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Neighborly Affection #3

Healing the Wounds

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Strength lies in surrender.

When Alice leapt into sexual games with her neighbors Henry and Jay, she didn’t plan to fall in love. She sure didn’t expect she’d be the switch between Henry’s commanding mastery and Jay’s submissive playfulness. But now she’s moving in with them, and she’d better figure it all out — fast.

Trouble is, she’s never been a live-in girlfriend. The day after a traumatic first night at a BDSM club might not be the best time to start.

Struggling to find her place within the lifestyle, Alice seeks equality in a relationship built on surrender. Learning to lean on Henry challenges the foundation of her self-worth. He’ll have to lean on her in return for their triad to find stability. But can her stoic dominant lover accept her as a confidante as well as a submissive? And will their love be enough to silence Jay’s emotional ghosts?

310 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 2, 2014

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About the author

M.Q. Barber

12 books299 followers
I am a former Midwestern gal who well knows the joy of flopping down in a field for an afternoon and composing stories about the shapes in the clouds. As it turns out, adulthood doesn't have to be so different from childhood.

Sharing those stories is a new thing for me. I hope readers will love the characters as much as I do.

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5 stars
396 (44%)
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312 (35%)
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127 (14%)
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37 (4%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 92 reviews
Profile Image for Nerdy Chic.
460 reviews61 followers
July 29, 2014
Before I even start this review, there are three things that I must admit. First, I've never been a big fan of M/M/F books. Just haven't read many books that have really enticed me before this one besides Kelley Jamieson's novels. Second, I started this book not realizing that this was the third book in a series. I was a little lost in the beginning but the book quickly caught me up in what I needed to know to get into the story. Lastly, once I finished book three, I immediately went and bought book one and two and devoured them just as quickly as I did this one and reread three.

Having said all that, I was pleasantly surprised. This is just so well written and flowed so well from one scene to the next. I'm writing this review and I want to go back and experience it again. As I said, I'm not really a fan of the polyamorous relationship books but this was so good! It was sexy and sensual and loving. Henry is dominant but treats Jay and Alice sweetly and reverently. Jay is sweetly submissive and Alice is dominant with Jay but submissive to Henry. Those love scenes were very sexy. I will never think of a sunrise the same way. LOL. I can not say enough for all three books as to how sexy and well thought out and riveting those love scenes are.

At the end of book two, the three need some serious healing time. After having come back from a very traumatizing scene at the BDSM club, Henry decides to take them away for a trip to a cabin for some much needed bonding time. Alice's feelings towards Jay and Henry continue to grow stronger and she continues to learn what it really means to be in this kind of relationship. Jay continues to be his sweet self and is progressively healing from his own demons. Henry is sinfully sexy and caring, putting his subs wants before his own.

I'm going to reread these books again. It's inevitable. You can't read these books and not want to. After having read so many of these dark BDSM and wannabe Fifty Shades, this was a breath of fresh air.

*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for ❃**✿【Yasmine】✿**❃.
810 reviews597 followers
April 16, 2014
*ARC received by Netgalley*

“No alternate Fridays. No waiting. No guiding you slowly into this relationship, this lifestyle. Just sweet Alice, mine to take whenever I pleased. And I please now, Alice.”


After confessing her love for Henry and Jay, Alice and her lovers take their relationship to a whole new level.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In 'Healing the Wounds' I missed the more emotional and more dramatic parts that were in the previous book. It wasn't enough for me. Though, I can definitely tell this isn't the last we'll see of the trio.

Saying that, I've adored this series. It kind of comes across as something different when you see it's tags; MMF, Dom/sub/sub, BDSM... I'd say to ignore the labels and the cover, what you get is something different entirely; Romance, friendship, trust... I don't know how to big it up enough. There's raw emotion, complicated characters and wickedly good sex.
Profile Image for Jessi.
Author 25 books174 followers
August 26, 2014
Complexity, sweetness, and pleasure.

MQ Barber doesn't write your typical erotic romance. I love ménage stories, but Barber is beginning to ruin me for other authors. Her characters show such depth and her relationships are so complex and rewarding that I'm beginning to hold others to her standard.

