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Family isn’t just about blood—it’s about heart.
After his move to Atlanta and away from the influence of his conservative parents, Mikey O’Malley finally feels free to be himself: art student, aspiring animator, and out gay man. He has friends, a new job, and not one, but two men interested in him. Cory Lassiter and Jimmy Black have been a happy couple for years, occasionally bringing a twink into their bed, but only for a brief roll in the hay. When Mikey meets the pair, the attraction is immediate, and it runs three ways. Mikey just can’t believe they’d have room in their lives for a permanent addition.
When Mikey’s newfound life is shattered by a lawsuit that accuses him of molesting a child years earlier, he’s determined to face his troubles on his own, but Cory and Jimmy are just as determined that he not have to go it alone. To reconcile his need for independence and his desire for love, Mikey has to learn that being a man isn’t just about standing on your own two feet. It’s about letting yourself lean on the ones who love you.
We start the story with Mikey, a young man, living with friends, kicked out for being gay, but making his own life, about to lose his job because he’s being sued for inappropriate actions.
Mikey’s not all alone, however, he’s got good friends and two boyfriends.
Mikey is just starting a relationship with Cory and Jimmy – two older men in an established relationship – and though he cares about them and vice versa, he doesn’t really know where he stands with them. As a result things haven’t moved much beyond the innocent.
Both Cory and Jimmy are big personalities and they have often invited a third to join them, this time they want someone to keep. Mikey doesn’t know how he feels about that, but he knows he wants to explore it and he knows that in this cruel world, he can’t afford his ego and must lean on whomever he can for help.
This is a tough review to write. I didn’t read book one, so I know that some of my confusion may be as a result of that fact. However, it’s listed as a standalone. But – the story literally jumps right in the middle of things and while I can appreciate that as a writing ploy, as a reader I really wished I had seen more of the “get to know you” story of Jimmy, Cory and Mikey. I kind of felt like I had missed a chapter or something, what with them already being on the cusp of a relationship but not quite fully involved, right at the beginning of the book.
I really liked the writing and found the characters engaging. I thought the lawsuit part of the story was engaging and well-handled.
As a triad, I’m not sure how successful this one will be. On the one hand, the author did a great job of showing us why Cory and Jimmy live apart, but I never really saw exactly how much Mikey contributed to the triad, other than the sex part. We just didn’t get enough time with them as a triad for me to believe in their success. It still felt like Mikey was more of a diversion than an equal in the relationship, even by the end.
I believe that they have a chance, and that’s a good enough place to leave them, but the whole experience left me feeling like I sort of fell into the middle of their story, not the beginning nor the end.
Overall, it was an intriguing book and for the most part well done, but it felt incomplete.
3.5 of 5 hearts