Two Timing by Audra North

I remember I’ve enjoyed the first title in this series, so before reading this one, I went back to my review of Giving It Up. And then I remembered why I enjoyed it.

Having said that, it’s vastly different than book one.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review

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Derek Brewer, a detective working with Warren Davis (from Giving It Up), is standing in for his recovering addict brother at his new job, a janitorial position with a firm hiring him. He’s mad as hell at his brother for being the bad twin thus forcing Derek to be the good twin most of their lives, but at the same time, he’ll do anything he can to help him. Especially now that Alden has 3-year-old daughter to care for. And Derek will do anything for his niece. 

It’s not hard to tell the brothers have issues with each other, although I’m pretty sure Derek’s issue with Alden, and mostly with himself, is key to the strain and awkwardness of their relationship. And twins have a special connection to begin with.

However, when he sees Toni that first night at the job, she recognizes him as his twin, and he goes with it. Playing along. Fearing that identifying as Alden’s twin, doing Alden’s job, he will lost his one chance at getting back on his feet.

He doesn’t plan on falling in love. Hell, he doesn’t plan on continuing the charade once Alden is able to resume his duties.

Toni realizes that “Alden”, he brother Sal’s friend whom she knows used to get high with Sal, has recovered and is turning his life around. She clings to the hope that Sal can get better, although he’s in far worse shape than Alden has ever been. And she’s instantly attracted to “Alden”.

Having given up her life in California to come back home and help her parents deal with Sal’s addiction, Toni feels she’s the only one left on Sal’s corner. She will do anything in her power to help him, and that means taking a job she doesn’t like, work for a promotion, in order to get him into a rehabilitation facility. She is even considering committing a crime.

As the story progresses, the instances where everything can turn on its head grow closer together, until the point where Derek actually helps Toni, when she’s attacked on the street, as a police officer (which is actually is) and she meet the real Alden, since he’s now able to do his own job.

There’s a beautiful balance to this romance, to the progression of the plot and the dynamics between Toni and Derek vs Toni and Alden is very nicely shown. Toni and Derek’s bond isn’t easily discarded by either of them when things come to a head, but is mended in a lovely way as both brothers heal, as well.

Audra North was able to mesh the two relationships, Derek’s with Toni and Derek’s with Alden. And with that, carried through a romantic, complex story Two Timing is.

4.5 Stars

~Eleanor

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33878113He’s everything she wants…but he’s not the man she believes him to be.
Detective Derek Brewer believes in the clear dividing line between right and wrong. Years ago, his twin brother Alden fell on the wrong side of that line and Derek has never forgiven Alden for it. But lately Alden has been working hard to change his ways, so when he asks—no, begs—Derek to pose as him for a few days in order to help him out, Derek reluctantly agrees despite the misgivings of his conscience.

Toni Park is desperate to save her older brother from the grip of a terrible drug addiction. She’s put her life on hold to move back home and help him, but every day he seems to be slipping further from her grasp. When she meets Alden Brewer, she sees in the darkly sexy man the potential for a little selfish fun, even if only for a short time. Little does she realize that he’s not who he says he is.

Derek doesn’t want to lie to Toni, but he doesn’t have a choice when Alden’s future is at stake. He consoles himself with the knowledge that their intense affair is only temporary and no one will actually get hurt when it ends. But when their relationship grows deeper, the truth could end up costing them both more than they imagined…

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