persimmon kiss coverRating: 3.75 stars
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Length: Novel

Nick and Derek are a married couple going through some very rough times. Derek’s been in a terrible motorcycle accident and is still suffering the effects. He has some brain damage that’s healing, but not very quickly. Nick is very busy trying to run the restaurant the two of them own. Usually Derek is an important part of the business, and he’s trying, but his brain issues are doing more harm than good.

Derek has a potentially lucrative business opportunity in Norway, and he’s anxious about leaving Derek alone. Fortunately, Derek’s cousin, Myles, who has been in Japan, returns just in time to be able to be there for Derek.

While there is an attraction between Derek and Myles, neither man makes a move toward one another. In fact, Derek attempts to play the martyr and tries to push Nick and Myles together. At the beginning, Nick isn’t interested, but as time goes on, not only does Nick realize he is somewhat attracted to Myles, he sees the feelings Derek and Myles share with each other. Before long, the three men start trying to make a go at a relationship together. Along the way, there is pain, angst, misunderstandings, and family issues. Can Nick, Derek, and Myles make their way to happiness? Or will all the pressure be too much?

I’m going to start this review by telling you Persimmon Kiss is the fifth installment of the Red and Blue Chronicles. It covers Nick and Derek’s personal journeys, as well as those of their friends and families (there are a lot of them). I picked up the book because I love a good menage story, and I thought it sounded interesting. I didn’t realize it was part of a series (though the author indicates it works as a standalone). But, I think this explains why I thought this book was not totally my cup of tea. At first, this book doesn’t seem like part of a series. I started the story and was able to dive right in. I do admit, I had to go back and re-read the first few chapters because I kept getting Nick and Derek mixed up, and I couldn’t figure out whose family they were visiting. The story is told with a dual POV and I got a bit confused.

Honestly? I didn’t care for any of the MCs. There was so much angst. I felt like there was jealousy, resentment, heartache, plus Derek’s brain damage, and it all simply became too much for me. I had to set the book down several times because I was so brought down. The result was I didn’t fall for Nick, Derek, or Myles like I tend to fall for at least one character in a book. I did feel pity for Derek. I can’t imagine what it must be like to not be yourself…to forget things, get terrible headaches, and not be able to communicate like he used to. Still…I didn’t love him.

Along with the relationship among the three men, there are some other major issues they face. Nick has a son from a previous relationship and things are not good between them, or the child’s mother. Myles has a daughter, conceived on one very drunken night…with Nick’s sister! There is a good relationship between the two of them, and they’re co-parenting the baby quite well. However, I think I may have had a better angle on this book if there was less family interaction, and more time spent between Nick, Derek, and Myles.

Now, while I wasn’t a fan of the characters, I became a fan of the author’s writing. She has a nice style. Sometimes, Persimmon Kiss felt almost poetic. The details were strong, as was the dialogue. There was a lot of dialogue, but it read smoothly. None of it felt stilted or clunky. I did feel the book was a little too long. As I said, the details are strong, but I think there could have actually been less of them. To me, the middle dragged, and while I didn’t skim a single page, I did have to fight the urge.

There is some chemistry between Nick, Derek, and Myles, but I didn’t really feel it. I liked the idea of it, though. Once again, I think this may have been different if I’d have read the first four books of the series, especially because it follows Nick and Derek’s relationship. I did some research and found out that books two and three are being rewritten. According to Goodreads, Myles will be getting his own story in, I believe, the third book. I think I might be interested to read that. Maybe it would help me feel closer to him.

The ending of Persimmon Kiss was as expected. After the long story leaing up to it, I did feel it was a little rushed. Still, it tied up in an almost comforting way. I’m not sure I’d call it an HEA, but I will say it’s an HFN for sure. I’m going to very cautiously recommend this book, with the caveat that I suggest, even though read it as a stand alone, and it could be a stand alone, that you should read the series from the beginning. I may go back and start at the beginning just so I can get to know Nick, Derek, and Myles better. The whole thing is an interesting concept on an epic scale. Even though I wasn’t completely sold on Persimmon Kiss, I’m impressed by the undertaking.

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