Healing the Wounds is the third in her Neighborly Affection series. Each book deals with fears that Alice, the heroine, struggles with as her analytic personality causes challenges for her in her relationship with her neighbors, Henry and Jay.

Alice learns something new in each book, and the triad relationship changes in each book, giving readers plenty to dig into with each book. And let's just say, the learning is not done in the classroom. This is definitely erotic romance with plenty of bedroom action (and shower action and dining room table action).

But not all of the learning is done in the bedroom, either, especially in this book, which focuses on past traumas that Alice and Jay are dealing with. By the end, I got the sense that it wasn't just Alice and Jay who benefited from the learning but their caring dominant Henry, as well.

This series has been a true pleasure to read. I don't know if it will continue, as Healing the Wounds ends on a very satisfying happy ending, but it's safe to say I'll be reading more MQ Barber whether it be more Neighborly Affection or another series. I'm learning she is an author I can trust for high quality stories and brilliant writing.

Profile Image for Cassandra.
24 reviews
April 28, 2014
The series truly gets better and better. In this 3rd installment we learn the history of Jay and Henry. We learn the horrors Jay has to overcome in order for their tirade to work. We also see the true devotion Henry has for his subs. It also shows how Alice is fitting into their relationship. I truly hope this is not the last book in the series because there is a lot left to tell.
Profile Image for Tabitha Schmer.
372 reviews13 followers
July 20, 2017
This is a series that I have really enjoyed however the third book was a very slow read for me. I just could not connect with it.
June 7, 2014
Clic HERE to read my full review! ~Mary


First of all, book #3, Healing the Wounds, is less dramatic. Not talking about the plot with villains and dead etc. A plot can be dramatic playing with the feelings of the characters. Lets remember that this series is a true saga and all books must be read in order. no choice.

1426178222So book #1, Playing the Game, was the journey of one woman to find and accept love and acceptance. Book #2, Crossing the Lines, was the journey of all three characters dealing with love and connect. Book #3, was the journey of the woman again accepting her role within their menage. All three books brought tons of emotions but different ones. Book #1, was insecurity, fears to be rejected, hopes. Book #2, was acceptance, security, dealing. Book #3, was dealing, compromising, finding peace.

Each book brings a different face of what is the journey of falling in love, accepting the concept of long-term and moving in together. It takes time. And this is my first big complement I will give to this author, M.Q. Barber: she did not rush the feelings, she explained not too much not too little, just enough so we can understand and justify the reasons of the character,s doubts, fears, actions, reactions. That is so refreshing from some story that everything happen within a week or so, deflowering and marriage included. This series stand within around two years, which makes it very credible.

crossingHealing the Wounds refers to a bad situation that happened in book 2, but it went further. Each character has a past. Each past is different. Each character needs each other to feel complete and at peace. The Dom needs a real submissive but also a partner that he can share his responsibility of this submissive. The woman needs a man she can trust entirely and another to nurture, a mix between being cared and care herself. And the submissive needs both dominance because he is hyperactive and definitely needs a Dom and a woman that can be a friend, a lover but also have this motherly attitude because his need is to have barriers in his life.

The difference I found in book #3 versus #2 is that we went back knowing only one side of the story, the woman. I would have preferred the POV of the three characters but the situations and dialogues were clear enough to explain the males feelings.

Healing the Wounds is more about finding peace, knowing the partners, fulfilling the needs, reciprocity, sharing.


So if it is not done yet, make sure to buy the entire series, Neighborly Affection, and read it in order. This series is so very worth it! I rated it Heavy BDSM but only because it is a bit more than mild BDSM. You’ll find definitely a D/s relationship with some slave/Master interaction but no fetish, no flogging or heavy play. It is way more mental than physical IMO.

Mary's Menage Reviews
Profile Image for Janne.
177 reviews2 followers
March 19, 2016
This is what I have been waiting for since the beginning of book 1. Finally they are all together as a couple or a triple or whatever you will call it.

When I finished book 2, I have been thinking about what we would read about in this book, what would Henry, Jay and Alices life be when living together. Would they live together as a normal couple, would their lives be like when Alice joined them every second friday or how would they form their lives now when living together?

