Helix (Kristin F’s Review)

Title: Helix
Author: Anna Martin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 26, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary, Coming of Age
Page Count: 200
Reviewed by: Kristin F
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5


When high school student James has trouble with his truck, Dylan, who is studying to be a mechanic, comes to the rescue. James thinks he hides his immediate attraction well, but is happy to be wrong when Dylan asks for his number. Since James is new to romance, they take things slowly, and because Dylan is in college, James keeps the budding relationship secret from his overprotective dad. Across town, Mark, a teacher and single father to James and his sister, Frankie, meets Steve at a bar for what both believe will be a quick hookup. Mark doesn’t see any reason to tell his kids about Steve or press Steve for details about Steve’s adopted son…. It’s just sex between them. Isn’t it?

Two very different love stories grow side by side, each hidden from the other. But all of that changes at a family barbecue, when Mark decides it’s time for his kids to meet Steve and for him to meet James’s boyfriend, who none of them realize is Steve’s son, Dylan. The inevitable explosion means the two couples have some explaining to do to soothe the hurt feelings of their families–and lovers.

A bit of an unusual read in which we have four main characters. Steve and Mark are single Dad’s with teenage or young adult kids. Steve has an adopted son, Dylan, 21 years old, traumatic past, and still finding himself. Mark, mid-forties, 13 years divorced with twin 18 year olds, James and Frankie, on the cusp of flying the nest.

Steve and Mark have meet previously in a bar, and when their paths cross again, the attraction is more than just a hook-up.
James and Dylan connect after James truck breaks down and Dylan is the one who fixes it. This really, was their story moreso than Steve and Mark’s. Through James, we get to see Dylan’s tragic past and through Dylan, James learns all about sex. James humor was a lovely counter balance to Dylan’s somewhat more jaded character. I so enjoyed the small nuances like James making sure he had clean socks on before going over to Dylan’s.

I also appreciated the real life touch the characters had to work around – James had school, Dylan had to work, both had their families. The romance was wedged in between life activities and sometimes, it would be a week between scenes.

The dad’s, Steve and Mark. I’m somewhat on the fence as relates to their so called romance that bounced between bar sex, car sex and booty call. When The Big Misunderstanding rolls around, it’s these two that royally mess the relationship up, which then impacts the kids. Personally, The Big Misunderstanding and resolution didn’t work for me; it felt contrived and unbelievable.

Ultimately, by the end of the book I was feeling kinda…meh. James and Dylan were a sweet couple fitting in their exploration of sex, love and relationship on the weekends. Steve and Mark were emotionally all over the place, which didn’t quite work for me. So a middle of the road story when all was said and read.

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Galley copy of Helix provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


I have been a voracious reader from the time I learned how to read. My Motto: "Never leave home without a book (or two or three)." Though once I learned how to knit that became "Never leave home without a book (or two or three) AND a knitting project." A long-time fan of science fiction, I've since discovered mystery/suspense/thrillers and m/m romance. I love stories that span the universe, paranormal, urban fantasy, mystery, comedy; stories with veterinarian's (yay! animals!) or a men in uniform, a splash of BDSM or a threesome can be fun, and of course, happy ever afters. IF that's not a run-on sentence, I don't know what is... I'm not a fan of historical, horror, sports, plots with children, and New Adult/Young Adult. Thanks for reading my reviews! No two persons ever read the same book Edmund Wilson
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