Samhain Publishing, $4.50, ISBN 978-1-61923-366-9
Contemporary Romance, 2015
I put off reading this one for a while because I wasn’t sure what to make of the synopsis – the whole thing sounds like a low-rent entry in the dreadful Eating Out franchise. Well, maybe it’s a good thing that I have no high expectations going into this one, because I end up being very pleasantly surprised by the whole thing.
College roommates Frankie Perez and Jeremy Campbell can’t be any different. While both like men, Frankie is the town bicycle while Jeremy’s best friend is his right hand – the poor guy is uncomfortable with the idea of putting out indiscriminately, thanks to his more conservative background. When Frankie decides to help Jeremy get a hook-up, the two of them end up feeling some unexpected chemistry between them. The thing is, both of them prefer to receive rather than to pitch, so how are they going to have fun together?
Twofer doesn’t follow the rules of romance, which is a good thing because this is one story that will not work otherwise. There are plenty of similarities between this story and any random gay sex-and-romance comedy film out there, in terms of the plot, the characters, and the nature of the humor, but the story actually has some sweet and genuine-feeling romantic elements underneath the more overt sexual shenanigans taking place here. I also like how the characters are a little bit more than the usual stereotypes of Man Slut with a Heart of Gold and the Innocent Country Gay Boy. Sure, they come with a plethora of stereotypical traits, but they also resemble real people especially during their more vulnerable moments.
Oh, and yes, the author has the two dudes cover all bases when trying to overcome their supposed sexual incompatibility, including trying out some interesting toys. Let’s just say that this is not one of those stories that seemed like they could be written by someone who hasn’t caught up with the present day.
Just take note that Twofer may not appeal too much if you are not into some open relationship elements now and then. I personally have no issues with this, as these two are in college, after all, so it’s not like I expect them to have a happily ever after. I mean, if they do, great, but if they want to party, experiment a bit in the meantime, hey, more power to them and their relevant body bits! This one is fun, fun, fun with some unexpected emotional moments to sweeten the deal.