Open Mind (Book 1)
This book is one of those rare stories that sucked me in while I read, enjoying every scene as I tore through them, and then realized after I finished how much some elements of the plot bugged me. I don’t have triggers in the traditional sense, but I suppose part of me is still cynical enough to be bothered by a romance between people who work together, especially when one is a direct supervisor of the other. For all that Ronan convinces Jamie that their relationship will not affect Jamie’s role as a nurse in Ronan’s medical practice, I still scoffed and wondered what the hell these two men are doing together.
However, I devoured this book because the chemistry between Jamie and Ronan is off the chart, and I thoroughly enjoyed Jamie’s journey into kink. On the other hand, his introduction to kink gave me some problematic vibes due to Jamie’s voyeurism (again, something 0that didn’t sink in for me until after finishing the story). It jumpstarts the heat between him and Ronan once he’s “caught,” and I did appreciate that Ronan is upfront about both explaining to Jamie what’s going on and, afterward, open with the participants of the scene Jamie accidentally viewed. (Consent is always sexy.)
Communication difficulties lead to the dark moment of this book. While the authors set up Ronan’s backstory to explain his flawed internal logic, his actions run contrary to his initial promises at the start of his relationship with Jamie. I understood Jamie’s stress and reaction, and luckily, the happily ever after was satisfying on all counts.
I do look forward to reading more by these authors, including continuing this series and learning more about secondary characters introduced in this first book.
Open Encounters (Book 2)
This book is not a dark romance, but some aspects within this story may be triggering to readers based on how the authors present the sexual scenarios. David and Ashley dive deep into their characters’ minds, even though the actual relationships are between two unrelated, consenting adults. The story itself is lighter on the plot and heavier on the freedom of exploring taboo fantasies within the “safe, sane and consensual” framework of BDSM. Misha and Geoff do not have a traditional relationship, but the love and care shared between the two men drip off the page.
This novella appears to set up the next full-length book’s events and potential relationships. I’m a sucker for a love story, kinky or not, and these men have swept me up—I look forward to continuing the ride.
Open Play (Book 3)
This book picks up shortly after Open Encounters, and they are best read as a pair for the full context and story arc. Despite the premise of the series and the previous book’s events, this story is lighter on the BDSM and more about the negotiations of opening a relationship. Misha and Geoff have a loving, kink-based relationship, and while they have played with others before, this is the first time emotion has come into the picture. Geoff and Lukas have a previous friendship, and it seems like it should be no issue for them to all live happily ever after.
Except even though romance novels promise that ending, the journey to get there is never simple. The sexy bits between all three main characters are fantastic, but the problems crop up when Lukas is at his home across the country. His workaholic tendencies clash with his desire to be a good partner to his lovers. Even when he’s physically closer to them later in the book, the problems keep piling up until all three men are finally honest with each other.
Though Lukas is the cause of the initial problems, Misha and Geoff are not without blame for the issues that continue to plague their relationship. I rolled my eyes a lot while reading because even I could see the problems they all insisted on creating for each other as the story continued.
These authors are excellent writers, but unfortunately, this particular series did not live up to expectations for me. This does not stop me from looking forward to checking out their other works.