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review 2018-07-01 01:12
A Rational Arrangement by L. Rowyn
A Rational Arrangement - L. Rowyn

Nikola Striker, the Lord of Fireholt, is being pressured by his parents to marry. They have settled on Wisteria Vasilver for him. The match would probably save his family from financial ruin, but Nik really doesn't want to marry, and Wisteria's looks aren't to his taste in any case. Her personality, though... After Wisteria inadvertently offends his parents, Nik finds himself thinking about her more than he expected. Her tone and facial expression are impossible to read, but her words are refreshingly direct and honest. Shockingly so, sometimes. Nik can't stop thinking about her scandalous marriage contract, which not only covers how many "marital encounters" she expects them to have, but also, intriguingly, indicates that she'd be fine with infidelity as long as all parties are kept informed and behave discreetly.

Nik has been in a secret relationship with Lord Justin Comfrey for years. He cherishes their time together, a welcome break from his duties as one of the Blessed, those who are able to use the Savior's power to help others. Even so, he and Justin don't always have a good handle on each other. Although Nik still doesn't want to marry Wisteria, he finds himself talking with her more and more freely, and wishing he could tell her his biggest secrets.

Wow, writing my own summary for this book was...not easy. Since it may not be that clear in either my summary or the author's, this is a poly romance. The story takes ages to get to that point - for a while it looks like a complicated love triangle involving Wisteria and Nik, Nik and Justin, and eventually Wisteria and Justin.

I bought this because it sounded like it would focus on character relationships rather than on how often and in how many ways the characters could have sex. When I first started reading it, I thought it was delightful. Wisteria and Nik's conversations were fun, and Wisteria's marriage contract sketched out a way for the romance to happen without anyone having to cheat on anyone else, or so I thought.

Unfortunately, this still managed to have cheating in it. Wisteria married one of the men and found out about their relationship not because her husband told her, but because she found them about to have sex (or actually in the process of having sex? I can't remember and don't care to hunt the scene down). Luckily for them, she'd been having fantasies about them having sex together and thought this discovery was hot. I guess the marriage contract didn't matter that much. They soon invited her to have a threesome with them, she was delighted to accept, and the book wrapped up in a way that left everyone happy.

On the whole, the romance in this just didn't work for me. I'd have been on board with Wisteria and Nik, or even Wisteria and Justin, although Justin didn't seem like the marrying type. Nik and Justin were, however, an absolutely awful couple. Justin frequently inadvertently hurt Nik and Nik didn't seem to be comfortable with talking to him about it. Whenever he did try to talk about it, Justin didn't understand. Justin also lost a lot of points with me after his horrible behavior towards one of the riding cats (large, talking, intelligent cats that the humans in this world hire for riding and other purposes, since there don't seem to be any horses). And his behavior right after

Nik tried to break things off with him

(spoiler show)

was an insult to both Nik and Wisteria, even though he didn't take things as far as he could have.

In the end, despite what the author clearly wanted readers to think, Justin came off looking like the guy Wisteria and Nik wanted to have around for sex. His relationship with Wisteria was a little better than his relationship with Nik, but by the time I got to the book's "happy" ending I just wanted him out of their lives, for all their sakes.

In general, A Rational Arrangement was a lot longer than it needed to be. I feel like this would have been a much better and more focused work (and maybe more obviously a poly romance, rather than a love triangle) if the author had cut out maybe 200 pages. As it was, it took ages for Wisteria and Justin to meet, and the storyline involving the little girl, Sharone, went on for so long that it started to feel like pointless filler.

I was also very unhappy with the way the book's tone drastically shifted a little over halfway through. The bulk of the book was regency-ish dances, parties, and conversations (and an occasional explicit sex scene involving Nik and Justin). Then, suddenly, there was a very graphically violent scene in which one of the three main characters was tortured - which, by the way, happened at about the same time that the other two characters went off to make out and strip each other naked. The way the aftermath was handled bugged me as well. It felt like the character's PTSD was just a plot device designed to move things forward in the proper way. Once it had accomplished what it was supposed to, it was magically done away with (literal magical healing) and never really brought up again.

Unfortunately, this wasn't nearly as good as I'd hoped it would be. If I continue on with this series, it'll be because I bought the sequel when it first came out. In my defense, it was on sale and I really did think I was going to love these characters and this world. At least the next work in the series is a collection of novellas rather than yet another badly bloated novel.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-07-01 00:06
The Hot Floor by Josephine Myles 4 Star Review!
The Hot Floor - Josephine Myles

wo plus one equals scorching hot fun.

