Victor, Miguel, and Enrique (the latter two known as “El” and “En”) were best friends all through school. En and El became a couple during their sophomore year. However, Vic didn’t realize he was bisexual until after college. He dated girls, but he always had feelings toward his best friends. In fact, he loved them both so much, he went to college as far away as he could get from them. The three never lost touch, but Vic tried to keep his distance…even when they asked him to be their best man at their wedding.
Now, Victor has returned to town and all three men are aching to be together. Their love is obvious and strong, but Vic is afraid of rejection and won’t approach El and En. Meanwhile, they’ve loved Vic from afar, but they haven’t said anything to him, afraid he’ll run from them. Everything changes one evening when all three men decide it’s time to bring everything out in the open, talk about their feelings, and hope they’ll become a loving triad.
I chose Together because I like menage stories, and I like secret love stories as well. I thought this book sounded like it was right up my alley. Unfortunately, I didn’t connect with it at all. It missed the mark, and I came away disappointed.
Let me start with the characters. Right off the bat, I knew Vic was attracted to/in love with En and El. They loved him too, as we see when the three first meet up two years after En and El got married. However, I just didn’t feel that love or attraction. The only sense of it I got it was between En and El, and even then it just seemed a little…off.
I found Together to be somewhat jumbled. The author seemed to want to include as much detail as possible, even if it was unnecessary. For example:
The door swung wide to reveal the open floor plan that was laid out in all its glory. Kitchen, living room, and dining room were the first to be seen when I stood in the small foyer. Straight ahead were the double glass doors to my balcony, and directly behind, my dining room table. My wall-mounted fifty-seven-inch TV was to the right along with my game consoles and my DVD collection in wall-to-ceiling shelving–IKEA of course. When the Swedish home store was just down the street, I had to get my furnishings there because I couldn’t beat the price. The food was good too.
Do you see what I mean?
Another thing that took me away from the story was En and El. Such short names starting with the same letter made me confused. I had to go back and re-read several parts because I wasn’t sure who was who and who was doing what. I get the reasoning behind the nicknames, but sometimes, my head spun. Also, the story is told through alternating characters/chapters. They didn’t have much of a smooth flow, and I felt like I was being jerked back and forth.
There is one significant background character, Vic’s best friend Angela. She seemed nice and I kind of liked her, but she did something I’m not sure was ethical. I don’t want to give it away, but I will tell you she injected herself into something that wasn’t really her place, good intentions or not.
The sexual chemistry between En and El, and eventually Vic, En, and El was written as hot. What makes me say that is I was told what they were doing, and they were all hot things. However, since I wasn’t feeling them and their connection, I didn’t really see it. It wasn’t clinical, it just felt stilted to me.
I wasn’t thrilled with the ending. It felt like I was running and suddenly crashed into a brick wall. I mean, it was an HEA, but it was a quick one and I didn’t see it coming. I looked down and my Kindle said it was at 88%, so I thought there’d be an epilogue or something, but instead there was an excerpt from another book by the author. I was disappointed by that. Anyway, my take on this is Together had a good story idea, and it even had some decent bones. With a little less micro detailing and some more relaxed dialogue, this could be something awesome. Instead, I felt too much disconnect to recommend it.
Note: This novella was originally part of the Beautiful Skin anthology