Title: Room at the Edge
Author: Jane Davitt & Alexa Snow
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs
Publisher: Loose id
Genre: Contemporary M/M/M, BDSM
Length: Novel/332 pages/
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars
A guest review by Jenre
Review Summary: A creditable sequel to Room at the Top but too much focus on sex made this a dull read at times.
Three sexy men, one hot relationship. In Room at the Top, devoted sub couple Jay and Austin went looking for a no-strings attached Dom and ended up falling for Liam, who, much to his surprise, turned out to be the Dom of their dreams. But their happy ending was only the beginning of their story.
Now Jay is begging Liam to turn up the heat with fire play and Austin wants them all under one roof, no matter what people might think. Caught up in the difficulties and pleasures of their new relationship, it’s easy to miss the way they’re moving dangerously close to the edge of falling apart, not deeper in love.
Room at the Edge is the sequel to Room at the Top, a book I liked a great deal and which Wave reviewed here. This story is a continuation of Jay, Austin and Liam’s journey together. At the end of the first book, the three men were starting to move away from it just being Jay and Austin as a sub couple who visit Dom Liam to fulfil their need for submission, and more towards Liam being a more cohesive part of their lives and their relationship. I was looking forward to seeing the three men work through the difficulties of a three way relationship, especially since Jay and Austin are so close as a couple.
In terms of how successful they come together as a three, I felt this book had made a strong case for the love they feel for each other. It explored fully the reservations each man has about their relationship, but also how they all wholeheartedly want the relationship to work. I loved that all three men have such distinct personalities and needs, both personally and as a sub or Dom. In fact, I would say that this aspect was the best part of the book for me because it’s in those differences that the three struggle to be together. For example, Jay is a masochist who needs pain, but Austin is more of a submissive who thrives on service and humiliation. The pair of subs together inhibit each other’s submission because Austin hates to see Jay hurt so much, and Jay cannot understand why Austin wants to be humiliated, and tries to disrupt things when he does. The way that these problems are worked through during the book was pleasing and I felt that by the end they had come to a better understanding of the needs of each other.
Having said that, I also found the book a frustrating and even dull read at times because the focus is mostly on the BDSM sex. Now, I like BDSM and enjoy reading well written and deeply psychological sex scenes between subs and Doms. However, with this book the sex became repetitive at times – there’s lots of spankings for example, which you would expect because both subs love being spanked, but did we need so many of the spankings to be shown on page? Or there were many scenes where Jay was punished for his disobedience. I found that rather than being used to further the plot or characters in any way, a lot of the sex was just there for no reason than to titillate. Some of you may be pleased about that, but I found that I quickly got to sex overload point and by half way through the book, I was struggling to want to read on. The sex got in the way of character or plot development, and as such the pace of the book is quite slow, the relationships moving on incrementally and that was another frustration. My favourite sex scenes were those which did show the characters making some sort of breakthrough such as those where Liam is alone with either Austin or Jay and so can explore their type of submission to a greater degree.
Whilst all the characters learn from each other in the story, I really enjoyed seeing Liam coming to terms with his role as a Dom to two subs. Liam is the opposite of those ‘smug Doms’ you sometimes find in BDSM books, and I was pleased that we get insight into his struggles. I especially liked the way that Liam works through his feelings of loneliness and isolation. Pleasing two men and himself isn’t an easy task and he sometimes makes mistakes, but I liked him better for that. Liam became my favourite character from the book, and one who made the most progress in terms of characterisation.
By the end of the book the three are more solid in their relationship, but there was still a lot of uneasiness between them, and a lot of unanswered questions about their future. This meant that I wasn’t wholly convinced that the three would stay the course because there were too many variables which could potentially cause a rift between them. I still really liked the characters and I wanted them to be happy so I chose to believe that they would work things out.
I was also pleased that Austin’s annoying sister, April, barely featured in the book. We are still shown some of Austin’s connection to his family through his relationship with his mum, but on the whole the focus was mainly on the three men.
Overall, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as Room at the Top. Not just because it had too much of a focus on sex for me, but also because of my uneasiness at the end of the book. However, this pair of authors always write well, and are autobuy authors for me so the book wasn’t a bad read and I would still recommend it if you like BDSM or m/m/m romance.