Title: Tempestuous Relations
Author: Amanda Young
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: short story (43 pages)
Rating: 3.75 out of 5
Dominic Mackenzie isn’t too proud to take advantage of the local gloryhole. As far as he’s concerned, there’s nothing better than a warm, wet mouth without any strings attached. It’s only by accident that he discovers the shocking identity of the man on his knees. Once the secret’s out, then all bets are off.
Dom drove to the rest stop knowing full well what awaited him once he entered the men’s washroom. He had been coming here every week for the past couple of months for anonymous hookups since he had heard his brother talking to his friends about what happened there, and he couldn’t wait to get his rocks off. As usual he entered the last stall and didn’t have long to wait for the action to begin. The man on the other side of the wall was eager to please, and please he did. The sex was smoking and Don was as happy as a clam, until he peeked through the hole when he was finished and saw a very familiar face staring back at him. To say he was shocked was an understatement. He was devastated when he realized that the man who pleasured him was his best friend and twin Mason.
Dom and Mason had always been very close. Their father had been abusive and their mother had deserted them when they were children so they depended on each other because it was them against the world. This new situation threatened to drive a wedge between them that could separate them forever. When Don demanded answers Mason refused to respond and it wasn’t until much later that Mason told him why he was hanging out in a public restroom giving blow jobs to strangers. Dom was horrified at the reason but he knew he would lose his brother if they couldn’t resolve this issue.
Because of its length the story could not and did not address the whole moral and societal issue of twincest except indirectly. Obviously this is a huge and touchy topic that squicks many people and probably a book about getting your rocks off is not really the place for such a wide ranging discussion.:) Authors have to walk a fine line between not glorifying such relationships, giving readers a hot romance between brothers, and moralizing about the issue. Tempestuous Relations concentrated on the sexual and emotional relationship between Dom and Mason and the differing viewpoints of the two brothers on their new role as lovers. Dom was in the closet about his feelings although he was just as hot for his brother and tried to reason with Mason to get him to change his mind, but didn’t try very hard; he gave in pretty quickly without much of a fight.
This story is very short so I don’t want to write a review that’s as long as the book but I thought the plot lacked depth because there wasn’t much of a story beyond the twincest angle. However, this is a tough topic to write about so perhaps Amanda Young did the right thing in not complicating the story further by introducing sub plots. Of the two brothers, IMO Mason was the more sympathetic and three dimensional character because his emotions were clearly evident, while Dom was not as well drawn. The pacing was pretty fast as would be expected in a story that took place within 24 hours between when Dom discovered the identity of the mystery person who was there every Friday for 2 months to pleasure him, and the resolution of the relationship. The sex in the book was smoking hot with no holds barred and there was lots of it!
One thing that grossed me out in the book is the fact that Dom put his ball cap on the floor of a public restroom which was not the cleanest and “smelled like piss.” Also, even though I know that going to a gloryhole is a practice of a few gay men, I find it difficult to understand how a man could put his mouth and tongue through a hole in a filthy toilet to suck off another man, without thinking of contamination, germs and disease. However this comes back to the issue of different strokes for different folks and not ascribing value judgments on others.
I enjoyed Tempestuous Relations for what it was, a fun read about a topic that I perve on to my everlasting shame as I try not to consider all the implications of twincest relationships. I think what saved the story for me was the fact that Amanda Young is a pretty good writer and she showed a lot of bravery in tackling such a taboo subject with a couple of sympathetic characters.
Tempestuous Relations is about twincest and may be offensive to some readers.