Evan Savage is happy for the first time in his life, and very much in love with his boyfriend Alek Popovic. But it’s tempered by the fact that Evan also loves and is sleeping with his twin brother, Brennan. To make things even more complicated, Brennan is dating Alek’s twin Luka. This complication means that Evan and Alek don’t get a lot of time to themselves. Evan just wants to spend time with Alek, which is why he decided to hang out quietly in the bar and wait for Alek to finish his shift. But when Evan sees a man walking into a dangerous situation, Evan has to try to help, and he gets seriously injured in the process.
The bonds of the respective pairs are tested in the immediate aftermath of Evan’s injury, and continue to be strained as Evan recovers. As Alek and Brennan treat Evan with kid gloves, fearful of injuring him further, Evan ends up turning to Luka. As the feelings between Luka and Evan grow, jealousies and hurt rear their ugly heads. But the fact is that all four men care very deeply about each other, and they all enjoy a sexual relationship with each other. It makes sense that these guys would turn their separate pairs into a more inclusive foursome. ut before they can even begin to navigate those muddy waters, Evan and Brennan’s father Charlie finally returns home. Trying to hide the relationship doesn’t work, and when Charlie finds out just how deep it goes, he’s furious and strikes out at Brennan.
Everything Evan has come to know and rely on is falling apart, and he runs. When he’s brought home again, he realizes he needs some time that is separate from Brennan, Alek, and Luka. Though he loves them all very much, he needs to stand on his own for a bit. The other three quickly realize that they don’t work without Evan. No one is willing to give up without a fight, but if Evan can’t come home again, then they are all doomed to separate.
Ok guys, if you liked My Brother’s Lover, then you are in for one hell of a treat with this second installment. I think it can, technically, work as a standalone, because the author does a great job getting the reader up to speed. But I will say it would lose a great deal of impact if I weren’t already emotionally invested and connected to these characters. So if you haven’t read the first book, start there and then read Dual Affairs. Also, as with the first book, there are some deep taboo issues brought up in this book, not the least of which is two sets of identical twins being sexually active and in love with one another. So if that’s not your thing, give this one a pass.
This sequel blends seamlessly into the first, even with a few instances of a bit of info dump in the very beginning. It had been a while since I’d read the first book, so even though I remembered the story well, it was nice to have a bit of a reminder for where things stand. And then it jumped right into the action, with Evan trying to do the right thing. He’s severely injured, and I really liked watching the other three men react to this. They each had very different coping mechanisms, and it was plain to see how much they all cared about Evan.
I felt this was very much Evan’s book. Not only is he physically injured, but he’s also dealing with the mental implications of his lifestyle. After having hid who he was for so long, as well as suffering from depression for most of his life, he’s still has some pretty big things to work on. But what I absolutely loved was watching his growth throughout this story. Slowly and surely, Evan stood up for himself and found his inner strength. He knew what he wanted and needed, and he asked for it. This applied to both his everyday life, and his sexual need. Not only was it fantastic to see him standing up to his father, and even his lovers, but it was great to see him embrace his submissiveness. He likes it when others take control of him, craves it even. And to see Evan owning that and accepting it was really beautiful.
I really liked, too, the way the dynamics between each pair of men were shown. Evan and Brennan’s relationship was different than Evan’s with Alek or with Luka. The same is for Brennan with either of the three, and with Alek and Luka between themselves. I was fairly impressed with the way the author was able to show all the guys’ different layers by showing how they related to each other differently. What they needed and wanted wasn’t always the same thing, and I thought it was fascinating to see the nuances and distinctions. It really made for a rich tale.
I said it was Evan’s book, but that’s not to say that each man didn’t get page time and that we didn’t get to see them all growing, learning, and changing. Evan was also the primary focus of each of the men, so it made sense that he would be at the center of the book and of their relationships. Brennan, Luka, and Alek had their own fair share of growth as the dynamics shifted and changed.
My only small quibble was with the POV. Because while it was great to take turns in each of the four main MCs heads and really get to know them even better, they weren’t the only ones we spent time with. And even while we were with them, there were a few instances of apparent head hopping that yanked me out of the story. But on top of that, we also spend some time in the minds of other characters. And while I understood that the author was trying to portray something important, it seemed jarring to suddenly be in someone else head, someone who wasn’t a part of the relationship. Those parts did not work as well for me.
But on the whole, this second installment is a fantastic continuation of Evan, Alek, Brennan, and Luka’s story. There’s hurt and angst balanced by tender loving moments and unbelievably hot sexy times. Overall, it’s a really well-crafted story that I have no qualms about recommending.