Genres: BDSM Romance, Menage Romance, Military Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on August 15, 2017
A romantic suspense with a woman hacker and three former Navy SEALs prepared to help protect her from dangerous, pursuing enemies sounded just the thing. New to me author, a hot prospect with three men and a woman, and a tension-wrought suspense had me eager to pick up a menage for the first time in a while.
Beyond the Rules is the third of the At the Brink books. I started with this one and did all right so I guess its safe to say they can standalone. Though, that said, I got the impression that I had missed something when this one started out with Nina and her situation just like there were plot points that weren’t tied up at the end of this one in regard to the suspense element.
Beyond the Rules starts with a harrowing plane crash when Nina had to bring her bullet-riddled plane down in Montana where she is found and brought into the fold of three partners who were once SEALs together. Nina learns swiftly that as different as the men, Aiden, Tanner, and Zar are, they share several things in common- a loyal friendship, businesses, skills, and a desire for her and not just to protect. Nina is frustrated when she thinks she is being shunted aside when she sees the others have their issues from combat and from the complicated feelings of desiring to share her. But, there is a desperate mission which brought her out looking for a hacker and they try to focus on that and sort their feelings and needs out as they go.
I confess that polyamory or menage romance is a ticklish one for me. I need it to be more than a chain of erotic encounters, I need to see development in each character and among the people in the shared relationship, and I really don’t want a bunch of unnecessary angst caused by excessive jealousy or posturing. It’s always a crap shoot going into a new to me author/series as a result.
However, Beyond the Rules was a surprise in a good way. I loved that this one had a dual focus of romance and suspense. I liked that there was a lot going on around the romance. It was a fully-fleshed out story which is how I like to get my erotic romances. There were strong conflicts, introspection, action, and a great climax- on both counts.
This was especially good because these guys might say they wanted to share a woman, but they were as insecure and jealous as all get out when the rubber met the road. And, that dom thing with Zar was more a distraction to me than anything. I like some BDSM romances, but I felt there was already plenty going on in this group that they had to sort out. I guess it was interesting to explore what would happen if one member of a polyamory group was into kink and was a dominant when the others were not which is what it felt like- exploration. All this was being stirred up even while in Nina’s head there was a sell by date on her time there so she kept thinking that she’d fix the group dynamics and get her time with the guys and go when they were reshuffling and trying to come together to be with her in a permanent relationship.
Now, while the issue about sharing was there, the author did take the time to develop the individual characters even the guys so it wasn’t just Nina and three hot bods in a series of erotic encounters. And, while the individual sexy times were early in the book, the group sex waited until stuff was getting resolved which worked good for me. I thought they were thinking long-term pretty quick, but they knew what they liked, I guess and then there was the fact that Nina had her I’m broken and this can’t work moment to put a hiccup in their plans for a bit.
What ultimately was the trouble even beyond the fact that the guys spent a lot of time being possessive and jealous, was the fact that, developed or not, I only was moderately connected with the characters. Not sure why, but I found that I could take them or leave them in the romance side. I engaged better when they were working on the mission and I loved that Nina’s hacking skills were as important as their military ops skills. I’m curious about the mole and am considering the next book as a result.
So, in summary, it turned out much better than I was anticipating and the suspense line was great with the erotic romance, but I would have liked to be more into the characters and their romance. Those who enjoy polyamory romances should definitely consider this book/series particularly if they have a thing for hot military guys.
My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book.
Romance-opoly #60 Erotic Eaves