Marc reviews Br0th3rly (Famous on the Internet 1) by Alina Popescu. Also check out the giveaway, trailer and exclusive excerpt!
Author: Alina Popescu
Series: Famous on the Internet, Book One
Genre: Gay Romance, Contemporary, M/M Romance
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Start your journey through the new techie/geeky gay romance series by Alina Popescu—Famous on the Internet—with the first book, Br0th3rly.
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.
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First a disclaimer. Not only have I received a free copy of this book for an honest review, but I’m also friends with the author. In fact, Alina helped me through a rough time and encouraged me to start this very blog and helped me on every step along the way with her experience as blogger and promoter. While she is now focusing on other things, she is one of the founding members of Rainbow Gold Reviews and I will forever be grateful. But while we have been friends for a while and I even met her at Euro Pride Con in person, this is the first time I read one of her books.
I don’t often put myself in a position to ‘judge’ books by close friends, because I could never not be honest and don’t know if I will enjoy their writing style etc. At some point though, I get too curious about the stories they write and when I had the opportunity to read this book for Alina’s blog tour I could not resist. It intrigued me that she tackled such a taboo topic as brothers (in all but blood) and I knew even if I didn’t like the book, she would not take it personally. I’m still glad I really enjoyed it, because what is better than an angsty read? For most of the book I just wanted to take that adoringkidbrother in my arms and be there for him.
Tristan has fallen for his big brother Trevor even before he knew what love was. He does not just admire him in a ‘brotherly’ way like any kid brother might admire the big brother who takes care of and protects him, he is sexually attracted to him and feels a very strong and very ‘un-brotherly’ love for Trevor. He realizes soon that society not only frowns upon such an attraction, they judge and criminalize it. However hard he tries, though, he cannot change the way he feels and he sees escape as the only way to not disappoint and disgust his father, mother and brother. He spends all his time studying and playing sports to break the very close brotherly bond and graduates early so he can move away. Even with all those miles between them and only rarely returning home, his desire for his brother never dies away.
It did not help when his mother told him that he and Trevor were not brothers by blood, because they were still raised together, brothers in every other way. While it would not break any law if they were together, it would break society’s taboo and he was sure it would break his brother’s heart and trust, especially after he ensured him he would forever stay his big brother, no matter what. He only comes clean to his best friend and tries to live his life not thinking about his soul-mate, who is sleeping his way through the male population in their home town, but will never be Tristan’s lover.
I really liked that Tristan writes down all his thoughts and emotions in an anonymous blog. A very public diary that gives the readers insights into his soul and is written with a lot of love and humor, even as readers can easily see how hart-broken Tristan is. It was a great way to start each chapter and I really enjoyed all his blog posts. However, I’m not a fan of the email exchanges between Tristan and the Gay Fiction Publishing House that wants to throw tons of money at him for the right to publish his posts as a book. It just seemed like such a huge sum that I had trouble believing it and it pulled me out of the heart-breakingly honest, emotional story a bit.
That being said, the rest of the story really clicks for me. I have no problem with the taboo nature of Tristan’s love for his brother, but the fact that he is not only gay but in love with his own brother makes the story more angsty, more emotional and raises the stakes. The brothers have a great chemistry and when they do ultimately find their way into each others arms, they make a very hot couple. The actions and reactins made sense to me and the story really drew me in.
If you are a fan of a forbidden love story, angst and a happy ending, this novella might be just what you need.
8.5/10 Pots of Gold (85% Recommended) – Compares to 4.25/5 Stars
A knock on my door told me I’d unsuccessfully tried to sleep till dinner time.
“Yeah,” I groaned, praying he would not come in.
Of course it was Trev; that was the rule in our house. Dad would get drinks ready, Mom would cook the meal, and Trev would fetch me. I’d been hiding before dinner since I was fourteen. Back then I used to blame it on homework; now I was using my exhaustion.
It was an excuse, but I wasn’t lying. I really was shattered. About a week before having to spend time with my family, sleep would start to elude me. Restless nights, or dark dreams that began erotic and ended with disgust painted on my parents’ faces. Worse, that same look of disgust was painted on my brother’s face, twisting it cruelly.
Trev pushed the door open and leaned against the door frame. “Dinner, baby bro.”
I groaned and pressed the heels of my hands into my eye sockets. I hated the sound of his voice when he called me that. Such warmth, such pure brotherly love. He was never this sweet and warm with anyone else, not even with Mom. Just me. Man, did that make me feel like the freaking asshole of the century.
“C’mon, lazy boy, Mom’s been cooking all day to make your favorites. Let’s not keep her waiting.”
He stood there, in the doorway, waiting for me to come. I knew what would happen next and I braced myself. Deep breaths, deep breaths. Think of grandpa and grandma having sex. It was useless. The moment I passed by, he ruffled my hair and pulled me into a half hug. There we go, boner time! I could not have my brother touch me and not get a stiffy. And he always was so carelessly tactile with me.
I grumbled some excuse or another and hid in the bathroom.
1x$10 WIP Gift Card
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Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.
Site & Blog: http://alina-popescu.com