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Trista Ann Michaels

REVIEW: Their One and Only by Trista Ann Michaels

REVIEW: Their One and Only by Trista Ann Michaels

Dear Ms. Michaels:

big_michaels-toonlyAngela James made me buy this book so blame her for the review. We were chatting on Twitter the other night about twincest, incest, groupcest, and the like. Within the menage ouvre, there does seem to be an awful lot of brothers who enjoy sharing women. In at least one review of a similar book, one commenter suggested this was incest. Given that they don’t have any sexual contact, other than through the woman that they share, I’m not certain that it is incest (and neither was the twitterverse although that could mean we are all deviants with no moral code).

Ms. James suggested that this was a book that dealt with the psychological concept of sharing more than other menage books. When I went to purchase the book at Fictionwise, I noticed right away that it had 508 reader ratings with the great majority of them “Great”, the best ranking Fictionwise offers. The warning includes “This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: ménage (m/f/m) with twins sharing a partner without being sexually involved with each other…

Kaycee Alcott is a model who is kidnapped by a serial killer. She manages to escape before anything is done to her. (This was actually a very realistic and suspenseful scene). While she is captured, Sam and Tyler Warren, FBI profilers, are able to locate her through a psychic link developed through a scarf of hers that was dropped at the scene. Sam and Tyler are identical twins and when they both touch something, they can feel, hear and sometimes even see the owner’s immediate experiences.

Sam and Tyler are portrayed as two halves of one whole, separated only by the physical plane. On the spiritual or metaphysical plane which can be reached when both are touching something or someone, they become one being. Because Sam and Tyler live, work, exist in the physical plane, their unity of spirit represents a significant challenge when it comes to being with a woman. To achieve true completion, they would need to share a woman because if Tyler falls in love, Sam does as well.

Tyler is convinced that Kaycee is the one and argues that she should be placed in their protective custody by the FBI while the serial killer is being hunted down. Sam rejects this idea fearing being emotionally at risk again. Tyler wins the argument and Kaycee is taken to their remote ranch in Texas. She finds herself attracted to both men and fairly easily accepts the idea of sharing.

The conflict is more focused on Sam allowing himself to give over to the idea of a long lasting relationship with the three of them. He believes that no woman could truly handle being part of a threesome for the long term. The suspense part of the story plays out in the latter half of the full length book.

This is a very erotic story and the scenes are generally very sexy other than a few descriptive missteps (i.e., “pouring” is used twice in reference to liquids emanating from Kaycee’s pussy. Once was enough. Twice is cringe inducing). Kaycee wasn’t immediately indoctrinated into being fully shared without preparation and I thought that was important.

There are problems. I thought part of the prose was rough, particularly the non-erotic scenes. Further, Kaycee does not use a condom during the first sexual act she has with one of the twins. Afterwards, the twin apologizes and Kaycee dismisses this as non important given that she “gets the shot.” I cringed when I read as one twin explained to Kaycee “We’ve shared before. Many times.” and she still thinks condoms are optional.

Sam and Tyler spend a good time debating about how Kaycee is the one. During these arguments, Sam regularly brings up the fact that they have fallen in love before and the other women (plural) haven’t been able to handle the two of them in a long term relationship. The women are good for one night but not for a lifetime. This made it seem like Sam and Tyler spent a good portion of their adult life falling in and out of love and it made Kaycee seem more fortuitous than a true love of either of the men. After all, if all it took was acceptance of the two to make the love circuit whole, any woman could do, not just Kaycee.

The “she’s the one” refrain that Sam and Tyler sang throughout the book diminished in meaning for me given that the “one” really just referred to a woman who they could both share and who would desire them equally. Maybe there really was just one woman, but I would have liked to have seen Kaycee be something more to them that completing the circuit. For the erotic part, I would give it a B+ but the romance and the suspense made it less fulfilling for me. Despite my complaints, I did enjoy the book and Angela James is still in my trust network, spending my dollars on books. C+

Best regards

Jane

This book can be purchased at Fictionwise for $2.98 with micropay rebate.

REVIEW:  Mercenary by Trista Ann Michaels

REVIEW: Mercenary by Trista Ann Michaels

Dear Ms. Michaels:

trista-ann-michaels-entwined-fates-05-mercenary_img_0I think I bought this book because I wanted to read a science fiction space opera fantasy romance thingy or I may have bought it because someone recommended you, as an author, to me. One of the two. I’m thinking it was the latter because as I re-read the blurb at Fictionwise, it didn’t really match how I perceived the book.

Kiley, the daughter of King of Shaba of Delnista, is a very spoiled and headstrong young princess who manages to get herself captured and her chaperone killed by a sex slave trader. Kiley is about to be auctioned off when Lucien, Captain Amanpour, is requested to go and save her as a favor to Kiley’s father. Kiley’s planet is a peaceful one and doesn’t have a military force that could be deployed to save her and Delnista is forced to seek the services of a mercenary. Lucien pretends to buy Kiley but her attitude fires Lucien’s desire. He likes a little resistance to overcome and Kiley looks like an enjoyable battle.

Initially, Kiley bothered me because she showed little remorse for her actions nor did she show much of a significant emotional injury from having her chaperone killed because of Kiley’s own reckless behavior or for what she believes is her sale into sexual slavery. Instead, Kiley is turned on, albeit against her better judgment by this man who treats her as if she exists to pleasure him in all the ways he orders her to.

Lucien is excited by her anger, her resistance and intentionally acts in a manner designed to be provocative and to generate the kind of response he wants from Kiley such as her incensed responsed when he left her a slave collar to wear. Lucien’s enjoyment is heightened by sharing Kiley with his first mate, Syeer. They three of them enjoy a number of dom/sub games on the way to delivering Kiley to Delnista.

The emotional conflict arises because Kiley is a princess and Lucien isn’t currently of a status to marry her. There is an assumption that takes place, without exploration, that Kiley can only marry a royal. This allows Lucien’s abdication of his right to his own throne to be a powerful impediment to Kiley and Lucien being together.

I did feel that the first mate, Syeer, wasn’t well integrated into the love story. He was like an extra, with as much emotional involvement as a sex toy, really, which makes the threesome story seem gratuitous. (As an aside, I wondered why Syeer had such an odd name but not the principals: Lucien and Kiley).

As for the space aspects, so much of the time is spent in the bedroom, that we don’t really get a good sense of the worldbuilding. It wasn’t wallpaper exactly, but it wasn’t a fully integrated space fantasy either.

Kiley did appear to grow over the course of the book, accepting that her actions had consequences which imperiled her planet. She learned what her sexual preferences where and how to exert her power as a submissive over Lucien. Lucien had a sardonic mien which made his dominance less overbearing than the ordinary alpha male. His dom position was less of a necessity and more a role that he enjoyed playing and one that fired him up. The sexual parts of the book was good and the plot, while a bit thin, was serviceable. Overall, it was an enjoyable romp but one that didn’t have much of an emotional impact. C

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased in ebook form from Fictionwise.