The possibilities were so many, and still I had not at all thought their lives would be like this (read it and you will found out). But their lives is just so suitable for Henry, Jay and Alice and I love how M.Q. Barber writes. I like that Alice still have insecurities and love how her relationship expand to Henry and Jay and how good they compliment each other, but still have totally different needs, which job I must say that Henry is very at fulfilling.

When reading you can feel their love to each other, you can feel their sorrow, when they are frightened, when they are going through hard times. Every wonderful thing and every obstacle they meet when living together you will feel on your skin, in your bones and in your heart.

I hope so much that this is not the last book. When reading the last chapter, I thought I still had a least a couple of pages left, so I kept scrolling back and forth on my e-reader to make sure that I had not missed any pages. I was sad, that this was the ending. I am so hooked on Henry, Jay and Alice - just like I were that time when Friends was airing. You are on the sideline of someone else's lives and you cannot wait to find out what happens next, and then it stops, and what now. It cannot end there - it really cannot. I think there is still so many things that can be told about their lives.
Profile Image for MC  (♥‿♥)  Persnickety Peruser.
1,334 reviews20 followers
October 31, 2022
4 stars +1 star for good reread = 4 stars

Book 3 in the Neighborly Affection series, is where Alice moves into Henry and Jay's apartment. She's in love with them and they with her. Their feelings are out in the open, and the poly relationship is now solidified.

After the traumatic visit to the bdsm club in book 2, the healing must begin for Jay and Alice. As the dom, Henry does a great job of helping them to recover, and through this process, of bringing them even closer together. They go a cabin in the Berkshires (in MA) for the Memorial Day Weekend. Lots of sexy shenanigans occur, filled with fun and laughter, along with quiet moments forming deeper connections.

Another visit back to the bdsm club, this time with no one else around, is how this ends. A final curtain call on their former fiasco. The healing is complete as their wounds are cleansed, by releasing all the anger and hurt that they felt and still feel. Returning home, the three of them snuggle in bed. While Jay sleeps, Henry and Alice talk quietly. Alice shares that she wants to occasionally be Henry's shoulder to lean on, as he is hers. Not always a sub, but an equal at times when needed. Alice ends being a switch in the poly relationship.

This is part of their discussion:
"Sometimes I need to see your vulnerability and help you with it the way you've helped me find and accept mine."
"Maybe so, my sweet Alice." He raised her hand, turned the palm up and laid a gentle kiss within. "Sweet, and strong, and smart. Our balance is perfected with you here."
Profile Image for Amanda Lee Disheveled Book Blog.
525 reviews29 followers
April 22, 2014
I am in love with this series and these characters. M.Q. Barber doesn’t disappoint!

Book three starts right were book two left off. Jay and Alice are still coping with the effects of an unsavory time in a BDSM club. Henry steps up to take care of them in their fragile state. There is more interaction from Will “Santa”, and Emma. I loved learning more about when Jay and Henry first met. Henry is seriously delicious and Jay is still so sassy and adorable.

Alice is still strong and I love how she interacts between Jay and Henry. I find it very intriguing that she is learning to be a switch with Jay as well. It adds a bit more to the story than Henry only guiding his subs, you also get to see him teaching or training a dom/domme.

Every “steamy” part was sensual, creative, hot, and never boring. There are several MM, MF, MMF scenes.

I have a feeling this isn’t the last we will see of this trio and THAT makes me so excited. Bravo M.Q. Barber you have drawn me in and I love your story and characters. Keep up the great work.

I recommend it to anyone that loves a steamy MMF read, run to your nearest e-book site and order these now.

~~I received and ARC from Lyrical Press, via NetGalley for an honest review.~~
590 reviews91 followers
August 31, 2016
This is, by far, my favorite series dealing with a non-traditional relationship (MMF). Henry is strong, yet vulnerable. Jay is hot and while he appears initially to be weak, he is anything but and he is the glue that holds them together. Yes, he is my fave. Alice is Alice. Spunky and unsure of herself and her role/place with them, but willing to go all in showing her bravery. After the scary, for that was what it was, first time at Henry's BDSM club in book two, old wounds are opened and new wounds surface. Watching each of the relationships develop deeper bonds is what makes this series stand above all of the others. This is not all about the heat, although there is a ton of that to be sure. It is about their connections to one another and Alice as she learns more about who she is and what she wants.

