When I attended Authors After Dark in New Orleans, I had the privilege to attend a Menage reading which Lauren Gallagher was reading this book from. Lauren also goes by L.A. Witt, depending on the genre the book falls in depends on which name she uses. When she read, she said right off what the scene was from and when she got to the part where Carmen tells Isaac she is pregnant, a woman at the reading screamed out “Oh, Fuck!” It was embarrassing for the woman, but for the rest of us, at least me, I got a kick out of seeing her reaction as she obviously didn’t know what the story was about.
As I started this book, I was amazed to realize it was written in first person with each chapter changing who was the first person. If you have read my reviews, you know I am not a big fan of first person, but in this book it worked. The only issue I had was at times I forgot who was speaking in first person, especially between Isaac and Donovan.
Carmen has just finalized her divorce and what better way to celebrate than with her two best friends Donovan and Issac. Donovan and Isaac have been in a committed, gay relationship for sometime. Donovan is clearly bi-sexual, having a son from when he was a teenager as well as he dated both genders until he committed to Isaac. Isaac has only ever been with men, but he has talked to Donovan that he does desire women and in particular Carmen, but never does anything about it. So now Carmen is divorced, the three are celebrating and several bottles of wine later, the three are having unprotected sex together. The next morning is tense and Carmen pulls away from the men, uncomfortable.
Now several weeks later, the pregnancy test is positive. Carmen is pregnant and Don or Isaac is the dad. Carmen breaks the news to Isaac, who breaks the news to Donovan. Donovan already has a troubled teenage son and a disapproving father to deal with. Isaac is discovering his bi-sexuality. Carmen is financially broke from the divorce, living with her sister and has very disapproving parents. This all mixes up to cause these three lots of problems while coming to terms with becoming parents.
As I read the book, I was constantly hearing Lauren’s voice after having heard her read at AAD. It was interesting imagining her voice inflections as I read. These three really did a stupid thing drinking and having unprotected sex and it bites them in the ass. All three wanted the baby, so it was a story of finding their way from friends to casual relationship, to eventually their hearts on the line. Outside forces also influenced the story. Don’s dad wasn’t supportive, nor was Carmen’s parents. Isaac’s took it in stride. Don’s kid, Ryan, being sixteen wasn’t very happy about it all and Don deals with a very serious problem with him. This wasn’t a hearts and roses book. It was an honest look at what can happen and the true feelings people have when faced with these situation.
I loved the honesty of this ménage story from the standpoint we don’t just fall into a relationship and everything lives happily ever after. They deal with the oh, crap, moments of we are pregnant. They fall into bed easily with a casual relationship, because heck, she was already pregnant, can’t get her any more pregnant. Isaac just doesn’t become bi-sexual overnight. He has some growth that isn’t easy peasy especially when he loves Don and doesn’t want to ruin that part of his life. Carmen doesn’t just jump up and become super mom overnight. She still struggles with becoming a mom without the means to take care of herself and her child. Donovan struggles with the thought of being a father again after looking forward to being a free adult in a few short years. None of them shirk their duties, but they have real inner struggles that anyone would have in these situations.
Now this wasn’t an all gloom and doom book. There were incredibly hot after getting pregnant love scenes. You see Don and Issac together, Carmen and Isaac, Carmen and Don. And of course all three together. But it isn’t just sex. You see the depth of emotion all three have for each other. The love grows slowly and all three struggle on how to deal with not feeling like they are betraying each other.
The book ends with Carmen giving birth, and the men feeling the love, knowing one of them is the father but not the other. I am hoping this story gets a sequel because I would like to see where this goes after the baby comes…do they want more kids? How does Ryan deal with it? How the men deal with only one of them being the biological father while the other is a “stepdad”?
This was an awesome book that was sexy, funny, sad, heartbreaking, frustrating, erotic and loving all wrapped up in one story that rocked my world.
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