Menage a Christmas by Trista Ann Michaels
It's the holiday season, but Tim is still hung up on the woman who got away to really enjoy it. Now she's back, but Tim's still too angry to listen to her reasons for running. Tim's best friend Jack is determined to see his friend happy and will put together a plan that will either work or blow up in all their faces. One thing is for certain...this holiday will be a wild and sexy ride for all of them.
*Please be aware this book contains some male on male*
Published & Release Date: Self-Published, November 9, 2004
Time and setting: Present day, Boston
Genre: Erotic Romance/Christmas
Heat Level: 4
Reviewer rating: 4 Gold Crowns
I’ve read numerous books by Trista Ann Michaels for a couple of years now, and I have yet to be disappointed. Her writing is gritty, and while it is definitely some of the most erotic I have ever read, she always has an intriguing story line that makes her books above the norm for this genre. Menage A Christmas has a compelling plot with plenty of emotions that the characters have to accept and learn to live with.
The story begins when Isabella Giovani is a young eighteen year old in the throes of her first love affair with Timothy Trelain, a young man of twenty-one. The couple’s fathers detest each other. Tim’s father is a prosecuting attorney out to find enough dirt against Iasbella’s mob boss dad to put him away for good. Because of this, Isabella and Tim have to sneak around to see each other. It’s Christmas and they go to a fishing cabin to celebrate, exchange gifts and make love.
When Isabella arrives home she finds out that her father has had her followed. He gives her a choice. Either she goes to Italy to school and agrees to never see Tim again, or he will have him killed. What a choice for a young girl to have to make. Isabella loves Tim deeply, but to save his life, because she knows her father will follow through on his threat—he’s committed murder before—she makes the heart-wrenching decision to go with her mother, leaving a letter worded in such a way that Tim will not follow.
The story jumps to fifteen years later, where Isabella has become a very successful Lingerie designer while raising her fifteen year old daughter. Her mother comes to one of her shows and tells her that her father has died. Her mother knows Bella has never gotten over Tim and tells her that he has never married. Now that her father is dead, she can at last tell him why she left and that he has a daughter.
Bella travels to Boston to tell Tim, but of course, he refuses to listen, even after he finds out about Sarah. As Isabella leaves his office, she runs into Jack, Tim’s best friend and occasional lover. Jack has an idea that could give her another chance to tell Tim what happened all those years before.
While blind-folded—to keep Tim from recognizing her—Isabella has a menage with him and Jack. When she removes her disguise, Tim is furious and stomps out. Will he ever give Bella a change to explain, or will he hold onto his hurt, protecting himself from further pain?
This is an emotionally-charged read, and I enjoyed it immensely. I came close to tears when Isabella had to make such a heart-breaking decision that irrevocably changed the course of her life and Tim’s for years to come. I found the plot believable and deeply moving. For such a short story and an erotic one at that, Bella’s character is fully fleshed out and the story line drew me in and kept me from beginning to end.
Because of that life-altering decision, Tim has lived his life, making choices he would not have made if Isabella had not left him. While he has a very successful career, he has kept his heart frozen against any deep emotional connection. He still loves Bella, yet hates her at the same time.
Now for what I would have liked to see more fully developed. I do realize that this is meant to be an extremely erotic story. So between the need to have plenty of hot, hot sex—which is incredibly erotic by the way—to play to the author’s intended audience, and being a short story, it was not possible to delve more deeply into Tim’s relationship with Sarah. Since most of the story is written in Bella’s point of view, I did not get a chance to fully feel Tim’s pain, just his angst. Unfortunately that is usually an issue with short books. I would still have liked to have seen him engaged in a full scene with his daughter, but that did not happen.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed this book as I have Ms. Michaels other stories. I will continue to look for her well-written stories for my reading pleasure when I want to read an erotic love story. I can consistently expect to be titillated by her deeply erotic tales, while still feeding my romantic heart. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys this type of read. Happy reading!