If you like MMF with intelligence, heat, honest connections, and love this series is for you. If you are a fan of the previous books, one click this bad boy now. If you have not read this series yet, I strongly suggest starting with book one. You might as well one click all three because you will want to read them all in a row.
Profile Image for Che-che.
205 reviews10 followers
April 14, 2014
I was given this book and here is my honest review

This is the third installment of my favorite threesome. What can I say I FREAKING LOVED IT ...
Henry,Alice and Jar are amazing together. This starts off when the 2nd left off. After a horrible time in the club Jay and Alice are actin weird and Henry is trying to give them time to work through it but they are not dealing with it at all.
This threesome has so much love for each other that it is amazing. O yeah and I loved getting a little more information on Santa in this installment.

Again totally awesome and can't wait for more

Profile Image for Kelly.
666 reviews25 followers
May 9, 2014
These characters and their antics are the best sort of soap opera to me, and I think I would happily read several more installments about them, even though the stories are a little short on the narrative conflict that I usually desire. Apparently that doesn't matter so much when I'm having such fun.
Profile Image for Connie.
564 reviews45 followers
April 27, 2019
Satisfying union

The story continues for Alice, Henry and Jay. A kind of mental and emotional breakdown happened at the end of the last story between our characters and this is a story of rebuilding bonds and forging new and deeper ones. I find more fondness for the characters as they reveal more of themselves and their strengths, thoughts and fears. All of them navigating their lives to build off of one another to make their family stronger. I have enjoyed that there have f been any contrived or forced conflict but dealing with their lives and past is enough to carry the story and keep me entertained.
Profile Image for Kathy Seabrease.
567 reviews1 follower
July 22, 2021
What a joy it was to read this third book in the series! Henry, Alice and Jay belong together... Alice must come to terms with somethings, but all in all, she is falling hard for Henry and Jay. A menage, but the one on one for Alice/Henry and Alice/Jay is just delicious. They were meant to be together. Henry is sooo knowledgeable, but loving in such a great way. He is a great master for them both.
Profile Image for Epicbookaddict.
700 reviews11 followers
May 15, 2018
While this book had a good dose of sex, love and healing it got a little long in the middle. I love me some Henry but he is becoming a little to good to be true. Not sure if I'll go to the next book.
22 reviews
June 17, 2021
This is a wonderful series. Hopefully there will be a HEA. Without knowing there were parts in books 1 and 2 I cried. I love books that wrap me up and make me laugh or cry. I'm into book 4 now about how Henry and Jay started. Loving it.
Profile Image for Andrea.
103 reviews
June 24, 2017
So good

I loved this series! Very realistic, strong character development, and overall charming. Definitely a top favorite; I'd even consider reading again (which I never do!)
28 reviews
June 19, 2021

