cohesion coverRating: 3.75 stars
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Length: Novel


Quinn, Peyton, Will, and Sebastian are finding happiness with one another. Even in the short amount of time the men have been building a relationship all together, they are falling hard and feeling settled. While Jericho has been having a harder time opening himself up fully to the idea of a relationship with the other men, he too is realizing how much he wants this connection that is developing among all five of them.

However, there continues to be a threat hanging over them, even after taking down some of the bad guys. Sebastian’s name is still on a kill list, and their biggest suspect seems to have disappeared into the wind. The men are all concerned about Sebastian’s safety and are eager to end things once and for all. But danger still lurks, and when the situation escalates, it tests the men in new ways. The group has fallen hard for one another, but now they must come together to save the life of one of their own.

Cohesion is the third book in Aurora Crane’s Chain Reaction series and these books definitely need to be read in order, as both the romantic and suspense plots carry across the trilogy. On the suspense end, things continue to be a problem, as someone thinks Sebastian has information and wants to silence him. Both law enforcement and the more off-the-grid investigation from Jericho and his team haven’t had any luck tracking him down, so the threat looms for much of the story. Not much really happens with this part of the plot for the first half of the book, however, which felt like too long to wait, given this is a 450+ page book. That is a lot of pages for not much plot advancement. However, when things do heat up, they do in a big way. Not only do we get some intense action and suspense, but we also see a lot of emotion as the men reflect on how much they mean to one another and their fears for those threatened. It is always fun to see this group of men in action and there are some nice moments here as we see them all kick some ass. That said, I do feel like for a suspense arc that has carried over three books, I wanted a little more from the resolution. The whole thing rests on the bad guys thinking Sebastian has information he doesn’t have, and the reveal of what they think he knows doesn’t pack much of a punch given how long this storyline has been building.

On the personal end, this is obviously a complicated story, as we are dealing with a romantic arc involving five men. I think Crane continues to do a nice job balancing this large cast of main characters and giving them each some focused time. I also like that the men have individual relationships with one another, as well as this larger group dynamic. Not everyone gets equal page time; Will, in particular, seems to not have as prominent a personal storyline as some of the others. But everyone gets POV chapters and overall I feel like everyone gets proper attention. The group also gets a nice HEA for their five-way relationship and things tie up well. I still wish we had more on-page time where we see them talking to one another about the relationship and where it is going. They mention often throughout all the books that they need to talk, but not much conversation ever really happens. But it all comes together nicely with an ending that leaves the men in a great place together.

The two places I struggled with this story the most were the length and the extensive cast of characters. There are just SO many side characters here, all interconnected in a million ways. Everyone they encounter seems to be related to, working with, or romantically involved with someone else (or 3 or 4 someone elses). So it takes a lot of focus to try to not only remember who all these people are, but also how they connect to everyone else. I’ll reuse an example here that I gave in my review for the first book, Catalyst. We have a side character, Riley who is Peyton’s brother, Quinn’s boss, Sebastian’s friend, and the guy who Quinn accused Sebastian of cheating with leading to the end of their relationship. AND here in this book, we learn that Riley also has work connections with Jericho. This is also a shared universe with some of Crane’s other books, and some of those characters also pop up here and it was just way too much for me to navigate. Maybe in a book with a two-person relationship there could have been room to highlight some of these side characters more. But we are already trying to follow the complicated web of connections among the main five men; keeping track of this huge cast of side characters just got overwhelming.

I think given we are dealing with five MCs, these books are going to lean on the longer end, just to give everyone some page time and focus. But this is a very long book (over 450 pages) and not much happens in the first half. I felt like there were a lot of side elements that could have been trimmed to tighten things up and hone in more on the main five guys. For example, there is a scene where Peyton is talking to his twin brother and Parker reveals he is dating a married couple, one of whom is apparently Peyton and Parker’s older brother’s best friend’s business partner. This is apparently scandalous, as it is too close a connection to their brother and he will be mad. There is discussion of the whole complicated interconnection between all of these folks, most of whom never appear in the story. Parker shows up for this one scene and is basically never seen again for the rest of the book; I’m not sure why we needed to delve into these details of his relationship, given how much else is going on in an already long story. And this happens with many side characters throughout the book and just felt unnecessary and a place where things could have been tightened up.

Despite my issues, this one picked up a lot of steam for me in the second half. The story gets very exciting and the relationship and connections among the men shine through well. I really enjoy Crane’s writing and think the author has a way with writing polyamorous relationships that shines through here as well. I think readers will enjoy these books best reading all three together to help make it easier to follow all the connections. But, overall, I think fans of romantic suspense, particularly those who enjoy poly dynamics, will find a lot to like in this trilogy.

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