REVIEW: With A Twist (The Speakeasy #1) by K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn


I’m having a fun trip with another series! I’m catching up on the “Speakeasy” series by K.  Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn! I’m reading through the first three books and reviewing them leading up to the release of the fourth! Follow along!!!

Book 1: With a Twist

Book 2: Extra Dirty

Book 3: Behind the Stick

Book 4: Straight Up (Coming June 9th)


The Official Description: Love, served with a twist.

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.

Just the facts: MM romance, dealing with a terminally ill parent, differing political views.

A republican and a demoncrat get together… and it’s the beginning of a tricky romance – Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit: Will is still a bit bruised after losing his partner. It wasn’t so much that he thought that he and Riley were forever… but it was the first time he had felt that way about a partner. Riley left when he was reunited with his best friend and ex… and really… Will couldn’t stand in the way of that kind of happiness. But he was still lonely and sunk himself into his work.

At the beginning of the novel, Riley invites Will out to a new Speakeasy. This is going to be the central pivot for all the characters in this series and I think that’s a great idea! I suspect that some of the characters that the reader meets at the speakeasy will be the future main characters in books! Something interesting to look forward to.

When Will finds out that his estranged father is dying of cancer… he returns home for the first time in years to be there for his mother and sister. What Will doesn’t expect is to meet his the republican senator that his father has taken under his wing… Senator David Mori. Will is surprised at first because David is Asian and .. gay. And being gay is what got Will disowned in the first place.

This book explores what it is like to try and reconcile with a family member who treated you horribly. Will and David get to know each other as Will learns more about his father. This relationship is still strained… but David is a conduit for Will to begin to see things about his father that he hadn’t seen before.

As the relationship between Will and David grows, they begin to cross the line from physical to emotional. This brings up a lot of warning signs for both men. Will has seen what politics has done to his family. He has watched his mother’s stress and he has watched his father’s policies with disgust and anger over the years. He’s not sure how David can be gay and a person of color and still be a Republican senator! As for David, he finds himself falling for Will but doesn’t want people to know about their relationship in case it doesn’t work out.

There’s a lot of conflict in this book regarding the lifestyles and choices of the two men. It was interesting to read their conversations and the infrequent full-on arguments they had. All the concerns and challenges they faced seemed very realistic to me and I enjoyed that.

My only criticism of this book was that it felt a bit long to me. There were some passages that I would definitely have edited or perhaps omitted. I really enjoyed the interactions between the main characters and I felt as though sometimes there was a bit too much dialogue when that author had already communicated their feelings through their actions. It’s just a personal preference but I’m putting it out there in case it’s something of interest to you in a book you choose.

This is a great story… I really love David’s character. There is a lot in his past that has led him to where he is… and Will is sure something he didn’t expect to happen! I liked seeing the way his story unfolded as the novel progressed.

I’m definitely on board for the rest of the series!

Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) warnings

Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel.

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Links: Goodreads // Brigham Vaughn // K. Evan coles //


I received an ARC of With a Twist by K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn via Gay Book Promotions in exchange for an unbiased review.

Contact: TWITTER: @gaybookpromo INSTAGRAM: @gaybookpromotions WEB:


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