Saturday, April 8, 2017

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: SEPARATION by Louise Lyons

Release date: March 31, 2017
Length: 45,000 words
Cover design: Simon Searle

Matthew Langford is told on his twenty-first birthday that he has a twin. After the initial shock, he quickly realizes this is why he always felt part of him was missing. His search takes him 200 miles to Devon, UK, where he meets fraternal twin, Tremaine Wheal.
The pair discover many things in common, and quickly become as close as if they’d never been separated. But when they share a moment in a nightclub, each realizes there is more between them than having shared a womb. Panic sets in and they part. Once again their separation brings loneliness and pain.
Eventually, unable to stay away from each other, they tentatively move forward together as lovers. But secrets don’t stay secret for long, and discovery and questions threaten their happiness.
This is a taboo story featuring twins. 

Matt met my eyes and grinned. "Do you want to eat out or order some food in?"

"Let's go out. I actually have money now. My turn to treat you. Maybe not pasta?"

Matt laughed again. "What is there around here other than fish and chips?"

"Well, there's fish and chips." I made a face. "Most of the restaurants around here have a lot of seafood on the menu, but there are a few good pubs. Pub grub okay?"

"Yeah, I could go for a decent steak. You should probably get changed first." 

I quickly cleaned up and put on a new pair of jeans. We walked to a local pub, ate steak, drank beer, and talked about everything and nothing. When we returned to the house, Matt broached the subject we'd both been avoiding.

"We should talk about what happened."

"I suppose." 

"It's… this wasn't supposed to happen."

"I know." I sat beside him on the couch so I didn't have to look at him. 

"No one can find out."

"I know that!" I dragged a hand through my hair and sighed. "I'm sorry. I told you I want you. But if we keep doing this, it might f*ck everything up. We both know it's wrong. I don't even know why I feel like this. I don't want to lose you over it. I've waited too long for you to find me."

"You won't lose me." Matt touched my arm. "Look at me, will you?" Reluctantly, I met his eyes. "I love you. You won't lose me. Twenty-one years without you was enough."

A thrill ran through me at his words, even though I knew he meant it like a brother, the way he was supposed to. "Love you, too."

"When did it start for you? The other stuff?"

"The first day." Heat flooded my face, and I broke the eye contact. "You don't look like me. You look like the kind of guy I'd normally go for."

"Same. I mean, it wasn't the first day, I don't think. I was so excited and relieved to find you, that's all I was thinking about then. It kind of crept up on me. After the club, I couldn't stop thinking about it." Matt sighed heavily. "I don't suppose we're the only ones."

"I've read some stuff," I admitted. "About siblings not generally being attracted to each other when they grow up together. Maybe it's because we only just met now; never even knew about each other."


"So, what do we do?"

"I don't know, Tam. I don't think we should rush anything."

Carra's Review

Even with as much as I read, this is the first time I’ve read a taboo romance M/M story.  Traditional societal conventions would declare situations such as what’s presented in this story as off limits and unacceptable—but for those actually involved, whether in fiction or real life, it’s not necessarily so black and white.  Separation explores this, and the author does an outstanding job at showing the emotions involved and the impact on not just the main characters, but on those closest to them as well.

Matt and Tam are opposites only in the respect of their upbringing and lifestyles, otherwise there is a lot about themselves that is remarkably similar even though they were brought up apart-totally unaware of each other’s existence, but both feeling incomplete.  When they first meet, it’s awkward—and when that first real spark happens, it’s unsettling for both of them while at the same time…right.  Though they do try to resist, it’s as if there’s an inevitability inherent in their matchup that keeps them drawn to each other.

The thing is, if you were to ignore the fact that they are brothers—twins (fraternal, not identical)—all you would see as you read this is a beautiful love story.  Their emotional bond, deep feelings, and pure love for each other is moving and true…it’s the fact that they ARE twin brothers that sets their relationship apart and introduces the tension and drama into the story, creating that taboo aspect.  I will admit that at times it made Matt and Tam’s relationship feel weird to me, though I attribute that to those societal conventions I mentioned earlier.  Anything outside of what the masses accept as “normal” always induces feelings of uneasiness, and it is those feelings warring with the opposing feelings stirred by the unconditional, boundless love Matt and Tam have for each other that created turmoil for me as I read.

But a good story does that to you-causes you to question accepted customs and weigh them against what you (and in this case the characters) know is truly love and dedication—regardless of what others may think and what the ramifications might be.  Matt and Tam’s story is moving, and while it will throw many readers far out of their comfort zone, their happiness and contentment when they are together is truly undeniable…even if it makes you uneasy as you read.

If I were rating this story based on what mainstream society expects, it would not reflect the story being told nor the way in which the author told it.  It’s the fact that she took me out of my comfort zone, but still made me understand the love between the characters that leads me to give a 4.5-star rating to Separation.  Kudos to Ms. Lyons for tackling a taboo topic with care and grace, and for giving readers the wonderful characters of Matt and Tam.  This story is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and M/M sexual content, and the taboo nature of the relationship between the characters.  This story is not for everyone, but I hope those who read it can see beyond the traditionally accepted to what can be found beyond.

Author Bio

Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. 
Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing "hobby" more seriously.
Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.
Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

Win a signed paperback copy of Beyond The Scars and an eBook of your choice from the following:- Conflicted, Beautiful Thunder, Cervena, Finding Beck, Favorite Toy, On The Outside, Regeneration.

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