Friday, August 30, 2013

Catching up with more Minis: Samantha Ann King

Hey I'm on a roll with my minis! So here are a few more.

Waiting for Ty by Samantha Ann King

I received a request to review this book and was interested, but was late to respond. So, I decided to purchase it and read it anyway. As you will see below, this M/M romance did not quite work for me and I posted a spoiler-free mini at Goodreads. So, go on to that if you don't want to read the spoiler.

SPOILER: But I really want to talk about why this story didn't work for me. Why? Well, right off the bat there is a big contradiction when it comes to the characters -- they are both admittedly bisexual before embarking on their friends-to-lovers relationship, yet the story begins with the phrase "I don't do men," and that little phrase continues to pop up for a while as both characters think it. Really? Sorry, but no.  If the phrase have been "I would do him, but..." or "I want to do him, but..." or something to that effect, I wouldn't have been pulled out of the story from the beginning. :(
Great friends to lovers premise that doesn't quite deliver. The story begins on a high with a GFY (gay for you) flavor, but contradictions quickly become obvious to the reader. The "I don't do men" thoughts/phrases should not apply in this case to either man. If you've read this story, you know what I mean.

Going forward, the story is sectioned off into two distinctive parts -- one in which the H/H fight their attraction and love for each other (containing sexual scenes that are not quite plausible), and the other where they seek family acceptance -- a highly relevant subject matter. It is unfortunate, however, that these two sections are not better woven in together, as the building sexual and romantic tension found in the beginning is lost half-way through the story and never recovered. (Carina Press, July 29, 2013) Grade: C- (2.75/5.0 Goodreads)

Sharing Hailey by Samantha Ann King

Since Waiting for Ty did not work for me, I wanted to give this author another try to see if I would enjoy her previously published erotic threesome, so I picked this book, Sharing Hailey. What I found is that I enjoyed it a bit more than her M/M romance.
A threesome, not a triad (do not expect M/M love scenes on this one), there were aspects of this novel by King I liked and others I did not:

I liked that the two men had a wonderful understanding of each other and what they wanted from Hailey. Because of the long, deep friendship, and the love that the three of them already feel for each other, when the relationship begins it feels good and true. The sexual scenes are not outstanding, but they are good. The three people involved are equals in the relationship, although the slightly dominant males tend to cater and are protective of Hailey. She, however, is just as protective and loving with them. No BDSM, which makes this a refreshing read.

There is also a pertinent storyline that addresses Hailey's life as an abused woman with ex-boyfriend, Daniel. It is unfortunate, however, that this thread takes over the second section of the story, sacrificing intimate moments and taking personal conflicts between our threesome in a different direction. There is also a sense that this story is not quite finished, at least emotionally there are missing steps that need to be addressed. Overall, an average read with enjoyable moments. Grade: C+ (3.5/5.0 Goodreads)
Her characters in this story are seriously likable and the dynamics between this trio worked really well for me. The men do not engage in sexual play, yet there is love and a bond between them that definitely makes this a good threesome, plus Hailey is really a part of both their lives. The book is not overloaded with sex scenes either, but what really brought the grade down for me was the second section of the story.

Now, if you look above, you'll see that King also seemed to section off Waiting for Ty. In Sharing for Hailey, she introduces the rather serious subject of violence against women, domestic violence, and stalking and she follows through with the subject which was surprising. I think it is wonderful that King weaves in issues with substance in her erotic romances, unfortunately it is not well woven in with the erotic storyline. Because of the violence and seriousness of the situation she presents, one thread distracts the reader from the other, so that after a while all the buildup to the threesome romance goes flat, and never quite recovered... the same happens in Waiting for Ty. Overall though, I think that King has a good touch when it comes to developing a relationship between threesomes, and I'm picky when it comes to those!

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