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Publisher's Summary

Terry's had a crush on his second cousin Justin for what seems like forever. He's hidden it as well as possible, knowing that the other man is out of bounds, forbidden fruit. Second cousins getting together isn't actually illegal, but for Justin the relationship is too close - he just can't contemplate them being together.

But when some new information comes to light about Terry's birth and his place in the family, the whole game changes. Suddenly the relationship isn't so impossible, and things soon begin to get hot and heavy.

©2016 Lucy Felthouse (P)2017 Lucy Felthouse

What listeners say about Illicit Relations

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Second Cousins nonce removed

Terry and his second cousin Justin have been constantly thrown together at family gatherings as long as both boys can remember. Terry is gay though he’s not out and he’s suspecting more and more that his cousin is as well and the attraction he’s been feeling is mutual.

I’ve always been a bit fascinated by stories like this, partly because I’ve never understood why the taboo against relationships between two gay men of consanguinity exists. Too close a genetic relationship between heterosexual spouses can and has led to genetic deformities etc. But in gay men, that’s clearly not an issue. I can even understand that problems might arise in sexual relationships between individuals in the same household. There can be issues of consent, duress, and so forth. But provided that those issues don’t exist, I can see no problem. I’ve always been hoping to understand this better but nothing I’ve read has ever presented any situation that might explain the taboo.

This story doesn’t change that. In fact it manages to side-step the issue altogether due to plot developments that I’ll not detail here for fear of spoiling the story for anyone.

The “boys” in this story are both described as being 30 and yet the situation and their personas both felt much younger, 20 or even 18 perhaps. I’m not sure why the author chose to make them the age she did. But, it was no great chore for me to shave a decade off the ages of these two fictional characters.

The narrator here is Mick Dee. As far as I can determine this is his first foray into audio-book narration. His basic narration is well done with good pacing. However his female character voices need some serious work. It also felt like the two main characters voices were a bit too similar. I sometimes got the POV confused, but that may have partly been the fault of the author.

This was a pleasant enough listening experience, but it doesn’t have the depth of detail, or the chemistry that I generally require for an audio-book to make it into to my frequent re-listen queue.

*** Note: I received a free copy of this title. This is an honest review ***

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Thoughtful approach to taboo

I was given a copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

This is a sweet story about Terry, and his 2nd cousin Justin. The two come from a large close-knot family, where gatherings to celebrate birthdays and holidays are common and attendance is mandatory. But Terry and Justin have a major secret, namely, they are gay and even worse, are attracted to each other. Although there is nothing illegal about 2nd cousins having a relationship, that familial connection keeps them at the “cousins” in a precarious situation. They are destined to fantasize about each other in order to avoid any major fallout if the relationship goes south. While this is a pragmatic approach, it is hardly romantic.

Although both men believe themselves to be very clever at hiding their feelings, Terry’s ever watchful mom notices the sparks flying between the two, and a few very pointed questions and statements later, she is demanding that Terry attend a family gathering where everything will be resolved.

Because of their love for their son, and their belief in the relationship, Terry’s parents risk revealing a long held secret, one with the power to either heal or destroy, to both Justin and Terry.

I enjoyed this thoughtful exploration of the impact of coming out on individuals and their family and the ‘taboo’ of cousins in love. The narrator was awesome and made the listening experience wonderful.

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sweet love story

the story is a sweet first-love story. the taboo part is being fixed relatively early in the story, so for me, it wasn't a real issue.
the narrator was annoying.
I received a free review copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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Enjoyed and Wanted More

Nick Dee is a new narrator for me and he was excellent. His performance of each character was unique and fit the personality of them. This is a shorty so of course I wanted more so that should tell you just how much I enjoyed this unique coming out story.

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Short and steamy

This is a really quick listen and though I'd have liked more just because I felt like it was a full story in itself and perfect for the short story it is. Narration is done really well and made it a really enjoyable listen.

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  • alias11
  • 06-22-21

Quick, hot listen with "taboo"

This review is for the audiobook. I received a complimentary copy via StoryOrigin and am voluntarily leaving this honest review.

I really enjoyed this short, hot story. Even though sexual relations between second cousins are not illegal, Justin cannot stomach the thought, so he ignores his attraction to Terry. Terry knows he needs to move on and forget Justin if he (Justin) can't get over his aversion. Is there any hope for these two? What will the rest of the family think? I liked the supportiveness of both sets of parents. The solution to the problem was not too much of a surprise, but it paved the way for some really hot expression of Justin and Terry's pent-up demand.

The narration was good and easy to listen to.