Ian loves playing soccer for his college team, but he keeps to himself around the other players. Ian hasn’t told anyone that he is bisexual, even his gay identical twin brother, Aiden, so he’s a little surprised when Daniel asks him out. Ian gets caught up in the moment and it isn’t until the end of their first date that Ian realizes that Daniel thinks he’s on a date with Aiden. Ian likes Daniel and he knows he should tell him about the mix up, but it never seems to be the right time.
Daniel was outed when his ex-boyfriend lied about their relationship and now his religious father wants nothing to do with him. His relationship with his siblings is strained as well and Daniel’s friend decides it’s time he gets back out there and sets him up. Except, his date isn’t anything like he expected and it takes a while for Daniel to figure out why. Daniel was falling for Ian (who he thought was Aiden) and now Daniel doesn’t think he can trust anyone. But Ian was falling too and he’s not going to let Daniel just walk out of his life.
Duplicity is the debut book from author A.E. Madsen and introduces us to Ian and his circle of friends. Ian is busy with school and busy with soccer and his schedule sometimes gets affected by his ADHD, but he’s trying to make it all work. He has explored his bisexuality, but he is reluctant to let any one know. Ian wasn’t aware of the chain of events that led him to meeting Daniel, but he wants to keep seeing him. Daniel just wants someone on his side and he thinks he may have found that with Ian, but Daniel doesn’t have all the facts.
The start of the mistaken identity had a good flow, but it went on too long for me. For half the book, Daniel thinks he is dating Aiden and not Ian. Daniel isn’t even aware that Ian has a twin brother for some time. Once things progressed, Ian still was lying to Daniel and the ease of his continuous lying made him lose credibility for me.
Ian and Daniel are the main focus here, but there are also other characters trying to get page time. Ian lives with Aiden and two other roommates, Liam and Elliot. Aiden is reckless and selfish at times and Ian is always there as soon as Aiden calls. There is also a storyline with Liam and a storyline with Elliot, and there is a fine line for me between drawing out a story versus nor got giving enough information and here so little was given on the secondary characters’ backgrounds, it made them less enticing instead of more.
The second half of the book stalled for me as not much happened. There was little progress in Ian and Daniel’s relationship in the second half and the storylines with Aiden and the roommates and Daniel’s family felt constantly recycled with more telling than showing. The ending then was rushed between Ian and Daniel. There was a good vibe going on for some of the story, but other areas suffered from being disjointed and not being polished enough to make the characters shine.
There is more planned for this series and since I do like the characters, I would look for the possibility of the rough edges getting smoothed out as the series progresses.