REVIEW: Rule of Three by Kelly Jamieson
Dear Ms. Jamieson:
I’ve kind of drifted away from menages but this book was free. I thought the dynamic of the three falling in love was really well done. My minus is that I really needed to see the other issues worked out – how would her family take it; what kinds of decisions would they make about marriage and children. I also did not like the dichotomy of the good girl v. the bad girl.
Kassidy and Chris have just moved in together, a tangible sign of their commitment to each other. Their love is passionate and sometimes insatiable. Then Chris’ best friend, Dag, comes to town. Kassidy doesn’t like Dag immediately and it is obvious from the text that Dag is uncomfortable around the two of them. It becomes fairly obvious that Dag is attracted to Chris as well as Kassidy.
While this is an erotic romance and there are plenty of scenes involving sex in the story, there were important scenes outside of the bedroom that showed the reader how Dag could be an integral part of Chris and Kassidy’s lives. Dag is a better listener than Chris, more willing to talk about his feelings. Chris is rather aloof. At one point, Kassidy says that she almost died when Chris admitted her loved her because while he feels strongly, he doesn’t like to talk about it.
Chris and Dag shared women back in the day and Chris, a voyeur of sorts (much to the surprise of Kassidy), encourages Kassidy to enjoy the two men together. Kassidy protests initially because she feels not only is this wrong but that it could seriously jeopardize her relationship with Chris.
Those feelings of vulnerability and fear only intensify after the threesome happens which all read very realistic.
There are problematic aspects to this story. I didn’t like the slut shaming that occurred in the book. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be slut shaming but presenting Hailie , the bad sister who liked hookups, as the irresponsible one who never visits her parents and is always disappointing them, and whom Chris and Dag would like to give a swift kick in the ass to, seemed like running down the “bad girl”.
If it was supposed to be presented as more ambivalent, then running down Hailie’s character in order to prop up Kassidy’s was unnecessary and unraveled any attempts at nuance between the good girl and the bad girl. There was a plot point involving Hailie’s career choice that only provided more fodder for Kassidy and the two men to judge Hailie which was even more unfortunate and further cemented that certain girls who like hookups, crazy sex, bartending, and other types of activities don’t deserve an HEA. Instead, the good girl gets not only one hot guy but two of them to take care of all her financial, emotional, and mental needs.
Finally, the ending was a rather abrupt denouement. So much of the book really explored the emotional aspect of the menage a trois including the complicated feelings Dag and Chris had for each other. Chris’ storyline was given short shrift, particularly his closeted homosexual feelings. I wished more was fleshed out about those.
The ending left open, unexplored, exactly how the three of them were going to navigate this relationship moving forward such as marriage, babies, facing the parents, dealing with co workers. An epilogue or another chapter of these three dealing with the actual issues of being in a committed threesome would have been useful in resolving those open threads and cementing the HEA in the readers’ minds.B-