Heat Factor: Our trio is very creative about the ways they fit their bits together.
Character Chemistry: They didn’t seem like fleshed out characters to me, so it’s hard to say that they had chemistry. But they didn’t have negative chemistry either.
Plot: What happens when a woman comes to gold rush California, when men outnumber women 100 to 1.
Overall: Very expository.
Royal and Jasper meet while traveling west on the Oregon trail (no one dies of dysentery). They band together for company and protection, and one thing eventually leads to another. When they make it to California, they have the extreme good luck of actually striking it rich in the gold fields, so once they get tired of that, they decide to open a hotel in San Francisco.
Enter Adeline Hart, newly arrived in the city with a dying father and a commercial stove, perfect for a hotel kitchen. Naturally our two enterprising gentlemen convince Adeline to enter the hotel business with them. As well as other kinds of business. *eyebrow waggle* But another man wants Adeline all to himself. *ominous music*
You may have noticed I’m doing a lot of plot summary here. That’s because this book is a lot of plot, with one thing happening and then the next. There’s not really any metaphorical language or deep emotional processing or complex character work or anything like that. In fact, I had a hard time remembering which guy was Jasper and which guy was Royal because none of the characters have distinct personalities. It’s a bit of a shame because there’s interesting historical content here, and with a menage there’s always room for emotional stuff to work through—especially because “threesome” isn’t initially in the vocabulary of these characters. They think they’re in a love triangle and are all torn up about it, because none of them wants to give up either of the other two. This is shown by them saying things like, “I feel like I ought to be able to choose one of you.”
Most of the book is written in distant 3rd person, but there are also passages of Adeline’s journal. Unfortunately, the writing didn’t rise to the occasion here, and the journal entries are another missed opportunity. There are only about half a dozen journal entries. The first two are info dumps about Adeline’s background and her journey from Philadelphia to San Francisco. Later entries do have a little of Adeline’s waffling about which man she should choose, but they are short and very on the surface, rather than a distinct voice that really gives us insight into Adeline as a character.
I will say that I did like the general set up of the relationship. Royal and Jasper get together because of circumstance; there aren’t any women around and sometimes you just have needs, ya know? But they also know that what they have together isn’t just circumstance, but a deep and abiding friendship (dare we say, love?). And when Adeline comes along, they both want her, because she’s desirable and they want family, with children and stability and all that good stuff, but they also know that they still love each other. In other words, Talix does a good job of showing the development of a healthy poly relationship in a historical setting, where the characters are just making it up as they go along.
Another note here is that the characters are all kind to each other all the time. There’s no deep emotional processing, but there’s also no bad behavior or mean-spirited actions. Internal relationship drama is not what this book is trying to do.
Here’s the bottom line: read this if you just want some mmf action with crossing swords and various creative ways to do double penetration, but with some history thrown in.
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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