Author: Alina Popescu
Series: Famous on the Internet, Book One
Genre: Gay Romance, Contemporary, M/M Romance
Fighting his relentless love for Trevor, the guy he was raised to consider his brother, has been Tristan’s mission in life.
To distance himself from Trevor, even after discovering they weren’t really related, he left for college at sixteen. Moving into the city, building a new life, and running an anonymous blog about what he considers sick, twisted feelings might make Tristan famous on the Internet, but it isn’t enough to get over his obsession. Every time he goes home, a quick glance at Trevor brings it all flooding back.
When commitment-phobe Trevor announces he’s got a serious boyfriend during one of Tristan’s rare visits home, the adoring kid brother will be forced to run once again. This time, however, Trevor doesn’t stand back and watch him leave.
Instead, he follows him, making it nigh on impossible for Tristan to keep his love a secret for much longer.
The ‘step-brother’ trope is a popular one in the new adult contemporary M/F romance genre, yet until reading Br0th3rly’s blurb it was not one which held any appeal to me.
Alina Popescu makes an immediate connection between Br0th3rly and many of her readers, punctuating the main narrative with blog posts by AdoringKidBrother and the emails which associate these with Tristan’s story.
I would say that Tristan is ‘prickly’ and perhaps not the most immediately lovable individual, but because of his dilemma Alina Popescu asks us to understand and sympathise with him.
Br0th3rly does not have sexually explicit scenes – though there is plenty of passion – and instead, it is the characters and their emotions which drive the plot forward; Alina Popescu ensures that we are taken with them. Although I was already a fan of the author before reading Br0th3rly I will admit that the story consumed me far more than I expected.
Alina Popescu is very sensitive to the family issues by including ‘mum’ and ‘dad’, who are open about their feelings, though not entirely accepting – yet.
This novella is a HFN, rather than a HEA, but I did not feel unfulfilled, even though it would be nice to catch up with Tristan and Trevor at a later date.
Br0th3rly is current, tender, well-written and begging to be read in one sitting. It may handle a ‘taboo’ subject but Alina Popescu completely engages our attention and emotions.