Saturday, October 2, 2010

Review- A Future for Three by Rachel Clark

A Future for Three
by Rachel Clark
March 2010
Contemporary/ Ménage/ f/f/m
16K words
Ebook- SirenPublishing

Buy it ARe, Bookstrand, Amazon (Kindle)

They've been best friends since high school, but can Emma, Casey and Jason follow their hearts without ruining their friendship? Emma and Jason are concerned when Casey comes home exhausted after a hold up at the bank where she works. When she falls silent in the bath, they both fear the worst and break in to find her sleeping. That's when Jason notices how deep Emma's love is for her best friend and he finally understands why he's never been able to tell Emma how he feels. If Emma loves Casey, where does that leave him?

Whoohoo, I found an author who writes lots of f/f/m ménage. These types of stories are so rare, that yes, I’ll read it even if it’s crap. Luckily for me, this story was pretty good. I did have some issues though that I feel will be a matter of taste or preference with readers. The words that come to mind that express what I feel about this story are sweet, purple prose.

The blurb is an accurate expression of what this story is about, so on to the review.

A Future for Three started out great. We get some background about the three characters, Emma, Casey and Jason, but mostly Emma and Jason since Casey is pretty much out of it for the first half of the book. The dialogue is is good and I was sucked into these characters' story straight away. Where it turned for me was toward the end when things started getting too sappy for me. Still though, it’s a good read.

All of them have been really good friends for a long time, but Casey and Emma have been best friends since early childhood. They are all sharing an apartment together and get on really well, and they’ve all had a platonic relationship until this point.

Emma is a late 20’s, overweight, quiet, no frills kind of girl. She’s a homebody and spends her free time in the apartment cooking or being mommy to the other two. She feels because she’s overweight and not really social, that she’s not attractive to men or anyone really. She’s been noticing lately though, that her feelings for Casey have been changing into something more than friends, but is afraid to say anything for fear of losing the friendship. So she suffers in silence.

Jason, well, I don’t know much about Jason really, other than that he loves Emma and he’s been carrying a torch for her forever. Both he and Casey are the social butterflies and go out all the time. He’s also the sweetest guy on the planet; really soft and available to the women and very loving. He tries to find any excuse to have physical contact with Emma, hiding his constant boner, also for fear of losing the friendship.

Casey is a workaholic. She's the beautiful, skinny, blond girl whom both Emma and Jason love as well. We don’t get into Casey’s head too much, but it turns out she’s loves them back even if she’s never stated it.

The catalyst for all three coming to terms with what they feel is when Casey has a traumatic experience and both Emma and Jason literally need to take care of her.

The good: All the characters get along great. There’s no big conflict and everyone is warm, loving, cozy and supportive. It’s nice to read a story in which people know what they want and go for it, no big deal or stress. It’s a good release. They are all considerate of each other, very aware and tuned in to what each other needs and life is one big happy experience except for the fact that no one has mentioned their true feelings.

The Bad: there was no real conflict or tension. The main problem they ALL face is that each thinks that they are a third wheel. Jason sees how much Emma loves Casey and feels he’s in the way. Emma thinks that Casey and Jason are perfect for each other and, well, Casey is beautiful, while she’s not. She feels she should leave so they can be happy. Casey sees how Jason lights up when Emma is there and feels she is the one in the way. However, this didn’t really get in the way of each of them coming together really, since they’ve been close all along.

This is where I complain of too much niceness. Even the ending, to me, went way overboard on nice, perfect world. I admit that I do enjoy it when characters are loving with each other, but this time a little more tension would have made this story a bit more dramatic.

The other problem I had, and again, this is a matter of taste, I found the sexual scenes were a bit too purple prosy for me. There were too many dripping and oozing this and hot, tight, hard that. The sexual scenes were also confusing sometimes; I couldn’t figure out who was doing what to whom at some points. But that’s not a big deal. I think it’s hard to keep that straight with three people.

I will say though that this is the only f/f/m I’ve read with a definite long term HEA and babies involved. Jason’s main aim in life is having many children and they all get right on that.

I know this review seems like I had more issues than good points. But overall I really enjoyed this book. None of the bad points for me were enough to overshadow the good points. It’s a rare treat to read a decent f/f/m and Rachel Clark has several of them, so I’ll be reading some more.

Heat level 5- graphically written sexual scenarios. F/F/M- ménage.

Grade: B


Cathy in AK said...

I'm glad you found a menage and author you enjoy. This sounds like a nice read, but I'm afraid I'd find it *too* nice. Give me some tension. More than "Does he/she like me?"

LVLM(Leah) said...

Cathy- yes, if it just had a bit more bite to it, it would have been really good.

I bought two of her books at the same time since she's one of the few who does f/f/m, so I have another to read. If it's kind of the same, all mush and no bite, I might stop at that one.

Still though, it's a "nice" story. heh.

M. A. said...

Something I've noticed in many friends to lovers type romances is the absence of substantial internal conflict and more childish (adolescent) emotional development in the characters.

I don't think this is an accident. Most teens lack adult independence and confidence. Fearing rejection from a "best friend" or permanent loss of the friendship are magnified fears in the teen/YA experience. Not that adults can't experience those same feelings, but it doesn't impact an adult the same way.

Juggling that handicap with the complexity of a menage relationship sounds like a tall order. I have to give the author snaps for trying it out.

Anonymous said...

I'll have to check out this author.

LVLM(Leah) said...

M.A.- you bring up a very interesting insight into the friends to lovers stories. Especially if they started out as teenagers and head into adulthood.

If I think about the people I know who met their partner while in high school, they all have relationships that are devoid of a lot of conflict it seems. They just settled into a comfortable situation and are fine with that, even 20 years later.

Don't know if it's immaturity or just love with blinders and having a lack of experience with others.

So I think your point is well taken.

I usually like F to L stories because they aren't full of the emo crap or contrived conflicts.

And I think it usually works much better in a shorter story since the longer a story is, there's needs something interesting to carry the story or at the very least, dynamic characterizations. Otherwise it's a snore fest.

In this case, I think had the author not done an epilogue I would have felt a bit different. Or if both women wouldn't have gotten preggers around the same time, I would have felt different.

It was all a bit too pat for me. And it would have made the story shorter and focused solely on the three coming together, which is what people want in romance.

And you are correct, menage is tough to get right or make it believable. However, I think menage can lend itself to some interesting conflicts, which gives something to work with.

I liked it enough to read more of her books.

LVLM(Leah) said...

Eyre- she does m/f/m menage as well. Don't know if she does m/m though or m/m/f.

M. A. said...

I usually like F to L stories because they aren't full of the emo crap or contrived conflicts.

And I think it usually works much better in a shorter story since the longer a story is, there's needs something interesting to carry the story or at the very least, dynamic characterizations. Otherwise it's a snore fest.

I think friends to lovers works well with very strong external conflict challenging the friends/lovers, and even this is tough to do convincingly in a contemporary story.

Good external conflict can compensate for the lack of internal conflict. Stress or action generated by external conflict can also "push" the friendship into romance if the friends are more hesitant or cautious about taking that step forward.

There are lots of credible conflicts that can prevent friends from declaring interest, but many of them constitute a "snore fest," as you put it. : ) Maybe that's why a lot of more memorable friends to lovers stories tend to be over-the-top romantic comedies or horror.