Review: Talking in Code by Ariel Tachna

talking in codeRating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel


Richard Horn, Tim Davenport, and Eric Newton are part of Strike Force Omega, a private special ops company. They have been in a relationship for four years. Things haven’t always been easy, but since the younger Eric joined Richard and Tim, they’ve built something solid. But when Eric is taken hostage on a special ops mission, it takes Richard and Tim four months to find him. And while he’s being rescued, Tim is taken down and injured.

Richard has to try to hold their relationship together. He’s not as good at as Tim, but since Tim is in a medically induced coma for his injuries, it’s up to him to keep Eric from coming apart at the seams. Everything he seems to do is wrong, and he doesn’t know how to help his younger lover. When a triggering event sends Eric into a full blown panic attack, Richard will stop at nothing in order to help Eric. Fortunately, this is what they both need in order to finally talk about assumptions they’ve had and feelings they’ve been hiding.

opposites attract copyWhen Tim wakes up, the three men start to get back on an even keel. But even though their relationship is now stronger than it ever has been, there are other sinister things in the works. There is a reason the ops that Eric and Tim were on ended in disaster. As they begin to unravel the pieces, they know their lives have to change. They’ve gotten their love stable, but the rest is up in the air.

When this book came up for review, I was quick to pick it up for Opposites Attract Week. I love a good threesome where the relationship between everyone is believable, and it fit into the theme as there is a marked aged difference between Eric and his two men. I liked, too, that it fit in other areas as well, even if it wasn’t too deeply explored. The men have different personalities, and there were some wonderful differences that they had to work to get over. Richard is always in control and is in command at both work and home. Eric is a needier, emotionally, though he tries hard to hide it. Tim, when he finally awakes, shows that he’s a lot more easy going and focused on what his men need. This was a great example of how differences complement each other and work together. And a great example of why opposities not only attract, but why they work.

So basically the first half of the book was focused solely on Richard and Eric. Because Tim was unconscious during that time, these two men had to figure out how to function without him. There was no doubt they love each other, but they had to work at understanding one another. I mentioned assumptions, and both Richard and Eric had them in spades about how the other man felt and what he needed. I loved watching them figuring it out, helping one another, and really solidifying the love between them. That being said, I also had issues with this section. The miscommunication dragged on for far too long for me, especially given Richard’s demeanor. So while I kind of understood why he was doing what he did, I would have expected him to make Eric talk long before he did.

I was also missing Tim here, and that both worked and didn’t. It really hyped up Richard and Eric’s emotions and there was a noticeable hole where Tim should be. I definitely felt it along with the characters. But also, I didn’t feel as connected to Tim as I thought I should have. So when he woke up and began to recover, it took an adjustment. Much of the first part of the book felt like two men falling in love, which was good in its own right, and exactly what Richard and Eric needed. But I had to remind myself at times, even though Tim was always in the background, that these men were in a triad. I also didn’t get to know Tim as well as I would have liked.

That being said, when Richard and Eric finally did talk, it was exactly what it needed to be. And the benefit to having them miscommunicate for so long was that they were really and truly ready to not only listen to each other, but to hear each other. Richard and Eric really grew into their relationship during this portion of the story, and when Tim was back with them the whole dynamic was stronger. Tachna excels at characterization, and each man was full realized by the time the story ended. So I really enjoyed all that part, and savored the second half of the story. The chemistry is insane and just leaps off the page.

I get the feeling that this might be the first of a new series, though I’m not sure, and if it is, I’m definitely looking forward to reading more. Though it works well on its own, and the story is complete when it ends, it has the possibility for more.

So I really liked this story, and the whole set up. I would have liked a bit more interaction between the three men, and a little more communication. But the characters were great, and the story really took off for me in the second half. I enjoyed it, and recommend it to anyone who like three men overcoming odds to find their HEA.

Note: Talking in Code is part of our big Opposites Attract Week giveaway. So stop on by for a chance to win this and a ton of other prizes!

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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