Book Reviews

After the Romance Novel (Before... and After 1) by Susan Laine at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / New Adult / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 22-February-2017

Book Blurb

Romance novels always end with a happy ever after. Right?


Evan and Adam are best friends, but they don’t know everything about each other. For one thing, Adam doesn’t know Evan writes and publishes gay romance novels until he discovers one while snooping on Evan’s laptop.


This revelation changes their relationship in ways neither could’ve imagined. Adam’s reaction to reading Evan’s stories is not what he expected, nor is the new way he’s looking at his lifelong pal. After all, Adam is straight, or so he’s always thought, and that is what Evan believes about Adam as well.


When Evan admits he might be bisexual, Adam suggests he try dating girls to find out for sure, but when Evan follows his advice, Adam is caught off guard by his feelings of jealousy. And when the date proves Evan isn’t bisexual, but gay, Evan’s request that Adam find him a guy might be the last straw.


How can Adam admit he wants that guy to be him? His epiphany will either end their relationship—or change it into something wonderful in their very own friends-to-lovers romance.


Book Review

When Adam, of 'After the Romance Novel' by Susan Laine, accidentally discovers that his best friend, Ethan, writes graphic gay novels, he's shocked. Living next door, he and Evan have been friends forever but have never talked about sexual things. They just assumed that they were both straight. When Ethan tells Adam that he thinks he may be bisexual, it is simply too much for Adam to absorb and he runs home in a huff.

After that things are rocky between Ethan and Adam. It's unsettling to think that they've never talked about something so important. What surprises Adam the most is his physical reaction to Ethan being gay. Instead of being put off, it actually turns him on, making him more confused than ever. When, at Adam's suggestion, Ethan dates a girl to test his theory about being gay, Adam is beside himself while waiting for Ethan to come back from his date and startled at how jealous it makes him.

This is an endearing friends-to-lovers story. The plot moves along quickly, not leaving much room for details like more character development and backstory, but that's to be expected in such a short story. It does remind me of how much angst there is in a teenager's life and how almost everything is the end of the world, as well as the danger of assuming too much. If you like a short, cute story involving two young men as they explore their sexuality, you may enjoy this one. Thanks, Susan, for the reminder of high school days.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 63 pages/19236 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 22-February-2017
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link