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REVIEW: Threesomes (Menage a Trois) or how to increase traffic...

Dear Romantica (TM Ellora’s Cave) authors:

In the last week, I have read a series of threesome books. Ellora’s Cave has them so nicely grouped for me and based on a couple of other reader recommendations, I read 6 (3 in one anthology) before I was menage a trois-ed out. When I picked them out to read, some were from a purchase made months ago. So long ago that maybe I could have qualified for AngieW’s TBR April Challenge. I also tried to stay away from any that looked marginally incestual (read Lora Leigh’s Men of August series. I read one and was squicked out by it. The whole series read like the diary of a sexual predator: I have to have pain inflicted during sex because I was tortured as a child. In order for me to have true fulfillment, I must impale my bride in one orifice whilst my brother bones her in another. But I guess that is another letter for another day). I tried to read contemporary settings so I wasn’t getting interspecies and intergalatical threesomes (I was inadvertantly unsuccessful here). Without further delay:

1. Dear Ms. Byrd, author of Triple Play. Your story was fun but a little weird. This would be the story for those who love those boss/secretary plots but what a little, err, alot of spice to that theme. I think you are a pretty good author but I didn’t really like the spineless heroine who was preyed upon by her supervisors. C+

2. Dear Ms. Starr, author of Lady’s Choice. Your story was pretty campy and out there. Lija is out slumming in another region when she meets up with Jackson and Gehon, two Zelion warrior/space traders (I guess Han Solo and his partner if his partner wasn’t Chewbacca. Or maybe Han Solo and Luke S if Luke S wasn’t Leia’s twin brother). Immediately Jackson and Gehon know that Lija is both their “true” (read: soul mate). They are disturbed that one woman represents both their trues but they act together to kidnap her and convince her sexually that she belongs with one of them. Jackson is a great lover. Gehon is the romantic. Together they make one great husband. The end. This is not bad. One of the funnier things in the book is that Lija makes note of the differences in the two men’s penises. She uses this knowledge to good use later when someone tries to make her believe that the two men are cheating on her. B-

3. Dear Ms. LaFluer, author of And Best Friend Makes Three. I thought your story was the best of the bunch. It had fun with the genre while not taking itself too seriously and still made me believe in the romance between the main hero and heroine. Brenna and Eric are engaged to be married. They have been together for over a year and have fallen in love. Eric knows that Brenna is passionate and adventurous woman. When his best friend, Keith, comes to town for a visit, Eric decides to give Brenna an early wedding present – a threesome. Brenna and Eric stay passionately in love and this is just one episode in their sexual lives although, I suppose the story hinted at more polygamous sexual adventures. B

4. Dear Ms. BradleShiloh walker Voyeury, author of Saving Sarah. I couldn’t read this story. I wasn’t sold on the idea that some ghost could provide sexual healing in the form of a threesome to somone who suffered a rape. It could have been the greatest story ever but the whole premise turned me off. Sorry bout that. I’ll give some other book a try. DNF

5. Dear Ms. Byrne, author of Stephanie’s Menage, your cover is very misleading. I thought it was a contemporary. Instead it is a weird and really unexplanable amalgamation of urban fantasy and fantasy. I suppose in a romantica the focus isn’t on the worldbuilding, but still. The two men are twin brothers. In their fantasy society, twin brothers always mate with one woman. This is another one troo love story. It also features a little political intrigue in that their mother is a cruel, evil bitch that they are going to overthrow. The way that they are going to do that is to find their mate and make her queen. These two guys are pretty silly to the point of almost being emasculated. They don’t realize what is really going on in their country and what their evil mother is doing. She tortures and kills people just for the fun of it. There is some strange evil spirit that is inhabiting her or helping her (I think some kind of succubus). The story ends with Stephanie and her menage but doesn’t at all address the evil queen. That was pretty disappointing. D

6. Dear Ms. Walker, author of Voyeur. This story had unexpected depths. It features a husband and wife who share a night together with a friend. This friend falls for the wife and while completely enjoys the experience of the threesome is haunted by the fact that he is in love with one of his closest friend’s wife. You made me feel very bad for the friend. I liked how the way that the story was resolved in the end except for the paranormal aspect. The – one last time threesome – was almost farcical but I guess that is the Romantica way of bringing about closure. I think you are an author to watch as you brought a good deal of emotion to a short story. B-

I think that erotic/romantica that exists solely for the purpose of the sex and has no real plot device can only be read in short spans. I am pretty much tired of sex scenes and toward the end of the stories would start skimming through. They really all started sounding the same. Those of you who presented some emotional connection between the characters were more readable to me and made me interested in reading other books of yours.

Best regards,

Jane

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

7 Comments

  1. AngieW
    Apr 08, 2006 @ 16:44:33

    Let me tell you something though, the sex still sells the book. No matter how many readers say that they want plot and character development, it’s the sex that sells.

  2. Jane
    Apr 08, 2006 @ 16:56:53

    I don’t doub that the sex sells. I just think that those stories that have more emotional connection (not necessarily plot because there really wasn’t one in Lynn LaFleur’s story) made the sex better and made me interested in reading more of those stories. Otherwise, I think I would just read Letters to Penthouse.

  3. AngieW
    Apr 08, 2006 @ 18:27:35

    You and I think that, and agree, but someone else out there is speaking with their pocketbook and the authors are listening to them because their speaking “louder” unfortunately.

  4. AngieW
    Apr 08, 2006 @ 18:28:00

    they’re even. Dammit. LOL.

  5. Karen Scott
    Apr 11, 2006 @ 04:44:40

    The only one of the books listed that I’ve read was Triple Play. Good voice, too much continuous sex. (And that’s not a complaint that I usually verbalise!)

  6. Dear Author.Com »Blog Archive » The Threeway
    May 24, 2006 @ 20:55:04

    […] No, no, no, Gentle Reader, not the Ellora’s Cave Threeway. I’m talking Love Triangles. […]

  7. Ashley Ladd
    Feb 03, 2008 @ 17:49:16

    I agree that I want story and emotion, too, in a menage or any romance/romantica. As a romantica writer who has written a few menages, I will tell you that our editors (from more than one publisher) will often tell us we HAVE to add more sex to our stories.

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