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She Whom I Love

(Treading the Boards #2)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Love would be simpler if it came with a script.

Marguerite Ceniza dies on the London stage each night, but her own life has barely begun. The ingénue is on the prowl for a lover, but while she burns with desire for Sophie, a confession could ruin their decade-long friendship. In the meantime there are always men vying to be her patron, and square-jawed, broad-shouldered Jam
ebook, 380 pages
Published December 29th 2015 by Samhain Publishing
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Tess Bowery Yay, thank you! My only regret is that the book is set a hundred years too early to actually use the word. But yes -- Sophie and Meg are both bisexual…moreYay, thank you! My only regret is that the book is set a hundred years too early to actually use the word. But yes -- Sophie and Meg are both bisexual (though I might say Meg leans more toward the homoromantic), and their love is as vital a part of the story as James'. (ie, it's not the porn-type male-focused threesome fantasy). (less)

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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  75 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Shira Glassman
What a wonderful Regency poly ménage with happily ever after! Childhood girl friends who realize they're in love have also both been flirting with the same man. When they discover the overlap, they put their plan into action and the next thing James the Corset Maker knows, he's got two girlfriends. She Whom I Love is a perfect and quintessential example of something I've seen mentioned often these days: "wouldn't it be nice if some of those love triangles became triad fiction instead", because t ...more
K.J. Charles
I am really, really liking this author's work. The problems of artists scraping a living, dependent on whim and patronage, the problems of servants denied a personal life and able to be sacked on a whim, the threat of poverty and desperation just around the corner: these make a really solid grounding for Bowery's Regencies. Which isn't to say these are heavily political, but that, no matter how fairytale the romance might be, it has its feet very firmly on the ground.

This is a f/f/m menage, and
Jill Sorenson
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I saw this cover on twitter and clicked so fast I almost broke my finger. I can never find f/f/m stories!! I absolutely loved the first half - 3/4. I rarely read Regency historicals anymore (I think this is Regency...) maybe because very few feature working class characters, like this one. The hero is a staymaker--really. And he's no dandy. Apparently making stays is part art, part manual labor, and he makes a good living. The first heroine is a ladies' maid, pretending to be French, writing a p ...more
A really well-done polyamorous triad set in the 1800's. The historical setting was spot-on, the characters were vibrant and unique, and the story didn't play out as a pile of obvious tropes. It was nice, refreshing, a super fun read and a great romance.

I will say that I wasn't expecting as much erotic content as was in this book. This is definitely an erotic romance, with entire chapters devoted to lengthy sex scenes. They were well-written and the author doesn't overuse euphemisms or anything
Stevie Carroll
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Previously reviewed on The Good, The Bad, and The Unread:

I’ve written before about how rare it is for me to find a story in which poly relationships work the way I’ve seen in real life. Finding a story like that in a historical romance, where the setting and characters also felt in keeping to me seemed an impossibility. However, I was tempted by this book’s blurb and its implication that the relationship between the two heroines was at least as important to the plot as those between each of them
Chasia Lloyd
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Previous stories I have read with poly relationships have always had some kind of imbalance. One person is not all the way into the arrangement or someone is only there for sex, for example. Tess Bowery's "She Whom I Love" is a delightful read of a man and two women who love and desire each other completely.

James is not the most typical of historical romance heroes as far as professions go - he is an apprentice to a staymaker who caters exclusively to
Ruthie Taylor
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~

This is an entertaining read set in a time where women of any class had to use their wiles to get what they needed, and love was very much the casualty. Not so here - two women who have known each other forever manage to combine the two, or is that three, to aim for a real HEA. It is not an easy course, but one which clearly has much merit.