Great series- can’t wait for the end (although it would make me wiggle with delight if it never came), so I can start from the beginning and read it again!
Profile Image for DB Kimmers.
221 reviews40 followers
August 9, 2015
M.Q. Barber has just been added to my best author list and, let me tell you that takes some good, touching writing. It is still hard to believe these are her first books/series ever written.
I find it really hard to write my review without feeling like I am possibly "spoiling"....but I cannot begin to stress enough, no matter what you see in reviews...you need to read and feel this book. Heck, the series! The entire series has so much depth, and 'Healing the Wounds' in particular, captures this with the intense development of the relationships between the 3 as well as gives more details into Henry and Jay's pasts.
I also enjoyed that the series had "teeth" to be believable. Take for instance, the boys spend a year as being kind neighbors building a friendship with her before they even approach her about sex. Then their relationship proceeds for almost another year after. It wasn't like they met her and jumped in the sack the next day.
'Healing' starts with a BANG. All 3 are internalizing what happened in the BDSM club at the end of book 2, and their feelings toward that as well as how they should react to one another. But no one wants to talk about it, which makes for a lot of tension as Alice moves in. When things finally come to a boil Jay's breakdown cuts you to the core. You just want him healed.
Alice finds herself in the most interesting role of being not only a live in Sub but a Dom as well. She finds herself accepting these relationships and all she wants from them and understands she wants a future and cannot walk away.
Henry actually becomes endearing in 'Healing'. He always appears older with his speak and wisdom, but he is in all reality relatively young to be an experienced Dom and all of this adds to his charm. He begins to tone down a little and shows a rather humorous side to himself.
The bonds created between the 3 of them when Henry whisks them away for Memorial weekend cannot be denied. Alice finally discovers what "making love" is....and this is where the writer shines. This is why I want more books from her. You can actually see and feel Alice's emotions and picture this scene happening.
I still found myself sometimes questioning the demeaning feel of things as Henry treats them like children. For example: "Two cookies, my boy. Share with Alice, please." Then you have the fact that he picks out and dresses them at times. Let's not forget the dinner party with William. Seeing them being treated as such made me wonder how there could be any self-worth in their lifestyle. But when you find out about Henry and Jay's first meeting and how Jay left feeling that he belonged, he mattered and that someone cared, you just want to cry. This dynamic and the Dom/Sub flow seems to work for all of them and I somehow got that by the end. As with any relationship you need and want what works for you.
As Barber leaves you with Henry and Alice talking about how she got to this point with them....you want more from all of them. Could there be more, a marriage perhaps? If there is more I hope she will also address what makes Alice, "Alice" and what is with her dad's accident (is this somehow related to her hesitation to commit)? Also, how have Alice and Jay's families taken to finding out about the threesome (have they found out)? I can see this series has more life, so bring it on!
Profile Image for Mullgirl.
196 reviews4 followers
March 2, 2015
I've had this book sitting on my kindle since it was either free or .99 on amazon about a year ago. I liked the concept, but haven't really read much menage, so it just sat there for a long while. Which is sort of stupid because I read all three in a binge fashion last week. Really, really excellent. And since I binge read and can't really separate the three books in my head, I'm combining my review of all three. I will say that the first book was my favorite--probably because we see the most development of all of the characters.

I get Alice. I really, really understand the "I'm so self-sufficient, so fuck off" type of attitude. But nice ;) It doesn't change the fact that it was fascinating to read how a woman that independent could get to a mindset where a D/s menage could work for her. And I think it really did. Even though the passage of time happens quickly in the book, I really felt like you could see how Alice felt about the build up. That she really got to know these men over the year before anything happened with them. Good pacing. Good exploring. And I really loved all three of the characters. I love seeing a D/s relationship like this (super complicated with Henry being the D for both Jay and Alice as subs). It's the anti-50 shades of gray. In that book, I couldn't feel the love, just manipulation and selfishness. In these lovely books, it's fun, it's naughty, it's playtime in the best way and you really feel that they all care about one another's satisfaction and well-being. There's also a great contrast in the second book to someone I feel is more like Gray and you see how simply awful and abusive that is. The sex is hot. The relationships are complex. You want to smack Alice from time to time and have her get with the program, but the author does a fantastic job of showing you how Alice begins to finally get it. Starts to deal with her walls and own that it is her own expectation of people falling short that is messing with her ability to see Henry for who he is. Great growing up.

