Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Josh Carpenter lives in a shabby apartment on the top floor of an old house. The place is falling apart and is sweltering hot, but there is the nice perk of the two incredibly hot guys who live on the floor below him. Josh has been lusting after Rai Nakamura and Evan Truman for months, not only finding them incredibly sexy, but also envying their close relationship. Josh himself is sort of lonely after being dumped by his boyfriend for being boring in bed. He is also a bit shy and lacking some self confidence.
When a disaster with Josh’s apartment leads Rai and Evan to invite him to stay with them, Josh comes face to face with his favorite sexual fantasies. Rai and Evan are incredibly hot together and enjoy lots (and lots) of loud, wild sex. And much to his surprise, Rai and Evan enjoy occasionally taking on a third and want to include Josh in their fun. Although he is nervous about being the outsider in their partnership, Josh isn’t about to pass up the chance to make his fantasies come true.
As time passes the men become closer and closer, but despite the incredible sex and the easy relationship between the three of them, Josh always worries he is the third wheel. He wonders when the couple will tire of him, leaving him alone and devastated. But he is too nervous to really talk to them about it, so Josh bides his time, enjoying the relationship but worrying it is just a matter of time before it is over. What he wants most of all is to be a full partner with the other two, and hope that they one day feel the same.
Whew, folks this was a hot one! As if the cover isn’t enough to tip you off, let me tell you that this book is full on, down and dirty, sexy. From the moment we are introduced to Rai and Evan thumping the mattress loudly enough to be heard in the apartment below, it is clear that they are a fiery pair. Rai especially is a total hornball and he and Evan are intensely hot and heavy together and just ooze sexuality as a couple. And when Josh begins to join them, things are even steamier. But what I really appreciate is that these scenes are more than just super hotness. We also get a great sense of the dynamic between Rai and Evan, as well as the three of them together. We see Rai’s exuberance and joy for life and all things sexual. I loved the banter and the gentle teasing between he and Evan, as well as the way they take care of one another. And when Josh joins in, his initial hesitancy really parallels where they are in their relationship, as he slowly gains confidence and he feels more a part of things, both in and out of the bedroom.
I also adored Rai and Evan together. They were such an unusual couple, with Rai as the slight, bespectacled economics Ph.D. and Evan as the hunky, well-hung plumber. They were such an interesting contrast, but I loved how in synch they were and how open the communication was between them. And Josh provided a third, distinct partner in the relationship. He is more shy and less confident than the other two, more apprehensive about talking about sex and sharing his desires with them. But he also balances them well, a good mix of Rai’s more academic side and closer to his age, but also more of a working man like Evan, both more subdued than Rai. One of the things that it is important to me in any story is feeling like we have distinct characters, and it is even trickier in a menage story with three MCs. But I think Myles really pulls it off here with three interesting and distinct guys who were totally believable together.
Now if it sounds like I am talking a lot of Rai and Evan, then there is a reason for that. I found them both really delightful, fun characters who I loved getting to know over the course of the book. They are so dynamic and so entertaining I just loved them. Strangely, despite being the POV character, I felt that Josh was a less developed. I wish we learned more about his past, what shaped his anxieties. A couple times he comments on the ease of Rai and Evan’s relationship and how he wishes for that, at one point comparing it to his parent’s more stilted relationship. I would have loved to learn more about that and how his background is affecting how he relates to Evan and Rai now. Josh also has a fascinating job as a glass blower, something I wish we got to see in a little more detail (although I did love the final workshop scene with Liam and Dylan!).
My other issue with Josh is that he seemed to vacillate between two key points. Either totally horny and focused on how much he was into the guys, or certainty that they don’t feel the same way about him as he does about them. Especially in the early days when he is still sexually frustrated and pining for them, I felt like he spends an awful lot of time discussing his state of arousal. He is hard, he is soft, he is semi hard, now he is fully hard. This tapers off as he actually begins to get together with the guys, but it was often enough to catch my notice as I was reading. And much of the time when he is not thinking how hot they are, he is worrying about the future of their threesome and how much he wants to be part of things and how sure he is that he is not. Part of it is that Josh is lacking confidence about his relationship with the couple and is never confident that he really is fitting in. But since we see things only from his viewpoint, I had a hard time recognizing when things changed from Josh as sex toy to Josh as an equal partner. I wish I had a better sense of what is different about Josh that Rai and Evan move beyond their usual third brought in for sex to having Josh be a meaningful part of their lives. Still I found all three guys really likable and I was really rooting for them to make it work together.
A while back I wrote a post about what makes a believable menage HEA. You can check out the full post here, but my three key criteria are:
- Everyone is equally hot for one another
- They discuss some sort of rules for guiding their relationship, whatever they may be
- There is some awareness of the reality of how their relationship will be perceived and understanding/acceptance of the possible issues.
Cover: Ok, do I really need to say anything about this? Yum! Love Rai on the left, love the soaking wet tank top. I told Myles this could be the Magic Mike movie poster! My only teensy complaint is that Evan is a total bear and neither of the two “non-Rai” guys really fit that description. But who am I to argue with the man candy?