Title: Br0th3rly (Famous on the Internet, Book One)
Author: Alina Popescu
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Release Date: January 15th, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 112 pages
Reviewed by: Lily G Blunt
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Fighting his relentless love for Trevor, the guy he was raised to consider his brother, has been Tristan’s mission in life.
To distance himself from Trevor, even after discovering they weren’t really related, he left for college at sixteen. Moving into the city, building a new life, and running an anonymous blog about what he considers sick, twisted feelings might make Tristan famous on the Internet, but it isn’t enough to get over his obsession. Every time he goes home, a quick glance at Trevor brings it all flooding back.
When commitment-phobe Trevor announces he’s got a serious boyfriend during one of Tristan’s rare visits home, the adoring kid brother will be forced to run once again. This time, however, Trevor doesn’t stand back and watch him leave.
Instead, he follows him, making it nigh on impossible for Tristan to keep his love a secret for much longer.
I particularly liked the originality of this story with the anonymous Br0th3rly blog posts and the letters from a publisher interspersed with the chapters, which gave a different perspective of the tale, making it unusual and adding some humour.
From the start, my heart went out to Tristan because he considered himself a ‘dirty little pervert’ for loving and lusting after his older brother since he was aged ten, and had continued to do so ever since. Even after he found out they weren’t blood related, he’d fought the urge to tell Trevor how he felt because they had grown up together and Tristan was ashamed. His attraction, the need to bottle up his feelings, and the frustration at seeing his brother with other guys were well demonstrated through his internal thoughts and actions. Tristan’s fear of being discovered and considered disgusting by Trevor and his parents were paramount in controlling his motives and actions.
It’s clear Trevor loves his brother and cares for him too. Despite Tristan behaving awkwardly at times, there’s a special bond and chemistry between these two guys from the start and when they finally get together and make out, it’s all good. I was a little perplexed at Tristan running away without saying goodbye and vowing to himself not to return to his family home ever again. But that all contributed to the angst. I love the longing and heartache in m/m romances.
I enjoy Alina’s writing style and the pace of this story. The story gripped me from the start and I kept reading, wanting to discover what happened. I loved the addition to the story via the blog posts and the emails from the publisher. I would have liked one or two more of them toward the end of the story. At the beginning, I even wondered if Trevor was writing the blog as an added twist. The story was wrapped up rather swiftly, with a happy for now ending, hinting at a HEA. I would have liked more scenes with Tristan and Trevor being together and seeing their relationship develop, but this is a novella, so I’m just being greedy.
As a fan of taboo stories and brotherly love, I was hoping that’s where the story was heading, but Alina stresses several times that these guys are not blood-related. Even so, as step brothers, I still enjoyed the format and the outcome of the story. I liked the hint at taboo even though it wasn’t a taboo story as such. The story made a refreshing change.
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