Rating: 2.75 stars
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The Fights of Summer is a very difficult book to review because I had a hard time following it. From the very beginning, we’re introduced to James, Carl, and Dane, who have been in a solid menage relationship for two years. They’re college students and, to the outside world, appear to be only roommates. Both Carl and Dane are MMA fighters who had very difficult upbringings until they found a way to work off their anger at the world through fighting. James is a polar opposite to the two. He doesn’t understand their compulsion to fight, but loves his men fiercely.
James always supports Carl and Dane by attending their fights, but they’re never easy for him to watch. Carl and Dane tend to dominate James in the bedroom as well, and sex for them is almost as intense as the fights themselves. James certainly doesn’t mind that part, but he still doesn’t like seeing his men get hurt in the ring. When Dane is hurt badly in a fight, Carl and James have to support their lover while trying to hold things together at home. James thinks maybe their MMA careers are over, but only moments after getting hurt, Dane’s itching to get back in the ring. If James can’t figure out a way to support Carl and Dane, no amount of love is going to keep the three of them together.
There is nothing I love better than a well-written m/m/m. I love the push and pull of a relationship between three men, trying to figure out the dynamics between the three of them, never mind the hot sex. This book for me, though, never got off the ground. I was rather confused from the get go. There wasn’t much backstory here as we were thrust into the middle of a long-standing relationship but never given enough information to understand why they were all together to begin with. The sex is brutal and aggressive, which I have no problem with, but which did not display any real affection or tenderness between the three. Simply put, I just didn’t buy their relationship at all. I get that they liked to have rough sex as much as they liked to fight, but it never went beyond this for me.
In addition to the very little backstory, there wasn’t much actual story. Dane gets hurt and James must figure out how to accept his desire to fight. There’s some contention between Carl and James as James tries to figure this out and then it’s suddenly resolved and the story comes to an abrupt end. It was one of those moments when I got to the end and my mouth dropped open and I thought, “That was it?!” No chemistry between the characters, no real plot, and absolutely no character development.
What you have here is a book with great potential. I loved the premise of the story — the idea that, in this menage relationship, there are two aggressors who love to fight and one submissive who doesn’t quite understand their needs but sure benefits from it when it comes to sex. I loved the MMA angle and the whole college roommate thing as well. But none of those things even started to get off the ground.
I’m sad to say that I can’t recommend this book, though I would love for the author to give some depth to this story and characters because I was initially intrigued by the idea. Until then, though, definitely give this one a pass.