Saturday, September 13, 2014

ARC Review: A Threefold Cord by Julie Bozza

A Threefold CordFrom the blurb:

Grae Edwards and his co–stars Chris Willoughby and Ben Clyde work together well. Maybe they even have a chemistry. Certainly they are friends and Grae is tempted to ask for more … After the beautiful tart Chris has the temerity to turn him down, Grae settles into a comfortable loving relationship with the more chivalrous Ben. But the idea of Chris never quite goes away – and when Chris finally suggests the three of them spend a night together, Grae glimpses a solution he hardly dares hope for.

Heather's rating:

If you like your ménage with a stiff upper lip, Brit style, then I'm sure you'll love this one. I, on the other hand, had some problems with it.

This is my first book by the well-loved Julie Bozza. To be honest, I own three (!!) of her other books but they seem to have disappeared into the black hole that is my Kindle. I've been dying to read her stuff for quite some time, and so I jumped on the chance to get a review copy of this one.

I'll start with the positives. They are many lovely things about this story. It is a mature story with very little unnecessary drama between the main characters. They talk about their issues. You won't see any tantrums or melodrama here, folks. I could have kissed Julie Bozza's feet for making this story so sensible. I happen to hate when authors use misunderstandings as plot points, and I was thrilled to bits that there was none of that in this story.

Another fabulous thing about this one was the careful writing style. It felt practiced, like the art form that writing is supposed to be. Nuanced and well edited, I think that Julie Bozza really thought about her story and her word selection.

Now, the flip side of that is that I often felt that this story was lacking in the emotion department. Sure, I read about the reactions that these men had to each other and read about their love blooming, but I felt removed from them as characters and didn't feel the emotions firsthand. I wanted more. More energy, more umph, more something from the story that I didn't get. Maybe it was because the characters sounded too old and too wise for their 20-something age bracket, maybe it was the British thing, but something felt inauthentic and remote.

I also had some issues that might be uniquely mine. I hated how the story started out and re-read it a few times because I felt like I was missing something. It sort of jumps right into the story and the relationship between Ben and Graeme with very little set up. Ben also had one of the fastest transitions from straight-ish (never been with a man) to GFY/OFY that I've ever seen. A total waste. I love the tension in a long, drawn-out gay-for-you so I really missed that here.

Admittedly, ménage is a hard sub-genre for me. I have read some that I've loved (Fun With Dick and Shane) that I found very believable, but most ménage books feel unrealistic to me. This book definitely veered towards the unrealistic spectrum in my mind. The way that the relationship formed was realistic, but I still have a hard time imagining this relationship working out long-term.

All in all, this was a nice, elegant story, but it won't be making my favorites list any time soon.

Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks for checking out my review!! <3

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