30 April 2014

Dial M for Menage by Emily Ryan-Davis

 Katrina Holland began the new year by waking up with two men in her bed. Introducing marine Hunter Croft into her marriage was passionate and explosive—for Katrina and her husband Liam. But now that the honeymoon period is over and they've returned to the real world, can this arrangement ever work?

Liam Holland thought he had it all—a beautiful wife, great home, and a solid career. Only one thing—one man—eluded him. When he saw an opportunity to grab Hunter, Liam reached out with both hands, determined not to let go. But as the first rush of passion fades, Liam must identify exactly how far he's willing to go to keep Hunter a part of their lives.

Hunter needs something only Liam and Kat can give him. But while he's willing to change some aspects of his life to be with the couple, he's a marine before all else. When a reassignment means relocation, he'll need to move on—with or without his two lovers.

*See how Kat, Liam and Hunter's love began in Ménage on 34th Street.

As the second book in this series, this book gives a more in-depth look at the relationship between Hunter, Liam and Kat.  They’ve settled into their lives together.  This is basically about the emotional and practical ramifications of being involved in a three way relationship.  Liam and Hunter love each other, Kat and Liam love each other.  Hunter’s career in the military is an issue, as he’s unsure how it would impact him if his relationship status was realized. Really, though Hunter loves Kat and Liam, it’s hard for him to really let down his walls to let them both in and realize that they want him as much as he wants them.  Can they make this unconventional relationship last?
So, right off the bat, the sex in this book is AMAZEBALLS.  It is soooo hot.  What’s also nice about it is that the love these characters have for each other is front and center through the whole thing.  It’s about three people completely and totally accepting one another for who they are and what they have to give.  It’s not just sexy, it’s heartfelt.
Not that I have any experience in this type of thing, but I also appreciated that the relationship felt very authentic and realistic.  For example, they don’t want it to be common knowledge that they are all together.  Totally believable.  This is a genre that tends to go pretty far out into suspension of disbelief territory for me, but this book manages to stay grounded.
I just really liked this story.  It’s heartfelt and just a lovely read.  You really get to know the characters more deeply and go with them on their journey.  Great book. 4.5 Stars.

Not sure how many people know this about me, but I have two authors who usually knock my socks off with their m/m books, not because of the sex scenes, but because they deliver a story that is deep, emotional and meaningful while giving us characters that I can not only invest in but find I fall in love with.  Ann Lister and Cassandra Carr are those two, but today I add a third, Emily Ryan-Davis. She took three beautiful people and made a story that captured my heart from page one. 
Liam and Kat are married but they both love Hunter and want to include him in their relationship.  Liam knows he is bi-sexual and he is very grateful that his wife both accepts him and is confortable bringing Hunter in not only for Liam but for herself as well.  Growing up in foster homes, Liam doesn’t really understand security and total acceptance; his foster sister still has her ways of manipulating him even now that he is an adult.  Kat has a protective side about her, she sees his weaknesses yet she also encourages his strengths.  She knows he needs Hunter as much as she believes Hunter needs them.
Kat will take active steps in helping Hunter accept his desire for Liam and help him explore the world of sex with a man.  While she is helping Hunter with that, she is trying to show Liam how to trust enough to step out and ask Hunter for what he needs.  Taking a back seat while those two men find their own relationship is something she is willing to do if it will bring the three of them together without all of the tension that she has been feeling.
Hunter is a sexy Marine whose main focus is to keep his military life separate from his personal life.  There is no room in the military for his three way relationship, but it would be a deal breaker if they found out he was bi-sexual.  He is having trouble accepting that part of himself.  He hears Liam and Kat tell him that he has a place with them, but he isn’t ready to totally believe that, so he keeps his own place and goes there to spend the night on a scheduled date each week.  While Hunter is trying to control his insecurity and fear as a third person, Liam is dealing with his own secret fear if Hunter does fully commit to them.
This book takes us through the rough patches of Hunter finally hearing what Kat is willing to give up to make sure Hunter stays with them.  He feels acceptance and need from those two while he comes to terms with the fact he has the same strong need for them.  Kat was always seen as the glue that kept this threesome together, but when it comes down to it, maybe she isn’t the only one who can be the glue.  Liam has to put his past behind him, to open himself up to Kat and Hunter and allow them to love him when he can’t even love himself.  The three take the turn in this relationship that will either bring them together forever or will be the final straw to break what they are trying to build. 
I really loved this book and now I will be going back to read the first book that lets us see how they all came together in the first place.  I can’t say I would complain if we get more of their story in the future because there were still things left unanswered for me, or it could be I was just left wanting more of Liam, Hunter and Kat.  

Dial M for Ménage was a great sequel to Ménage on 34th Street. Whereas 34th Street dealt primarily with the sexual aspect of Liam, Kat and Hunter’s budding relationship as they reunited after a decade apart, Dial M addresses more of the non-sexual aspects as they move forward. In this installment we see each of them deal with their individual issues as the attempt to move from a married couple and single guy to a family of three. As if their personal issues were not enough of an obstacle, Liam’s foster sister graces him with news that makes a complicated situation even more so.

One of the things I enjoyed about this book was that the person who was the most resistant in the first book, Hunter, found himself fighting to keep the three together. It was as if once he decided that a ménage relationship was what he wanted, nothing was going to stop him, not even his other partners. While he has the most to lose career-wise if their relationship was discovered, it is his military training and discipline that enable him to remain focused on the end-game, a successful relationship of three.

Of course, I enjoyed the sexual interactions in this installment as much, and maybe more so, than the first book. This is likely because the author increased the intimacy between Liam and Hunter and the physical relationship between the two men developed fully in this time around, resulting in some hot M/M scenes. Honestly I was so excited to see this occur that I cannot remember if we were treated to another DP scene, but the Liam sandwich was well worth it and was so hot it short-circuited my memory (MMF).

Ms. Ryan-Davis did a great job as the solo author of Dial M for Ménage. I can only hope that we get at least one more novel featuring these three as I would love the opportunity to see how things move forward after the big decision they made in the epilogue. Until then, I can enjoy rereads of both Ménage on 34th Street and Dial M for Ménage when I’m in the mood for a steamy ménage read. 
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H08N9YY/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00H08N9YY&linkCode=as2&tag=crysmanrev-20     http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dial-m-for-m-nage-emily-ryan-davis/1118601669?ean=9781426898273&itm=1&usri=dial+m+for+menage


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