This is the 3rd book in the “Sweet” series from Banks. I haven’t read the other 2, but I have read several other books from Banks, and have enjoyed them all. This book had several of the things that I really like in my contemps: great friendships between the men and between the women (and between the men and women), loads of humor, great sex, the alpha male brought to his knees by his woman.
Nathan and Julie have been hot for each other for a long time. Julie finally gets tired of Nathan not making a move and decides to call it a day. She decides to embark on a sexual journey, and that drives Nathan absolutely bat-shit crazy.
Where the book sparkles is the relationships between Julie, Faith, and Serena and between Nathan, Micah, and Connor (and to some extent Gray and Damon). I always enjoy reading about true girlfriends and also the dynamic between guy friends. The other thing that I enjoyed in this book is that there is true camaraderie between the two groups – the guys and girls are all friends, and true affection shines through. Banks also excels when showing the relationship one-on-one between Julie and Nathan. When they open up together and really talk through their issues, it was great. The sex between them was open and honest. I really liked that.
What I didn’t care for was the inherent dishonesty on Nathan’s part by choosing to keep his and Micah’s role in Julie’s threesome a secret. Granted, she insisted upon anonymity, but I thought that lent an air of dishonesty to their relationship that I wouldn’t have been able to overcome. OTOH, I understood that Nathan couldn’t bear to know that Julie was having sex with anyone other than himself.
Which brings me to my last question about this book (and several others I’ve read that involve ménage). I often wonder how a relationship can’t be forever altered when one person is constantly regretting sharing the other. Nathan is always thinking “Mine” and wishing he wasn’t sharing Julie with Micah, while at the same time knowing that there was no one else he would ever trust in the situation. How can that not affect a relationship in the long-term? Just food for thought, because I see this cropping up more and more in books that contain ménage, and if it’s a fully consensual one, where all 3 parties are completely on board, then I’m down with a great ménage scene. Yum. But if one of the parties has reservations? Hmmm…… how can that not come back to haunt you later on? What do you think about that? Have you noticed this trend?
Anyway, ménage aside, I did love the dialogue, the interactions, the friendships, and the sex in this book. I found both Nathan and Julie to be vulnerable and sweet, although Julie did get on my nerves for being so stubborn after a while. And Banks has the perfect contemporary voice – her characters walk and talk like real people. You can imagine hanging out, sharing a beer, and laughing your ass off with them. I didn’t feel as though I was unable to follow this book by not having read the first two. It stands alone, IMO, but would be enhanced by reading the others. I’ll pick them up anyway, simply because I enjoyed this one, and want to read Faith and Serena’s stories.
3.75 out of 5