Title: Golden Dancer
Author: Tara Lain
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary M/M/M
Length: Novel (213 pages)
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Review Summary: A good effort but there were too many plot holes and inconsistencies in the characterizations for me to recommend this book, although I did enjoy some aspects of the story.
Mac MacAllistre is obsessed; the online news reporter needs enough evidence to write a story accusing billionaire art collector Daniel Terrebone of stealing The Golden Dancer, a priceless work of art, from son-of-a-Nazi Horst Von Berg. The story promises the recognition Mac craves, but then Mac meets a real golden dancer, ballet star Trelain Medveyev, and his attraction to the man rocks his formerly straight world.
When the mysterious Terrebone “collects” this beautiful dancer, too, Mac rushes to the rescue like a knight in shining cargo pants and plunges into a three-way passion that tears him between love and guilt. Can Mac keep investigating when his story could send one man to prison and another to the morgue? Will this reporter get his story or get his men?
I love M/M/M menages and I read as many of these books as I can because they are one of my secret kinks, however these stories are difficult to write and the authors really have to stretch to make them and the characters believable, especially the HEA. A few of these stories are excellent, some are good and others just don’t cut it.
“Mac MacAllister” is spelled differently in the blurb so I’ll use the spelling in the book since I assume that’s correct. Mac MacAllister is the son of former ballet dancers so it was no surprise when his boss asked him to interview ballet star Trelain Medveyev when the regular entertainment columnist fell ill. Meeting the sexy Russian ballet star exceeded Mac’s wildest dreams. After their interview Mac suggested to Trelain that he do a more personal piece on him and they went to dinner to discuss the article. During dinner Mac noticed that Trelain’s was in pain and when they returned to Trelain’s hotel he offered to massage his sore leg but one thing led to another, ending up with them giving each other hand jobs. Of course Mac freaked out because other than a couple incidents at college he thought he was straight, but Trelain made him rethink his sexual orientation. He had always put his disinterest in sex down to his busy job; now it seemed that the explanation to his problem was quite different.
A few days later Trelain met billionaire art collector Daniel Terrebone at a fund raiser, who charmed him right into his bed a few days later. Did Daniel steal a golden dancer twice? When Mac found out about Trelain and Daniel he was so jealous he had to face something he had been avoiding putting a name to all his adult life – could he be in the closet? The clincher was when he had sex with both Trelain and Daniel the first time and it was the wildest ride of his life as he couldn’t get enough and didn’t want to leave them, ever. He was so seduced by the men in his life that he was willing to give up everything, including fame if he managed to break the case wide open. He equivocated all the time about whether to pursue the investigation and he came across as extremely indecisive. He either loved Daniel and Trelain or he didn’t, and since he claimed he did why continue the investigation which would devastate all of them? They both loved and trusted him and putting Daniel in jail would end the relationship and Trelain wouldn’t want him anymore.
There were some tender moments in the book and one of them was Daniel wooing Trelain by drying his hair, massaging his scalp and applying his make-up the morning after the first night he stayed over, before making love to him. Trelain was so wound up all he wanted was to get laid but Daniel wasn’t about to rush, as he told him “I’m an investor. I never make the buy until the market is ready.” Well that market was SO ready he couldn’t wait, and he had sex with Daniel in his limo on the way back from lunch.
I was willing to overlook some inconsistencies in the book but where it went off the rails for me was the confusing plot. Mac’s investigation into whether Daniel had stolen the Golden Dancer was convoluted, his sleuthing was bumbling and heavy handed at best, mostly because he was conflicted about whether he wanted to continue trying to nail Daniel, and not in a good way. Also, his sources and contacts didn’t seem credible, from a Nazi criminal and his henchmen to untrustworthy informants, and the climax of the story involving a kidnapping was unintentionally funny (at least I don’t think the author intended it to be funny).
There were many scenes in the book that I didn’t find believable and one was when Daniel, a self-made, tough businessman and billionaire was crying because he believed that Mac had betrayed him (he cried on other occasions too). 🙂 Also, everyone fell in love so quickly it was insta-love.
Trelain’s character was most believable I thought. Mac was obviously conflicted about his sexuality and when he admitted he was gay he was afraid – at 27 years old – to tell his dad because he had made it clear all his life that he didn’t like gays; he had even gotten rid of a dancer (Paavo) that we never met, when he noticed young Mac’s interest in and attachment to him years ago. However, when Mac told him that he was gay his father seemed to accept his sexual orientation immediately and didn’t make an issue about it, but his explanation for his change of heart was very confusing – yet another character that was inconsistent.
There were many aspects of the plot that I questioned. The theft of the Golden Dancer, the main plot, was resolved without much fanfare but we’re never told how the theft was accomplished and it wrapped up too easily. We don’t know who had the Dancer, but we do know where it ended up. There was also a sub plot which is connected to the theft, involving Daniel and an older family member, but it seemed to have been manufactured almost as an afterthought to give the plot some authenticity and rationalize why the Golden Dancer was stolen. This didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me but I can’t explain any more since that would be a spoiler. Are you confused yet? I am, and I read the book. 🙂
As for the sex, it was hot, hot, hot and there was A LOT of it, but some of it required me to suspend disbelief. At one point Mac changed condoms several times during one extended sex scene where he topped both Trelain and Daniel; this seemed ridiculous since immediately after that scene he had sex with both men again without a condom. Huh? All I can say is that Mac’s prowess had to be seen to be believed – he had the stamina of several men and his sexual olympics and remarkable recovery rate are things many men would envy. Maybe he should bottle it because those sex scenes were quite inventive.
The author saved the best for last. There was an over the top HEA and you have to read the book to understand why I found it so.
This is a book that fans of Tara Lain will love because the writing is actually quite good. I wish I could have rated Golden Dancer higher since I really liked the writing and enjoyed a lot of it. Golden Dancer could have been a good story if the characterizations weren’t inconsistent and the plot wasn’t a train wreck.