The Epic Love Story of Doug and Stephen

Title: The Epic Love Story of Doug and Stephen
Author: Valerie Z. Lewis
Cover Artist: n/a
Publisher: Self published
Amazon: Buy Link The Epic Love Story of Doug and Stephen
Genre: Comedy/Contemporary Romance
Length: 215 pages (estimated)
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

A guest review by Sirius

Summary: This long — but maybe too long? — novel with great leads made me laugh out loud so many times while I was reading it. I hope it will entertain you as much as it did me.

Blurb:

A comedy about a bisexual mechanic turned model who aims to get the man of his dreams and save the world as soon as he finishes smoking this joint.

Review:

The main initial attraction of this story for me was the price (it is free from the author’s website linked above or 99 cents from Amazon and Barnes and Noble) and while not without a few issues, what I got was a hilarious story for essentially free. I do not remember reading a story which had me laughing so hard for quite some time, and when I say “laughing hard” I mean exactly that. I found probably 90% of the dialogue to be laugh-out-loud funny.

The story is written from the POV of Doug, an incredibly charming character, who is very open and honest in what he wants and very, very funny. Doug reminded me (a little bit) of Al, one of the MCs from JL Merrow’s story “Muscling Through”, but while I found myself wondering whether Doug may have had a mental disability, or just very direct in his dealings with the world around him, I did not find their voices to be very similar, maybe just a very general vibe that I was getting? In any event, story itself is very different than “Muscling Through”.

As we all know, humor is such a subjective thing, and what I loved and laughed at, you may hate, so let me give you an example of the humor in this story and maybe it will help you decide whether it will work for you or not:

Doug looked at the paper doubtfully. “I’m not gonna have sex with any other guys, Stephen. I’m only gay for you.”

“I’m touched,” Stephen said. “Get out”

Stephen stood with his arms folded over his chest as Doug readied himself to leave. He put on his jacket, adjusted his orange hat, and retied his shoelaces. Then he stood smiling expectantly at Stephen.

“What part of ‘get out’ was confusing?” Stephen asked.

Doug smiled suggestively. “Aren’t you forgetting something?”

“A weapon?” Stephen offered.

Doug leaned forward and whispered, “It’s our second date. It’s okay to kiss me now.”

“This is not a date,” Stephen told him firmly. “The first event was blackmail, and the current event is stalking.”

“What’s the next event?”

“Punching.”

Doug started backing towards the door. “I’ll leave then. See you at work.”

If this excerpt feels a little farcical, it is because it was in my opinion, but the story overall combines such moments (not sure how to call it better — slapstick comedy? a little farcical?) with very sweet, very romantic ones and, in my opinion, does it quite well.

As you can see from the excerpt, initially Doug’s love interest is not very interested in him, to put it mildly, but on his way of searching for his sexual identity Doug manages to win Stephen’s heart and show him what are most important things in life. In fact, I wished that sometimes Stephen would have gotten over himself faster and stopped being so mean to Doug faster, but don’t get me wrong, Stephen’s behavior made sense to me and the change in his behavior made sense to me as well.

But as funny as I found this story and while I liked it overall, I had some niggles that brought my rating down. First, I felt it needed editing and cutting in my opinion. At times we get whole pages of incidents — for example info-dumps from the characters’ pasts which I would speculate were meant to show why both Doug and Stephen behaved the way they did — but I thought sometimes it went on and on for too long and at times (not too often) got a little tedious. Moreover, and even though it did not cease being funny, their interactions themselves sometimes got very repetitive. Lastly, there is a mini-mystery, so to speak, with a villain that appears in the middle of the story and I felt it was not a very well-developed subplot.

Basically I mostly recommend this story for the funny dialogue and enjoyable main characters, but again, read the excerpt and see if the humor works for you, because if it does not, you will not enjoy the book, since I thought that humor was its main strength.

13 comments

  • Oh, nice! I need some lighthearted read since I’m going through some really heavy books right now. This will be my therapy! XDDD

    Thank you!

    Reply
  • I, too, liked this book very much despite the flaws and found myself laughing out loud quite a bit. There were many times where I said “Sirius could have used this part as an excerpt for how friggin’ funny this thing is.” I loved Doug and, as Raine said, his Forest Gump-like simple quality, and I found much of the humor came from his using wrong words, what goes on in his head and his thought process, what he does. I thought many of the secondary characters, such as Doug’s mother and his pot dealer, Wilson, were great additions. For the money, it’s worth your time if you like funny books and can live with it not being perfect.

    Reply
    • Lynn, yay, it worked for you. You are absolutely right, it was very hard to pick which excerpt to use – a lot of very funny lines.

      Reply
    • Hi Val, if you laughed at the excerpt, I am pretty confident to make a prediction that the humor in this book will work for you 🙂 and as you said, who could bea the price. I hope you will enjoy it enough.

      Reply
  • I have to agree – I thought it was very funny, but I found myself kind of skimming the info dump pages. Doug was quite charming, and I did like those intimate moments between the characters where you can tell they are forming an attachment, despite Stephen’s best efforts to remain surly and distant. (Oh, I also liked how the description of Doug’s physical appearance was kept light – you just inferred how good looking he was by various characters’ reactions to him. It seemed in keeping with his nature.)

    Reply
    • Yep, I think with editing the book would have been awesome, but I liked even in this condition. Oooooo, good point that Doug’s description was kept light, I agree that it seemed in keeping with his nature.
      Thanks for commenting Pea.

      Reply
  • Sounds great! I’ve downloaded it, thank you 🙂 Though the link to the author’s site doesn’t work as there’s an extra speech mark at the end that needs to be removed and then it works 🙂

    Anne
    xxx

    Reply
  • Thank you again for introducing me to this one which in spite of the few flaws you mention was a fun, slightly surreal, read.

    Doug had a Forrest Gump quality for me- in that the situations he haphazardly find himself in turned out amazingly well. I really liked that live in the moment vibe. 😀

    Your review gives a very good idea of this books rather odd charm. 🙂

    Reply

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