Tag Archives: Polyamory

5 Star and 4 Star Reviews for Blank Space by Francis Gideon #Bisexual #MM @LT3Press

CoverTitle: Blank Space
Author Name & Publisher: Francis Gideon (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date & Length: April 12, 2016 – 222 pgs

Synopsis

After a reunion concert for his favourite band, Curtis and Adrian remember all the things that used to keep them together before they met their wives and had kids. When Adrian’s conversation suddenly turns sexual, Curtis isn’t quite sure how to proceed. Their past together is long gone, but the unrequited feelings still remain. Curtis and his wife have always gone by the rule of look, but don’t touch, so talking, he figures, is okay.
As their conversations grow in frequency and intensity, Curtis starts to wonder more and more about what might have been with Adrian and what it could be now. Curtis still loves his wife, his family and their life together, which he thinks leave him with no happy options for anyone’s future…

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Review

FiveStars

There is so much to love about this book that I’m not sure where to begin. First, it’s always wonderful to see multifaceted bi characters for whom their identity is an integral part of who they are rather than a passing mention. Both Curtis and Adrian are unapologetically bi, though they process and express this differently, past and present. I enjoyed the light bi-myth-busting, which never felt preachy and simply gave some depth and explanation to both men’s actions.

Another thing I loved was reading about men in their late 30s. So much of what they express is familiar–walking the line between missing their 20s and yet not really wanting to go back there. They have a kind of chemistry which is neither slow-burn nor desperate heat. It’s more like an awakening, raw and emotional. At times, it’s almost painful to read, but at the same time, it’s also good.

I think I spent about half of this book crying because what Curtis and Adrian feel about different aspects of their lives is so real and so relatable. I suspect most bi folks past age 35, regardless of gender, would see kindred spirits in one or both of these men. Fair warning: That could make it really tough to read for some people.

I had anticipated that there would be some infidelity as Curtis and Adrian worked through their relationship. Surprisingly, there isn’t. They skirt the line, but for the most part, they are refreshingly honest with their wives. This, too, is such a wonderful part of the story–the wives are not accessories or insignificant, and the couples’ intimacy is not left off-page.

The only thing I struggled with were some scenes with Simone. She felt like a fantasy wife/wish fulfillment at at times–almost too perfectly understanding. Not only that, she seemed to exemplify the idea that bi women lose their identity once partnered. It was somewhat unbelievable that a woman open to polyamory would herself suggest all she needed was her man, a baby, and some time to do artwork. She also seemed to imply being bi was part of her artist persona. I was troubled by the way the book went out of the way to dispel myths about male bisexuality and polyamory but left myths about female bisexuality largely untouched, chiefly that bi women have virtually no sexuality outside of their partners and that men are ultimately the fulfillment of all forms of sexuality. That said, I think Simone is, underneath, a complex character, and I would trust this author to give her a story of her own at some point. Perhaps she has unexamined needs herself.

This is a beautiful, emotional exploration of two people realizing their capacity to love is greater than how they’ve been expressing it. While it represents only one way to be polyamorous (and the characters even allude to this), it’s an excellent story full of love and hope.

5 stars

~AmyM

FourStars

This is the first time I have read a book that was like this. I have to say that I really liked it. I love how the two families talked amongst themselves and came up with a solution to the issues together that worked for all of them.

From the very beginning of the book I could tell that Curtis and Adrian had feelings for one another and that they was having a difficult time not acting on these feelings. In some ways them going behind Darcy and Simone’s back and talking about sex between the two of them was a betrayal but I have to say that I was truly impressed with the way both of the women handled the situation.

Simone and Darcy are both selfless women in my opinion. They both know they stand a chance at losing their husbands to each other but they are willing to take a chance at making what they call a cross couples quad relationship work. These are definitely two very strong women and both of the men are very lucky to have them in their corner.

I think that the love that all four of these people have for each other is just an amazing love story. I can see this actually working relationship wise with open minded people who were willing to sacrifice a little to get back a whole lot more in return.

This story is very inspiring in my opinion and I am very glad that I read it. Great job on this book Francis. It was very interesting and very well put together. Can’t wait to read more of your books.

