This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect going into reading this one since it was my first in a few different ways, but I was game to give it a try when I got the opportunity. It was my first book by this author and it was my first ménage et trois. Upon finishing the book, I’ve come to the conclusion that I would definitely not mind reading more of the author’s books and under certain conditions I would be alright reading ménage stories.
Now this is the second story in a series which I wasn’t aware of until I started reading (my fault for not paying attention). I discovered this because it was quite obvious that it was a continuation of an existing storyline. Thankfully, other than a few spoilerish things for the first story, I had no trouble getting into the world-building, characters and continuing story threads. I definitely want/need to go back and read the first story and I am eager for the upcoming stories. I do want to note just in case it makes a difference to people that it looks like each story is generally a m/f relationship based on what I can tell from the storylines in this one.
But what of this story? Well it begins about a year in time after the conclusion of the first story when Ambrose the angel warrior wraps up his responsibilities in the angel realm (or gets done hiding out because he ran like a coward the year before from his true mate- perspective, right?) and knows it is time that he return to his responsibilities to help guard the vulnerable human women on the earth plain. He left them in the hands of his best friend and the dragon warrior Dante’ and he knows he should have never left. It’s time to right that and confront the female to which he is connected with as a true mate. He perceives that their connection may involve a third mate making them all a part of a triad. He’s determined that he will find their third member, set the other two up and continue as he is so Jamie no longer has to suffer from the effects of him starting and not finishing the mating process.
Jamie has gone about her business over the last year trying to keep her failing bookstore business afloat and trying to set aside the hurt feelings she has because she thought she had a connection with Ambrose, but then he left her and never came back. She has been told that he has been kept back in the angel realm at the council’s request, but there is the suspicion that he could have come to her if he wanted to. All this on top of the fact that she has felt tired and weak since he left and it only gets worse each day.
But now here he comes strolling back into Dante’s where she and her girlfriends gather acting like he’s just there to treat them all like his responsibilities and that she means nothing personal. Jamie is angered and leaves not wanting to see this additional proof that he means something to her, but she means little more than duty to him. Unfortunately, that’s when an old nemesis of Ambrose’s sends his minions to capture her and drag her into the Demon realm as bait with full plans to ravish, torture and then slaughter her before Ambrose’s eyes.
Balin, the son of an evil demon father who just wants him dead because he won’t go against his morals and take souls, is down to his last few days. He could save himself if he started eating souls or if he found his true mate. As neither of those things will happen at this juncture, he readies himself to die. That is until fate intervenes in the most fantastic way. A human woman that his father has captured and plans to do wicked things to before selling her for the coliseum games turns out to be his mate. He now prepares to spend the very last bit of his waning energy to free her and make her his.
Their paths convene when they all arrive at Jamie’s cell. It’s quite a shocking introduction to say the least particularly for Jamie who isn’t sure if this surprising turn is such a good thing. Along with Hunter, the wolf shifter who has been imprisoned and made to fight in the arena for years, they all set out to escape and then save Balin as well as unlock Jamie’s powers through a forced bonding. It’s not that simple and plans must change, but eventually they achieve the impossible and make it back to the human realm as a bonded and mated triad. That’s only the beginning it seems. The trio must fight the prejudice of their various races, fight their own feelings of inadequacy and work hard to form an actual relationship all with powerful enemies breathing down their throat from more than one direction.
As to what I thought of the story, I found the plot exciting for the most part particularly the first half. It bogged down a bit in the middle to me, but that’s because I’m not one for unnecessary angst and drama. Now, I get that bringing three people together in a relationship is going to provoke a certain level of drama that I can accept. It wouldn’t seem authentic otherwise if the relationship had no growing pains. The trouble for me is that the issues had nothing to do with the ménage and everything to do with Jamie pulling herself together and realizing that its not all about her and that her men have pasts that go back hundreds of years that may affect their behavior. There was the whole attitude thing she had when the guys tried to protect her. She’s human and frail against powerful supes and then when she gets her power, she admits she’s clueless how to use it, but jumps to the conclusion that its because they are Neanderthals and treating her like their little woman. (Hel-lo, little girl! They’re just trying to keep you safe and alive.) The other peeve was the other track her mind was on. She just can’t get past Ambrose leaving her for a year. He’s explained about his dead wife and children and being afraid. He’s not only apologized, but his actions backed up his true remorse when he went after her into the demon realm at great personal sacrifice and then made it clear that he was committed to both her and Balin. But she just kept bringing it up and hurting him with it. The third time, she stands there, hears his explanation (again) not seeming to see that her words hurt and then tells him to let it go. (Really Jamie? You’re the one that brought it up and jabbed the poor dude in the heart while you’re at it how is he possibly ever going to let it go if you don’t?) Okay, got all that out of my system. Sorry to go on about things.
Oddly, even with stuff like that going on, the relationship came together pretty quickly. Not very realistic, I’ll grant you, but I really didn’t mind because I liked them and wanted it to work out. Each member of their relationship brought something to it-not just because they’re three different races though that’s kinda cool- and they respected each others strengths and protected each others weaknesses. The dynamics were fluid with each giving and taking the lead though I think age and power seemed to determine roles too. I should point out that this is a true triad in that they are all into each other- m/f/m, m/f, m/m/f and m/m- and have no trouble with the smoking hot physical side of things even if they’ve got a long ways to go with the emotional and daily stuff.
The story ended with a huge bang-up battle sequence and then a light denouement that left things open for the next couples’ story.
I can recommend this to those who enjoy smoking hot paranormal romance involving a ménage.