Trent, Brock, and AJ are excited to spend Christmas together in their new home but secrets and dark dealings by Trent's estranged father interrupt their plans. Brock is kidnapped and Trent and AJ scramble to find a way to get Brock back before it is too late.
Several months after Trent Harte was drafted into the NFL, he, AJ Barnes, and Brock Everette are settling into their new home in Miami. Christmas is approaching and they are excited to share another holiday season with each other. Unbeknownst to them, William Harte, Trent's estranged father double-crossed a deadly adversary and then disappeared. To draw William out of hiding, Trent becomes a target. In a horrible twist of fate, the kidnappers grab Brock instead leaving AJ and Trent scrambling to find a way get Brock back. Detectives believe Trent is responsible, and with each passing hour the likelihood of Brock returning home alive dwindles.
Brock traded his safety to ensure his lovers were out of harm's way. He would do it again even knowing he'd end up captured and restrained in a part of town that no one in their right mind would willingly go. The kidnappers are terrifying, but Brock is a fighter, holding onto hope with both hands. He must decide to either wait to be rescued or find a way to escape. Stuck between the wills of a ruthless assassin and an insane mob thug, something needs to happen soon or he'll never see Trent and AJ again.
Lexi has always been an avid reader and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her 80 pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.
This is the perfect example of the kind of ménage book I enjoy reading. (Deep, emotional love between all three, where all agree it only works with three and they could never pair up.) I am actually very picky about threesome's, but when done right, like Lexi Ander does with the Unshakeable series, it really turns my crank.
My absolute favorite story from the M/M Romance Group's 2013 Love Has No Boundaries collection was Lexi Ander's Playing for Keeps, the story of three collage roommates who happen to be in love and in a ménage relationship. They were beginning to feel the discrimination from those around them because they were gay and also, to a more extreme extent, because they were considered perverted by being in a threesome relationship. The first book has them going up against an MC's father and has an MC decide on a new career because they all realize their love is real and lasting and they are a family. Mild angst, big-time warm and fuzzies. LOVE!
Now, with this second book, we're in a different league entirely. MC Trent Harte, whose estranged father is a giant scum bag, has stolen money from the mob and then gone into hiding. The mob decides to kidnap Trent to force his father out of hiding. Yikes! Lives are on the line! When the mob tries to grab Trent, they miss him and grab MC boyfriend Brock instead. Whoops! Trent is a professional football player and in the shape of his life. MC A.J. is an ex-Marine and his hands are lethal weapons, so both men are devastated that Brock, who used to dream of being a sports writer and is currently attending chef school, is the one who was taken. The boy can barely claim the stairs without getting winded. Angst galore!
You are going to really have to suspend disbelief on this one because there are some big-time coincidences that happen along the way, but it's totally worth it. These boys are just too cute and too hot together. I had so much fun with them again.
Lexi Ander introduced us to a bunch of new characters (Marines anyone??) in this second book and I for one would love that to mean she is thinking of more books for this series. I would devour every one.
I will write a 'real' review one day, but now I just wanted to thank Lexi Ander for a wonderful, sexy, sweet, with a little suspense and intrigue and just plain AWESOME book During the LHNB picture prompt event I asked for a menage story. ( I know THAT didn't shock anyone ) and was thrilled when Lexi Ander chose it. She gave me sappy happy Mandy with the free short Playing for Keeps. When she then told me she was writing a novel..and I got sneak peeks and to follow along a little while she did her magic...OMG! Trent, AJ and Brock...I love these guys! So, thank you Lexi for taking my ramblings and a picture of three hot guys and turning it in to something great.
AJ, Trent and Brock are back! Yay! And this time it's a full novel!
Keeping Faith is the sequel of Lexi’s Playing For Keeps, a free short-story she wrote for the LHNB event 2013. The love of AJ, Trent and Brock was just so brilliant written that I couldn’t wait for the sequel to come out. And it’s a full novel! Yay!
It’s no secret that I love good written menages and Lexi Ander is one of those authors who make it to a great reading experience. So often threesomes feel like they are more two plus one and not an equal partnership of three.
Lexi Ander did it just right, though. Brock, Trent and AJ are a committed threesome, the are equally together… they are equally in love. Their threesome relationship goes deeper than physical, even though the physical aspect is fucking hot, but there is more… they live for each other, they give the support each man needs, they talk about how to keep the faith and make things work, they even would give their life for each other! Watching that was just awesome.