The detail of the times are threaded into the story carefully, building the drama
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
(Possible Spoilers)Every now and then I'll find a book that genuinely amazes me this most certainly being one. I was lucky enough to receive an Advanced Reader Copy(ARC) of this work from the author and from opening to finale this was a pleasure to read. It comes across clearly that the author not only researched but immersed herself in the time period. She has succeeded in creating a rich world and a fascinating view into the not to distant past and populates it with wonderfully distinct and o ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt, 2019, romance
I've been wanting to find some good triad/menage books for a while now and this seemed like a good place to start. It was simple and enjoyable, but nothing remarkable. Very convenient and charming. I'm leaning towards 2.5-2.75 stars with this one. Definitely a fun read but not my next favourite book.
She Whom I Love by Tess Bowery
Book #2: Treading the Boards Series
Source: Purchase
My Rating: 4/5 stars
My Review:

Marguerite (aka Meg) Ceniza lives her life as she sees fit! As an actress, Meg gets to play a variety of roles that allow her to play out her need for attention in front of a receptive audience each and every night. Meg has no interest in marriage or children or generally being tied down but she is interested in being loved and cared for. Sophie (aka Sarah) Armand is far quieter and mo
This was... such a disappointment. I LOVED the concept, I loved the set-up, loved the array of characters and the investment in working and middle class characters. Unfortunately, the sex scenes were painfully cliche, and it... perhaps this is what people read menage for? Things that collapse into all threesome, rather than delicate individual axes? It felt like Bowery was /trying/ for a poly romance but mostly got stuck on hot (to her? I hope?) threesome action.

Also the solution to the whole t
Julie Barrett
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read a lot of ménage romances, but sadly I haven't come across many with f/f interaction, so I was very happy to discover this one. She Whom I Love is a F/F/M historical romance set in Regency London. History is not my strongpoint, so I've no idea if it's historically accurate or not, but I found it a fascinating and entertaining read. I really liked the fact that the main characters were all working class instead of members of the aristocracy, which is unusual in this type of story. All three ...more
Rose A
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was really excited to read this after having enjoyed the first book in the series and particularly because of the greater focus on female characters. Sarah and Meg were my favourite part of the story and I thought their relationship was really beautifully and realistically drawn. They complemented each other very well and stood out really well as individual characters. I also loved the insights into Sarah's world as a ladies maid and her writing and Meg's theatrical background. Where I came a ...more
Kitty McIntosh
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This incredibly sexy tale of Sarah/Sophie, Meg and James is a well told story set in Victorian London. I enjoyed the set up of the story, the tantalising titbits of information regarding the three main characters. The love triangle between them seems doomed to failure and I found it hard to decide which way I wanted it to go.
Jealousy and an intriguing back story have dramatic consequences for all of the main characters and those close to them. The story flows well and tension mounts more and mor
Nov 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
(request submitted by author for an honest critique)

Now this was a hot erotic tale. Two ladies, best of friends, take the plunge and take their friendship to the next level. Let me tell you what folks, that monumental turning point was HOT, HOT, HOT.

It was tastefully erotic.

If that first love scene wasn't exhilarating enough, James enters the picture.

You see, he was courting both woman (one as a wife, the other his mistress) and, unbeknownst to him, they were lovers.

Instead of yelling and t
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get to check out an ARC of Tess' sequel to "Rite of Summer" and what a joy it was.

"She Whom I Love" surpasses "Rite of Summer". It'd be hard to say the stakes are higher in this book but the story and steamy romance and erotica were complimented by a wonderful addition of some action/adventure elements.

The characters are deep and layered and all of them lovable especially the somewhat childlike Meg. Ah Meg. Ah charming, sweet and wonderfully, acerbic and quotable Meg. Like
Liz Ellyn
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Unlike most historical romance that are prim and proper as society expected people to behave at the time, this book is about raw desire and behaving well outside the accepted rules. Behaving outside the norm, makes their choices very risky because the repercussions of discovery could be tragic. This certainly heightened the emotional intrigue.

Let's talk fashion. The men and women of the time wore a lot of clothes. While this could serve as an impediment, the author turns the cumbersome attire i
Miss Susan
Jan 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia
pretty good!

i won't lie, i was a little bored with all the sex scenes in the first half and was contemplating how i'd cut like 70% of them in favour of feelings but then the three of them temporarily imploded bc of lack of feelings discussion and like. okay that's valid, good job with the set up there

also the action scene at the climax was pretty well written, it's nice to see a plot arc written to mesh so well with the emotional arc

plus points for the first poly triad i've ever read in a publis
Smut Report
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: regency, london, lgbtq, f-f
Review also published at The Smut Report.

