I was sent a copy of Twinkies & Beefcake by T.H. Forest months ago and just read it last week. It was really good and I enjoyed following Robin’s journey from teenager to 30-something year old man, but definitely check trigger warnings before reading!
Twinkies & Beefcake begins when Robin or Robby is 15 years old. He lives in the posh Kensington neighborhood of London and comes from a wealthy and aristocratic family. When the novel begins, Robin is just admitting to himself that he is gay, although his best friend Dee and his mom seem to already know. One day he meets an older guy at the mall. Vasyl is tall, fit, scruffy, and hot. And Robby catches his eye. They begin talking and flirting over time and eventually begin a secret relationship as Robby is only 15 and Vas is 27. Robby begins to really feel like he’s in love with Vas and his love blinds him to do whatever Vas wants. As years go by, Robby gets lost in alcohol, drugs, and allowing Vas to record them having sex and post the videos to adult sites. When Vas gets bored with Robby, everything comes crashing down for him and it takes Robby years to recover mentally, emotionally, and physically.
The first half of the book can be triggering with the grooming, manipulation, and drugs that go on. I don’t typically get trigged by books and so the first half didn’t trigger me, but it definitely wasn’t easy to read about Vas grooming and abusing Robby. But it was so interesting that I couldn’t stop reading. The second half follows Robby as he finds real love and the ups and downs of that relationship. I don’t want to spoil the book so I won’t say who he falls in love with, but I really loved their love story.
The book made me laugh, made me emotional, made my heart ache, and made me happy.
Read this book if you want a coming of age gay/lgbtq romance, but make sure to check trigger warnings.
*This book was sent to my complimentary, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.*