Title: Starting Over
Author: Annmarie McKenna
Genre: Contemporary M/M/M, BDSM (mild)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Two years ago, Aaron lost his partner in a drowning accident. He’s trying to move on, but letting go of the past, of the life they were building, is hard. One thing he knows he’s not ready for is a new relationship, but Garrett and Dane are determined to change that.
Lifepartners Garrett and Dane, a cop and an ER doc, bring Aaron home after an accident. They’re happy in their light Dom/sub relationship, fulfilled and in love, but they’ve been keeping their eyes open for a third. It doesn’t take long for them to decide that wounded, pretty Aaron is exactly who they’ve been looking for. The three get along great, but Garrett and Dane have their work cut out for them in convincing Aaron there’s a time for starting over.
Garrett was on the highway patrolling traffic in his cruiser when the accident unfolded in front of him. As he watched in horror, the motorcyclist was hit by an out of control car and all he could do was hope that the cyclist survived. When he reached the scene of the accident he was drawn to the critically injured man who seemed to cling to him, and Garrett felt a strange connection to the man. Later when he saw his partner Dane, the ER doctor who had attended Aaron when he was brought into the hospital, he couldn’t stop thinking about the injured man. He and Dane visited the man, Aaron, every day and several days later as Aaron is recovering, Garrett and Dane realize that he is the third they had been searching for. They were determined not to lose him from their lives and suggested to Aaron that he recuperate at their home since he didn’t have anyone to help him and would need to be taken care of for a while. After initially seeming not to love the idea, Aaron acknowledged that this would be a good solution for him for the time being.
Aaron was recovering from more than physical injuries. His own partner had died from a drowning accident two years ago and he couldn’t conceive of being with anyone else, even though he really was trying to move on. He thought that Dane and Garrett were wonderful together and it was clear how much they loved each other, so he could not understand why they would want someone else in their already perfect lives. But he hated hospitals – his own partner David had died in one after his accident – and he knew that staying temporarily with the couple would ensure that he was given the care and attention he needed.
When Dane and Garrett brought Aaron home the situation heated up – it was better in some ways but more difficult in others for Aaron. The guys were always touching each other and having sex, which was painful for Aaron to watch because he was in a perpetual state of arousal; his hand was out of commission and he was too badly injured for anything more ambitious. As the days progressed both Dane and Garrett started touching Aaron which didn’t help him because all he could think of was going to bed with them, despite being afraid of getting close. When they eventually did the deed would it help or make their situation worse?
What did I like about the story? This well written story gives the concept of a menage relationship between three men credibility, even though two of them had been partners for two years and were very much in love with each other. Dane and Garrett were well drawn and likeable and they really seemed to care about Aaron. The pacing was appropriate for the length of the story and the smexxin smoked. Dane and Garrett’s characters were hot and they made the right moves in getting Aaron into their bed. Aaron, while a little less vibrant, which was quite understandable given the serious injuries he had suffered, was also three dimensional and gave as good as he got. The humour was at times laugh out loud with a few pretty good lines.
What did I find difficult to understand? Aaron had almost died in the accident, had suffered serious injuries including concussion, a fractured tibia and fibula, dislocated shoulder and banged up ribs, yet 3 weeks later he is having vigorous sex with Dane and then a 3 way with both guys. He was in an awful lot of pain due to his injuries so I don’t understand how he was even able to have sex, much less enjoy it. Also, the time it took Aaron and the guys to fall in love and to pledge everlasting devotion was less than a month, but I suppose it’s possible, even though Aaron was still recovering from David’s death. Dane and Garrett were just too perfect – handsome, in love with each other, great jobs, caring, and just about every character trait anyone would want in a man and not a single flaw, not that this is a bad thing!
I enjoyed Starting Over despite my comments above and I would definitely recommend this book which was a delightful read.