Heat Factor: Sex is frequent, explicit, and hot.

Character Chemistry: Even though Sarah is the only one with any sense, I completely believe her relationships with both Meg and James who are both ridiculous and moderately annoying.

Plot: Let’s navigate a threesome, plus an evil pimp.

Overall: A welcome change from standard regencies.

Imagine: you are a nice man, with a successful trade and a good income. You own a home in London, inherited from your father.
Sara Norja
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
The prose was sometimes a bit clunky and some Americanisms bothered me in the Recency England setting. But overall I really enjoyed this! The sex scenes were steamier stuff than I'd read in ages, and very nicely done. I hadn't really known what to expect from this book, and was surprised that there was some adventurey stuff too. It really worked, though! And what a joy to read a book where the romance is polyamorous, and done in a sensitive and nuanced way, with people called out for being idiot ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, dnf, poly-m-f-f
I had such high expectations for this book but in the end I've tried reading it twice and just can't get through it. It has so much potential and it's pretty rare to find a m/f/f historical romance, but the book is too devoted to throwing together steamy threesome sex scenes which are, on their own, pretty hot, but just totally unearned and don't seem to support the rest of the characterization.
Really a 2-star book for me but I'm grading on a curve for rarity and bisexual representation.
Sidsel Pedersen
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful and romantic

A wonderfully romantic polygamous queer story. It's so good to read historical romance that isn't about the nobility but rather about the other layers of society!
Sam Bux Romatet
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbt, historical
dnf. i cant remember how far i actually got but about halfway i think. i really just dont care enough to continue and i want to get rid of it
Oh, it had all the 3-way romance my little poly heart desires and lacks in her books. No 'Menage-erotica' can fulfil my romantic longings the way this book does.
Christopher Huang
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's not often that I pick up a romance--especially an unconventional romance like this one--but I was pleasantly surprised. The characterisation, for the most part, was sharp (more on that later) and the attention to detail was excellent. The plot came together beautifully, like pieces of an intricate puzzle sliding into place. There was plenty of good humour, and I found myself grinning in amusement more than a couple of times.

The three main leads--Sarah/Sophie, James, and Meg/Marguerite--are
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 ish. I don't know why I wasn't more into this book. I liked it, the premise is so promising, and mostly well executed.

This is my main beef right now: I wasn't convinced by the sex. It made me think about why I sometimes like sex in romance and other times I don't. I know that I like sex in books better when it's really emotional, and although I know (was told) there was love between the main characters, I didn't feel it. It really bothers me that I cannot put my finger on it, but I know I f
Jan 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
This was a fun, sexy read! I love the different approach to Regency Romance, particularly the focus on lower and middle class characters and the poly romance.

I wanted more of the theatre setting (but that's mostly about me being a theatre person). I adored both the women characters and wished that the man had seemed as fleshed out as they did to me - he felt a bit generic. The action-y denoument felt a little contrived, particularly as a way to resolve a very real emotional conflict. I love rel
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Why yes I needed this particular polyamorous Regency romance. Does that make me trash? I don't care. I do wish, as a genre, romance writers didn't have to spend quite so long establishing why people would even consider (gasp) polyamory. I DID enjoy that this book took the brewing love triangle and flipped the trope, along with a healthy dose of communication.
Elisha K.
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sweet and easy

Sweet and easy read. I enjoyed it greatly. The story sucked me in and the smut is pretty well written. A nice weekend book between heavier reads.
Katarina Scoleri
Not bad

Just as the title of the review said it's bad. I think it's just not my cup of tea. The little sister character was obnoxious.
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Tess has been a fan of historical fiction since learning the Greek and Roman myths at her mother's knee. Now let loose on a computer, she's spinning her own tales of romance and passion in a slightly more modern setting. Tess lives on the east coast, with her partner of fifteen years and two cats who should have been named 'Writer's Block' and 'Get Off the Keyboard, Dammit.'

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Other books in the series

Treading the Boards (3 books)
  • Rite of Summer (Treading the Boards, #1)
  • That Potent Alchemy (Treading the Boards, #3)