Book Title: Third One (Those Other Books series)
Author: Roe Horvat
Publisher: Roe Horvat
Cover Artist: Roe Horvat
Release Date: March 30th 2020
Genre: Contemporary MMM erotic romance
Trope/s: Established couple + third, hurt/comfort
Themes: Two dancers and a businessman, Swedish coast, Gothenburg, pining, passion
Length: 46 000 words/140 pages
Heat Rating: 5 flames
Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited
It could have been just an innocent crush. Something guiltless and fleeting. But Luke spends every day with Marcus; they talk, touch and dance together, they create and perform together. They know each other inside out. As a consequence, Luke has been in love with his very much taken choreographer for years. Seeing Marcus and his partner Liam together has become increasingly painful, and Luke needs to leave. His dancing career is nearing an end anyway. He will start university, reinvent himself, forget Marcus and find happiness elsewhere.
Except Marcus loves him back. And Liam knows. Liam’s dark eyes and his imposing silhouette begin haunting Luke’s dreams. Drowning in both lust and sadness, Luke is swept into a passionate triangle with two men who couldn’t be more different. Suddenly, instead of fear or caution, there’s just a mind-numbing desire for more.
Just the facts: M/M/M romance, very sensual, emotional, angsty
This is a marvelously sensual story. Two men are in a long term relationship when one of them falls in love with a third. Complex, beautiful and visceral. – Kinzie Things
My thoughts bit: This is how erotic novels should be written! Roe Horvat has a wonderful talent for writing authentic plots that have great characters. This book is a perfect example of his skill as a writer, and I would happily recommend it!
Marcus and Liam are an established couple. They are happily partnered and have a pretty great life. Liam is a choreographer and works daily with a dancer named Luke. Luke has developed feelings for Marcus… and this is the equation that will result in their lives being a bit more complicated than they ever could have imagined.
Luke is mature enough to know that his feelings for Marcus aren’t just a crush and Roe Horvat never presents his feelings in that way. Luke and Marcus spend so much time together that the feelings become mutual. There’s no infidelity, Marcus and Liam have an open and honest relationship. But there’s a remarkable connection between Marcus and Luke and it’s heartbreaking to both of them.
Prompted by what he perceives to be an impossible situation, Luke realizes that he needs to move on with his life. He can’t do that when he is seeing Marcus every day: it’s too much. He’s realized that he can’t dance forever, no one can and he can’t possibly take the assistant choreographer job that Marcus offers him. When he quits… it’s a tipping point for all of them.
I absolutely loved the way that Roe writes these characters. Marcus is sweet and open, wearing his emotions on his sleeve. Liam might be a workaholic and insomniac but he adores his partner and is a vulnerable character. Luke is confused and reluctant while being excited and full of longing all at the same time. These characters are complex, authentic and their lives are intertwined before they even really have time to process how to deal with it.
I don’t want to ruin too many of the details here with my review, but there are some absolutely lovely moments in this book. I loved how Liam became the pivot upon which the relationship revolved. Marcus and Luke clearly had feelings for one another, and the exploration of how those feelings would or could involved Liam rang really true for me.
There’s equality when the three men enter into a closer relationship and yet, there are differences between them. I probably can’t put this into words in a way that will make sense. I really appreciated how the three men remain individuals, even as they become closer. The characters retain their differences, they continue to have one on one relationships within the triad… and that’s what made it so much more realistic for me.
A wonderful story with a lot of depth and emotion. A pleasure to read!
Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) fall that results in a severe concussion, angst.
I received an ARC of Third One by Roe Horvat via Gay Book Promotions in exchange for an unbiased review.
Liam had always known words wouldn’t fix this. He walked closer, pausing next to Luke, who still wouldn’t look at him. Liam covered Luke’s left hand with his. The chill shocked him at first. Luke’s hand was ice-cold, and Liam was painfully aware of the last time they’d touched, two months ago at the hospital. He squeezed lightly before he stroked Luke’s fingers, warming them. Luke didn’t move, except his head sunk lower.
He didn’t pull away. Luke didn’t pull away.
Of course, he didn’t. Liam hadn’t imagined the energy between them. Carefully watching Luke’s profile for clues, he lifted his other hand and let it rest on Luke’s neck. Luke squeezed his eyes shut and inhaled harshly, and Liam could see Luke struggling. His chest ached at the sight. He massaged Luke’s nape while the man battled with himself. Liam stepped closer still until his nose brushed Luke’s hair. Breathing in Luke’s scent, he nuzzled his temple. Just a second passed, and Liam wanted to pause the time. Please. He felt a shudder ripple through Luke. One more second, one more breath. It was unmistakable. They both felt it, the same pull, the same rush of want, glimpses of a future, a different reality where they would touch willingly and with the ease of familiar lovers. God, it had been such a long time since Liam felt this sure, this convinced of the grand potential of love.
A deep sigh and Luke leaned away, pulling his hand from underneath Liam’s.
“This is so wrong,” Luke blurted. He hugged his hand to his chest as if Liam had burned him with his touch.
“Why?” Liam asked.
Luke met Liam’s eyes, his mouth parted and closed again. Of course, he didn’t have an answer.
“You are supposed to hate me,” Luke whispered.
Liam smiled through the sadness. He caressed Luke’s cheek, then let his nails brush through the stubble. Luke sucked in a breath, and his pupils widened. Yes, he felt it too, Liam could see.
“I don’t hate you. Never have.”
Liam only shrugged. He needed more time with Luke. It wasn’t just Marcus who bound them together, not anymore. Luke stood still, accepting Liam’s touch, but it was obvious he could leave any second now. Liam had nothing to lose. He brushed a thumb over Luke’s lips. Their gazes locked, and Liam inched closer. He felt Luke’s short, shallow breaths against his finger. He traced the shape, the curve from the center of Luke’s top lip to the left corner. Leaning closer still, he managed to brush his nose against Luke’s in a featherlight touch.
Maybe the kiss wouldn’t have changed anything, and maybe it would have. Liam never got to know. Luke tore away, a low hiss escaping, and he was gone.
Throwing his head back, Liam braced his hands on his hips and sighed.
He needed more time. But how?
About the Author
Queer fiction author Roe Horvat was born in the post-communist wasteland of former Czechoslovakia. Equipped with a dark sense of sarcasm, Roe traveled Europe and finally settled in Sweden. He came out as transgender in 2017 and has been fabulous since. He loves Jane Austen, Douglas Adams, bad action movies, stand-up comedy, pale ale, and daiquiri. When not hiding in the studio doing graphics, he can be found trolling cafés in Gothenburg, writing, and people-watching.
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