Title: What He Left Behind
Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Genre(s): Hurt/Healing/Comfort and Ménage/Threesome
Page Count: 238
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
Can you ever have a second first time?
Josh Carver thinks it’s just another lunch with his best friend, Michael—until Michael confesses he just turned down a date with his hot veterinarian crush. It seems Michael’s abusive ex left him more scarred than Josh realized.
Josh and his husband, Ian, have done their best to help Michael leave his horrific past behind, but even Josh is stunned when Ian suggests that Josh help Michael with his fear of physical intimacy. After all, it isn’t like it would be the first time—Josh and Michael were once each other’s firsts.
A hesitant first kiss, and Josh and Michael’s natural attraction eases the way. But with Michael still balking at the prospect of sex with someone new, Ian steps into the breach.
Everything is fine and dandy until emotions become so entangled, their friendship—and a marriage—could be at risk.
Warning: Contains three guys who will do anything for each other, a hot tub that’s always the right temperature, and a cat with an attitude problem.
Let’s just start with the facts here. I am a hurt/healing/comfort junkie. You know that Best M/M Hurt/Healing/Comfort Books listopia over at GoodReads? I created that. Of the 43 books on my 5+ stars list, 23 of them are hurt/healing/comfort. And for the first time, I submitted a prompt to the M/M Romance DRiTC event. Here it is:
I’ve been hurt badly. In my first month away from home, enjoying new-found independence on my college campus, I was brutally raped by a stranger. I had barely begun my homosexual exploration, kissing and some hand jobs, with a few men who were also experimenting, when it happened 7 years ago. I have not been able to enjoy sexual relations with another man ever since. It has affected every one of my romantic relationships and I am sick and tired of being alone and afraid. I have decided to ask my best friend, a man I first met in junior high and trust with ever part of my being, to help me overcome my fear of intimacy and sex. Yes, he is straight, but his love for me is strong and he suffers along with me when my fears arise. My hope is that he can help me, taking baby steps, enjoy the wonders of sex by touching me and loving me. I know that it will hurt when our intimate time together is over, but I’m not going to think about that now. I need the overwhelming dread and fear of other men stricken from my mind before I can worry about anything else.
(GFY, hurt/healing/comfort, no cheating, emotional sex as hot as fire and a HEA. I’d like to see these MCs well matched and versatile in the bedroom. I leave everything else up to up, my dearest author.)
So, now you have the facts.
As I got into What He Left Behind, it became very apparent that this book was almost exactly like my prompt. An abused man, no longer able to function in a romantic relationship because of fear of sex and intimacy. Holy shit! Did L.A. Witt read my prompt?? Because this book was written for me! It included all my favorites! I was a tab overwhelmed and overly excited and gobbled this book up in one sitting. MY BOOK!
Now, there was one major difference here and that is the fact that this is a ménage romance. Michael is the abused man, his best friend is Josh, the one who does the sexual healing (HOT AS FIRE) and Josh is married to Ian, who is actually the one to suggest the “sexual therapy” to Josh in the first place. (Obviously Ian gets in on the fun as the story progresses.) I have to admit it was a little strange at first. Josh in love and married to a wonderful man, meeting his best friend for hot sex on the side. With permission! But once it all settled in my brain, I was SOLD. And when Ian joins them, it was weird again, but only for a scene or two. Yes, I am picky about my M/M/M romance, but L.A. Witt has done it before to my delight with The Distance Between Us and Out of Focus and she did it again here.
Hurt/healing/comfort junkies, like me, are going to eat this up. Those picky with their ménage romances, like me, are going to love the emotion because of the sex and intimacy.
5 stars, highly recommended.