Title: Poseidon’s Pleasure (Southern Cross #3)
Author: KC Kendricks
Publisher: White Deer Books
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Length: Novella (24k words)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Aunt Lynn
Brett Houston triumphed over his life. Raised by an abusive father, he sacrificed his personal happiness to keep the ones he loved safe. Now, ready to make big changes in his life, Brett treats himself to a Caribbean vacation at the exclusive Southern Cross Resort. To his surprise, he ends up at a seaside ball, wearing a G-string and presiding over the festivities as Poseidon, the God of the Sea.
Mark Matthews left behind his hometown, and his first love, in order to put down roots in California. With vacation time to “use or lose,” Mark books a holiday on the island of St. Lucia, unaware of the surprise reunion Fate has waiting for him.
Brett cautiously examines the fractured bonds of the past, while questioning the possibility of a future with Mark. It’s simpler for Mark—he won’t settle for anything less than a future tending to Poseidon’s pleasure.
Southern Cross Series
Poseidon’s Pleasure is third book in the Southern Cross series by KC Kendricks (reviews for can be found on this site for Netting Neptune and Taming Triton). The series takes place, for the most part, on St. Lucia in the Caribbean at the Southern Cross resort, and so far features family and friends of the owner Colby and his partner Theron. Also note that you could read this as a standalone. I’m a sucker for reunion stories, so I was eager to begin this next installment of the series, and because of that theme, ultimately I found this book to be perhaps the most angsty of the three as there are many issues between the two men that need to be worked out, if they can.
Set about a year after TT and narrated first person by Brett, the story opens with him arriving to St. Lucia for a week-long holiday at the urging of his attorney, Austin (one of the protags from TT). Feeling a bit out of place because of his age and some body-image issues, he laments his loneliness and regrets and the one that got away twenty years before. Brett is in for several surprises on this trip, however. First, he reluctantly agrees to act as Poseidon in their annual pageant, to wear nothing but a gold g-string and robe, but more importantly he is unexpectedly reunited with Mark, the same lost love he was thinking about earlier. It is not an easy reunion, however, as they both have suffered from the past, directly or indirectly from Brett’s abusive father. Is there any way they can make another go of it work, even with them living across the country from one another? And do they even want to?
For the first time in this series, in my opinion, Kendricks created a pair of pretty flawed characters, thus giving them a bit more depth than in the other books. Previous to this, while the protags weren’t Gary-Sue-ish, they were on the verge of near-perfect in their normal characterizations. Here, closeted, workaholic Brett is just shy of fifty and well aware of it, a man whose father beat him regularly for perceived failings, who let the love of his life go after an angry argument over eleven-year-younger Mark’s wild and loose ways twenty years before, and who is on the verge of making huge changes in his life. Mark, who needed more from Brett than Brett could give because of his horrible home life, ran to the West Coast and away from Brett. Now twenty years later and much therapy on Brett’s part, both men are mature and at least cautiously willing to try to make it work, though not without setbacks and challenges.
One niggle: the author employs an interaction technique that is I don’t like very much: one minute the characters are talking nicely, the next they argue, next they kiss and make up, the next they are fighting, the next they’re smexxin it up; lather, rinse, repeat. I realize that these two have a lot of past hurt and emotion, and that can be volatile, but it bothered me nonetheless. It may not others.
I recommend Poseidon’s Pleasure to those who have read the other books in the series, are interested in the genre and/or are fans of this author.