Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Wilde City
Cover Artist: Unknown
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 04/13/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance, Menage/Poly, Taboo
Donovan has made a new life from himself, far away from his twin Declan and all of the feelings that he’s kept bottled up inside for many years. His friend and sometimes lover Marc has helped a lot, and things are going well until Declan calls, asking for help.
Unable to deny his twin, Donovan pushes aside his feelings and mounts a rescue, taking Declan away from an abusive situation. Between Donovan and Marc, they set Declan on the road to healing, exploring their relationship to the fullest. When Declan’s past comes back to haunt them, they’ll have to pull together to keep each other safe.
Can they make a new life together and survive the hardships they face?
NOTE: Second Edition – This is a previously published work.
To start the review, I’d like to mention that this is in fact the third edition of Stepping Stones, not the second. It’s also a bit odd to see the front matter claim the cover art copyright is owned by Wilde City Press when it’s the same cover it had when published through Stiff Rain Press. Those alone send up red flags about the quality of this book.
The sexual relationship between Declan and Donovan came way too quickly. They both professed their love for each other and fucked only a few thousand words into the story. What should’ve been the main source of tension in this book was cleared up and solved right away.
Instead, the tension became the menage relationship with a sprinkling of the abusive ex thrown in. The two brothers and a third has become a cliché trope that is overused. The book had a great premise – one brother with a successful business and the other recovering from an abusive past. That should’ve been the focus of the story and would’ve made it a much stronger book. At least in her other books, the brothers are in an established relationship when they add a third, rather than trying to form a menage relationship in only a few thousand words.
Instead, what we were left with was a bunch of weak plots crammed together and rushed to an ending. There’s no real drama or tension, because every problem is solved in only a couple pages. It felt like a content editor had never looked over this book in any of the three publications.
There were a handful of errors that should’ve also been fixed over its lifetime. The antagonist’s name changes from “Chet” to “Clint” in at least one instance. There are also a few other minor grammar and punctuation errors.
Overall, this is well below the quality I normally expect from Carol Lynne.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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