Author: Summer Devon

SIBLING RIVALS by Summer Devon

SIBLING RIVALS by Summer Devon
Sibling Rivals
by Summer Devon

Published by Samhain Publishing Genres: Contemporary, Gay
Source: Publisher

Reviewed by Cassie

Meeting the family shouldn’t be this complicated. As the designated slacker of the family, Peter Stevens was accustomed to being eclipsed by his “perfect” older brother, Mark. But when Mark came out to their parents one Christmas vacation, it was his turn to be the black sheep. Even more surreal was Peter’s brief encounter with his brother’s boyfriend, Colin. The unmistakable sparks between them shook the foundations of his confirmed heterosexuality. Years later, when they meet again as graduate student and professor, that bone-deep attraction is still there. Thanks to the emotional scars Mark left behind, Colin has had his fill of Stevens men. Having Peter at his university shouldn’t be a problem though, as he knows the younger man is straight. But when Colin realizes the electricity sizzles both ways, he can’t resist indulging in a passionate affair. Yet some old flames stubbornly refuse to die. This time, Peter refuses to step aside—and when an emergency brings the family together again, Colin must decide if it’s worth the risk to trust another Stevens brother with his heart. Warning: This book contains an adorable professor who gets invited home for a very complicated holiday, a perfect relationship with “Mr. Right”, and a dangerous crush on “Mr. Wrong”.

The night his brother, Mark, comes out to their parents makes a huge impression on Peter Stevens. He’s used to being the slacker who’s always in trouble. For once, perfect Mark is the one who’s on the outs with the parents.  After an unpleasant scene, Mark and his boyfriend are allowed to stay one night, but only in separate rooms. Peter’s conversation with Mark’s boyfriend, Colin, gives him a lot to think about. So much so that he stays in touch with Colin even after Mark dumps the man.

Colin has moved on with his life after Mark. He’s got a job he loves as a college professor, a nice apartment, and good friends. Giving Peter a place to stay for a bit while he looks for more permanent grad-school housing shouldn’t be a problem. Except it brings Mark back into his life, and living together reveals an unwelcome attraction to Peter. Colin’s best bet would be to be done with both Stevens brothers, but his heart doesn’t seem to be on board with that plan. When the attraction turns out to be mutual, will Colin get his heart broken by another Stevens brother?

Sibling Rivals was surprisingly less angsty than I expected it to be. A lot of that was because of Peter. He’s a bit younger than Colin, and somewhat immature and flighty, but he knows that. He’s been denying same-sex attractions for a while, and his initial reaction to Colin is unexpected, but not entirely shocking. Still, when he asks to crash at Colin’s for a bit while looking for somewhere to live, he doesn’t expect to feel anything but friendship. The jealousy he feels toward his brother, who suddenly wants to get Colin back, is unexpected. So is the tension between them. Rather than freaking out, he rolls with it, initiating a very hot kiss.

Colin’s already been heartbroken courtesy of one Stevens brother. He has no interest in converting the straight one. Avoiding Peter seems to be the best plan, until Peter calls him on it. Then he switches to an attempt at friendship. Even that backfires, as he only likes Peter more. When Peter kisses him, he’s hesitant at first, but agrees to see how things go. From then on, everything seems to be going well, until terrible news for the Stevens brothers threatens to tear them apart.

I enjoyed Sibling Rivals. Happy-go-lucky Peter is the opposite of Colin (and of me, actually), but I liked him. He could be immature at times, and sometimes I got frustrated with him, yet I admired the way he was able to come to terms with his sexuality without freaking out. Colin is a lot more controlled. He’s careful, and likes to take care of others. He’s a good match for flighty Peter. The secondary characters weren’t as likable. I wanted to kick Peter’s selfish brother, Mark. His bigoted mother and none-too-friendly father weren’t easy to like either, although I felt like his dad showed some real growth near the end. Peter grew as well, learning that he couldn’t keep coasting through life. Even so, I didn’t feel like he changed quite enough, and I felt Colin was too quick to let things slide.



THE GENTLEMAN’S KEEPER by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon

THE GENTLEMAN’S KEEPER by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon
The Gentleman's Keeper
by Bonnie Dee, Summer Devon

Published by Samhain Publishing Genres: Gay, Historical
Source: Publisher

Reviewed by Cassie

Confronting the darkness of his past, he finds the light of his future. After years gadding about Europe, Everett Gerard can no longer avoid his responsibilities. Word has come that a child bearing the unmistakable Gerard stamp has shown up at the family estate—and he realizes it’s time to face his demons. As his carriage nears the gates of home, he fights the urge to flee the memory of the horrible crime he witnessed as a child. Yet the Abbey delivers surprises and delights he never expected. Miles Kenway was content with his quiet life as the Abbey’s bailiff, until the wild child, clearly a bastard son of some Gerard, upends his peace with constant pranks and mischief. And when the master of the house arrives, an unsettling attraction heats Miles’s blood. As they clash over the fate of the ancestral land, they battle a powerful desire to grapple in ways that could disrupt the delicate balance between master and servant. But when the boy’s real sire appears, they must unite as only true fathers can to protect the boy whose mischievous charm has captured their hearts. Warning: Gothic murder, hot man loving, and emotional family drama

Everett Gerard is none too pleased to be summoned to the family estate by the bailiff, especially over the issue of an illegitimate child that can’t possibly be his, but he decides he needs to go sort out the situation.  Still haunted by a horrible thing he witnessed at the estate as a child, he plans to get the boy’s future arranged and leave the hated place as soon as he can.  Meeting Miles Kenway, the bailiff, face-to-face surprises the jaded Gerard in more ways than one.

Miles Kenway only wants to do his job and be left alone.  The nearly uncontrollable young man who runs loose on the estate interferes with that goal, as does the arrival of the stubborn, arrogant Gerard.  It doesn’t help that an attraction springs up between them right away—one that Gerard doesn’t hesitate to show him is mutual.  It’s not long before Miles is wondering if he’d rather fight with his employer, or do something much more pleasurable. 

Can Gerard and Miles work together long enough to secure the future of one unruly child, even when the real father comes into the picture? 

The Gentleman’s Keeper is another sweet and enjoyable historical romance from Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon.  Seeing their names on a book pretty much guarantees I’m going to like the contents, and The Gentleman’s Keeper was definitely not an exception.  While he may seem like a typical arrogant, uncaring rake, Gerard hides a great deal beneath his surface.  Meeting Miles, and the child everyone believes is his, brings those hidden qualities to the fore.  He goes from worrying primarily about himself to wanting to protect the boy, and from having countless lovers to wanting to have something real with Miles.  It’s a transformation I enjoyed watching a great deal.  The childhood demons he has to battle in order to make that transformation are horrifying indeed. 

Miles initially seems to have nothing in common with Gerard, other than an attraction toward his own sex.  He’s responsible and quiet, preferring solitude and order.  He’s very protective toward the young man in his care, even though he doesn’t have to be.  At first, Gerard’s lack of concern for the estate brings out Miles’s angry side, but once he sees that his employer has a real reason to dislike visiting the estate, his protective side turns toward Gerard as well.    

They have to work together to help a very frightened, damaged child.  As they both grow closer to the boy, they grow closer to each other as well.  The way they deal with the problems facing them was believable, and the resolution more than satisfying.  The cover’s nice, too.  If you like historical romances, pick up The Gentleman’s Keeper.  

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