A couple of complaints to be aware of. 1) Henry talks like some English boarding school dude from a century ago. Every once in awhile it struck me as out of the ordinary. The author makes his entire character a little out of the ordinary though, so overall it works, but just be prepared for that. 2) Some of the storylines get picked up and put down in ways that aren't wholly satisfying. Alice's sister gets the confession of the menage but then we never hear anymore about her or what she says to Alice--even after Alice shacks up with them. Jay hasn't come out to his family and spends the holidays with them, but attends Henry's opening not only as Henry's bf but also as part of their threesome. Overall though, there are relatively few inconsistencies and dropped plot pieces. The only other mini complaint--and that's from the woman who just binge read these and NEEDS MORE NOW: the next book is coming out soon and it's about Henry and Jay. And the author is releasing a new book in a new series. So, I'm left saying, but but but but... what about going back and kicking out Cal and Henry teaching and and and hot healthy sex a the club???? with the three of them???? Pretty please? Because I don't see that story on the horizon based on what I see being released soon. that's a good complaint for an author to receive though right?
Profile Image for Jeannie Zelos.
2,809 reviews52 followers
June 3, 2014
Healing the Wounds, M.Q.Barber. Neighbourly Affection 3.
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I loved Crossing The Lines, hadn't read the first book ( one day...) but found no problem picking up the story. At the end of that Alice and Jay go through a very traumatic event at the Club Henry takes them to. Now Alice is living with Henry and Jay he wants to get them past that trauma, he's a good Dom and can see that though both claim to be over it they're not, they feel ashamed, guilty and are hiding. Alice is also struggling with just how she fits into the lifestyle of a duo that have been established for several years. I get the feeling Alice is very lacking in self confidence. She loves Henry and Jay but can't quite believe they both love and want her, and seems to be waiting for her time to be up.
Henry, he's the very best sort of Dom. I've read many romances containing elements of BDSM, FSoG seems to have brought them out in their multitudes, and the quality varies greatly. All I know is from what I’ve read in fiction, so I can't comment on the veracity of a work, but can say how I see it, and how it makes me feel. I love those which look at the psychology of why people have their needs, and this series does exactly that. Henry looks at them as individuals, looks at their strengths and weaknesses, looks for what they need and sets plans to supply it. He's the perfect Dom IMO, and his sort of old fashioned gentlemanly ways of speech and mannerisms make him very special. He’s 39, but at time he seems older from the way he says and does things, then he's onto some sexual game and you realise he might Sound older he's very at his peak for stamina! Jay, he's like a lovely puppy, very anxious to please and its easy to abuse someone like that. Sadly that happened to him before Henry rescued him, and though he's made great strides in the years since, that last event really affected him badly. Alice, I love her, ( well I love them all really) and she fits in well, Henry is very Dom, Jay very Sub and Alice – well she's somewhere in between. Happy when she's given an order ( though Henry always makes it sound like a request) and she loves the praise but she questions things, her mind works constantly and she has a tendency to over think things. Luckily Henry knows that, so when he sees her and Jay struggling to get past that chaos of their visit to the Club he works out plans for their healing. That’s pretty much the whole book, how Henry helps them, how they react and it includes them meeting with a few other people. Its a great read once again, full of things to think about and for those like me who love to know the whys its really interesting. I like seeing how Henry works, how he thinks and makes his plans, like seeing how Alice and Jay respond. Of course the hot, sensual and steamy sex scenes make in a fun read too!! Its priced at £2.47 for 268 pages and is one I’d happily re read.
Stars: four and a half. Great read.
ARC supplied via Netgalley

Profile Image for Rara Loves to Read.
405 reviews13 followers
September 22, 2014
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Healing the Wounds by M.Q. Barber was unlike any romance I had ever read and I say that as a compliment. Have you ever heard of the term psychological thriller? Well, I would describe this book as a psychological romance. Never before had I felt that I reached into each character’s psyches so deeply and really understood them.

This book is the third installment in the Neighborly Affection series. This series follows the developing relationship between Henry, a Dominant, and Alice and Jay, his two submissives. It is very important that you have read the previous two books in the series in order to fully understand and appreciate Healing the Wounds. I had started to read this book without having read the others and found myself horribly lost and confused. Once I went back and read the other two, I was able to better immerse myself in the story.

Healing the Wounds refers to the aftermath of an incident at a BDSM club that occurs in the second book, Crossing the Lines. The trauma that all three went through has had a profound impact on each one which has understandably affected their relationship. Alice struggles with her fears and insecurities while Jay struggles with overcoming his past. Henry has to help the two heal while dealing with his own conflicted feelings about that night.

In fact, it is Henry’s way of healing his submissives that makes me label Healing the Wounds a psychological romance. Ms. Barber has created complex characters that were so authentic in their thoughts and actions. Never before have I fully understood a Dominant’s reasoning behind his actions or witnessed so closely how a D/s relationship can heal your emotional wounds. While Henry never actually explained his actions, like a typical Dominant, it was through Alice that we discovered the thought process behind his actions.

But the risk of creating such complex, fully developed characters, is that we are able to see all of their sides, including their flaws. It was because of these flaws that I found myself frustrated and sometimes annoyed by them. I understood and accepted Jay’s insecurities more clearly because of his past, but Alice’s insecurities began to grow weary. While I enjoyed watching her eventually overcome her fears, it seemed to take a very long time to reach a point of confidence.

