Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Aled and Gabriel have now been together for two years. They have an open relationship and Gabriel has both regulars and hookups. Aled can have other partners as well, but he’s not interested and Gabriel is all he wants. Aled is fully on board with Gabriel taking care of his needs, and Gabriel likes to play hard at times, and Aled has never been jealous—until now.
Michael has been one of Gabriel’s regulars for a while, but Aled doesn’t like the way Michael treats Gabriel. Aled does not have control of Gabriel outside of the bedroom and Aled has to approach this subject carefully or risk losing everything with Gabriel. Aled is also realizing he wants more with Gabriel, but no one has ever wanted Gabriel with no strings attached and the men will have to renegotiate to keep their relationship on track.
The Other Man follows The Divorce in the Starting Over series and I would not suggest reading it as a standalone. This entire series is the story of Aled and Gabriel broken down into parts.
When the book opens, Aled and Gabriel have gotten extremely close and spend a good portion of their time together. Gabriel still has his regulars, Kevin and Michael, as well as hookups at times, but he and Aled have fallen into somewhat of a routine. However, their actual relationship is anything but routine. The men both have specific needs and they enjoy exploring them together. Gabriel likes to be submissive during intimate times only, and while Aled gives him a lot of the domination that he wants and needs, when Gabriel needs the harder, rougher scenes, he goes to Kevin. Aled and Kevin work together to take care of Gabriel and while Kevin has become like family, Aled and Gabriel are the ones in love with each other.
I appreciate that this relationship offers up a view of something that is less frequently seen in the genre. Their relationship will not be for everyone, but Aled and Gabriel create a foundation to make their relationship their own. The story then explores what happens when Aled wants more and Gabriel has specific reasons for being unsure of how to proceed. There is also the issue of Michael, and Gabriel getting to a point that he starts to believe he is worthy of being treated better.
The book moves the relationship between the men along as Aled cautiously asks for more. We get more information on how Gabriel feels about taking things further with Aled, but I also would have liked some more insight on where Gabriel wants to go with his life.
The scenes between the men can be intense, as Gabriel likes it rough. While everything is agreed upon, Aled is relieved at times that Kevin picks up the rougher scenes. Although he knows it’s what Gabriel wants, sometimes Aled wants to treat Gabriel with tender care, but that is not fully satisfying for Gabriel.
There is a lot to like here as Aled and Gabriel explore an open relationship, while still becoming closer every day. By the end, they are in a new place again with their relationship and this series has me looking forward to watching them grow individually and as a couple.
This whole series is fab! Both the emotions and the kink are well written and the characters, both primary and secondary, are perfectly relatable.