Tosha

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Filed under 4 Star, 5 Star, Amy, M/M, New Release, Review, Tosha

4 and 3.5 Stars for Eyes Wide Open (Totally Five Star) by Lucy Felthouse #Menage #Erotic @cw1985 @PridePublishing

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Title: Eyes Wide Open (Totally Five Star)
Author Name & Publisher: Lucy Felthouse (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: August 25, 2015 – 182 pgs

Synopsis

An ordinary girl catapulted into an extraordinary world meets two even more extraordinary men—but what will she do when she discovers their sexy secret?

Fiona Gillespie moved to London shortly after graduating to take advantage of the opportunities the capital could offer. However, months later, she’s still living in a horrid flat and working in a grimy East End pub. The problem is, she doesn’t really know what she wants to do, career-wise. So when she happens upon an advertisement for a job at a plush Mayfair hotel, she jumps at the chance. A great deal of determination and a spot of luck land Fiona her dream role.

But working at the Totally Five Star London is just the beginning. She adores the role and flourishes, impressing her bosses and making her increasingly determined to climb the career ladder.

While her career is flying, though, her love life is non-existent. She hasn’t even thought about men, never mind met or dated one for months, so when she bumps into two gorgeous businessmen in the hotel, she’s surprised to find her head has been well and truly turned. Even more surprisingly, they flirt with her—both of them! She’s drawn to James and Logan, despite feeling that they’re way out of her league.

When a misunderstanding leads Fiona to James and Logan’s sumptuous top-floor suite, she has no idea what she’s about to uncover. Scenes of people-trafficking, drug-pushing and wild sex parties all appear in her active imagination. Yet what she actually sees is something she’d never even considered before, something that piques her interest.

After discovering their sexy secret, what will she do with this new-found knowledge?

Reader Advisory: This book contains elements of BDSM, anal sex and double penetration.

General Release Date: 22nd September 2015

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Review

FourStars

Fiona is a character that I could really like.  She is a strong, independent woman who goes after what she believes she wants in life.  There are things that rarely scare her and she is not afraid to explore the unknown on her own.

Then you have the hunky set of Logan and James.  Yum.  They are a couple who is not afraid to ask for what they want and what they want is Fiona.

I really liked the setting of this story – despite it being where Fiona worked, I felt that it was a good compromise and allowed the reader to see further inside Fiona’s life.  I felt that this story was lacking somewhat in the sex scenes – I was more used to a more descriptive nature.  I didn’t get the heat from these scenes like I did in other Felthouse books.

Overall, I enjoyed this story and wished that I could see where it went.  Their future just kind of hung in the balance with little resolution.

AvidReader

ThreeandHalfStars

I am really starting to enjoy the Totally Five Stars series.  This one is set in London and focuses on Fiona, recent uni graduate and new employee at the hotel and James and Logan, two wealthy guests

A good girl from the Midlands with a strong Brummie accent, she is awed by London, the hotel and the two handsome men.   For me, Fiona is a little too innocent, a little too good and a little too nice.  For the first part of the book, I found her pretty unremarkable and more than a little bland.  

Logan and James are hot.  I enjoyed their partnership, their friendship and the power-exchange element of their relationship.  Once Fiona gets involved in the men’s BDSM relationship, she also becomes more interesting.  I expected her to be an easy submissive, but enjoyed her as a switch.  

I think I might have enjoyed this more if we had more of a chance to see Logan and James on their own, or to have some of the story narrated by the men.  Fiona’s wide-eyed innocent introduction to the world of BDSM was a little tedious after a while.

I found the author’s choice of scenes slightly frustrating at times.  There are chapters focused on Fiona’s new job, but the triad’s experiences at a BDSM club are summarised in a couple of paragraphs.  I’d kinda rather see the bondage club than a job interview.  But maybe that’s just me?   

The actual BDSM content of this book is pretty tame, especially compared to others in the Totally Five Stars Series.   The sex was pretty hot and I feel this is more convincing as a menage (adding a third partner) than as a story of a committed polyamorous triad.   

There really isn’t enough romance or relationship development here for me to believe in an emotional commitment between the three partners – especially when it is only  the female partner forced to compromise to make the relationship work.  

Sarah

 ExcerptOne of the door attendants she’d seen buzzing around the Mercedes was there, and he moved to open the door for her, giving a polite nod.

“Thank you,” she said, flashing him a warm smile and passing through into the lobby.

The first impression that hit her was one of space. Damn, this was just the reception area and it was cavernous. And yet it was far from sparse. Off to the left side was what appeared to be a sitting area, which was probably also used for informal meetings. It was carpeted in a lush dark purple, with round, very stylish, light wood tables and comfortable-looking black leather chairs.