While Ms. Barber does focus a lot on the emotional journey her characters take, she still provides the reader with some amazing hot ménage sex. A lot of the emotional healing takes place in the bedroom but the learning doesn’t make the sex any less steamy. Ms. Barber has an amazing ability to write so descriptively that you feel you are right there in the bedroom.

I don’t know if Healing the Wounds is the final installment in the series but if it is, it ends with a very satisfying happy ending. If you are looking for something to read above and beyond your typical romance, then you will want to check out this series.
Profile Image for Jen.
3,178 reviews
March 10, 2015
Changes are in line for the relationship shared by mechanical engineer Alice Colvin, messenger service owner Jay Kress, and acclaimed artist Henry Webb. What began as a seemingly limited engagement has now developed a sense of permanence for the three, what with Alice about to take up residence in the apartment that Henry and Jay live in. It may appear to be a simple thing, just moving boxes and furniture across the hall, but for Alice, it signals opening herself up to commitment.

While Jay appears to still be working through the unfortunate encounter with his former dominant, both Alice and Henry notice the changes in him and worry for his welfare. Henry's years of experience and his genuine love, affection, and respect for Jay allow him to care for his boy and provide him with the support that he needs, something that Alice once wasn't sure Henry was doing adequately. As she realizes that Henry will always put their needs and wants first, Alice falls even harder.

When Henry suggests a holiday away from the city, it is yet another turning point in the relationship. Their love, trust, and understanding is further strengthened and reassurances are made in the most idyllic and peaceful of places. However, will it ever be possible for Alice and, most especially, Jay to overcome the fear that they experienced with Jay's abuser and tormentor and will Alice truly be able to accept her place in their relationship and stop questioning her significance in it?

Healing the Wounds is the third book in M.Q. Barber's Neighborly Affection series and picks up where the second book, Crossing the Lines, left off. It was obvious that Jay still carried with him the emotional and psychological scars left by Cal Gardner, the sadist who brutalized him. Even after years under Henry's kind tutelage, it took one confrontation for everything that happened to freeze Jay in fear. Watching both Henry and Alice take care of him afterwards was touching and endearing.

After having read three novels in the series, I've become even more of a believer that Henry is the mind, Jay the soul, and Alice the heart in their triumvirate, but that doesn't mean that Henry is less sensitive or loving than the two or that they aren't as intelligent as Henry is. If anything Henry is able to best anticipate what either or both Alice and Jay may need from him, setting aside his own desires or needs. He's officially replaced Jay as my favorite, though Jay will always bring a smile to my face.

I admit it; Neighborly Affection has become one of my favorite series. Don't be surprised when I confess in a future review that it's one of my all-time favorites. There's just something about the story of these three people that simply makes me want to read more about them. There's steam and passion, yes, but the books are not limited to just these. Each book delves into their lives as individuals and a trio, and not just as dominant and submissives. Healing the Wounds gets five stars. ♥
Profile Image for Angela Goodrich.
1,608 reviews76 followers
December 5, 2014
In Healing the Wounds we return to the ménage relationship between Henry, Jay and Alice. Picking up where Crossing the Lines ended, we find the trio making plans for Alice to move in and become a permanent member of the household, and formally solidifying her place in the relationship. Two pages into the book and I immediately remembered why I love this trio so much – Henry is the ever-patient voice of reason offering love, comfort and guidance to the eager-to-please Jay and over-analyzing Alice – in short, they are perfect for one another, flaws and baggage included.

As Henry seeks to correct the damage done from the ill-fated trip to the club, the relationship between the three strengthens and their love for one another deepens. As expected, it is not a simple fix – there is no quick fix for the mental wounds Alice received that night, nor the wounds that were reopened for Jay – and Henry worked to heal the wounds throughout the entire book. I found their reactions and subsequent behaviors so realistic and honest, that I was again immersed in their world. Henry is still the beautiful dominant, subtle in his domination and taking pleasure in meeting Jay and Alice’s needs; he is at complete odds with my preferred alpha Dom, but I love him all the same – perhaps even more so. The way in which the author enables Henry to meet the emotional needs of Jay and Alice – both personally and using one to meet the other’s needs – is absolutely brilliant. Add to that, the unbelievably hot sex and non-sex sex (when you read it, you’ll get the reference), it is not surprising to me that I devoured the book and am sad that it is over already.

