Brandon Stewart is avoiding grading tests and in desperate need of a Red Bull when a knock at his office door interrupts his hunt for quarters. The last person he expected to walk through the door was Tristan, the twin brother of his fiancé Dustin Walker. Dustin and Tristan haven’t talked in two years, not since Dustin was outed and Tristan disowned him. But all Tristan wants to do is talk, and he asks Brandon to pass on the message. When he gets home that evening, Brandon reluctantly tells Dustin that Tristan stopped by, knowing that it will open up a wound for the man that hasn’t yet begun to heal. With Brandon’s support, Dustin eventually decides to give Tristan a call.
Meeting up with Tristan has both Dustin and Brandon on edge. When Dustin refuses to let Brandon leave the room, Tristan balks for a moment. He doesn’t understand his brother’s sexuality, but it comes down to the fact that they miss each other. Tristan doesn’t know if he will ever understand or fully accept that Dustin is now engaged to a man, but the brothers both want to work on their relationship. Even though Brandon was nervous and scared for Dustin, he’s so glad that Dustin is starting to build back his relationship with his brother. And it gives Brandon the nudge he needs to try and reconnect with his own brother.
Brandon shows up at his brother, Russell’s door, without warning, thinking that it would be the best approach. Russell invites him in, and the talk is awkward and stilted before they get down to the heart of the matter. However, Russell may not have the change of heart that Tristan did. But either way, with Dustin by his side, Brandon is ready to let the past go and step into the future: as Dustin’s husband.
Dustin and Brandon, from Rules of Engagement, are back, and oh what a satisfying story this is. When I realized there was a sequel to their story, I had to have it. The first book ends with a lot of promise, and is a happy and complete ending, but I was so glad that we got to see these two guys have their forever. In fact, I think I like this one even more than the first, but I’ve read them back to back multiple times over the last few years.
These two guys are so right for each other, and two years into their relationship, it’s still evident. I love the way they support and take care of each other. The sex is still off the charts hot, but they are also settled into a relationship and it is wonderful to see. Already invested in their relationship, I was so glad that not only are they making it work, but they are ready to commit themselves fully to each other.
This story has a real feeling to it in a way that we don’t always see. I really appreciated the choices Witt made within this story. Tristan, in particular, really redeemed himself in my eyes. He was so cold and cruel to his brother in the first book, but after two years, he’s realized what he’s missing. I loved to see Dustin’s trepidation, his real fear and worries, at attempting to reconnect with his brother. And I liked that Tristan was honest, that he didn’t change completely, and that even though he still doesn’t understand his brother’s sexuality, he wants his brother in his life. By the same token, Russell was honest as well. Though his feelings were a lot more negative, and he ultimately turned away from Brandon, at least he wasn’t fake or too harsh. He believes what he believes, and there is no changing that.
Guys, this was the perfect coda to the first book, and the ending left me smiling and happy. Brandon and Dustin have been through a lot, but they are going to make it, and they’ll do it by leaning on each other. I highly recommend Rain to you, provided you did yourself the favor of reading Rules of Engagement first.