Again Trent’s father is the reason for trouble and heartbreak. He doesn’t care for Trent, his only concerns are his prestige and money, lots of money… that isn’t even his own. When Brock gets kidnapped and AJ and Trent have to fear for his life… OMG… I think I died a little with them.
Reading what Brock goes through in the hands of those kidnappers…OMG... he always thought of himself as the weakest in their relationship… but far from it! He is soooo fucking strong! Loved him.
All in all, Keeping Faith was lovely, funny, angsty, heartbreaking, sexy, irresistible…plainly wonderful done. My only complain is that the suspense part was a bit predictable but I didn’t mind. Not at all! It was absolutely worth it.
Highly recommended for lovers of menages who want more than two plus one and don’t fear a tiny little bit angst.
This is the continuing story of Brock, Trent and AJ. As a menage they are working just fine and in the run up to Christmas they have never been happier or more settled.
In book, Playing For Keeps, we saw the relationship between Trent and his father fall apart when the older man couldn’t accept a gay son with two partners. It seems his father has his fingers in many pies and one of them of them is about to explode. You can’t rip the mob off without repercussions and if you go into hiding they will take what they assume is precious to you and hold it up for ransom.
Trent is due to be kidnapped in a bid to flush out his father but the kidnap attempt is almost comical save for the fact that Brock gets bundled into the back of van and AJ gets run over. One minute the trio are counting down to Christmas and the next their world is crashing down and around them and one of them is missing.
As we have gotten to know the three men Brock is the one that you would think would handle this least well but he actually shows a huge amount of resilience, he is stronger than his two partners and even himself allow credit for.
The story has a twist in that it also delves into memories from Brocks childhood and being held captive brings flashbacks of what he thinks may have been his brother. Tie this in to the girlfriend of the mob boss who has a mission of her own and there is a great twist to the plot.
I love reading menage but they don’t always work well. This one has three very distinct characters that bring very different things to their relationship and it is well balanced and loving. When Brock is removed from this the remaining two are left clinging to each other and blaming themselves.
Although the kidnap is terrifying and will leave scars you are also left with a sense that this relationship has grown once again and is even stronger. There is more honesty and more willingness to admit their fears and they each help each other with their own strengths. I really enjoyed revisiting Brock, Trent and AJ but I was also left more than a bit curious about Gent.
Keeping Faith picks up a few months after Playing for Keeps leaves off. Trent is now playing for the Miami Dolphins and so the trio has moved to Miami. The book takes place around Christmas time and starts out with what has become a tradition for the three -- hiding gifts for each other to find in the days leading up to Christmas. I kind of like that. Puts a little adventure into an otherwise staid holiday.
Of course, their holiday becomes a bit more of an adventure than any of them bargained for when Brock gets kidnapped in a plot to flesh out Trent's waste of oxygen dad.
While I did enjoy the story, I didn't like it quite as much as the first book. I thought the author was trying to do too many things for such a short book. The whole side story with Sammy, particularly struck me as out of place. So while I liked the first one better, I did enjoy this one as well. I found it worth the read.
This picks up shortly after the events of Playing for Keeps and I suggest reading that wonderful free short before reading this one.
I loved that the relationship between AJ, Brock and Trent has only gotten stronger as the men have settled into their new life in Florida. While the kidnapping story was a little bit far fetched at some times, there was an interesting twist to it. In addition, we did get to see Brock, who thinks of himself as the weakest of the three, really come into himself, while Trent's father is proven to be even more horrible than he was in the first story.
One new character, Gent, had me quite intrigued and I wouldn't mind seeing some more of his story. While I wish there was just a little bit more time with the three men together, I enjoyed the story and the ending leaves the possibility of more to come in the future.
Football player Trent, sports reporter Brock, and former Marine AJ are back. Their first meeting and initial living together while they went to college in Portland, Oregon, was haunted by problems (see the free first volume ‘Playing for Keeps’). Some people had issues with them being gay, some didn’t like they’re a triad, and Trent’s father was just out to make his life difficult. Now that they have moved to Miami and are living the life they always wanted, it turns out they still have haters after them. This time they are more serious “professional” gangsters and the events made for a very suspenseful read.
