Author: Jacob Z. Flores
Reviewed by: Valentina
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 13: 9781613727744
Summary: Justin Jimenez has loved his partner, Spencer Harrison, for ten years. He’ll do anything for him—including bury his feelings for a man he met while he and Spencer were separated last year. Justin never planned to fall in love, and he certainly never planned to tell Spencer about it—but when a phone call wakes them in the middle of the night to inform Justin that his former lover, Dutch Keller, has been in an accident, he doesn’t have a choice.
Justin’s revelation shatters the fragile relationship he and Spencer were trying to rebuild. The weight of his guilt—both for hurting Spencer and for leaving a heartbroken Dutch to find solace in a bottle—crushes him. But what Justin doesn’t know is that Spencer and Dutch guard an explosive secret of their own. All three men are tangled in a communal web of lies, and unless they find the events in their lives that ultimately led them to friendship, passion, and betrayal, they won’t see the love at the heart of the pain.
Review: It’s hard not to be attracted by the amazing cover for this book and the complications promised by the blurb made it almost perfect for me. Of course the ménage is what sealed the deal and pushed me into reading this long story about trial, mistakes and forgiveness.
Spencer and Justin have been a pair for a decade, and while they’ve had their ups and downs the core of them was something that seemed everlasting. But then you have Justin and Dutch and the understanding and the feeling of rightness there just can’t be wrong. Now sparks between Spencer and Dutch are something else, and while this short summary sounds confusing, believe me, it’s nothing compared to how exactly you’ll feel once you start reading.
I actually really liked the characters and the premise of the story. I like it long and complicated sometimes but when it’s also difficult it just gives me that satisfaction I want to feel after a good book. So while I still thought this was a good story, I had some issues that might be completely individual but I think are worth mentioning.
The way the story was constructed made it very difficult to read. The author decided to switch between points of view, which I like and appreciate in a ménage, but he also wrote one chapter in the present and the next in the past. Like ten years before when it all started and as you go further along with the story the age gap slowly shortens until there is only now. All three men have their say, their view of things, and while I was initially surprised by Dutch’s perspective, (For some crazy notion I expected him to only be a third in the story without any active participation – silly of me) I soon realized it was crucial to see his side for the relationship to work. Spencer’s chapters were the most annoying ones for me, because he had the tendency to speak to his father in his head, and I won’t even go into how exactly distracting that was.
This is a three hundred plus pages story and after all was said and done, I was sad to realize I knew very little about the characters. Everything revolved around their drama, bad or just wrong choices that they never seemed to be able to work through. The secrets and unfounded conclusions were enough to drive a sane reader crazy if you’re having a bad day, but they also do add a bit of rhythm to the story that will most likely make you finish the book. What ripped me out of the story the most – and I really can’t believe I’m going to say this – was the dirty talk. It didn’t fit the character’s personalities and it just seemed so random to me it made me feel more uncomfortable than hot, which rarely ever happens to be honest.
For those of you who’ve missed it, there is cheating in 3, between all characters in one form or another, but what bothered me was recklessness which I won’t spoiler but I’m guessing you’ll see it right away if you decide to give it a chance. Another thing I consider important to mention, because I would have liked to have known it before hand, is that Spencer is positive and has been since before he and Justin met.
As for good points; I liked the author’s approach to serious subjects, the way he just flung himself into dangerous waters and managed to handle the story to the very end. This was something really complicated to write and he managed it without missing a beat, giving each of the characters enough attention and in the end pulling them into a whole. I think the actual romance needs a bit of work and it is something where the focus was a lost, but that will just keep us on our toes for his next book. I for one am looking forward to it, and will keep an eye out. I just hope he will be gentle and ease on the flashbacks.