Okay, so admittedly Andrew is a bit of a hot mess and, yes, a crier. He is a sensitive man who has never really gotten over the loss of his twin brother who, in many ways, was his true other half—bolder, an emotional stabilizer for Andrew, and much like the ying to his yang. Hence, Andrew is so easily used by scumbags like Phillip, his former lover and lead singer of a rising band. After stealing Andrew’s lyrics and using them to propel himself to fame, Phillip dumps Andrew in order to preserve his image and leaves Andrew heart broken. But Andrew is a survivor and continues to write his rather steamy m/m novels based on a biker dude he observes at a café he likes to frequent while attempting to put his past behind him.
It’s on one such excursion that Andrew actually meets Matt Grimm, upon whom Andrew has based his novel, and who has a strange proposition for him. Matt wants Andrew to pretend to be his boyfriend for a family get-together so that Matt can assuage his rather homophobic brother and see his ailing dad. Here is where the story begins to get interesting, for even though Andrew is not your perfectly fit, handsome man, Matt is drawn to him and so begins a relationship that really defies a typical romance. For one thing, Andrew likes being submissive but has never really explored being one and Matt is all about being a Dom. There are some decidedly sexy, hot scenes between the two men as they discover that there may very well be more than simple lust at play.
Then the story unfortunately veers off into a weird side issue when it is discovered that Todd, Matt’s brother, is actually involved in a threesome relationship with the blessing of his parents–the same ones who hate the fact that Matt is gay. For some reason, since the girl involved in this ménage is pregnant, all is honky dory with mom and dad. Unfortunately, Todd apparently cannot come to terms with the fact that it is the brother of this sibling duo who he is really attracted to and is still disgusted by his own brother’s homosexuality? I was very confused by this point, to say the least.
When Phillip returns to attempt to extort more lyrics from Andrew at the same time the gang Matt is involved with decides to murder a judge and he must decide whether he will remain with the gang, all hell breaks loose in this action-packed novel. While I felt the developing relationship between Andrew and Matt felt genuine and on target, the side issue with Todd was mind-bending to say the least. I still don’t understand why the author chose to involve that storyline in the novel as it really led nowhere and confused an otherwise excellent book. Matt was a good guy beneath all the rough that he projected in order to survive. Andrew was not only sweet, but loyal to a fault, even when Matt was so hard to read and the relationship seemed to be nothing more than a series of connected rough sex scenes.
The pacing was good, the sex hot, and the deepening relationship believable for me. All in all, EPIC by Adrienne Wilder just needed to focus on the main relationship and leave the additional plot twists behind to make it an outstanding novel in the end.