Title: Three Little Words (Second Edition)
Author: Allison Cassatta
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 26, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 200
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Is it better to keep some secrets locked away?
Matt thought his life was perfect, but he learns there’s no such thing when the man he planned to marry breaks his heart and leaves him holding the pieces. Needing to escape and lick his wounds, Matt heads to New England to spend time on his brother’s lobster boat. A one-night stand proves to him that empty sex does nothing to mend old hurt, and neither does running away.
So when Matt’s best friend, Luke, a firefighter, is seriously injured, Matt steps up, even if it means facing bigotry and ignorance. Luke has been hiding his feelings from Matt all their lives, and revealing them after so many years won’t make life easier for either of them. But nothing worth having ever comes easily….
Briefly, Matt and Brandon have been together for five years and when Matt returns from a business trip to find Brandon gone, leaving only a brief Dear John note, he turns to Luke, his best friend since high school. An unexpected passionate kiss from Luke shocks Matt since he had always assumed Luke was straight, and throughout the course of the book, Matt tries to come to terms with this revelation as well as putting his life back together.
“Three Little Words” is told exclusively from Matt’s POV, and I felt the book suffered for it, mostly because I did not find Matt an appealing character. Matt thinks:
He wasn’t the kind who held a grudge and cursed someone for leaving. He wasn’t the guy who had one-night stands and left with uncaring good-byes. He wasn’t the guy who ran away from everything because it was too much to deal with. Brandon turned him into that guy. (my emphasis)
… yet this is exactly what Matt does through the course of the book and as an adult, he bears sole responsibility for his actions.
As the book continues, there are just too many small details and happenings that have little to do with the main plot.
- For example, Mark’s (Matt’s brother who owns the fishing boat) first wife is often described as a homophobe although this has little bearing on the plot, and Mark and Matt have an older brother who died mysteriously, which is never mentioned again. Six chapters are devoted to Matt’s time on the fishing boat, and four full chapters detail Matt’s one-night stand with a guy named Aric who never appears again, yet Matt overthinks the encounter for the rest of the book – “And what about Aric? The sex was great. Neither one of them had any expectations, or did they? Did Aric expect a phone call and a repeat performance? Would it hurt Aric’s feelings if Matt didn’t want the same?”
Finally, Matt continually describes sex in terms of his own performance:
“…but to know that Matt had driven him to that level of pleasure was the best ego stroking Matt could’ve asked for.”
“It was a huge stroke to his ego just knowing he could turn his lover on the way he had.”
“He’d made Luke come, and that alone made Matt so incredibly proud of his prowess. It excited him.”
And on a related note, Matt tells Aric “… people don’t normally catch on … you know, to me being gay. I mean, I don’t fit the stereotypes, I guess.”
In between Matt’s constant overthinking and ego-stroking and all the minutiae of his life, there is little time for character development or anything else. “Three Little Words”? Not.For.Me.
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