different backgrounds. The first set, Evan and Brennan, were separated at birth and find each eighteen years later. Alek and Luka, the other set, turn to each other to fill the void of never having been loved by anyone. These four characters come together with all their baggage, giving each other what they so desperately need; unconditional love, physically and emotionally. In fact, the realism of the characters is what I liked best about this story. Their dynamics had me from page one and didn’t let go.
Meeting a long lost brother, your twin at that, for the first time in the midst of amped up emotions isn’t easy. Brennan dealt with losing his mother and comes across as very comfortable in his own skin, more mature, for a lack of a better word. Evan is still trying to come to terms with his sexuality, and life in general. He is really struggling, and I think these two were brought together at just the right time. I was completely enthralled by watching Evan deal with his insecurities. His journey revolves around accepting that he is gay and that it’s okay. He’s had an issue with this since he was young, even tried to end his life because of it. Even with Brennan in his life now, Evan must still travel his own road in his own time. I feel the raw emotion the author wanted to convey from this particular character. It was interesting to see the changes in Evan by the end of this book. For me, Evan was the main focus, everything circled around him. I believe it’s because he’s the most fragile one of the four. The one who can come apart at the seams at any given moment.
Now on to the next set of twins, Alek and Luka. Even with a not so glamorous upbringing and dealing with their own demons, I felt these two are definitely a positive in Evan and Brennan’s life. It seems as though they were left to their own devices growing up and only had one another to fall back on. So, the natural thing to do for both of them is to turn to each other to get what they are missing: touch, love, comfort and intimacy. I do have to say while I really liked Alek and Luka, I didn’t fully connect with them. Maybe it was because they were a little older or, from a casual glance, they seem to be well adjusted. Maybe it’s just me, and I need more of their backstory. As is, we know there is something pretty dark from their past that haunts Alek, he can’t get over the guilt. It is touched on very briefly, the full scene not actually on page, but some people may find it difficult to read. In context of the overall series, I understand why the author chose to add this layer, but didn’t feel it added to their development in book one. I am hoping that further installments of the series will give them equal page time for their issues.
Did I mention Alek and Luka are dating Evan and Brennan? Well yes, yes they are. I really loved the way the author brought these four characters together. They are all dealing with some pretty heavy emotions. At first, they try to have a relationship separate from their twin, but they are pulled by some unknown force that seems to make it impossible. Instead if being separate entities, all four are on their way to being one unit. I’m really looking forward to the next book to see where the author takes these characters. She definitely has her work cut out for her with this group.
Overall, this was a really great read. I felt as though each character held their own, even if not completely equal yet. As I said in the beginning, this story was more than just about the sex, although the sex scenes were way off the charts. We have very complex characters dealing with some serious growing pains. I know some people will pass this by because of the brocest/twincest theme, some just aren’t comfortable with it, but I encourage readers to give this one a chance, you won’t be disappointed.
“Better to get hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie.” ― Khaled Hosseini
Author: Lynn Kelling
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 278 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: All Evan Savage wanted was a quiet night at the bar, waiting for his boyfriend to finish his shift; what he gets instead is a nightmare. Things were complex enough when his biggest problem was the tangled sex life he and his brother Brennan share with twin lovers Alek and Luka. When a selfless act ending in terrible violence lands Evan in the hospital, Brennan and Evan’s homophobic father returns to loom over their lives. The young men’s relationships begin to unravel as carefully drawn boundary lines are blurred and crossed. When the most dangerous thing you can do is admit to who you love, and jealousy is a luxury you can no longer afford, brutal honesty is the only remaining key to salvation…or damnation.
Review: This is the second book in the Twin Ties series. I highly recommend reading My Brother’s Lover first.
Starting a few months after the first book ends, this one takes off with a heart stopping jolt and just never stops. Hold on to your seat folks, this is going to be a bumpy ride.
While the men have a new set of events and issues, the biggest contribution Twin Affairs has to the overall story arc is intent. In the last book, the relationship between all four men just happened, evolving almost by accident as they fought their blind needs. In this book, the relationship is a conscious choice, made by each man in their own way.
I sometimes feel lost and confused when reading a book where there is more than one lover in a relationship. Not so with this group. Evan, Brennan, Alek and Luka together are all a force to be reckoned with. They love hard and they love deep. I believe the author did an amazing job in keeping the personality of each character separate, but also having them move together as one. When Evan is seriously hurt in a fight, the balance goes off kilter. It’s up to the remaining three to keep the unit from toppling over the edge. With Evan in the hospital and later at home recovering, we see just how much these four men have become emotionally dependent on one another.
It’s amazing to me what the author put into this story. The back and forth emotional struggle with all the characters. The continuation of mistakes that are made, some nearly costing them everything. I believe in doing this, the author makes these men a little more realistic. There’s communication breakdowns, misunderstandings, serious doubting of whether it’s all going to work out. I absolutely loved seeing the realism from book one, continue through book two.
Another similarity with the first book, Evan is still the glue that holds all four of them together, which is made much clearer in Twin Affairs. I have a soft spot for Evan, he really struggled with his feelings. Having thought he had to hide who he was for so long, it was hard for him to accept the love he was given and be okay with it. I was really happy the author chose to have him work out his indecision all the way through, instead of a quick fix and then all is happy with the world. Evan found his voice by the end of this book, and I, for one, was delighted with the results.
I’m still on the fence about Alek and Luka. I loved them, don’t get me wrong. They are great with Evan and Brennan. They’re loyal and only want what’s best for everyone. I just feel they are eventually going to have to talk about their past and finally be honest with each other about how it still affects their relationship as brothers, and individually. There’s a lot of underlying resentment, anger, guilt and hurt going on with these two. According to the author’s website, a third book is in the works. We’ll see how the guys are getting along, and hopefully get to the bottom of Alek and Luka’s problems with each other.
To say I was fascinated with this story is an understatement. Going into this I wasn’t expecting to find such multi layered characters. I’m embarrassed to say I expected a lot of sex and not much else when I received these two books to review. Now, the sex was hot, a little kinky and very well written, but so much more. I give kudos to Ms. Kelling for giving us such a wonderful story with unforgettable characters and proving me wrong.
Overall, I would encourage everyone to give this one a chance.