Saturday, October 21, 2017

Three Player Game by Jaime Samms

Vince’s life has improved immeasurably since he moved to Bluewater Bay two years ago. He’s gone from working for a man he hated, to helping found a company he believes in. And he and his boyfriend, Pete, have built a delicate balance of power between them that keeps them both grounded and thriving.

Almost, anyway.

Pete’s job on the set of Wolf’s Landing is demanding. He needs lots of downtime off set, and that’s where Vince’s firm but gentle control isn’t always enough. And for Vince, Pete’s constant high-energy needs are turning out to be more than he can handle alone.

It’s no surprise to either of them, then, that sparks fly when Vince’s coworker Lee enters the picture. Outwardly, Lee is tough and confident, but when a bad back confines him to Pete and Vince’s spare room, the cracks start to show and his desire for connection begins to peek through.

Pete and Vince both like what they see under Lee’s prickly outside, but now the three men must learn that love isn’t about beating the game — it’s about balance, trust, and letting each other in.

The stories in the Bluewater Bay universe can be enjoyed in any order — jump in wherever you'd like!

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Book 20
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Riptide Publisher

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆
M/M/M Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

This was a hard book for me to follow. There was so much going on in terms of the different relationship dynamics, and the communication between the three characters was muddled a lot of the time.

Vince is used to Lee bossing him around in the office. Lee is trying to recover from a professional disappointment as well as a personal one. However, despite all of the hints about his personal issues, you are never truly given the layout of what actually happened to make him so skittish.

Then you have the established relationship between Vince and Pete. Pete likes to serve Vince while at home. It's a dynamic that you wouldn't suspect given Vince's office job. However, it works for them.

Vince and Pete have toyed with the idea of adding a third, because both believe that they aren't enough for each other – they are both looking for more, but what they have now is all each other can give. That's where Lee fits in. He can balance the needs of both Pete and Vince.

I think this story fell short because Lee pushed too hard to not be in a relationship and we only had truncated snippets of the relationship communication between everyone.

Vince and Pete are an established couple who decide to add a third partner to their relationship. They are a persuasive duo and I’m still not sure if Lee ever really has a chance to say no to the arrangement.

This isn’t my favourite book in this series – or by this author. Some of my reservations are personal – I like my BDSM to stay in the bedroom or playroom and I struggle with lifestyle power exchange relationships. I found it impossible to reconcile the two sides of Pete in this story. At work, he’s a competent, confident director on a successful show. At home, he is almost infantilised with Vince struggling to care for his many ‘needs.’

There are also two sides to Vince. At work, he’s the office lackey. At home, he’s a controlling dom. Again, the two sides of this character don’t quite match up. And while I was attempting to get my head around this Jekyll/Hyde couple, Lee was thrust into the mix. And I don’t feel like we ever learn much of anything about him, his past, or even his desires for the future.

Ultimately, this didn’t feel much like a romance to me. Vince and Pete decide that Lee belongs with them. They tell him that he belongs with them. They chase him when he runs away and drag him back to them. There is a whole lotta angst between Vince and Pete as they discuss their hopes for Lee, but we see little emotional engagement between Vince/Pete and Lee himself. Found it all a bit odd – especially as Vince and Lee are coworkers.

Vince brings work colleague Lee home after Lee has a fall and hurts his back. Both Pete and Vince and keen on Lee and would like him to join their relationship. But Lee is a very prickly customer and doesn't trust easily. Vince and Peter take care of Lee, and are patient and affectionate even when he is being difficult. For me their warmth and affection is the highlight of the story.

Lee starts to connect well with Pete but is scared of what Vince makes him feel. So when Pete isn't around as a buffer, things don't go so well. But when things are going well and the three of them are in sync, it is beautiful and very sexy.

While I did struggle early on with this story, mostly because I found Lee unlikeable, I ultimately really enjoyed reading Three Player Game. It left me feeling warm and fuzzy.

Jaime has been writing for various publishers since the fall of 2008, although she’s been writing for herself far longer. Often asked why men; what’s so fascinating about writing stories about men falling in love, she's never come up with a clear answer. Just that these are the stories that she loves to read, so it seemed to make sense if she was going to write, they should also be the stories she wrote. These days, you can find plenty of free reading on her website. She also writes for Dreamspinner Press and Total E-Bound.

Spare time, when it can be found rolled into a ball at the back of the dryer or cavorting with the dust bunnies in the corners, she's probably spending reading, drawing, gardening (weather permitting, of course, since she is Canadian!), or watching movies. Well. She has a day job or two, as well, and two kids, but thankfully, also a wonderful husband who shoulders more than his fair share of household and child care responsibilities. She graduated some time ago from college with a fine arts diploma, with a major in textile arts, which basically qualifies her to draw pictures and create things with string and fabric. One always needs an official slip of paper to fall back on after all...

Connect with Jaime

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Three Player Game (Bluewater Bay #20) by Jaime Samms to read and review.

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