29 June 2011

A threeway 'Naughty Brief' reviews: Sloan Parker - Heidi Cullinan & Jan Irving

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Cover Summary:
Roe Davis is a man who works hard, keeps to himself, and never, absolutely never mixes business with pleasure—until he takes a discreet weekend away from his new job at Nowhere Ranch and runs into the owner, Travis Loving, at the only gay bar for two hundred miles. Getting involved with the boss is a bad, bad idea, but Loving is a hard man to say no to, especially when it turns out their kinks line up against one another like a pair of custom-cut rails. And as Loving points out, so long as they’re both clear that this is just sex on the side, no relationship, no interfering with the job, they could make it work.

The truth is, there’s good reason Roe never settles down and always spends his birthdays and holidays celebrating alone. Shut out in the cold by his family years ago, Roe survived by declaring he didn’t need a home. As his affair with Loving grows into more than just sex, Roe finds out what happens when he stays put a little bit too long: He learns that the past always catches up with you, that even a loner gets lonely, and that home will grow up through whatever cracks you leave open for it— even in a place called Nowhere

My Review
Nowhere Ranch didn't hit the bulls eye for me but I love the couples Heidi Cullinan puts together! The problem for me was that I thought their own internal struggles of Travis Loving and Roe Davis were far more interesting then the external one's. Roe and Travis both have a few issues that ignite a series of emotions with each of them. From control issues to fear, I liked the interplay it provoked from both men. On the other hand I thought the family/religion issues a bit overdone and it irked me. Especially when at the end one thing was provided for and the whole "gay issue" was seemingly forgotten. I would've loved a good conversation between Roe and his mother, an explanation of some sort but I hardly got one.

The story however revolved mainly around Roe and Travis giving me two men who are direct, raw and without pretense. The sexy times provided for some intriguing scenes and it was in these moments that I missed the point of view form Travis. It would've enhanced the impact of the moment even more if the sole narrating wasn't coming from Roe. I really liked the feel of these men together and some, but not all elements in the storytelling.

A sexy start which gained emotional depth by the end. Really enjoyed it! 

3.5 stars

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Cover Summary:
Wandering cowboy Luke Walker is at the end of his rope after his girlfriend abandons their newborn daughter. A terrified new father, he’s grateful to meet Dr. Morgan Gallagher. Morgan recognizes that he and Luke could help each other: Luke can rebuild Morgan’s property and land so Morgan can have the horses he wants, and Morgan can provide the younger man with a safe place to raise his daughter. In theory, it should work out perfectly, except that Morgan is instantly attracted to Luke—a straight man—and sharing the same cabin and caring for the baby is a more intimate arrangement than he’d imagined.

Luke is a spin off of Sylvan.

My Review
LUKE was a nice read but it lacked substance. None of the elements was bad but neither did anything jump off the pages where it triggered emotions or getting me to form a connection to the characters. Perhaps the simplicity of the story wasn’t in its advantage either; Luke is freaking out over the fact he now has to take care of his new born daughter. He meets Morgan in a small town who needs a cowboy to fix up his ranch. Luke of course is that much needed cowboy and takes the job gladly. Morgan is gay, Luke is attracted to him but has always shared the sheets with women. Put them together in a small ranch and let the chemistry do the work...

Jan Irving created a light hearted and sexy read but it felt like I was reading a ‘dime a dozen’ story. The whole story remained in the "nice" territory; the baby definitely added the "aaawwwww, cute" factor yet Luke didn't really question or struggle with his attraction to Morgan. The characterization, the dialogues, the storyline itself, it all remained too much on the surface. I know it is hard to create depth in the page span of a novella but even with the focus on Luke and Morgan their personalities seemed to fall flat.

Novella's are a tricky read for me and I mostly read them to sample the author's voice. With LUKE, Jan Irving left me with an okay feeling but unfortunately nothing triggered my need to read more from her.

A nice, simple story that was quick to read.

2.5 stars

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Cover Summary:
For fifteen years Luke Moore has lived by three rules: stay off his father's radar, never spend more than a single night with any man, and never fall in love again. But one night of explosive sex and two men whom he can’t get out of his head have Luke breaking them all. Richard and Matthew push him past all his boundaries—both sexually and personally—and now he’s no longer hiding from his senator father; he’s taking him on. And he isn’t just falling for one man; he’s falling for two. If you're going to break the rules, might as well break them big.

But Luke’s father has his reasons for hating how his son lives, and he’ll do whatever he can and use all his power to keep Luke away from Richard and Matthew.

Can this threesome find a way to make their unconventional relationship last with the world around them trying to pull them apart? And will Luke be able to keep breaking his rules for Richard and Matthew, or will he head back to his familiar way of life just when his new lovers want to bind him tighter?

My Review
The potential of this authors ability to create interesting characters, sizzling bouts of erotic play and an interesting suspense, cast in a supportive role, is felt throughout reading MORE. I had a good time reading this story and though the balance leans a bit towards the erotic side of a gay ménage the characters are very likable. From a first person narrative Luke is the one I got to understand the most. He has major commitment issues and has every reason for them! Matthew and Richard completed the ménage with Matthew being an exuberant guy in his mid twenties and Richard being a very strong and older personality.

I loved the vibe they created, the gradual deepening of their romance, the dangers that were entwined and while the suspense didn't flow as smoothly within the story as I liked it had a great angle. Next to three potent and sexual driven guys giving it all to the reader there is also plenty emotions joining the sexy scenes. Especially Luke's issues took center stage but as the story unfolded they all encountered problems for them to deal with.

MORE is an easy-to-read and engaging erotic romance story that kept my attention from page to page. These are the kind of ménage’s I will never grow tired of; instant chemistry, lots of sex play founded in a multitude of emotions and a suspense to spice it all up in a different way. Sloan Parker definitely put herself on my radar!

4 stars

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6 comments:

  1. Aww - sorry Nowhere Ranch didn't hit it for you. I really enjoyed it. More looks like something I'd be interested in too - thanks for the head's up!

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  2. I loved Nowhere Ranch! More didn't work for me, and was actually a dnf for me...

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  3. I really liked Nowhere Ranch and More.

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  4. I love threeways, especially the way you write them. ;)
    I also love Heidi Cullinan's and Sloan Parker's writing, although I haven't read Nowhere Ranch yet. More is a menage that I really enjoyed, which isn't always common for me. Nice reviews! :D

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  5. @Patti - I enjoyed Nowhere Ranch but it didn't knock me off my socks. And you should definitely give Sloan Parker a go! I read both MORE and BREATHE and both were verra good!

    @Chris - I love it how readers are such a diverse bunch ;) Didn't the threeway in MORE work for you?

    @Lily - I heard MORE is going to have two stories added from Richard & Matthew. I'm very interested!

    @Janna - You are the one who pimped Sloan Parker to me and I love her work. Still have to finish up on my review of Breathe, wich I loved even more than MORE ;)

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  6. Nope. The emotional stuff didn't work for me at all.

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