Wrong Bed, Right Brother
The poet Yates once wrote “Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” Reading Wrong Bed, Right Brother is an experience filled with an abiding sense of bored patience, alleviated by the temporary periods of hot sex.
Amanda Perkins, video game designer (latest project “Brain Gobblers”), has been infatuated with her coworker Luke for years, even though it’s abundantly clear to the reader and everyone else that “he’s totally leading you [Amanda] on and basking in the ego trip”. During a weekend trip/house party, Amanda, spurred on by the prospect of Luke’s imminent cross-country move with his twin brother, Noah, sneaks into his room and finds out only when Noah’s hand is on her clitoris that he is, in fact, not Luke. Mutually shocked as they are, they get over it fast (it being their shock and Amanda’s prior interest in Luke), and soon are indulging in all manner of sexual activities.
One thing I really appreciated was that this book started with sex and stuck with the theme. Nothing is quite as unbelievable as when a book has a couple that ‘couples’ early and with enthusiasm, and then manages, through sheer will-power, to restrain themselves for an extended period. Really, how awesome could it have been if, without any moral/legal reasons why you can’t keep going, you can convince yourself to stop? Noah and Amanda bang promptly and very well (missionary isn’t ever their thing). The one thing that mars it is that even after they screw, Amanda thinks how “she didn’t even like Noah”, something he tells himself as well. Um, well, I’m pretty sure one part of her liked one “massive” part of him. It feels a little cold for a romance novel.
Tragically, everything else is just. . . average. There’s a sense in the non-sex sections that I was reading a slightly dressed-up synopsis. All the conversations, all the feelings, all the internal reflection, happen precisely as you’d expect. The Surprising Lunch That Reveals A New Intimacy. The Perfect Date. The Break-Up. The Sad Internal Pondering. There’s so much Telling instead of Showing. The ‘Perfect Date’ has twelve lines of dialogue from the moment they sit down to the moment they start discussing when they can bang – but, we’re told, this date “needed its own word, something that hadn’t been invented yet. . . . Nothing had ever felt like this.” The only thing I can vouch for as having witnessed is the good sex. A sense of humor could have done so much here, but the book doesn’t have one.
Amanda is an infuriating heroine. Some of her plotlines are just never developed – she has a dependent mother (we’re told) who has made her daughter fill in the caretaker role vacated by her ex-husband, but we never meet her, nor does Amanda ever tackle the question of whether she needs to take steps to change that dynamic. She also manages to achieve professional success despite having never appeared to earn it (literally, it’s impossible this woman works forty hours a week). She has a reputation for being “always late” to work, takes spontaneous time off (“If she needed to be at work today, she didn’t care”), takes breaks for oral and penetration at her worksite, never has a single interaction with a supervisor, and at the end of the book becomes DIRECTOR of the company. If you want your heroine to be successful and have no need to adhere to a traditional work schedule, please, make her a small-business owner or a trust-fund kid – anything that makes it logical that she can set her own hours without consequences. One of the best things about the book is that Amanda has sensible friends, who hold her accountable for her relationship issues – why they didn’t hold her accountable for her work ethic is unknown, though perhaps they decided to pick their battles.
Noah is The Good Twin. He’s also “a running coach”, which I was initially really skeptical about, but next to Amanda he looks like a professional of the highest caliber. He’s a decent dude, great lover. Which, perhaps, is really all one can hope for.
This book is case of wrong bed, right brother, dull plot, irritating girl. If you want to use some hot sex to prime yourself before an amorous interaction, a few select pages might be of use to you. Otherwise, I’d pass.
Buy it at: Amazon
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