Rating: 4.5 stars
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I am an absolute sucker for a menage story. So much so that I’ll buy basically any m/m/m book that’s published. When I saw that the Necking anthology was full of m/m/m stories, and it contained several of my favorite authors, I jumped on the chance to review it. I can definitely recommend it to m/m/m fans. While I only reviewed eight stories, I read almost all of them, and they all ranged between 4-5 stars for me. I’ll admit that short stories often leave me a little unsatisfied, since I like a whole lot of character development, especially when it comes to a threesome situation, but this is definitely worth the time and money. After all, it’s a bargain! It’s hundreds of pages long for the price of a stand-alone book, and you’ll probably be introduced to some favorite new to you authors like I have.
Getting a Filling by JL Merrow
A silly little story about a man, Ivo, who goes to the dentist after over 10 years away, crippled by fear and leaning on his boyfriend Collin to get him through the appointment. Before long, he meets his dentist, who is gorgeous, and the sexual innuendo starts flying. Much later, they meet again at a bar, and Collin and Ivo are able to have their fantasy date with the beautiful dentist. Let’s just say those fantasies about sex in a dentist chair? They’re about to come true.
This story was quite short, and it didn’t give us a lot of time to get to know the characters. Collin was quite forward and a little pushy, though Ivo was endearing. This really was more of a fantasy scenario rather than a full-fledged story. There’s not HFN or HEA, but just a sexy night between two boyfriends and a third. I tend to like a little more emotion and connection with my menage, but this story was cheeky and fun nonetheless.
1 + 1 + 1 is 3 by Evan Gilbert
Tavian is kicked out of the house by his landlady and told to get some fresh air since he spends all his spare time inside reading for his classes. He’s a freshman in college, and he thinks he’ll bypass the command by walking to a bookstore, where he plans to continue the studying he’d begun, just at a different location. There, he meets Deangelo and Ike and they all telepathically communicate a desire to hook-up. If they can just find a spot that’s private enough.
I get that a threesome doesn’t need to be about true love, but in this case, the story was just too rushed and far too random. There was no reason for these three to be together. They had no chemistry and seemed to just want a quick hookup, but the ending hinted at a little something more. There was definitely potential here for a good story, but it just never really go toff the ground.
Beautiful Friend by Dar Mavison
Tex and Emerson are partners in life and in work. They met in the army, and they’re both huge, muscular men who need a little softness in their lives. Enter Gabriel. He’s a Canadian medic — small and beautiful. Emerson’s been in a relationship with Gabriel for a couple of years now, with Tex’s knowledge. Now Em wants to introduce Gabriel to his partner, but Gabriel is skittish and comes with some baggage when it comes to a physical relationship.
I loved these three men. Tex and Emerson were big manly men and Gabriel was their perfect counterpart. They’re funny and sweet and protective and they work so well together as a threesome. Stories like this make me hate anthologies a little bit because I’ve had just enough time to fall in love before the story ends. It’s adorable and sexy and I want more!
Neighbors by Day, Naughty by Night by Devon Rhodes
The concept here is so cute. Marty is friends with Jason and Kevin, a couple who’s madly in love with each other and just moved in together. The problem is, Marty’s in love with them both. He missed his chance with Jason just before his friend Kevin swooped in and snagged him up. Marty has history with Kevin, but not since he started dating Jason. You see, Marty sleepwalks. He’s done it a few times before and ended up in Kevin’s bed, which often led to some early morning shenanigans. Now that Jason’s there, he dreads waking up one morning and finding himself in his neighbor’s bed, facing a sure to be angry Jason.
It doesn’t seem to go that way, however. Jason and Kevin are forced to confront the feelings they have with their friend and decide whether there’s room for him in their relationship. I immediately looked up books by Devon Rhodes to see if this one was made into a full-length novel (sadly it wasn’t) because that’s how much I loved it. It was a fun concept that had some real depth.
Homecoming by Emily Moreton
If you like a lot of sex with your stories, this one is for you. The story opens, in fact, with a sex scene between Raul and newly returned Matt, who has been gone for four months investigating a serial killer case. It should come as no surprise, then, that Matt needs to feel connected to his men again, and quick.
There’s not a lot of character development, but this story would be a great full-length novel. It’s basically a series of sex scenes, but I really liked the characters of Ben, Matt, and Raul and would love to see more of them.
Unwrapped: The Birthday Gift by Josephine Myles
I know this is unrealistic, but I want my threesomes to have a balance of power — which means a balance of affection. When it’s Dave’s birthday, his partner Mark decides to make one of his fantasies come true, so they pick up Pedro in a bar and take him back for a one-night stand. The scene was hot and there was the humor that you usually find in a Josephine Myles story, but it’s hard for me to be completely invested in it when I know one of the guys is taking off once the night is over. It’s silly, I know, since most threesomes are a one-time thing rather than a long-term relationship, but it’s what kept me from giving this story a 5-star rating.
Breaking the Habit by Heidi Champa
This story was extremely short, so there was no time to get to know any of the characters, which is a shame because I would’ve liked to know their backstory. Basically, it’s the story of Joel, Cam, and Tom, who are roommates and best friends and have decided to kick their smoking addiction. After about five days, they’re desperate to find a replacement for smoking and another oral fixation comes in handy. It’s much shorter than any of the other stories and I would’ve liked to know more about the three. For instance, why had they never gotten together before? Was this an unrequited love thing? It would’ve added a lot to the otherwise cute story.
Down the Middle by Heidi Cullinan
I know I just spent a lot of time talking about how I like established threesomes in scenes, but along comes Heidi Cullinan, and damn if she isn’t just the best writer and can make me love any story she’s willing to tell! Park and Robbie have been together for years, but their relationship is falling apart. When Park gets drunk one night at a museum, he puts the moves on David, whom he recently spilled a drink on. Robbie walks in. Things don’t go so well. Cut to later that night, when David returns the coat and Robbie has a change of heart. Suddenly, the two men realize what their relationship was missing and it’s not necessarily a person, but the type of passion and balance they find with this third in their bed.
Heidi Cullinan is just a terrific author. She is smart and funny and creates flawed, intensely likeable characters. I never want to put her books down, and this short story is no exception. I’d love to read more about David, Park, and Robbie, so Heidi, if you’re reading this. . .PLEASE?! A great story with great characters and the super hot sex we come to expect from everything Cullinan writes.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.