Book Reviews

Bleu Balls (Balls to the Wall 7) by Tara Lain at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 09-January-2018

Book Blurb

Double trouble. The McMillan twins, Robin and Bobby, are renowned for their talents—both as fine artists and for thrilling the various men who catch their eyes. As different in style and personality as their DNA is identical, they’re nonetheless best friends who divide and conquer, with Robin doing the serious painting and Bobby adding the sunny salesmanship.


But when their most important client decides Bobby must wield the paintbrush, the brothers revert to childhood tactics and switch places. Then along comes Micah, a handsome doctor who’s attracted to Bobby but invites Robin out to try to please his homophobic brother, and Paolo, the pain-in-the-butt client who thinks he’s wooing Bobby when he’s actually after Robin. Paolo harbors his own hidden pain that weirdly intersects with Robin’s, but pride and privacy conspire to produce what will either be a masterpiece—or end up as Dogs Playing Poker.


Book Review

“Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.” ~ Marc Brown

Robin and Bobby McMillan, from Tara Lain's 'Bleu Balls', are an interesting pair. Twin brothers who look identical but appear to be yin and yang to each other: Bobby yin -  goodness and light - and Robin yang - mysterious and dark. In truth they make a whole, maintaining balance and order. They do everything together, even have ménage sex with other men, but not with each other. Up until now, the variety has been lots of fun, but Bobby is beginning to feel the urge to settle down. Robin wants his brother to be happy, but he's concerned about what will happen to him if Bobby does find someone.

After a sexual encounter with a man they had picked up, Bobby comes down with a bad case of the flu. As always, Robin takes care of his younger-by-five-minutes brother. When Robin realizes how ill Bobby is, he insists that Bobby go to the doctor. They end up not with their old doctor they'd had for years, but with his son, Micah. It seems his father is retiring and they will be seeing Micah from now on. Bobby is totally infatuated with Micah. In fact, he can't stop talking about him. Robin is happy for his brother but is not sure it's Bobby that Micah is interested in. Robin wants his brother to be happy. He would never do anything that would hurt him, so he does everything he can to discourage Micah's interest in him.

Bobby and Robin have a meeting with a very influential client which would normally be fine, because Bobby is the people person of the two and can charm everyone. With Bobby sick, he asks Robin to go for him. Robin tries his best to get out of it, but it's such an important client that he can't justify walking away. Reluctantly, Robin attends the meeting and almost the first thing he does is insult their client in a truthful, but tactless way. After leaving the meeting, Robin is sure that he's totally blown their chances to paint a huge mural for the company. He doesn't know how to tell Bobby but he soon learns that they have gotten the contract after all, with the stipulation that Bobby do all the painting instead of Robin. For one thing, it's a gigantic project, and for another, Robin is the better artist of the two. The brothers realize this stipulation will never work. Robin, who can never say no to his brother, reluctantly agrees to take Bobby's place.

Their situation reminds me of something Mark Twain said about telling the truth because then you don't have to remember anything. Unfortunately not following this was their downfall. I loved this story and the twins. Yes they were “naughty”, but their devotion to each other was unparalleled. Robin acted tough and disagreeable at times, but was often doing so to protect Bobby. The lengths Robin went to to keep his brother safe were remarkably selfless, totally blowing his bad boy act. Thanks, Tara, for writing a complex yet sexy and entertaining story.





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 and print
Length Novel, 250 pages/79075 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 09-January-2018
Price $6.99 ebook, $16.99 paperback, $16.99 bundle
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