I found this book really hard to put down. It was very compelling with real life emotions and feelings. Reading things from Anne's perspective was interesting although I would have loved to have been privy to the inner thoughts of Alex and James. This is a woman with a lot of dynamics outside her marriage which are pretty easy to identify with...like the interfering overbearing mother-in-law, alcoholic father, sister's with issues of their own,and other people's expectations . Enter the sexy "best friend" into the mix and things just spiral out of control. Not really happy about the way things ended. Can't stop thinking about that!! I think this is a book I will ponder on for days to come.
**Just a note to say that I actually re-read this book to see if I picked up any little nuances that would help me to reconcile in my mind why this story played out the way it did. Life is certainly about choices...but don't think for a minute that there will not be consequences after those choices are made. Things never turn out to be as simple as you hope they will. I did feel that the relationship between these three, while unconventional, was soul deep. I was mostly just left with a sense of finality and a profound feeling of sadness and loss that three people so connected would never be all together and happy again. Wanting that is not realistic, I know, cause things in life don't work that way, especially when three people are dealing with matters of the heart. Based on the decisions they made, no one could possibly come out a winner in this story. I guess I am just that "fairy tale, happy ever after" kind of girl, which makes this story weigh heavily on my mind long after the book has been read...in this case, twice.
Anne and James have what by all definitions is a good marriage. James and Alex have been best friends since boyhood. But Alex and Anne have never met due to a falling out that the men had in college and the fact that Alex has live overseas all these years. Anne is not familiar with all the elements that make up James and Alex's friendship and it's a mystery she has never cared to explore. Then Alex phones and James invites him to stay for the summer.
Alex takes Anne's breath away with his looks and wins her over with his personality. What starts as an easy friendship between Anne and Alex, turns into an innocent flirtation, then more. Then one night the three of them decide to take their relationship to the next level and give into the sexual tension that has been filling the air. The three of them take each other to bed, one night then turns into one summer.
A normally monogamous couple, Anne and James choose to give into their desires for a summer of sex. They choose to let fantasy become reality. But what is supposed to be a summer of mindless passion, no strings attached, gets complicated as emotions and hearts become involved and feelings change.
I liked Anne, James and Alex, I liked them separately and I liked the three of them together. I like Anne and James. I liked Anne and Alex. But I hated James and Alex. When it was just the two of them they reverted to adolescent behavior I couldn't stand. They were two different people together and though they enjoyed each others company it was easy to see no one else would. I guess that's the whole point; how we are different things to different people, multifaceted creatures. The other point would be the fact that there is no such thing as 'no strings attached.'
Okay, I admit I was expecting just a bit of mindless porn on paper, of the highest quality of course, but I am really surprised at the depth of emotions that this book covered. It explores, confronts and dissects relationships between lovers, spouses, friends, sisters, in-laws and parents; the threads that create and make up relationships, their strengths and their fragility.
This is a highly erotic and sensual tale. When these three people go to bed they worship every inch of each others bodies and thoroughly. It's bold, graphic, explicit and delicious, but never tasteless. It's not for everyone, that's for sure, but had it not been for the ending, one I completely disagreed with, this well written tale would have easily been a 5 star book; I loved every page of it.
Cherise Everhard, April 2008
Megan Hart manages to make you think, even while you are all fuzzyheaded with the erotic situations she presents. She also makes you feel empathy for characters who usually dont get a second thought in an erotic romance.
Anne is content with her shiny, happy life and feels lucky about having a loving, sexy husband. She has enough self-awareness to know that, as she puts it, she made the right decision to love James. She is taken off guard when James boyhood best friend returns from Singapore. Millionaire Alex is a self-described rascal, he winks and flirts and seduces. When Alex becomes a houseguest for the summer the sexual tension crackles in a lusty triangle. Anne is also hyper aware of the change in her husband, he seems as smitten with Alex as she.
This book gets 5 blazing stars from me. The plot is thought provoking and the relationships are prickly with real-world complexities. There are several breath taking moments: Anne looking up at her husband and his friend, falling in love; Anne realizing that her husband and lover are happy to have her as a sexual playmate since they will not have sex with each other; and her sister advising you have to let him go but which one?
Because Megan Hart provides fully developed characters there are so many ways this story could end read it to find out!
This was the firts Megan Hart book that I have read, and was intrigued after reading many of the previous reviews, so requested it and finally got it through PBS.
I have to say that I was not disappointed. An easy read, with a heavy subject matter. A story that I was captivated by, and characters that were deeper in growth and emotion, than many others books I have recently read.
While I am also more of a happily ever after kind of reader, I don't think that the story could have ended any differently than it did without compromising the personal journey that each person had in this book. The writer made some hard choices, just as the characters did when deciding how to play out this emotionally complex story, and I applaud her for a great book, and am anxious to read more of her work, even though they all may not necessarily conclude with a conventional happy ending.
No, this book isn't for everyone. I liked it, though. I've read several books about menages and this one is the most real. The characters in it are real and the emotions of the book are real. Its not just porn on a page, I felt the characters had a reality to them that isn't often found in many of the other erotic books I've read. This book is what I would characterize as erotic drama....yes there was an menage going on, but that wasn't the focus. I loved it and can't wait to read more of Megan Hart's books.