Friday, August 4, 2017

After the Romance Novel by Susan Laine

Romance novels always end with a happy ever after. Right?

Evan and Adam are best friends, but they don’t know everything about each other. For one thing, Adam doesn’t know Evan writes and publishes gay romance novels until he discovers one while snooping on Evan’s laptop.

This revelation changes their relationship in ways neither could’ve imagined. Adam’s reaction to reading Evan’s stories is not what he expected, nor is the new way he’s looking at his lifelong pal. After all, Adam is straight, or so he’s always thought, and that is what Evan believes about Adam as well.

When Evan admits he might be bisexual, Adam suggests he try dating girls to find out for sure, but when Evan follows his advice, Adam is caught off guard by his feelings of jealousy. And when the date proves Evan isn’t bisexual, but gay, Evan’s request that Adam find him a guy might be the last straw.

How can Adam admit he wants that guy to be him? His epiphany will either end their relationship—or change it into something wonderful in their very own friends-to-lovers romance.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3.5 stars

I'm unsure how to rate or describe After the Romance Novel. The narrators are 17-year-old best friends, one experienced and one not. So it has a coming-of-age, young adult feel, but not.

Adam is snooping in his best friend's laptop, and discovers a smutty MM romance with two men named Adam and Evan. When questioned, Evan admits the books are his – he writes and publishes them, and this opens up the conflict.

Both boys are questioning their sexuality, fearful whatever they decide will harm their friendship, and also wanting more but fearful it will destroy their friendship. They're a ball of teenage angst.

I enjoyed this short story, read it in under and hour, and was entertained. However, the boys’ dialogue and monologue sounded more like someone over fifty, not a teenager. Many phrases used are ones my parents used, long gone out of style for me, and I'm 38, whereas these boys are only 17 – I doubt they would have even heard those phrases, let alone put them to use in everyday language. The sole focus was on the conflict resolution, with little else shown on the pages. While I like a fast-paced story, this removed a connection between the reader and characters, as well as made the character development shallow.

I've read the standalone series unwittingly out of order, as this is the first in the series. I read Kissing Lessons (Before... and After Book 2) and 5-starred it. It had a lot more depth, tension and angst, and interactions between the characters.

I enjoy this author, and do recommend for readers who want to be entertained in an hour or so, and don't have a lot of time to read a 400-page book. Also, to those who want to read about young adults. A quick and easy, light read, which would be a great palate cleanser in between longer, or more 'stressful' books.

Also Available in the Before... and After Series

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Dreamspinner Press

For reviews & more info, check out our Kissing Lessons post.

SUSAN LAINE, an award-winning, multipublished author of LGBTQ erotic romance and a Finnish native, was raised by the best mother in the world, who told her daughter time and again that she could be whatever she wanted to be. The spark for serious writing and publishing kindled when Susan discovered the gay erotic romance genre. One of her books, Monsters Under the Bed, won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Paranormal Romance.

Anthropology is Susan’s formal education, but she has set her long-term sights on becoming a full-time writer. Susan enjoys hanging out with her sister, two nieces, and friends in movie theaters, bookstores, and parks. Her favorite pastimes include pop music, action flicks, and doing the dishes, while a few of her dislikes are sweating hot summer days, tobacco smoke, and purposeful prejudice.

Connect with Susan

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of After the Romance Novel (Before... and After #1) by Susan Laine to read and review.

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