★★★★ 3 by Jacob Z. Flores ★★★★

33 by Jacob Z. Flores

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Justin Jimenez has loved his partner, Spencer Harrison, for ten years. He’ll do anything for him—including bury his feelings for a man he met while he and Spencer were separated last year. Justin never planned to fall in love, and he certainly never planned to tell Spencer about it—but when a phone call wakes them in the middle of the night to inform Justin that his former lover, Dutch Keller, has been in an accident, he doesn’t have a choice.

Justin’s revelation shatters the fragile relationship he and Spencer were trying to rebuild. The weight of his guilt—both for hurting Spencer and for leaving a heartbroken Dutch to find solace in a bottle—crushes him. But what Justin doesn’t know is that Spencer and Dutch guard an explosive secret of their own. All three men are tangled in a communal web of lies, and unless they find the events in their lives that ultimately led them to friendship, passion, and betrayal, they won’t see the love at the heart of the pain.

So what did I think?

This was a really interesting take on the menage theme, focused very much on the emotional journey of three men who find themselves in a very tangled drama.

The original couple of Justin and Spencer have been together for ten years. They are successfully trying to get things back on track after a separation the previous year. But unknown to Spencer, Justin had an affair during their separation and found himself falling in love with the other man. When Spencer returns, and because Spencer had a prior claim on his heart, they get back together, with Justin determined to get over his feelings for Dutch.

Unfortunately Dutch doesn’t get over Justin easily with tragic ramifications. The result is a late night phone call to Justin which exposes the truth and starts the three men on a pretty intense and emotional journey.

This story has a lot of twists and turns. There is time spent in the past where we learn more of Justin and Spencer’s relationship, we learn how Justin met Dutch and we learn that Dutch and Spencer also share a secret. There is time spent in the current, where we see emotions continuing between Justin and Dutch as they deal with the fallout of the revelations and also see new developments between Dutch and Spencer. Lives become very much entwined and there are further conflicts and more repercussions.

This story was not focused on sex between the three men but there was sex between the different couples, mainly Justin and Spencer or Justin and Dustin and I did have a couple of issues. Firstly, Justin and Spencer have a couple of sessions with a ‘third’. I didn’t naturally see this fitting with their relationship and I definitely didn’t like their sexual dialogue. To me it sounded like fake porn and didn’t suit how I saw the characters of Justin and Spencer in my mind. Secondly, (view spoiler)[ I definitely couldn’t understand the lack of condoms in Dutch and Justin’s first encounter and Dustin’s easy acceptance when he finds out Justin’s boyfriend Spencer has HIV. (hide spoiler)]. Perhaps this trust was supposed to illustrate how significant their relationship was?

I liked the fact that the bringing together of the three men, with them acknowledging their feelings for one another, wasn’t an easy journey. It acknowledges the difficulties they face, within themselves and with the outside world. There is a sense that they will succeed because of the depths of feeling.

“After that, it was simply a matter of working out the intricacies of a relationship between three men.
It was a new concept for them and the world. After all, love was a joining of two hearts , two pieces of the same soul that locked together seamlessly. That was how the world functioned. Two people, two hearts, one relationship. That was the paradigm the rest of the world followed.
But they didn’t fit that model. Their hearts were bigger than what society had preconcieved notions about. After all, it was the universe’s magic, some unseen force, that brought them together. That bond pulled Justin and Spencer initially to each other, but it was that same power that brought Dutch into their lives, that somehow called both of them to Dutch, separately, just as strongly as it tugged upon him.”
………“They weren’t meant to be a couple. They were destined to be a trio.”

4 Stars

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For more information about Jacob Z. Flores or his books, visit his website.

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2 comments on “★★★★ 3 by Jacob Z. Flores ★★★★

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