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REVIEW: Sharing Hailey by Samantha Ann King

Dear Ms. King,

I requested Sharing Hailey from Net Galley because it contains two of my favorite tropes, a monogamous ménage and what I like to call the “I love my brother’s best friend” trope. In this case, Hailey Anderson loves her brother Jake’s, two best friends, Mark Allen, a woodworker and Tony Adamo, a pediatric surgeon.

After breaking up with her abusive and completely crazy boyfriend, Daniel, Hailey is headed to Hawaii with her brother and his pregnant wife, Nicki, and her brother’s two best friends, Mark and Tony. She’s always had a thing for both Mark and Tony, but neither has ever made a move towards her. Sure, they’re solicitous and kind to her, but she doesn’t think they have any romantic interest in her. So imagine her surprise when Mark kisses her while they are waiting to board the plane. Hailey is even more shocked when Mark and Tony inform her that they’ve both been in love with her for years, and had been waiting to see which of them she would choose. Given that she’s made no move, they’ve decided to propose that she enter a monogamous relationship with the both of them. They spend their time in Hawaii exploring the relationship, but also keeping it secret from Hailey’s family because they are unsure of how they will react. In the mean time, Hailey’s stalker ex-boyfriend has traveled to Hawaii to try to win her back, and he’ll use any means he has to make her return to her relationship with him.

Sharing Hailey by Samantha Ann KingGiven that you are a new to me author, I had tempered expectations going in to reading this book. There were things that impressed me about the story, but also a lot of little things that I wish you’d done differently to make the book more effective. Hailey is a likeable girl. She’s smart and funny and is very loyal to those she loves. She also looks like Jennifer Aniston, but has no idea how good looking she is. Really? It may be a personal tick now that I’ve read several “50 Shades” types of books, but heroines who don’t know they’re pretty smack of Mary Sue to me. Also, I wish that you’d done more to differentiate Tony and Mark. Having finished the book last night, I couldn’t tell you much about either of them, except that they both have rock hard abs and tight butts. I found myself during passages of the book trying to figure out which was which – who was the woodworker and who was the doctor? Also, you had a scene where the heroes flirted with touching each other, and then backed away from it. While I don’t mind a ménage where the men don’t touch, I found it aggravating to have them touch each other, get off on it, and then decide it was a huge mistake without really resolving the issue (their conversation about it happened offline). It felt like a missed opportunity to capitalize on another very spicy interaction among the trio.

I enjoyed the Hawaiian setting and thought that the suspense part of the book involving the evil ex-boyfriend helped to escalate the relationship between the trio. You have a nice hand at sex scenes, which were plentiful and varied. I also felt like the book ended a bit abruptly, as if you were approaching your word count, and had to scramble to tie everything up. This is a book that would benefit from a few more scenes before resolving the relationship.

All of this sounds like I didn’t enjoy the book, but I did. I found the story engaging and I liked the interactions between main characters. I read the book in a matter of hours, and didn’t find my attention wandering at all. You are definitely an author I would try again. Sharing Hailey gets a C+ from me.

Kind regards,
Kati

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Kati

I've been reading romance for more than 30 years and reviewing regularly for the last five. My first romance was Irish Thoroughbred by Nora Roberts, and once I read it, I was a goner. I read most subgenres of romance (except inspirational and steampunk) but focus mostly on contemporary and paranormal, with a sprinkling of historical thrown in for flavor. I am an avid sports fan, so I have a special place in my heart for sports themed romances. I'm a sucker for old skool romance, which is probably most evident in the fact that The Windflower is my favorite romance of all time.

10 Comments

  1. Joy
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 09:01:28

    Given that she’s made no move, they’ve decided to propose that she enter a monogamous relationship with the both of them.

    I hate to be pedantic, but that word “monogamous” is so not appropriate here.

  2. DS
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 10:01:22

    @Joy: bigamous maybe. Wait a minute, that has another meaning. What would you call it?.

  3. Patricia
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 10:17:16

    I think “exclusive” might be the right term here rather than “monogamous” since she seems to be involved with the two male leads and no one else.

  4. Liz Mc2
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 10:21:14

    Since I love to be pedantic, I’d suggest “exclusive.” People do use it to describe monogamous dating, but it would apply here just as well. I also wouldn’t edit the review just because pedants like me showed up in the comments. :)

    I appreciated this review, especially your point that some issues about how their relationship will work aren’t fully explored. I have that problem with a lot of ménage stories.

  5. Kati
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 10:33:54

    Perhaps I should have used “committed”. I think of monogamous as committed, so that’s probably a better term.

    @Joy – I had to laugh because “I hate to be pedantic” is my dad’s favorite way to correct my grammar. :)

  6. Lynn S.
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 10:46:15

    Your mention of an inability to distinguish between the two men makes this one a pass for me.

    @Joy: In honor of your pedantry and the fact that I have no desire to work today, I think we should make this New Word Monday and will offer up duogamous as my contribution.

  7. Annabeth
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 11:52:37

    I liked this one too, but I would have liked it a little more had the dudes not been so afraid of touching each other. Maybe I read too much m/m :) But if they are going to spend the rest of their lives together, I’m betting the issue comes up again (hah!) and I kinda wanted to see that on-camera so to speak. I guess I prefer M/M/F menage scenarios where the dudes can keep each other busy if the heroine is tired or has a newborn or whatever :) However, I’ll definitely try this author again, as I really liked her voice.

  8. Jane
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 13:43:13

    I had a number of problems with this story. There were too many conflicts. The insertion of the sister in law, the sister in law’s sister, and the brother in law were a waste of space. I also agree that the menage wasn’t well thought out and that it progressed too quickly for me.

  9. CK
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 13:49:39

    I totally agree with your review but I’m a bit less forgiving :) Now, I’m not a m/m fan but I thought that menage scene was very hot and totally more realistic than ‘and tho sword shall not cross into my realm’ scenarios of most m/f/m. Yet when the author backpedaled at warp speed it totally took me out of the story. I would have been much more interested in having them deal with a fluid m/m/f – m/f/m relationship than the eye rolling psycho boyfriend. I also got the MarySue vibe. It’s one thing to have a heroine not see herself as hot but to have it explained by just about everyone how hot she truly is made me see her as StupidSue.

  10. Kaetrin
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 21:52:40

    I quite liked this one but, like you, was disappointed that the potential sexual relationship between the two men wasn’t more fully explored. It would have been one thing if the boys had just said, “we’re not into each other” but they said that and then did something else and then…. nothing. That part of the story just went off into the ether. Why go there if you’re not going to include it in the story?

    I thought the stalker thing overtook the part of the book which was of most interest to me – the relationship between Hailey, Mark and Tony. At times, it felt a bit like a social commentary about abusive relationships which bothered me a little.

    I didn’t, however, have any trouble differentiating Mark and Tony though. I thought they were different enough – one was dark and waxed and a doctor, one was fair and trimmed and a carpenter, both were super hot :D

    I thought the sex scenes were very well done. There was a lot I enjoyed about the story and I’m looking forward to more from this author.

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