Paradise is just an illusion...
Or so Philip thinks as he vacations on exotic Anguilla. He should be celebrating the end of law school and the start of his successful career, but he's tired of living a lie for his family's sake. For just one night, he lets down his guard with two men he thinks he'll never see again.
He isn't the only one with secrets. For years, Cameron Drake has suppressed his need for dominance, afraid of hurting his lover, Mark Wilder. But when Cameron's hand meets Philip's ass, there's no more pretending. Mark can't face his conflicting feelings about the ménage; does Cameron want more than Mark can give?
The three of them may have been perfect together but consequences follow them back to their real lives. Will their desire for another encounter shatter the illusions they've built to protect themselves or clear the obstacles to paradise?
Cameron and Mark have been together for a few years and though they love each other deeply their sex life has been pretty ho hum of late. While on their way to Anguilla Cameron suggests that adding a third man to their duo, just for one night, will spice things up. Though Mark isn’t completely sold on the idea he agrees. They meet Philip who is there with friends and Mark and Cameron decide to go for it.
Philip is in Anguilla on vacation – enjoying one last great vacation before he goes to work for his father. His father is in denial about the fact that Philip is gay and wants nothing more for Philip to be “cured” of this disease. Philip knows that once he heads back to Boston to work for his father’s law firm that he will have to completely fake it and make his family believe that he is straight. He’s not happy about that at all. When he is approached by Mark and Cameron he wants nothing more than to be with the two men, but he’s afraid of what that will do to the mind-set he’s determined to have. He heads up to their room with them just for a drink and one thing leads to another.
The three men share a sexy and incredibly hot time together but during the course of their sex play Cameron starts spanking Philip. Both Philip and Mark are a little shocked but Philip loves it. Both Cameron and Mark find that they’ve formed an unexpected emotional connection to Philip as well. The next day Cameron is quiet and stand-offish with Mark and fearing the eminent break up of his relationship with Cameron, Mark has breakfast with Philip where he tells him, in no uncertain terms, to never try to find them after they leave Anguilla. Mark is fascinated by what happened with Cameron and Phillip (spanking) but when he asks Cameron to spank him as well Cameron goes soft and loving with him. Mark is more than frustrated and has no idea what’s going on.
Cut to many months later – Philip is working in his father’s law firm. He’s taking case after case and winning most of them. After a discussion with his father he finally gets his old man to believe that he’s now interested in women – when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. He keeps seeing Cameron and Mark in every male couple he sees and it’s starting to make him crazy – he just can’t stop thinking about the men. He eventually has an investigator friend try to find the two men in LA. But what he finds in the report that he gets back isn’t what he expected. The photos of Cameron coming out of a BDSM club and the knowledge that Cameron and Mark’s relationship isn’t what it once was sets Philip to thinking and he eventually knows he can get them back to where they need to be. But when is all said and done – where will that leave Philip?
This story was not what I expected when I picked this book up at netgalley – it was better. I really didn’t expect it to be quite as emotional as it was and I really liked that characteristic of it.
Let me talk about the men first.
Mark – I really liked him from the get go. He seemed to truly love Cameron and just wanted what was best for their relationship. I was with Mark when it came to being slightly confused about adding the third party into the mix. Adding another man would spice their sex life up – for one night. It certainly wouldn’t help them with the problems they were having in the bedroom, which seemed to be effecting every aspect of their lives. I hurt for Mark because, really, he was so in the dark about Cameron and most of the problems, at least I felt, weren’t his fault.
Philip – I very much liked him as well. Philip was in such a rough spot. On one hand he truly wanted to be the man his father wanted him to be…professionally. But on the other hand he wanted to be himself and be loved for who he was. He also didn’t care for the type of cases he was taking and so was doing pro bono work for a women’s shelter – which made me like him even more. My heart ached for Philip as well because he couldn’t be accepted by his family for who he was – a gay man. When it came to Cameron and Mark I was a bit on the fence as to whether I thought they should all be together. Yes, in the end he was the glue that put Cameron and Mark back together but I ‘m not sure I saw how the three of them would work so well together. By the end of the book, however, Ms. Raines had me believing that it was all possible.
Cameron - While I believe he was a good person deep down I found it extremely hard to forgive him for his deceit – which is what it was when he hid his past so thoroughly from Mark for so long. The lack of honesty in the relationship was taking its toll and even then he couldn’t come out with the truth. He even made an (aborted) attempt to try the BDSM lifestyle again without Mark involved and that just pissed me off even more. I believe that he truly did love Mark but if that was the case why couldn’t he trust him enough to tell him the truth so that they could work on it together? If he had gone 6 months without telling him I may have understood but it had been 3 years and still he remained silent.
When all was said and done I actually believed that the three men would work it all out and the conclusion was quite good. But that being said I think I would have liked to have just seen Mark and Philip walk off into the sunset together…alone. I know, bad Tracy wanting to change the story! lol In the end I liked the writing and will definitely be reading more from this author in the future.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5