To her right, she saw a couple of elevators, and a large archway, which, according to the sign over it, led to the spa and gym facilities. She suspected it was situated just inside the main doors because it was open to non-guests too.

The floor beneath her feet was marble, and large potted plants and trees were dotted around, drawing her gaze to the beautiful wooden paneling on the walls, and the paintings hung at what she suspected were far from random intervals. The whole place had an authentic, old-fashioned feel to it, but more like it had been decorated to look that way, rather than because the décor had been like that for decades. It all appeared fresh and immaculate, and she didn’t envy the no doubt huge team of people employed to keep it that way.

Finally, she turned her attention to the reception desk. It was set in an alcove, with a wooden surface that matched the wall paneling and had stunning flower arrangements perched at each end. There was still plenty of room between, however, and no less than three pretty receptionists waited there to deal with guests—or should she say two pretty ones and one handsome one, since there were two women and a man.

Pulling in a deep breath and straightening her posture, she moved from where she’d been loitering off to one side of the main doors and walked to the desk—aware how easy it would be to tumble off her shoes on the smooth surface beneath her feet. It was the sort of place where people would rush to her aid and make sure she was okay, rather than laugh their arses off, but still, that was not the kind of first impression she wanted to make. Plus, she wasn’t sure her ego could take the humiliation.

“Hello,” the nearest receptionist, a redhead, said, as Fiona approached.

“Welcome to the Totally Five Star. How can I help you?”

She’d obviously clocked that Fiona didn’t have any luggage or a bellboy hovering nearby, which was why she’d not asked if she was checking in. Smiling, Fiona replied, “Hello. I’m here for an interview. My name is Fiona Gillespie.”

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, 4 Star, AvidReader, M/M/F, Menage, New Release, Review, Sarah

5 Stars for What He Left Behind by L.A. Witt #MMM #Romance

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Title: What He Left Behind
Author Name & Publisher: L.A. Witt (Samhain Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: August 18, 2015 – 238 pgs

Synopsis

Can you ever have a second first time?

Josh Carver thinks it’s just another lunch with his best friend, Michael—until Michael confesses he just turned down a date with his hot veterinarian crush. It seems Michael’s abusive ex left him more scarred than Josh realized.

Josh and his husband, Ian, have done their best to help Michael leave his horrific past behind, but even Josh is stunned when Ian suggests that Josh help Michael with his fear of physical intimacy. After all, it isn’t like it would be the first time—Josh and Michael were once each other’s firsts.

A hesitant first kiss, and Josh and Michael’s natural attraction eases the way. But with Michael still balking at the prospect of sex with someone new, Ian steps into the breach.

Everything is fine and dandy until emotions become so entangled, their friendship—and a marriage—could be at risk.

Warning: Contains three guys who will do anything for each other, a hot tub that’s always the right temperature, and a cat with an attitude problem.

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Review

FiveStars

Only LA Witt can take a book that is all sex and turn it into a heart-wrenching, tear-jerking love story.  This is Witt at her best and Ian, Josh and Michael are three wonderful men.

Years out of an abusive relationship, Michael still can’t stand being touched.  At all.  He doesn’t date and struggles with human interactions.  When his life-long best friend Josh finds out just how bad things are for Michael, he and his husband Ian step in to help.

I think it was Josh’s flashbacks at the start that hooked me.  His memories of Michael as a playful, horny teenager discovering sex for the very first time are such an horrific contrast to the cowed and timid man Michael had become.

In contrast to Josh and Michael’s joyous early relationship, their first adult interactions are tender but awkward and uncomfortable.  Witt also does a beautiful job of contrasting Josh and Ian’s physically powerful and uninhibited sex with Josh and Michael’s more tender, tentative interactions.

So many authors try to develop characters through sex scenes, but so often it just turns into smut.  Witt has an amazing skill to write sex that is raw and dirty but at the same time human and tender.  Sex does make her characters more and does help them develop as people and partners.

Outside the bedroom, these are three average, but likeable men.  A teacher, a “corporate drone” and a vet technician.  They enjoy wine in their hot tub.  They watch rubbish TV.  I loved them all for their simple comforts.

As much as there is some difficult subject matter in this book, this isn’t too heavy.  Ten years into their marriage, Ian and Josh’s relationship is pretty magical.  There isn’t much angst either.  These men are best friends.  They communicate.  They care for each other.  I really loved this story!

Sarah

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