Title: What He Left Behind
Author: L.A. Witt
My Rating: A-
Genre: Erotic Romance (m/m/m)
Main Characters: Michael, Josh, and Ian
Release Date: August 2015
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic
Can you ever have a second first time?
Josh Carver thinks it’s just another lunch with his best friend, Michael—until Michael confesses he just turned down a date with his hot veterinarian crush. It seems Michael’s abusive ex left him more scarred than Josh realized.
Josh and his husband, Ian, have done their best to help Michael leave his horrific past behind, but even Josh is stunned when Ian suggests that Josh help Michael with his fear of physical intimacy. After all, it isn’t like it would be the first time—Josh and Michael were once each other’s firsts.
A hesitant first kiss, and Josh and Michael’s natural attraction eases the way. But with Michael still balking at the prospect of sex with someone new, Ian steps into the breach.
Everything is fine and dandy until emotions become so entangled, their friendship—and a marriage—could be at risk.
Warning: Contains three guys who will do anything for each other, a hot tub that’s always the right temperature, and a cat with an attitude problem.
This book...wow. I'll admit I jumped this book in my review queue simply because I couldn't wait to read it. It was exactly what I needed when I read it and I loved the story.
Although there are three men in this story, there is only a single POV to the story...from Josh. Josh is married to Ian, but his first love/lover was Michael. They never were in a committed relationship, but during their dating years they hooked up off an on. For Josh and Michael, the sex was freeing and fun. But ten years ago, Josh met and fell in love with Ian. That was the end of his sexual relationship with Michael, although the three of them remain really close friends.
At the same time Josh met Ian, Michael met a man who he was in a relationship with for 5 years ago...an extremely abusive one, although neither Josh nor Ian were aware of how bad it was. Michael has been in therapy for the last five years. He still can't handle being close to people and although he wants to date again, knows that sexually there is just no way he'll be able to trust again. Ian suggests that maybe Michael can trust Josh enough to learn to trust again. This is supposed to be a somewhat therapeutic relationship for their good friend...just so he can learn to trust touch again.
The book is sexy and honest...because the characters are sexy and honest. I love Ian, Josh's husband. He's a talker and as soon as something feels even slightly uncomfortable/awkward he immediately stops everything so they can talk things through...between both him and Josh and the three of them. The way the story evolves is beautiful and felt realistic to me in the overall emotions of the characters. I thought the author did an incredible job balancing the abuse, emotions, and still maintaining the sexiness of the story. This is not a low-angst story, but it never feels heavy or depressing although it would be easy to slip to that place. My heart aches for Michael, but I loved how he was with both Ian and Josh. it's a good relationship for all three of them.
Although, I'll admit to being slightly uncomfortable a few times just because there is a committed couple introducing an open relationship into their dynamic. There is NEVER any secret about what is happening, and I thought the author did a good job balancing the story/needs of the men. There is still that slight uncomfortable feeling a few times in the story about what's happening. I'll admit cheating is one of those things I just don't like in books, but this author does presents it in a way to lessen those heebiejeebies. Again, there are NO SECRETS between the three men in this book...and that's an important point if you are like me when it comes to cheating in books.
If you are looking for some sexy m/m/m loving this is a good book. But you need to be aware, it's not all sexy times. They are dealing with very real abuse and relationship issues. I liked it and would definitely recommend it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.