This is the third installment in the Twin Ties series, the books must be read in order, and this review may contain mild spoilers for the first two books.
Twin brothers Evan Savage and Brennan Holt have moved into their new place with their boyfriends, twins Alek and Luka Popovic. The four men are settling into their relationship as a committed foursome and things are going really well. Evan has healed, physically and mostly mentally, from his previous ordeal, even though the others still treat him with a bit of extra care. Brennan is making plans to head back to his hometown for a short visit. Brennan is unsure of going, not ready to face all his friends back home because he can’t tell them about his current relationship. Evan doesn’t want Brennan to go because he’s not sure he can handle Alek and Luka without Brennan’s influence. But Brennan needs to go, and once Evan voices his concerns he feel a little more comfortable having received his boyfriends’ reassurances.
Brennan encounters his ex-boyfriend, Tommy, who is not thinking that Brennan is ex anything. Tommy assaults Brennan, and a well-placed kick gives Brennan the opportunity to get away. Scared and hurt, all Brennan can think about is getting back home, even though it’s a 15-hour drive. Meanwhile, Evan and Alek run into an old ex while at the grocery store. The man, Drew, had a relationship of sorts with Alek and Luka, and something else altogether with Evan. Evan starts spiraling inside his own mind, convinced that if Alek, Luka, and Brennan find out what Evan did all those years ago, they would hate him and turn away from him. He keeps the truth hidden even more.
When Brennan makes it home, he gets the medical attention he needs, and finally gets back to his boys. He clings to Evan, needing his brother to feel whole. But while they are all dealing with the aftermath of that, Drew resurfaces too and uses blackmail to get Evan to do what he wants. It’s only after that the truth finally comes out, with Evan breaking down in Alek’s arms. But with the threats of Tommy and Drew still on the loose and looming over them, no one is safe. It all comes to a head in the scariest of ways, and it’s going to take all their love and the strength of the bonds between the four men for them to recover and remain whole.
I’m going to start by saying that this book was a lot harder to read than the first two, and that was largely due to the subject matter and some of the things that are portrayed on page. It was masterfully written and wholly necessary for the tale, however, there are definitely some very tough issues brought up and actually shown. I’m going to just bluntly state, for any of you who need the trigger warnings, that there is rape, noncon/dubcon, and discussion and flashbacks of child abuse within this story. It was definitely a tough and emotional read, and I did have to take a few small breaks just to keep from sinking too far into it.
What I really loved about this book was the continuation of the story. I liked seeing the characters continuing to grow. Evan, once again, stole the spot light for me. He’s the one that my heart continually attaches to, and the one I feel for the most. Perhaps it because of all he’s gone through in his life, what he’s still going through, and how far he’s come. There’s definitely more work to be done, but I think he does the most growing over the course of this book and finds even more inner strength by the end.
This book was on the longer side, and there is a lot going on. At times, I felt like the romance aspect of things took a backseat to the larger plotlines. That’s not a complaint though, as I thought it worked really well for the story. We learn even more about Brennan and get to see even more of his previous life as we get to know him even better. I really liked seeing more of the layers that make Brennan, and watching him cope with the events that happened to him. I thought it was particularly good the way the author showed how similar and how different Evan and Brennan were as they processed and coped with the things that happened to them. The parallel storylines worked really well for me, as did the plot as a whole.
That being said, I did have a couple of small issues. Though the pacing of the story worked for the most part, there were a few areas where I felt it slowed down a little too much, and that we were rehashing the same sort of thing that had happened before. There were a few times where I felt like we were sort of in a holding pattern. This wasn’t a huge deal for me, but it was something I noticed. Also, for me, the resolution on the Tommy and Drew storylines was a little too convenient and because of that, I found myself slightly less than satisfied with it. While I was glad to see it tied up, I would have liked to see something a little different.
I continue to really like this series, and I think the characterizations really shined. This is a truly character driven series, and these four guys really make reading it worth it. I love following along as they continue to grow, both as individuals and in their relationship. I love that things aren’t easy for these guys, because given their relationship, how could it be? But they continue to work on it, and grow and change in a believable way. This book, and this series, is one I definitely recommend you pick up. As long as you’re aware of what you’re getting into, you’re in for a fantastic read.