Double Heat (Twin Ties # 3), Lynn Kelling
Publisher: Forbidden Fiction
Genre: Gay Romance
Tags: Double Twincest, Psychological, Non-Con, Kink, Erotic, Contemporary Setting, Series
Length: 299 Pages
Reviewer: Kazza K
When Evan and Brennan moved in with their boyfriends, Alek and Luka, they knew things would be complicated, but as their privacy gets eroded, and people around them begin to notice the tangled nature of the four-way relationship, coping becomes a struggle. After Brennan leaves on a brief trip home, and Evan remains behind to enjoy the full attention of both Alek and Luka, the careful balance of things gets thrown off.
Ex-boyfriends surface, haunting Evan and Brennan in similar ways as regret for poor choices threatens their happiness, and the sexual freedom displayed earlier in their lives draws predators willing to use violence, coercion, mind-games and force to take what they want. Though Luka and Alek struggle to protect those they love, it soon becomes clear that the dangers surrounding them will find ways to rush in, trying to take what belongs to them. (M/M+ – See publisher’s website for content labels.)
Double Heat takes up soon after Twin Affairs finishes. Twins Evan and Brennan are now living with their lovers, the Popovic twins, in an apartment in Whippoorwill. Brennan is going back to Monroe, Louisiana, to visit their mother’s grave and leave daisies for her birthday. He’s going to stay with one friend and catch up with former school friends while he’s there. Evan’s still battling depression/anxiety and can’t bring himself to visit what is effectively Brennan’s previous life. One he doesn’t know a whole lot about. One that haunts him because of (parental) circumstance. However, Evan is nervous of being left alone with no Brennan. He doesn’t want him to leave but knows that’s unfair.
Brennan shrugged. “I told him he could come with. He doesn’t feel comfortable. I think it creeps him out, the idea of seeing Mom’s grave and the place we used to live without him. He’s got trust issues with people his own age, too, so he’s not super eager to meet my old friends. It’s just for a couple of days anyway.”
He’s also on edge about causing issues in the relationship with their lovers, Alek and Luka, while Brennan is away.
“But the triangle the three of us make has some really sharp edges,” Evan told him. “You were there. You saw the fighting. They get weird and there’s sharing issues. I don’t want to be responsible for causing another huge fight between them.”
“Ev, it’s one weekend, not the end of the world. It’ll be fine. Dad isn’t here this time and they know they’re each fucking you, so there’s no big shocker there.”
There are many things going on in Double Heat and I cannot review them all because it would spoil the read. There is love. There is amazing sex and chemistry between Evan and Brennan and Alek and Luka. There is the growing relationship between Evan and Brennan as they become even closer, on multiple levels. But there are secrets that Evan and Brennan have been keeping individually. Brennan has an ex, Tommy, who has been sending him text messages, being stalker-esque in behaviour. But Brennan sees the positive in people and knows he loves who he loves. Besides, it’s just that Tommy misses him and he was once a source of escape when Brennan’s mother was dying and he didn’t know he had a twin. When he felt overwhelmed, Tommy helped him let off steam. But Brennan’s memories about Tommy and their relationship are off.
Evan has an ex of is own, Drew, who’s a major predator. Who was playing around with Evan when he shouldn’t have been – when Evan was very, very young and Charlie, his dad, wasn’t anywhere to be seen. His memories and beliefs are also off. Evan is feeling unsure how to handle being with three lovers when he’s spent a lot of his life on his own because Charlie worked and lived away so often. He’s also been used to living in a rural setting, having solitude, now he’s living in town, in an apartment, and feels like he’s in a goldfish bowl. Only a couple of close people know he’s gay and he doesn’t want anyone in small-town Whippoorwill, or at Mike’s Garage, knowing. Luka is open and so is Brennan but Evan can’t bring himself to be like them. Add to this that two sets of twins being out together causes people to notice them. They can’t blend in, which does Evan’s head in. For these reasons, and more, Evan’s equilibrium is way off-kilter. Both Evan and Brennan are in for hard times in Double Heat but I can’t divulge much more than that.
While you could read Double Heat as a standalone, I wouldn’t recommend it. There is a lot that goes on leading into this book in books #1 and #2. The Twin Ties series is about taboo – twincest x 2 – and it works so well. But it’s more than that. Lynn Kelling has such passion for all of these characters and this is another terrific addition to the series. It’s super sexy. There’s plenty of drama. Lynn Kelling also tackles social commentary well – predatory behaviour and abuse, (I give a strong non-con warning with this book, sections of a couple of chapters could be hard going for some people, but it advances storylines very well.) Evan and Brennan and Alek and Luka have formed a tightknit bond and while the book is quite dark at times, there is also a lot of love and support, with all four guys forming a family unit that they’ve long needed. Then there’s Jimmy, Carter and Presley, all wonderful secondary characters who add depth and dimension to every book. I would love a further look at all of these guys and hope their stories can be told as well as Evan and Brennan’s are being told. Bring on more Twin Ties. 4.5 Stars!
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