Title: Best of Both Worlds
Author: Liz Andrews
Cover Art: Kim Killion
Buy Link: Best of Both Worlds
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Rating: 2.75 out 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Heavy handed OFY erotica with characters I couldn’t believe in.
Blurb: Friends and Lovers, Book 1
After months of exploring his bisexuality on his own, college student Chase Randolph is ready for a night out on the town—all the way “out”. He never expected Alex Landry to witness his first experimental sexual encounter, though. Chase has been attracted to his best friend and roommate forever, but one thing is sure: Alex is straight. So straight, he’s never caught on to Chase’s mixed tastes.
Alex assures Chase they will always be friends, but privately, his own reaction shocks him. An ex-jock isn’t supposed to fantasize about his roommate. Not supposed to need another man’s kiss so badly it makes him sweat. He was prepared to change direction after his football career ended before it began, but change this drastically?
As Chase and Alex struggle to come to terms with the changes in their relationship, jealousy pushes friendship to the brink—of disaster…or love.
This recently released novella seems to be the prequel to the m/m/f work Coming Full Circle ( 2009 ). This OFY story starts with Chase in full experimental mode as he checks out the local gay sex scene. However his real interest is his straight best friend and room mate Alex, who doesn’t know Chase is bisexual. Once he finds out, Alex’s about turn from straightness is absurdly fast, one look at Chase being blown and it seems he is both bi-curious and quickly jealous.
I found this book to be full of rather relentless sex, which was unoriginal enough that it felt presented possibly from a check list of research notes. The gorgeous cover is just not a genuine advert for the sex on the page. My main problem was that I felt very little for either of the main characters, who were drawn without distinctive emotional integrity. They seemed quite immature, and their first response to any stressful situation was to whine about it, run away and / or break things. Alex’s uneasy relationship with his father and his affection for his sister did help to fill out his character to something more than injured jock and the object of Alex’s interest.
Chase’s newly found gay friends just seemed there to be put upon; blow job experimentation, kind ear to listen to aforementioned petulance, and finally advisor of anal sex techniques. One of these friends, a handsome native American with long black hair called Taylor- for some reason I think the name Jake would suit him better- was more interesting than the main characters.
OFY is one of my very favourite tropes, but it requires clever sensitivity if it is be believable and have any resonance. I was disappointed with this example which was without much imagination or nuance. This seemed at best workmanlike erotica and at worst rather boring.