Friday, March 7, 2014

3 by Jacob Z. Flores

Quick Rating: C

Purchase: Amazon

Blurb: Justin Jimenez has loved his partner, Spencer Harrison, for ten years. He'll do anything for him-including bury his feelings for a man he met while he and Spencer were separated last year. Justin never planned to fall in love, and he certainly never planned to tell Spencer about it-but when a phone call wakes them in the middle of the night to inform Justin that his former lover, Dutch Keller, has been in an accident, he doesn't have a choice.
Justin's revelation shatters the fragile relationship he and Spencer were trying to rebuild. The weight of his guilt-both for hurting Spencer and for leaving a heartbroken Dutch to find solace in a bottle-crushes him. But what Justin doesn't know is that Spencer and Dutch guard an explosive secret of their own. All three men are tangled in a communal web of lies, and unless they find the events in their lives that ultimately led them to friendship, passion, and betrayal, they won't see the love at the heart of the pain.

Review: I was officially suckered by the cover art and Kindle sample. 

3 destroys three separate relationships and patches the boys back together as a trio. There's adultery, steaming piles of angst, two car accidents, risky sex, manipulation, etc. Check your drama llama 'cause this book has got it all, and it's a hell of a long ride (320+ pages) to the HFN ending. [Spoiler: The trio is finally together in the last chapter, an epilogue of sorts, but there's NO SEX. Total cop-out.]

Sex is hot but infrequent, and typically between couples. There are two 3P scenes, but none feature the relevant trio. Warning for rimming, unprotected sex, and HIV+ character. Intimate scenes read more like gay erotica than m/m romance (a plus in my book). There was even a bathhouse scene! 

There's a mystical element in 3 that detracted from my enjoyment of the book. Distracting, just like the book's structure: multiple flashbacks hamper the momentum of the real-time story. I did not engage with the writing style. Purple preachy prose. Slow going.

Disclaimer: none

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