Friday, June 26, 2015

Talking Trouble by Barbara Elsborg

Two men are separated by more than the dam between their houses. Can Mollie be the path that unites them?

Flint Klavan appears to have it all. The sought-after British actor is affluent, loved and vocal in his professional life but privately he’s a mess. A devastating breakup leaves him full of self-loathing. He hopes to find the way to turn things around when disaster strikes. He’s left speechless with fear he’ll never get the chance to recover what he’s lost.

Mollie James has the perfect job teaching children, and used to have the perfect boyfriend. Attentive, kind and thoughtful. Only now he’s not. She has to sacrifice everything if she’s any chance to survive, and run as fast and as far as she can.

Lysander Weldon is a wealthy, talented artist who’s hidden himself away following personal tragedies. He shares his house and his body but never his heart. When opportunity to forgive confronts him, he has to choose between giving up his fortress or bracing to watch happiness leave him behind.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of physical abuse and MM content.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I loved this book. Talking Trouble features my favorite type of ménage relationship – one woman with two bisexual men. I haven’t read many novels in which the two men have a prior relationship and are reunited by the woman between them and the few I have were a bit awkward and rather angsty considering that the characters tended to be in their late twenties or older. So I wasn’t sure how well it would play out. But having read Ms. Elsborg before and having enjoyed her writing immensely, I was quick to grab this one and I am oh so very glad I did.

I found each of the main characters fascinating in their own way. The author does a wonderful job using each of the first three chapters to introduce us to Flint, Mollie, and Lysander and then continues to alternate between the characters’ points of view for an even fuller look into how they each fare within the relationship that ultimately develops. In an effort not to spoil the book for others, I will say that I found the incident that left Flint speechless utterly terrifying and realistic. Although I was able to suss out what happened before he did, I found myself afraid for Flint as his world was turned upside down. His subsequent confusion and depression were completely understandable and it was no surprise that he was so elated when he was able to connect with Mollie. Or that he latched onto her so thoroughly when they were able to communicate. But this was not the sole source of his fascination with her. Flint felt an attraction for Mollie that he hadn’t felt for a woman in years. In fact, it was almost on par with his feelings for the only person who broke his heart…Lysander. Yes, THAT Lysander. Lysander is the cocky yet tortured artist and as the book plays out we learn that he truly is tortured. While part of Lysander’s “torture” is of his own making part is not, but even he is unaware of the truth behind his tragedy. Just as Mollie plays a huge part in Flint’s recovery, she also finds herself at Lysander’s side as his truths are revealed. Mollie is an interesting enigma in that she projects a happy innocence yet proves to be far more open-minded and accepting of Lysander and Flint than either expected, especially when learning of their past relationship. And it is Mollie’s secrets that have the power to destroy their budding happiness… or save it.

The relationships that develop between the characters in Talking Trouble were each unique. Yes both men were attracted to Mollie and she to them, but the relationship she developed with Flint was entirely different from her relationship with Lysander. While there is quite a bit of drama and conflict in the book, it isn’t muddled with unnecessary angst. There are a few moments of angst as each character tries to decide if the other two would be better off without him or her, but it wasn’t the back and forth “should I/shouldn’t I” that dragged on and on unnecessarily. Despite the heightened emotions and injured feelings, these characters actually communicated – they talked to one another and worked out their issues. Once they began to form their ménage relationship, any ganging up of two parties on one was to prove to the one that they were a vital part of the relationship. The chemistry was electric and this made for some sizzling sex scenes, complete with MF, MM, MFM, and MMF interactions. I found myself reading later into the night than planned and waking early the following morning to finish it because I had to know how Ms. Elsborg would give Flint, Mollie, and Lysander the happy ending they deserved. And the Epilogue was perfect! My only complaint is that their story is over because I absolutely adored these characters and would love to read more books about them.

Barbara Elsborg lives in West Yorkshire in the north of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed that to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her.

Vulcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide.

After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop.

Her books feature quirky heroines and bad boys, and she hopes they are much fun to read as they were to write.

Connect with Barbara

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Talking Trouble by Barbara Elsborg to read and review.

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