Title: Hotter Than Ever
Series: Out of Uniform, book #9
Author: Elle Kennedy
Stand Alone: YES
Re-issued /Re-edited: NO
Date published: Jul 09, 2013
Published by: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Purchase links: LINK
Word count: 87,034
When you land in hot water, swim for safety—or let the fire burn.
An Out of Uniform story.
Claire McKinley has just experienced every bride’s nightmare. The groom is a no-show, and now she must face five hundred guests alone. Furious and humiliated, Claire seeks help from the most unlikely candidate—her almost-brother-in-law, who promptly whisks her away to his apartment in San Diego, where she can recover her pride in peace and quiet.
Dylan Wade is no fan of Claire’s, but no way can he leave the jilted bride in her time of need. Bringing her home seems like a good idea—until he remembers his new roommate. Dylan’s relationship with Aidan is…complicated. And with Claire thrown into the mix, life becomes even more…complicated.
Claire is blindsided by her attraction not only to Dylan, but also to Aidan, a man she’s just met. Soon they’re caught up in an all-consuming sexual storm they can’t fight even if they wanted to. Yet Claire wonders if it can last, or if she’s just setting herself up for more heartache.
Warning: This book is very dirty. Ménage a trois and man-on-man dirty. Graphic-language and explicit-sex dirty. Basically? Dirty. You’ve been warned.
I loved it!
That’s what I am talking about! This story had everything to keep me glued on my android.
The funny thing when I read such a good story is when I discover that I never read the author. I checked her impressive list of published books and found only M/F which is to be honest pretty annoying since my fist immediate action after I read the last lines was to check her website and Goodreads anf see if I could read another menage. meh, I did not find any. Please dear menage angel, make me wrong on this!
This story has all the ingredients except one but lets talk first about the good parts.
So I am asking: what is the most important in a story? Characters or plot? I personally think that everything must be equal to make an outstanding story but in the end I am truly wondering which one is really best because we all know that perfect equality does not exist unfortunately in romance and real life. I will probably say that in Hotter Than Ever, the characters got me.
What I generally find in menage stories is male characters that are often copycat to each other: they think alike, they want the same things, they are both alphas, 8 out 10 times they grew up together yada yada yada. They are generally boring personalities because they are not different. I think if they are brothers or cousins it is even worse. When I read a menage, I do not want to find clone male characters. I want them different, thinking differently, sometimes arguing or fighting for the heroine. Phew…. I did find that in Hotter Than Ever. Both males were totally endearing and most important d.i.f.f.e.r.e.n.t. got it? lol. But it was also very nice to find an heroine I could relate to.
The plot was not overly original but I believed it from the start even if the villain was a bit over the top villain, it did not really matter because the focus was on the main characters and I liked that. I am fine to find a villain in a romance but his character must be justified to talk about. It is difficult to be just enough villain oriented and not too much sometimes. What bores me is the villain epilogue ending as if a romance cannot end without drama and the drama justifies the epilogue. It is so predictable that I generally not finish the story without a tiny sour note. I feel that the author took the easy way out most of the time.
Not in Hotter Than Ever. Perfect plot from beginning to end. Not overly original as I said but it does not have to be original to be perfect. It just has to be right, to feel right.
I hardly talk about the plot in my reviews. I am this kind of reader that hate when I read the whole story summarized by a reviewer within few lines. What is the point to read the story if the reviewer give me the punch eh? So I voluntary do not do that in my reviews but trust me it is hard to do not talk about specific parts of the story when I am still living with the characters in my head! And that is another sign for me that a story is outstanding. If I cannot get rid of the characters in my head hours after I read the last page…
M/M/F stories have different categories:
- the M/M long time relationship looking for the third female
- the straight males turning all of a sudden M/M and include a female to make it better
- the M/M that know they are bi and looking for the female to complete them
- the M/M that are in a new relationship and a female cement their relationship
I kinda like the 3. and 4. but I way prefer when all characters are starting the relationship together. Hotter Than Ever fit both 3. and 4. I always have a hard time to believe that BAM all of a sudden a straight guy who was attracted to girls all his life is suddenly sexually attracted to a guy. When the guy is a boy testing his sexuality okay but when he is adult, not so much believable.
I did find equality and credibility, no question about it. I loved the way the romance evolved. I totally trusted the way the heroine discovered what she needed with the right guys and how the guys fell for her. It was not BING BAM I love you at first sight. It was just one week at a time, one month at a time. The author used the perfect timing to justify the relationship, the romance, the crush into love. I was just there each step of the way with the characters.
Now. The part that I thought was not truly developed and original in my opinion was the sex. Do not get me wrong, it was there but I did not feel the passion. I felt it only once in the whole book, the voyeurism sex scene was hot. But other than that it was just good sex scenes but not overly detailed. I felt as if it is the kind of sex scenes I read in harlequin which Elle Kennedy is part of anyway. The sex scenes were a bit too conventional or soft described and not enough heat for my taste.
I was surprised, yet not overly surprised, to see how many people have already read this story released July 9th. The reviews are excellent, over 18 pages of “read” “currently reading it” “marked it as to-read” !!! 18 pages 4 days after the release??!!! wow, impressive no doubt.
So I guess I will just add myself with the list of Elle Kennedy’s fans. My only wish is that she will consider to write another menage romance soon so I will be able to read another incredible story but most of all have this little butterflies in my stomach when I love a story so much. This happens too rarely for me but when it does, it really sucks that it ended with the last lines of the book. (pouting like a 6 yrs old girl here, haha).
Read it! And let me know what you thought of it by leaving a comment! 🙂
Characters:5 ~ Plot:5 ~ Sex Heat:3 ~ Romance:5
Equality Level:5 ~ Credibility:5 ~ Originality:5