Rating: 3.5 / 5
I waffled so much on whether or not to read this book. After reading Six
, which was one of the most unromantic, yucky romance books I've ever read, I've been very, very wary of reading Carew again. I skipped her next book, Secret Ties
and was likely to skip this one. But then I saw it was a bi-menage HEA story, which is a sub-genre I love and I was torn. I finally gave in and bought it. Was it worth it? Ya know, I actually mostly liked the book. I liked what went on in the relationship, but it by far wasn't a perfect book. Carew has a few pervasive issues with the way she writes romance, but I didn't mind the book at all.
This book, while not part of a series, does tie in to Carew's book "Six." Trey and Jake, the two heroes of this book, were part of the "six" from "Six." And the H/H from "Six" are mentioned in this one. It's not necessary to have read "Six" but I do think if you've read it, it helps give a better understanding of the vibe of this book.
Back in college, Danielle became friends with Jake and Trey (and Harmony, too). Danielle always had secrets fantasies about being with Jake and Trey, but she knew they were useless because Jake and Trey were gay and happy together. Then Danielle had to change schools because of financial reasons and she lost touch with all her friends.
Now she's been invited to Harmony's wedding and sees Jake and Trey again. She's shocked when she finds out that not only aren't they together anymore, but that both have been dating women! Her fantasies rise again. And when Jake and Trey learn Danielle secretly lusted after them, they decide to engage her in a threesome.
For Danielle, she'll get her fantasies coming true, but she believes she'll also be able to get Jake and Trey to see that they still love each other and get back together. Things gets messy when feelings become involved. Danielle will have to face the heartbreak of her past, Trey his denial of his bisexuality, and Jake, losing the two people he loves most.
This story wasn't quite you're typical bi-menage story. And I really liked that about it. You've got 2 guys who were in a gay relationship together - Trey, who used to believe he was gay, and Jake who was openly bi. Then Trey realizes he's attracted to women too and is relieved because he won't have to face his homosexuality and his family. So they break up and remain friends. Now a woman that both were attracted to (the first woman Trey ever was attracted to) reenters the picture. It's sets up a really conflicted dynamic. Jake wants Trey, but also Danielle. Trey denies he wants Jake, and wants Danielle. And Danielle loves both of them. Such a mass of confusing emotions and I thought it made for a unique, at times, angsty, story. I enjoyed that aspect because it made it different from most of the other (bi) menage HEA stories I've read. I could really feel the conflicted emotions each was feeling.
There's also oodles of hot sex. Maybe too much. There are times when the book is just back to back to back sex scenes and it became too much. I don't mind a good hot sex scene, or even quite a few of them, especially when reading erotic romance. The problem here, though, was that the copious amounts of sex took page space away from other stuff.
Or maybe it's just that Carew isn't good at writing character development, because that's one of the big things that was missing in this book. I didn't feel like I knew the characters enough. There wasn't enough focus on them as people and there was too much focus on them as sexual beings. It's makes the "people" part of the story fall a bit flat. In the beginning, Jake and Trey were so interchangeable that I kept getting them mixed up. And that's a bad thing. But hey, at least the characters had last names in this book, unlike in "Six."
I also wished the book had dealt more with what was set up in "Six"...the whole thing with 6 friends getting together for a week of no-holds barred sex (of which Jake and Trey were part of). That whole thing was mostly ignored and let you with no idea if these vacations would continue. There were also some conflicting details with what "Six" set up.
I still liked the book, though. A lot more than I thought I would. I worried that I'd hate it, or that it'd be as bad as "Six" was. So I ended up pleasantly surprised. Sure, it could have been better in a few ways, but I'm just happy I didn't hate it ;) I can see how a lot of readers wouldn't like it, though.WARNING, this book contains: explicit sex and language, oral sex (m/f, m/f/m, m/m), anal sex (m/f, m/f/m, m/m), double vaginal penetration, very light bondage, role playing, and probably some other various and sundry sexual acts.