Dumped by his boyfriend and reduced to living in a grotty bedsit, Josh Carpenter lives for his job as a glassblower. That and occasional glimpses of his sexy downstairs neighbours, Rai Nakamura and Evan Truman.

Whenever he overhears the diminutive academic and the hunky plumber having loud and obviously kinky sex, Josh is whipped into a state of frenzied lust… and a longing for a relationship like theirs. 

To his amazement, Rai and Evan find his embarrassing tendency to blush utterly charming, and the three men grow closer over the course of the long, hot summer. Despite enjoying Rai’s charming flirtation and Evan’s smoldering gaze, Josh is determined never to do anything to split them apart.

However, when a naked Josh falls—quite literally—into the middle of one of Rai and Evan’s marathon sex sessions, the force of their mutual attraction takes over. But just as Josh dares to hope, he senses a change. If the three of them can’t renegotiate the rules of their new relationship, Josh risks losing their friendship—and any chance at love—forever.

 

Review

A really well done poly story, where one hero joins a couple.

It is a tender, slapstick, charming, and hot. 

Myles does a wonderful job showing these three fall in love and work out the dynamics of their relationship. 

Each hero is lovely. Enjoy!

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review 2018-04-09 22:45
Double Blind (Special Delivery, #2) by Heidi Cullinan Review
Double Blind - Heidi Cullinan

Know when to show your hand…and when to hedge your bets.

Randy Jansen can’t stand to just sit by and watch as a mysterious man throws money away on the roulette wheel, especially since Randy’s got his own bet going as to the reason this guy is making every play like it’s his last day on earth. The man’s dark desperation hits Randy right in the gut. Half of him warns that getting involved is a sucker’s bet, and the other half scrambles for a reason—any reason—to save the man’s soul.

Ethan Ellison has no idea what he’s going to do with himself once his last dollar is gone—until Randy whirls into his life with a heart-stealing smile and a poker player’s gaze that sees too much. Randy draws Ethan into a series of wagers that leads to a scorching kiss by midnight, but he isn’t the only one with an interest in Ethan’s vulnerability. Soon they’re both taking risks that not only play fast and loose with the law, but with the biggest prize of all: their hearts.

 

Review

 

I love this author and I really like Randy and Ethan and Mitch and Sam. All the romance and sexy times are great. It is intersting look into poly love as well. 

However, everything outside the relationship was way less interesting to me. I didn't care about the secondary characters and much of the action was opaque. I couldn't settle and found myself skipping around. 

Not my favorite.

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text 2018-02-13 11:00
Teaser Tuesday: The Cellist
The Cellist - Elaine White

 

The Cellist, by Elaine White

http://smarturl.it/TheCellist

One performance can change everything.

#PolyRomance #lgbtq #indieauthor #mmromance

 

~

 

 

Source: smarturl.it/TheCellist
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review 2018-01-12 15:58
Jacked Up (Birmingham Rebels #3) by Samantha Kane Review
Jacked Up: Birmingham Rebels - Samantha Kane

Linebacker Sam Taylor feels like a ticking time bomb. He left the army with emotional wounds as fresh as the scars on his back. Sam’s been living like a monk, but his best friend, defensive lineman King Ulupoka, wants to get him laid. Easy for him to say. The larger-than-life Samoan is a hard-bodied, tribal-tattooed fantasy. Sam agrees, under one condition: King stays to watch.

ER nurse Jane Foster is done being a good girl, and nothing says wild like picking up two of football’s sexiest players and bringing them back to your hotel room. Trouble is, she can’t decide which one she wants more. Sam is hot, sweet, and vulnerable. Jane’s more than willing to ride him into oblivion. But King’s intense gaze from across the room promises that the best is yet to come.

Sure, King has had his choice of girls and guys in the past. That doesn’t mean he’ll jeopardize his relationship with Sam over a case of locker-room lust—until a naughty nurse pushes them both out of their comfort zones. Seeing Jane and Sam together turns King on more than he ever imagined. If they’re game, he’s ready to tackle a three-way play.

 

Review



This book is scotching hot and Sam, King, and Jane are wonderful. This is a healing book for Sam and Jane gets to come into her own. 

King is my favorite character with his big sunny personality but he is the one we get to know the least.
I needed much more of his backstory and just time with him.

A great erotic read. Kane never disappoints with touching stories and really sexy times.

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