Ms. Barber does an excellent job of making these three seem so real and expressive that I find myself so invested in their characters. Because their story is not rushed, I foresee (hopefully) many more novels in the Neighborly Affection series and I am already anxious for the next one. Until then, I will have to bide my time by checking out the recently released short story from the series. I don’t typically buy short stories, but when they are written by a wonderful author and are part of a series that I am becoming obsessed with, I do and will make an exception. Thank you Ms. Barber for writing such beautiful characters and please write quickly as I need to know what comes next.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!
Profile Image for Mira Stanley.
Author 13 books62 followers
April 24, 2015
In a nutshell: Complexity, sweetness, and pleasure.

MQ Barber doesn't write your typical erotic romance. I love ménage stories, but Barber is beginning to ruin me for other authors. Her characters show such depth and her relationships are so complex and rewarding that I'm beginning to hold others to her standard.

Healing the Wounds is the third in her Neighborly Affection series. Each book deals with fears that Alice, the heroine, struggles with as her analytic personality causes challenges for her in her relationship with her neighbors, Henry and Jay.

Alice learns something new in each book, and the triad relationship changes in each book, giving readers plenty to dig into with each book. And let's just say the learning is not done in the classroom. This is definitely erotic romance with plenty of bedroom action (and shower action and dining room table action and…you get the idea).

But not all of the learning is done in the bedroom, either, especially in this book, which focuses on past traumas that Alice and Jay are dealing with. By the end, I got the sense that it wasn't just Alice and Jay who benefited from the learning but their caring dominant Henry, as well.

This series has been a true pleasure to read. I don't know if it will continue, as Healing the Wounds ends on a very satisfying happy ending, but it's safe to say I'll be reading more MQ Barber whether it be more Neighborly Affection or another series. I'm learning she is an author I can trust for high quality stories and brilliant writing.

A couple of my favorite lines:

Congratulations. She’d killed the passion in their relationship. What would she do for an encore?

If she said the words often enough, maybe the letters under his skin would spell out love and safety.

The woman crackled with upper crustitude.

Henry watched with a half smile and his I’ll-have-you-figured-out-momentarily squint.

If those lines don’t hook you on Barber, I don’t know what will. Suffice it to say You Gotta Read Healing the Wounds. I highly recommend starting with Playing the Game and working your way through the extraordinary relationship of Neighborly Affections from the beginning.

This review appears on You Gotta Read Reviews
180 reviews2 followers
March 20, 2015
{As this series is one of my absolute favorite, I don’t know why I waited so long to review these novels. And seeing as I will be referring back to them in my upcoming review of Becoming His Master, I thought it was well past time to sing their praises as well, so to speak. Also, please be advised, as this is a continuing series this review does contain spoilers to the previous books.}

Beginning literally where Crossing the Lines ended, this is less a straight forward story of healing than it is one of understanding and acceptance. We, alongside Alice, have just learned that the otherwise enjoyable bdsm world can become quite ugly when respect and care is absent. And though this revelation has gone a long way toward making her finally take that step forward into admitting her true feelings, it has also served as a giant step backward for Jay.

The story progresses very slowly in this installment, as the trio deals with the aftermath of the disastrous night at the club, and the abrupt re-opening of Jay’s emotional wounds from years past. The relationship dynamic here is much more stilted than ever before, largely because Jay, Alice, and Henry are each feeling as though they are to blame for the damaging events.

One of the things I absolutely loved about this book was getting to know Henry’s friends William and Emma a bit better. And I have to say, I’d love even more of both of them. The tiny snippets of the relationship between Emma and her late husband Victor are very intriguing, and Will is….let’s just say that Will having his own book would be wonderful. (Can I pre-order something that might not even ever exist? If so, I’ll take copies of Santa William’s book in both physical and e-book. Please.)

In the end this book provides a quite emotional and satisfying conclusion to this chapter of the trio’s story. Though I definitely hope there is more to see of Henry, Alice, and Jay in the future.
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