Review: Christina Lee and Felice Stevens – Last Call

Author: Christina Lee and Felice Stevens
Reviewer: Natalie
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: MM

Rating: ★★★½☆ 


Summary: Quinn Monahan and Grayson Page have been friends since high school. Despite their differences, they’ve been there for each other through thick and thin. Opening Last Call together, a bar tucked away in the small town of Heartsville, PA seemed a natural progression—even if it makes it harder to live with the secret longing they’ve always had for each other.

Hoping to score an easy buck and a place to sleep, unemployed circus roadie Emery Woods chooses Last Call to run a few bets and enjoy a decent beer before moving on. When he finds himself stranded, the unexpected kindness Quinn and Gray show him leads to temporary work and a couch to lay his head. Sensing unresolved history between Quinn and Gray, he squashes his immediate draw to the men, opting to avoid trouble. But as days turn into weeks, denying the attraction is easier said than done.

When the men finally give in to the simmering sexual tension, it quickly develops into more than a way to pass the lonely nights. And as they begin to lean on each other for emotional support, it becomes nearly impossible to think of one man without the other two. But while Quinn and Gray are afraid to cross the line of friendship between them, Emery fears once they do, he’ll quickly be cast aside. A real family is finally within their grasp, but unless the men can learn to trust each other, they just might miss their hearts’ last call home.

Review: Stories about ménage seem to be tricky for authors, making three people’s emotion and attraction feel balanced and equal. The authors approached this developing threesome in a positive way, with the relationship beginning between all of them at the same time. When Emery first shows up, Gray and Quinn both experience attraction to him but it’s a slow burn before they decide to become physical, with all three together from the start. Quinn and Gray having been friends for so long still meant Emery was added to an existing partnership. The old “I love you but I don’t want to ruin our friendship” mindset is all that had held them back.

I’m not sure first person was the best choice, in spite of the alternating POV’s. Emery was a fairly distinct voice but Quinn and Gray sounded alike at times, making their parts in the narrative feel rather monotone. The completely character-driven plot also lacked spark, in a way I can’t define well. Maybe I was looking for more humor or lightness and less of a serious feeling. There wasn’t enough drawing me to the characters or feeling the sexual tension and passion. Actions and dialogue revolved around the bar and rather ordinary day-to-day activities. Even discussions and dialogue about their dynamic and Emery’s moment of doubt didn’t raise a lot of emotion. Unfortunately for me, that carried over to the sex scenes, particularly a couple of sexual moments described after the fact..

Reading the story was pleasant though, with very little conflict, aside from a problematic bar patron that never amounted to any major drama. It was written and paced nicely, and the premise was plotted well. Character building and background was substantial, and the setting, while limited mostly to the bar, was easy to visualize. It does end during Christmas, so there’s a nice touch for the conclusion. This is one you’ll have to read for yourselves, as my opinions are, of course, totally subjective and differ greatly from others.

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