All three men need each other, but when Brock is kidnapped, he needs to survive on his own while Trent and AJ have each other for comfort – only to find they are frantic despite the support. As before, the deep love they share and their determination to make their somewhat unconventional situation work was clear. I enjoyed this follow-up that is set during the weeks just before Christmas and includes some wonderful gift-giving traditions the three men have developed.
Brock is in an uncertain place—nobody wants to hire him as a sports reporter unless he “sells” them exclusive details about Trent. That is not something Brock would ever do, so he is at a crossroads. Not being able to work in his ideal job, he focuses on living his dream on the family front: taking care of AJ and Trent has become his mission in life. But he has a rude awakening when what he believes to be a crazy fan of Trent’s turns out to be a professional kidnapping team. Not willing to let Trent come to harm, Brock lets them take him and lives in terror, waiting for someone to rescue him.
Trent is playing football like he always wanted, and despite the fact he is out and endures some ribbing, most of his teammates and the world at large seem to have accepted that he is gay. He looks forward to a quiet Christmas with AJ and Brock, when his father’s dark machinations once more disrupt the life he is trying to build. The outrage he feels when he discovers some of what his father has been doing is understandable, and the consequences of Brock ending up kidnapped instead of Trent, who was their target, weigh heavily on him. His need to do anything he can to get Brock back is palpable, but there isn’t much he can do.
AJ is still struggling with the aftereffects of his tour in Afghanistan, but therapy and the unwavering support from his two lovers have helped him come a long way. When he fails to protect Brock from getting kidnapped the guilt almost crushes him. Trent’s insistence that he not blame himself helps, but AJ’s ability to call in help from his former Marine buddies mitigates some of the bad feelings he has. He’ll have to pay a price for their support (which turns out a lot less bad than it could have been), but AJ is ready to do anything to solve the problem and get Brock to safety.
If you want to know how Brock, Trent and AJ are doing, if you enjoy stories about men who love each other deeply no matter what anyone else thinks, and if you're looking for an action-packed, intense read that is as suspenseful and emotionally intense as it is touching and hot, then you will probably enjoy this novel. All I can say is: I’d like some more stories about Brock, Trent, and AJ, please!
NOTE: This book was provided by Fireborn Publishing for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.
Every now and then you stumble across a book and author that completely blow your mind and you need a second to regroup. This was another moment just like that for me. After the first short story I was desperate to read more on these boys. I hesitated though because I didn't want to pop that perfect little bubble they'd created for me. As a menage story, the first book was incredibly hot and sweet. I really loved it. This was so much more..
This was a deep love between 3 men that filled me with so much happiness. Tragedy and lots of stupid people try to break them down but the way they banded together, you could feel their connection. It was so well written. I am now basking in the after glow, not sad that it's ended but super satisfied with the way it was left...you just know they're living happily ever after.
Menage's can be hit and miss. It's all well and good to throw lots of sex into the mix but if there is no connection, no chemistry, I can't commit myself to the story or the author. This just ticked all the right boxes. It most certainly was hot hot hot, Lexi Ander knows hot to write the perfect sex scene *sigh*
Liked this sequel to Playing for Keeps, which was a freebie from the 'Don't Read in the Closet' 2013 event on GR....and which I loved. The editing/formatting was a little hit and miss unfortunately, and there was too much of the kidnapping for my liking and not enough of the guys themselves. 4 stars from me.
4.5 stars! I loved this follow up to Lexi's DRITC story Playing for Keeps. There is good tension and flow. I loved seeing the three men together and felt their pain apart. The epilogue did a great job of tying up loose ends in a satisfying manner.
Oh, this was so much better than the introductory story. It almost felt like the previous book had been shoe-horned into this as a backstory and honestly there could have been an entirely new set of characters and I would have enjoyed it.
I got a much better understanding of the characters, their motivations and thought processes...and the sex was hot.
I was a little underwhelmed by the "climax" resolution (and I'm thinking that the team must feature in some other series or novel by Lexi Ander because they seemed dropped in as well) and I still think it's missing a key closure concept - like what happened to Trent's father. Did he go into witness protection? Did he still have the money he stole from the mob? Was he prosecuted or did he cut a deal to divulge details of the operation & his involvement with Bishop? Did Trent confront him about looting the trust fund? Was he prosecuted for overstepping his bounds as executor of that inheritance? Gah! Not to mention, did Trent's absence impact the Dolphin games? (Sorry, you can try to keep the girl out of football but you can't take football out of the girl.)
