Review: Three the Hard Way by Sydney Croft

Posted December 21, 2014 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 15 Comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Three the Hard Way by Sydney Croft
Three the Hard Way

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: #7 ACRO
Genres: M/M/M Romance, Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Riptide
Released on November 29, 2014
Pages: 164
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Get it at: add to goodreads

A delicious blend of ‘enemies to lovers to reunion romance’ all while expecting not one, but two hard hitting super secret organizations to descend upon them just made this unique ménage sci-fi romantic suspense unavoidable. For years, I have heard the praises of this series sung and, trust me, it wasn’t lack of interest that prevented me from starting it earlier. I saw that this one was shorter, it was a holiday-ish piece and of course all that yumminess that was mentioned above so I leaped into the seventh installment hoping I wouldn’t be hopelessly lost.

And I wasn’t by the way. The only loss that I can see is that I really want to get the rest of the series more than ever. This one did well as a standalone.

The story opens with one of those prologues where happy boys make heart-felt promises, but the reader is also aware of the dark clouds building on the horizon behind them and just knows that those promises are getting ready to get shot to Hades. After the prologue, things leap to the future when the happy boys are now hardened men who are far apart and hardened and battered by the lives they have led.

Justice works for the secret agency ACRO with the other gifted humans and regular humans with skills set to police the others like them who are set on using their powers for evil and harm to normal humans. He wouldn’t be anywhere else, but the past comes rushing back when he gets a desperate call from his one-time best friend and former lover who broke his word and split from Justice right when they needed each other. Both said hateful parting things. Now Tag needs him. ACRO wants Tag brought in because they are afraid that the dreaded Itor will grab up a gifted of his powers and use him. Justice might still be angry and hurt, but Tag sounded scared and desperate in that phone message.

Tag never wanted to make that call to Justice and would love to take it back now that things are set in motion, but Itor’s on his tail and he never wants to go back there after he escaped. Justice’s arrival and the angry greeting they experience is soon followed by the arrival of the man that sold him out by handing him over to Itor after tricking him into believing they were lovers. Tag is now sharing a snowed in cabin deep in the Alaskan wilderness with the two men he most loved and hated. Both have probably led their respective organizations right to him. They all three snap and snarl at each other with little trust and a lot of high emotions that are barely tempered by their strong mutual attraction.

Ian has never regretted anything more in his life than the day his actions led to Tag’s capture, torture and forced work for Itor. He knows that his betrayal cut deep because everything was real, but Tag needs to understand that it was very real for both of them. He can’t change the past, but he sure plans to do his best to be there for Tag now. He will do what it takes to earn back Tag’s trust. Only he has arrived to find Tag’s first love is already on the scene and wants to kill Ian on sight. Both men have unfinished business with Tag that involves clearing up the past, but both want a chance at a future too. Do they all dare something together?

The story is short, but it had a lot of ground to cover. I really liked how the authors used the page count for optimum story and character development. Oh sure, it could have had a few things better teased out if it were longer, but when all was said and done, I was well pleased.

A ménage romance is always a tricky thing for me. I like exploring these, but its really hard for one to hit it just right for me to enjoy it. First of all, I’m all about relationship development and secondly, I’m more into it when all involved are involved equally in each other. I’m also pretty picky about how the ménage comes together. Fortunately, this one ticked off all the right boxes for me. I found the ‘enemies to lovers/second chance’ components really worked for me. Their prior history also helped since this was already a shorter story though there was the part of Justice and Ian getting to know each other and accepting each other as lovers and not just sharing Tag.

One of the best things about this one was how these three were all scarred by their pasts, where it led them and how they come together to both release the anger, talk through stuff, but also reform as a three way working partnership, friendship, and trio of lovers. Their personalities and what they brought together melded good. The story stopped at a good place, but I could have kept reading about these three.

As to the holiday theme being present, its there in the sense that none of the guys have had fond memories since the murders of Justice and Tags’ moms and the fact that Ian never had any good holidays, but there was one final scene that was fun and wrapped up this story nicely. I so wanted to see them all make use of Tag’s naughty gifts.

All in all, my first experience with the ACRO series and my first time in a while with a ménage was a wonderful experience. I imagine series fans would enjoy this, but also those who enjoy m/m/m set against a blend of sci-fi and romantic suspense.

My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this story in exchange for an honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Anna@herding cats&burning soupMelanie SimmonsSophia RoseMary Kirkland Recent comment authors
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Mary Kirkland
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Ian, Tag and Justice..wow I love those names. I like menage stories like this one. I haven’t read this author before and this sounds like an interesting read to say the least.

Sophia Rose
Guest

This was my first time reading this author duo too. This was written purposefully so that it could operate as a standalone if you’re interested, Mary. Those names were good ones. Ian and Tag tease Justice about being Captain America so he totally lives up to his name.

Mary Kirkland
Guest

Ah, I didn’t realize this was an author duo. I read “authors” in your review and it just didn’t register to me that this was another author duo team. I just found out about another author duo last month and can’t even remember who it was now. lol Hard to keep up sometimes.

Sophia Rose
Guest

I’m oblivious about lots of that too, but I did know about this pair. This is Larissa Ione and Stephanie Tyler. Not sure who writes what part.

I’m bad about alternative names of authors too. I’m always so shocked. I get why they do it, but it confuses the heck out of me. 😉

Mary Kirkland
Guest

Really? I love both of those authors. Well, now I’m gonna have to go see what else they’ve written under this name. lol Thanks for the heads up.

Sophia Rose
Guest

You’re welcome! Oh and I have to share this. I just literally discovered a new pair right after I checked out a new review by Melanie. I knew Moira Rogers was a pair of authors (can’t recall who at the moment), but she just said in her review that this pair was also Kit Rocha. I had to laugh since I didn’t know this and we were just discussing it. Here’s the link to her review if you want to see and there are vampires involved. Mmmm!
http://rabidreads.ca/2014/12/review-wilders-mate-by-moira-rogers.html

Mary Kirkland
Guest

Oh that is funny. Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
Guest

Really? I love both of those authors. Well, now I’m gonna have to go see what else they’ve written under this name. lol Thanks for the heads up.

Sophia Rose
Guest

You’re welcome! Oh and I have to share this. I just literally discovered a new pair right after I checked out a new review by Melanie. I knew Moira Rogers was a pair of authors (can’t recall who at the moment), but she just said in her review that this pair was also Kit Rocha. I had to laugh since I didn’t know this and we were just discussing it. Here’s the link to her review if you want to see and there are vampires involved. Mmmm!
http://rabidreads.ca/2014/12/review-wilders-mate-by-moira-rogers.html

Melanie Simmons
Guest
Melanie Simmons

I read a review for this book and decided to start with book one because I prefer to start with book one. It was a great read. I love Larissa Ione and had no idea she was part of this team before hand. Can’t wait for book two.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yep! I still need to do that. I’ve developed the terrible habit of leaping into the middle of things when I never used to be that way. I definitely want to go back and get it from the beginning.
This one I knew about, but usually writing teams that use alias’ and alternative names tend to surprise me.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Guest

OMG! I can’t read your review. I had no idea this one was out yet! I freaking LOVE this series. It was one of my first erotica series and damn me I loved it. *runs to get a copy* Thanks Sophia!!

Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Guest

And Merry Christmas 😀 Bwaha I got too excited there for a second and forgot to finish posting. Heh

Sophia Rose
Guest

And to you too. Haha! I really need to read this series. I jumped in with this one b/c it was Christmasy.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Guest

And Merry Christmas 😀 Bwaha I got too excited there for a second and forgot to finish posting. Heh