Friday, 2 March 2012

Book Review: Rule of Three by Kelly Jamieson

Title: Rule of Three
Author: Kelly Jamieson
Release Date: 14 February 2012
Number of pages: 262 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Sourcee: review copy provided by author
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon

Grade: 3.5 stars

Novellus bonus!
Goodreads appetizer: If you follow the rules, you miss all the fun...

Kassidy is a good girl who wants to be bad. Dag is a bad boy who is very, very good. And Chris? He likes to watch…

When wicked-sexy Dag returns to Chicago to catch up with his old college buddy Chris and meet The Girlfriend, none of them are anticipating the unexpected turn of events that switches a loving twosome into a scorching hot threesome. As old feelings resurface, and new attractions are explored, a storm of sexual sparks is unleashed that leads them into forbidden areas.

Always the good girl, Kassidy blossoms under the attentions of two loving men, but neither she nor Chris are expecting the ménage to take a quarter turn toward Dag…and his feelings for Chris. When it’s revealed that Dag’s attraction to Chris is one big reason he left town, a tangled mess of old hurts and new feelings might destroy friendship. Love. Might destroy everything.

Product Warnings: This book contains a couple already in love, a couple falling in love and a couple in love who didn’t know it; also multiple scorching sex scenes including girl with boy, girl with two boys, boy with boy and two boys with girl...whew!

My Thoughts: I like ménage stories. So far I have been lucky and stumbled only on good ones. I enjoy them because I'm intrigued by the novelty, the unusualness of this arrangement and most importantly how it works (not the logistics, though those are fun and at times eye-opening and eyebrow raising *wink*, but the emotional entanglement and how three people can cope with their feelings which usually should only be for one person). And that's where Rule of Three stood out above all the ménage stories I have read so far. It explores in detail and depth the emotional struggles, doubts and fears the parties in such a sexual and couple relationship deal with. In most cases ménage stories gloss over the doubts and problems such arrangement would cause for the couple, their entourage and society in general (if they don't skip these altogether), so the realistic approach Kelly Jamieson took in Rule of Three was a welcome change!

Rule of Three starts with already established relationships: Kassidy and Chris are a couple very much in love and lust with each other. They just bought a condo together and even after the novelty of their relationship has worn off they can't keep their hands off each other. Their relationship is harmonious and passionate.

Then enters the picture Dag, Chris' college best friend who left Chicago years ago and hasn't been in touch since. We immediately see how important their friendship is to the boys and how much they have missed each other in the past years. But what is unexpected is that despite being a loyal and monogamous girlfriend Kassidy has difficulty suppressing her powerful attraction to Dag and when Chris shocks her by confessing his fantasy that he likes to "watch" they start experiencing.

Once again I have to stress how wonderfully Kelly Jamieson has conveyed the reality of the feelings and emotional upheavals the characters face: Kassidy is just an ordinary girl with normal values and morals, so she is battling very strong guilt and shock due to her attraction to Dag and the boys' proposition; Dag is the third wheel and he tries to suppress his feelings of vulnerability and loneliness at seeing the connection Kassidy and Chris share and trying to cope with feeling left out, and then there is Chris who is trying to deny his deep cravings because what he is feeling is terrifying him.

I admit I much preferred Dag's character, that beside the obvious bad boy charmer persona he had a warm-hearted, vulnerable side; but Kelly Jamieson made me chuckle a lot when I was reading about Chris and how clueless he was always as to why Kassidy was upset. His linear simple male logic just couldn't comprehend her. It was really interesting to get a glimpse at his perspective and funny as well. (Oh and I found Dag's philosophical debates very interesting!)

And of course it goes without saying that Rule of Three packs so many explosive, scorching hot scenes that if you are reading it in glasses have some tissues handy, because your glasses will steam up quite a lot! ;-)

For me the dialogues didn't flow as naturally as the descriptive sex scenes. I found them at times clipped and they read too much like speaken (I know my complaint is quite hard to comprehend, I don't want my dialogues to be sophisticated and sound formal and mannered, but for me it was a bit too informal with all the "shit man", etc.)

Verdict: Rule of Three is an exciting and very emotional ménage story. I have to applaud Kelly Jamieson for not being afraid of facing and dealing with the problems and doubts such an unconventional arrangement might cause. The way she explored these fears was gripping and heart-squeezing. I loved this mix of emotional and steamy she delivered in Rule of Three. So have no fears, besides the emotional side there are oh so many delicious burning-you-up love scenes that you'll need that fan or pitcher of cold lemonade nearby! ;-)

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 6/10
Writing: 7/10
Ending: 8/10
Cover: 9/10 - beautiful! sensual and eye-catching, elegant yet titillating, I like it!

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