When firefighter Daniel Harris recuses a young homeless girl from a vicious fire, he can’t help thinking there’s something special about her. That doesn’t change when Daniel finds out she is actually a boy named Samuel Tate. Years of abuse and months on the run have left Samuel at the end of his strength. He can’t help trusting Daniel, but Samuel knows his past is never far behind him and he finds himself just waiting for the chance to run.
Milo and Daniel have been on and off again friends with benefits for more than six years. But too many broken promises, family drama, and other men have left a chasm of hurt between them. And with Daniel hell bent on protecting Samuel, regardless of the cost, Milo commits himself to do the same or he risks losing Daniel forever. As Milo and Daniel tirelessly work to both heal Samuel and keep him from harm, love blossoms between them. But making love last is no easy task and with Samuel’s past suddenly threatening the present, the three of them may have no chance at a future.
Saving Samuel sat on my TBR pile for far longer than I ever intended, so I was thrilled to pick it up for our Reading Challenge Month. It promised all the things I love — angst, ménage, and guys in uniform. Unfortunately the book failed to deliver on multiple levels.
Daniel, Milo, and Samuel are fairly detailed characters and the author has done a decent job of establishing their individual personalities and preventing them from being consumed by the ménage. Also, aside from Daniel’s insta-connection to Samuel, the plot and the relationship evolve at a steady, believable pace, which I enjoyed. It allowed the characters to come together naturally, despite the rather bizarre circumstances of their living arrangement.
Yet I failed to connect with any of the characters on a meaningful level. Daniel and Milo felt like they were going through the motions and, while I felt empathy for Samuel and his situation, he always felt like as a stand in to move the plot forward. There was certainly a lot of lust between the characters, but very little chemistry. The sex, which often felt excessive, read more like bad porn than a meaningful activity between partners. Part of this stemmed from a lack of connection between the characters, but in addition, the overall romance was rather boring. Everything about the relationship between Milo, Daniel, and Samuel tended to feel a bit too flat and thin.
Perhaps my biggest frustration with Saving Samuel concerned the resolution to the threat against Samuel. It was built up throughout the book and existed as an almost constant shadow to the happiness he was trying to build with Milo and Daniel. Yet when the conclusion came, it was too neat and pat. Everything was wrapped up in a matter of pages and I was left wondering what all the fuss was about. By doing this I felt the author minimized Samuel as a character and the suffering he endured. It left the end of the book feeling completed, but not particularly fulfilling.
I had high hopes for Saving Samuel, but the book failed to capture my interest and I couldn’t bond with any of the main characters. The book is well paced and the overall plot had potential. Yet a sloppy ending and a lack of believable romance between Milo, Daniel, and Samuel left me wishing Saving Samuel had stayed on my TBR pile. Unless you’re a super fan of ménage or angst, I’d recommend giving this one a pass.
This review is part of our September Reading Challenge Month for TBR Pile Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win one of this week’s fabulous prizes from NineStar Press. One lucky winner will receive a copy of all the NineStar Press releases for six months in ebook, and another will win a collection of seven print books. Commenters will also be entered to win our amazing grand prize sponsored by Dreamspinner Press. You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on TBR Pile Week here. And be sure to check out our prize post for more about the awesome prizes!