Review: Last Call by Christina Lee & Felice Stevens
Note: This ARC was provided by the authors via Michelle Slagan in exchange for an honest review.
When he spoke about Quinn, Gray's face lit up, and my heart raced. He could deny it all he wanted, but I saw how much he cared for Quinn. How much he wanted him. And Quinn with his open heart couldn't hide his desire for Gray either. A part of me wanted to be wanted like that. More than that, I wanted them to want me.
Quinn Monahan and Grayson Page have been best friends since they were in high school, and their twenty-year friendship has even produced a bar that continues to build a loyal patronage and following. They know everything about each other. Well, almost everything. Neither man knows just how non-platonic their feelings are for each other, but whether it be fear of their friendship ending or fear of rejection, they go on keeping things very much in the friend zone. But when a man named Emery Woods enters Last Call, everything changes, not just for Quinn and Gray, but for the man who's lived his life rather aimlessly for the past two years. The former circus roadie has never really planted roots for himself, but the opportunity to work alongside Quinn and Gray fills Emery with more than one unfamiliar feeling. He's attracted to both men, and it becomes clear they're just as attracted to him. However, Emery can see that the feelings Quinn and Gray have for each other run far more deeply. If they explore their attraction to one another, Emery will have to keep his wits about him because the last thing he wants or needs is to be the odd man out yet again. Because this time around, his battered heart may not survive the pending rejection.
Okay, okay. I know what you may be thinking. I bitch and moan about most books that have threesomes, triads, trouples, or whichever term you'd like to use for three-sided relationships, and yet here I am--reading a book that makes it very clear from the get-go that this is about three men who become sexually and romantically involved with one another. So, why jump in? Well, to be honest, a lot of that had to do with the two authors who penned this book. I've read a lot of Felice Stevens's books over the past two years and she's like the angst dealer to my angst addict. More often than not, she gives me what my angst-addicted heart needs and she's become a go-to author. With regards to Christina Lee, well, hello, I've lost count of the number of times I've put out the disclaimer that I'm a certified fangirl of hers when I review her books. I've read everything she's written, and the woman just has me coming back for more. Not reading a book of hers would be inconceivable. So yeah, knowing that Last Call was written by two people whose work I've already read and loved helped me to saying yes to reading it. But, as is the case with ANY story, I try to not let personal feelings color my opinions. So, did I like this book? Nope, I didn't...
I absolutely loved this novel!!! Yep, you read that right. Me liking a story involving a three-sided romance isn't too much of an impossibility, but loving it is akin to a rarefied feat. If memory serves me right, I can count on one hand the number of books that carry this particular trope that I've claimed to love. So, what was it about Gray, Quinn, and Emery's story that called to me and made me its bitch? Well, you would think that with Quinn and Gray already having an established friendship that's two decades running, this would have ended up being a case of me feeling that there was no way all three men loved each other equally, leading to yet another three-sided romance that didn't work for me. However, having that friendship and those long-held feelings of attraction and much more does not immediately result in some seamless happily-ever-after for Gray and Quinn. If anything, neither man will readily budge to acknowledge any of it for a good long while even after Emery enters the picture. What happens instead is that all three men figure out the parameters and set the boundaries of their burgeoning professional and personal relationships. They adjust, they communicate, they fall, and more importantly, they do it all TOGETHER.
You see, it's that TOGETHER part that got to me. Sure, Quinn and Gray have history, and sure, Gray and Emery have far more similarities in terms of background and personality than Quinn and Gray or Quinn and Emery do. But entering into first a threesome, and then a triad (yeah, those are two very different things in my eyes), was something that neither Quinn nor Gray had ever had experience with and Emery's experience taught him a valuable lesson, one that he imparted to the two men in his life. Don't think, either, that everything went smoothly for any of them. There are moments of jealousy, wariness, and insecurity and they aren't limited to merely one man. All three of them have their feelings on the line along with friendship, trust, and the only family that any of them have right now. I more than appreciated that neither Lee nor Stevens glossed over the whole pre-established attraction between Gray and Quinn. They didn't sugarcoat Emery feeling like he was the odd man out. All of those very real feelings, emotions, and thoughts that inspired doubt were touched upon time and again, making it so damn easy to empathize with and become emotionally invested in these three men. Last Call is THE best triad love story I could ever hope to read and one that I am seriously recommending you check out. This gets five-plus stars. ♥
Date Read: 03 December 2017
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