Jamie Conway is an Irish-born actor working on a blockbuster film with Callum Griffith-Davies, a significantly older, married man on whom Jamie—a bisexual—has a terrifying crush. Thing is, it’s not unrequited. Callum and his wife of nearly thirty years, Nerea, have had an open marriage from the beginning. And, Callum is very much smitten by Jamie.
When Callum finally works up to asking Jamie out, Jamie’s too sure that Callum’s putting him on, and insists on calling Nerea for confirmation that this is all good. Nerea appreciates Callum’s young lover’s good manners, and Jamie is a very attractive 24-year old. When Nerea visits London to spend some time with Callum and one of their daughters (who happens to be pregnant), she is charmed by Jamie, and Callum is only too happy to share both his wife and his boyfriend.
I’m going to stop the review for a moment, and insert this tidbit: This book really only focuses on the logistical and emotional aspects of long-term, open relationships and the development of a ménage. If you are looking for steam, you will be seriously disappointed.
Despite Jaime, Callum, and Nerea sharing homes, flats, beds, and a life for nearly twelve months of the book, all we get are a few scattered kisses on the page. For me, that was a let down. I did like the way the partners all talked, and how Callum and Nerea really encouraged Jamie to ask for what he wanted, but the lack of intimacy left me feeling disconnected. I honestly don’t need a whole lot of details, but fading to black every single time left me cold.
The family dynamics were really interesting, what with Callum and Nerea having three grown daughters that are all older than Jamie, and Jamie’s parents who don’t frown on his bisexuality, but are taken aback by the ménage relationship. There is a little unexpected drama late in the book, that I thought was handled very well, even if I had a bit of struggle accepting how we got there. That said, it’s an interesting look at building a ménage, and having the kind of communication that would allow such a relationship to thrive. The writing itself was engaging, I just didn’t connect well with the characters or the story.