But...I did get a better appreciation for Brock. I felt he was a little cavalier about having to ditch his career plans (in order to shoe-horn in chef aspirations?) and even explaining his decision away with how reporters got really invasive digging into sports figures' personal lives it felt shallow. Their are plenty of jobs with sports network stations, magazines, newspapers and teams themselves that a sports journalism degree would qualify him for. Sure, the ones that interviewed him wanted the scoop on the menage relationship but if I'm not mistaken that's an employment discrimination lawsuit waiting to happen (and if he'd pursued that angle it would have made for interesting reading as well).
That said, he grew on me as the abduction continued. He was feisty and smart. Knew when and how to pick his battles. Bid his time and observed the power dynamics of the kidnappers in an effort to make an escape plan. He was brave and he called on a well of strength not many people have to survive his ordeal. Knowing his heart-breaking backstory really led credence to his determination and plausibility of success.
Interesting, if somewhat easily guessed, turn of events with "Sam." I can't help but be that asshole wondering if Bishop "knew" or if he just treated her like shit, abusing her relentlessly, because he was just an dick. It's a cis-gendered curiosity that I can't dismiss the ramifications or consideration of how that affected their dynamics; I'm sorry.
I'd like to know what Archer and Marco are up to and if the hitman managed to take over his uncle's organization. Wow, talk about revenge being best served cold. That's DECADES of waiting, plotting and planning and I'm kind of impressed. He also seemed to be the Heavy Hitter with a Heart of Gold...or at least a better sense of responsibility, morality and ethics. I like that kind of character (a lot more than I should - I blame the ambiguity/flexibility of the Firefly crew...especially given Mal kicking Crow into the engine turbine for being a dick) (he did deserve a killing). I might try to see if he's somewhere in the author's other works, and will most likely read them if he is gay and it's not a disguise or deflection. I also loved his discussion with the gang-banger watching their safe-house. Lots of brilliant insight there.
There was, unfortunately, way way way too much sobbing and crying and breaking down. I mean, yeah...the events detailed here seem like the kinds of things to inspire near hysterics but it seems like every chapter someone burst out in tears. Sometimes that kind of thing can be touching...after the first few times it got annoying. Otherwise, the emotional ramifications and therapy sessions (or at least the self-awareness and personal mental/motivational evaluations) were a nice touch.
Nice follow-up to Playing for Keeps. It is important to read the first book in the series before reading this. The good news is that the first book is free.
This story follows the lives of Trent, Brock and AJ. Trent is living his dream, playing for the Miami Dolphins, AJ is finishing up school and Brock is searching for a new career path. Though Brock has always wanted to be a sports reported, his relationship with Trent has put a road block to that dream. Since he refuses to give up information on his relationship with his lovers, he is repeated refused work. Now he is looking at a career in the culinary arts. Even though Brock's dreams were shaken by their relationship, these men are still going strong. They have built their lives nicely around each other.
Trent's father, once again, brings heartache when an attempt to kidnap Trent in retaliation to his father's actions goes wrong. Instead of Trent being taken, Brock is. Needless to say, Trent and AJ are destroyed over the thought of Brock being hurt, while Brock is doing everything possible to get back with his lovers.
Readers definitely get to know Brock and AJ more in this story. It talks heavily about Brock and AJ's past and the struggles they currently face because of it. There is a Happily Ever After for one of the character's past.
An issue I had with the book was the amount of "stories" in it. First we are looking at Brock's past, then AJ's troubles with his parents. Also we are introduced to a man known as "Gent" who is breaking free from his troubles. On top of that, we are reading about Trent, Brock and AJ's new life together and the kidnapping of Brock. That is a lot going on in a short book. I wish it was a little longer so these storylines could have developed more.
Overall, a very enjoyable read with great characters.
I love MMM stories and this is one of the best series if you like a true connection and love between the three. These guys truly love each other and are soo great together- the beginning of the book is filled with not just hot sex but also the sweetness of how these guys live their everyday lives coupled with it being almost Christmas and seeing the traditions they have started with each other is so freaking adorable it made me wish I was a man with these two boyfriends.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.