Book Reviews

With a Twist (The Speakeasy 1) by K. Evan Coles & Brigham Vaughn at Pride Publishing

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 13-April-2019

Book Blurb

Nursing a broken heart when his ex-boyfriend, Riley, leaves him for the love of his life, Carter, Will Martin throws himself into teaching at NYU and writing. An invite from Riley to a speakeasy called Under helps Will begin to heal, and he finds himself enjoying both the drinks and the company.


Soon after, he’s shaken by news of his father’s cancer diagnosis and Will reluctantly returns to Long Island to see the man who disowned him after he was outed.


Sparks fly when Will meets his father’s mentee, Republican Senator David Mori, who is both mixed race and openly gay. Will is looking for a no-strings-attached fling and David is leery of getting involved with his mentor’s son, so they keep their affair a secret.


As his father’s health worsens, Will elects to remain in Garden City and his relationship with David grows beyond casual sex. Now, both men must decide how to bridge the divide between them.



Reader advisory: This book contains expressions of homophobia and racism by multiple secondary characters, references to disownment, and descriptions of terminal illness and death of secondary characters.

Book Review

“How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.” ~ Niels Bohr

Will Martin and his father have been alienated for ten years, since his father found out he was gay. Will is determined never to see him again until his mother calls with ominous news – his father has cancer and isn’t expected to live. She begs him to come home and help them take care of him. Also, she hopes that they can reconcile before his father dies. At first Will is adamant, telling her he will not come, but her pleading finally wins him over. Against his better judgement, and with the intention of never forgiving his father, Will goes home.

One of Will’s biggest surprises is that his father works closely with a Republican senator named David Mori, who also happens to be gay. Even before Will meets David, he is filled with disdain for the man he considers a traitor. How can a gay man be a Republican with everything they do to try to destroy the LGBTQ community’s rights? When they first meet, they get into an argument, without Will even letting David explain his views. Will doesn’t give David a fighting chance. He decides he doesn’t like him and it’s unlikely that he ever will. They can’t seem to agree on anything. He’s jealous of David’s good working relationship, especially with his own past relationship with his dad.

Will’s father continues to deteriorate, distressing the family. Even though they have a rocky start, because of Will’s insistence, David and Will form a truce. As they spend more time together, they realize that they have a lot in common despite their political views and enjoy each other’s company. Not defining their relationship, they continue to see each other and eventually begin having sex together. Will is not ready to come out to his family or the public so he insists that they keep their affair secret. Reluctantly, David agrees. He knows that Will is afraid of how his family will react and tries to explain that things are different now, that his father is more tolerant about things, but Will does not believe him. Will is particularly scared of the press because he doesn’t want to be under public scrutiny like he was when he was young. He’s not ready for all the implications, rumors, lack of privacy, etc., that public life entails. Finally, David becomes tired of being Will’s dirty little secret and insists that they go public. Will is afraid and tells David that he’s not willing to do that at this point and suggests that they take a break to figure things out. That is not what David wants, but if it’s what Will does, then he has little choice but to honor his wishes.

This story presents an important moral lesson about forgiveness and redemption. Will’s father has been a hardline Republican who disowned his son when he discovered he was gay. He shows a great deal of character when he proves that when he couldn’t change the world to his liking, he changes himself for the better, giving him and his son an opportunity to reunite and get things settled before it is too late. Although the writing was good, the pace seemed slow and drawn out. I had a difficult time getting attached to the characters, particularly Will. Since this is a spin-off series, I wonder if it would have been better to have first read the other books, in which Will and his friends were first introduced. Thank you, K. Evan and Brigham, for a great resolution.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 263 pages/95295 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 25-September-2018
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link