Heat Factor: It’s definitely sexy
Character Chemistry: Sexual chemistry for sure
Plot: Sexy lockdown rumpus
Overall: The sex writing was really well-executed, but I didn’t buy all of the emotional stuff
This book walks a very interesting line between escapist fantasy and extreme realism.
On the one hand, we have a sexy menage fantasy where a woman with an extremely high sex drive gets picked up by two men. One of them is a millionaire with a fabulous penthouse who buys her sexy clothes. One of them is his sexy bodyguard with a monster dick who also happens to love cooking gourmet food. They like sharing women. They like painting her body with their semen. She is aroused by these things.
On the other hand, I can pinpoint precisely when this book takes place: early March 2020. New York City is going into lockdown. Everyone is anxious about this crazy-ass disease that is sweeping the world. People are scared and doing crazy stuff: hence, Kelsey’s acceptance of the proposal that she shack up with two men in a fancy penthouse for a sexy rumpus for an unknown period of time.
Yes, this is pandemic menage. And I must admit that I somehow didn’t know that when I picked up this book. (Am I entirely skeptical that Sam is going to keep on being a good citizen and not start jet-setting off to an island vacation in 3 months? Yes. But let’s not think about that. Right now, he’s frantically wiping down elevator buttons.)
As may be evident from my topline overview, the sex writing aspect of this book totally worked for me. It’s very clear that Kelsey is very very into the sex she’s having with these men – and feels safe enough to stop things that she feels uncomfortable with. There is, in fact, a scene where she doesn’t like what’s happening and Sam and Hugh stop immediately. So, thank you, Jordana Pearce, for making it clear that even women with high sex drives who like sex can say no to their partners and not be shamed for it, because we need more of this energy in the world.
Where things fall a little short for me is the emotional connection. Now, this may be due to the fact that this is a sexy rumpus novella, so there’s not a lot of space to dig deeply into things, but the characters just *knew* about each others’ emotional states…and I was like, “Oh really? How do you know this? I don’t even know this as the reader who has been inside that character’s head.”
So the way this menage shakes out is that Kelsey and Sam have a *deep* *emotional* *real* connection, and this is scary for all three parties. The scene where Kelsey puts a stop to the sex? It’s because Hugh’s spanking her, but it’s not fun spanking, it’s angry spanking. And here’s the emotional jump: Kelsey asks Hugh why he “hates her”. Now, up until this point, there is no indication that he is even angry – he’s just worried that she’s going to hurt Sam, and his whole life is about protecting Sam. But after Kelsey and Hugh have their conversation about his feelings, then Hugh decides that he messed everything up does a lot of self-castigating and…I dunno. It all just seemed so extreme. I’m having trouble really putting my finger on what was jarring about it though, so this could totally have been about my headspace when reading.
The other minor qualm I must acknowledge is that I’m not sure that this is really an HEA for Hugh, who is sort of a unicorn. In other words, he fulfills the sexual and other physical needs of Kelsey and Sam (as a hired bodyguard, he always has their backs), but there are hints that he is not getting all of his needs met. There’s a single line where he says that he wishes he could meet a woman as great as Kelsey of his very own someday – because Kelsey is Sam’s. So while this book ends with a closed triad, it’s not one that’s entirely on equal footing. This was in no way a dealbreaker for me – I can buy that this group is perfectly content for the time being – but other menage enthusiasts may feel differently.
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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