Title: Parallel Larry
Author: Jacqueline Rohrbach
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: January 28, 2019
Genre(s): Alt Universe, Second Chance Romance
Page Count: 112
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Larry’s search for love didn’t include Greg, his regular waiter at his favorite restaurant. Always too busy daydreaming about a handsome doctor, Larry fails to notice Greg’s shy advances. But when Greg finally finds the courage to ask Larry out, he’s suddenly killed in a freak car accident. Only then does Larry realize how perfect they could have been together.
No one gets a second shot at true love. Or do they?
Inexplicably, Larry is drawn into a parallel reality, and in this new timeline, Greg is still very much alive. Here, the shy young waiter Larry knew from before has managed to live out many of his dreams. All except one: he hasn’t found love. Larry gets one more shot after all!
There are a few problems. One, Larry’s time is limited. Two, Greg has already dated the parallel reality’s Larry, and he was a real jerk. Now Larry has to prove he’s nothing at all like his evil doppelganger and that he is willing to risk everything to protect the man he loves.
He’s found Greg again. To keep him, Larry will have to stop daydreaming and fight himself—literally—not just metaphorically.
The blurb for this book really drew me in – an alternate universe where two men get a second chance at love, an evil twin who needs to be stopped, and there’s the slight possibility that reality can be changed and a HEA found. I really like the premise of this story and the way the author creates the uncommon plot.
However, while I liked the idea of this story, the execution is a bit more problematic. We meet Larry and Greg for a hot minute or two in their current reality, with Larry totally oblivious to Greg’s interest in him. Tragically, Greg dies after being hit by a car while running to catch up with Larry so he can give him his number. One bizarre incident with a defective toaster (“It’s just the toaster has three settings, and the manufacturer’s instructions didn’t say alternate reality was one of them”) and Larry finds himself jumping from earth (or Alpha 900-200B as it’s called) to an alternate universe permanently stuck in 80’s mode.
When Larry discovers by accident that Greg is still alive in this parallel world and that his own alternate personality (Evil Larry) is truly a scary psychopath bent on finding and hurting Greg, this sets into motion a whole convoluted series of events that run from strange to humorous to just plain weird.
While I admire the author tackling a challenging premise, there is little character development, Evil Larry reads like a caricature and at times I found the writing style hard to read and understand. 3 stars for “Parallel Larry” but I would definitely read the next book by this promising author.
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