Friday, February 19, 2016

The Best Laid Plans by Lauren Gallagher

Title: The Best Laid Plans
Author: Lauren Gallagher
My Rating: A

Genre: Erotic Romance (m/m/f)
Series: -
Main Characters: Gabe, Shahid, and Kendra
Release Date: February 2016
Publisher: Samhain
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
It’s a foolproof strategy...until the emotional balance shifts.

After yet another adoption falls through, Gabe is ready to give up, and Shahid isn’t far behind him. Apparently, being a gay couple—half of which is Muslim—is just one strike too many for the powers that be.

When their friend Kendra offers to carry their baby for them, both men balk at first, but gradually warm to the idea. Especially Gabe, whose bisexuality is open to the chemistry among the three of them.

The plan seems simple. Kendra and Gabe, foregoing the cold, impersonal IVF clinic, paperwork and red tape, will conceive the old-fashioned way. They’ll all share parenting responsibilities, and live happily baby after.

But as the heat flares between Gabe and Kendra, Shahid’s long-suppressed insecurities bubble to the surface. Then some unexpected news catches the trio off guard and derails their plans—and now one heart could be left out in the cold.

Warning: Authors subsist on the tears of readers. Please recycle your hankies by wringing out and reusing. We’d hate to be the cause of a worldwide shortage of Kleenex.

My Review:
I adore LA Witt's m/m stories and they're always an autobuy for me. But I will admit that I always forget how well she writes menage, too. Wow...this book was just so freaking good. As I read it, it became my reward. As I worked, I had to do so much and then I could read one more chapter of this book. Yes, it was that good and that engaging. I loved this story.

Gabe and  Shahid have been together for 11 years. They're married, but things are just as hot between them today as they were 11 years ago. Gabe is bi-sexual. Shahid is gay. And this has always been a little bit of a tender spot for Shahid. He worries that he won't be enough for Gabe in the long run. For the last 2 years they've been trying to adopt, but Shahid being Muslim always causes the adoptions to fall through. Another strike against him and building a long-lasting relationship with least that's what Shahid thinks. He just has those little niggling doubts...when will it all get to be too much for Gabe to put up with. 

Kendra has been friends with these two guys for years. They were with her through her nasty divorce and she spends a lot of time with both guys although she's naturally closer to Gabe because they teach science at the high school together. When she sees how devastated Gabe is when another adoption falls through, she volunteers to become their surrogate. But all of them have reservations about IVF, not the least of which is cost. They're all friends so they decide to try to do this naturally...i.e. Sex.

I know it seems kind of unlikely, but this is really a friends to lovers trope and I do really love those. Although the guys are married, they've been close to Kendra for years, but that doesn't make what they're doing here all smooth sailing. It's all. Shahid is gay. He has no desire to have sex with Kendra, but he's not exactly comfortable with what Gabe and Kendra are doing either. 

Out of all the characters in the story, I think I connected with Shahid the most, just because everything about this is so...uncomfortable...for him. Logically, he knows what's happening, but his heart is torn...big time. To add to that difficulty is his life as a Pakistani Muslim...not an easy thing in our country. He sees how people react to him. He truly loves Gabe and knows his life would be so much easier without Shahid in it. But these, they steamed up the page. And it wasn't all just about the sex. I loved the two of them together on a mental level too. They truly are so perfect together and could see how Kendra would want what they have because it's beautiful. 

The relationship between the three felt so true and real. Every single one of them has doubts and recriminations about what is happening. No one wants this to screw up everything, but they also believe in what they're trying to do for one another. I loved the thread of friendship and respect that truly is the basis for all of it. Yes, there is some incredibly hot sex too...but their relationship and connection is the heart of the story and I loved reading about it. 

I highly recommend this one! It's a great, sexy story about friendship, commitment, and family.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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