Private Property
by Leah Braemel, contemporary (2009)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-368-5


On the bright side, Private Property may seem like another ménage à trois caper on the surface, but author Leah Braemel attempts to superficially explore some emotional aftermath after the wonderful firecrackers have died down. In other words, this is not your typical three-is-fun story in the sense that if you expect this story to conform completely to the formula, you may be disappointed a little.

Jodi Tyler is having an affair with her boss Mark Rodriguez. Hey, if you're so emotionally needy that you spend considerable amount of free time worried that the guy will dump you, it makes perfect sense to sleep with the boss. This is living the wild life, baby, romance novel heroine style. Like every other romance heroine that makes her debut in electronic format, Jodi's fantasy is to sleep with two guys at the same time. Well, Mark decides to surprise her with a birthday party ménage à trois with him, her, and his college buddy Sam Watson in the sack. What can I say? Roping in the best friend is no doubt cheaper than buying a diamond ring for the lovely lady.

This story is very heavy in sex scenes, because once they get going, they don't stop until the relevant body parts can't do the bee-wop anymore. The author briefly has the characters dealing with the messy aftermath of the party, when they realize that messy things like jealousy and possessiveness may not be as clear-cut and easily shunted aside. I probably would appreciate this aspect of the story better if Ms Braemel hadn't gone the route many authors have done and have the two big strong men make all the major decisions with regards to their arrangements/relationships with Jodi without asking her what she wants from them. Don't you just love all these big brawny men doing all the thinking for the delicate heroine who can't be trusted to decide on her own what she wants?

Points are given to Leah Braemel for trying to do more than the typical shag to the power of three kind of stories here, but alas, I'd say readers are still better off reading this one for the sex scenes rather than for the romance.

Rating: 71


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