Review: Calling the Shots by Christine d’Abo

Review: Calling the Shots by Christine d’AboCalling the Shots by Christine d'Abo

Series: Long Shots #4
Genres: Erotic Romance, Menage Romance
Published by Carina Press on October 8, 2012
Pages: 180
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-half-stars  

Calling the Shots is the fourth installment in the Long Shots Series. The first three books are about siblings finding love while running a coffee shot in Canada. In book one we meet Josh, who owns a club called Mavericks. Mavericks is a safe place where people can come to live out their sexual fantasies. It isn’t just a BDSM club, but a sex club where sane, safe and consensual is adhered too. We learn Josh is bi-sexual and while Dominant, he isn’t always looking necessarily for that. He is in love with his best friend, Paul, but Paul and Sadie are now married. Josh has set his love aside and not really looking to become a third for a committed relationship that he craves.

In book two, we met Beth, who was fired from Pulled Long for having sex with her boyfriend in the baking area. Now two years later, she is Josh’s right hand woman in running Mavericks. Josh is often the main star in her fantasies, but she never betrays her desire for him. She also has a Dominant personality, but has never partaken in any BDSM scenes.

Last there is Oliver, who we haven’t met in any of the stories. He works as the head bartender of Mavericks. His ex-wife did a number on him, so he has moved away to forget and heal. Desires for Josh are troubling him since he has never felt this way towards a man before, but he can’t deny his passion for Josh when he is around. Oliver also feels submissive to both Beth and Josh. Learning to accept that he might not want to be in control, he grew to understand both is bi-sexual nature and his submissive nature. Another great example of a male being submissive but being torn down by that feeling. He was alpha in the ways that made him a man and submissive in his desires for Josh and Beth.

The three are tip toeing around each other not willing to admit they want more than just a friendship or even a sexual encounter. Then there is an intense suspense story behind the lovers causing them additional problems and deep emotional pain. We learn a lot about Josh and his past that make him the man he is. Oliver is also hiding a secret that could break their hearts. Beth, well, Beth is dealing with desire for both men, but in different ways. The three develop over the course of the book with great desire to please each other but also in emotional ties. They heal each other, but also break open old wounds they all wish would just stay hidden.

While this is a menage, Beth is dominant, Josh is dominant but will turn over the reins slightly, but Oliver is totally submissive. While in most menage, it is all about pleasing the woman, this was about everyone getting what they needed and not necessarily everything the world would think they needed. There are BDSM elements, but not SM.

Christine didn’t avoid the hard emotional elements each character had to get through. She hit them head on and I loved how they each learned to heal with the love of the others. Oliver and Beth seemed to hit it off the most and accept who they were. Josh took longer and we learn why after thinking he was the most open to these types of relationships. The characters were well rounded, loving, dominant and painfully broken in some ways. Oliver was a submissive male, but also a male who is alpha in his life.

I adore this series and hope to see more. I recommend it for anyone who is open to a relationship of love and not the normal or always accepted ways that it can come about. Recommended to anyone who wants to see a submissive male who isn’t the cliché. Give this a “Shot”, I think you will love it as much as I do!

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!