Author: Tia Fielding
Genre: Contemporary, M/M/M Ménage
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥
Blurb: Dru and Thom have been together for three years, and despite Thom’s occasional bouts of insecurity and Dru’s fear of rejection, their relationship is rock solid. Then Dru’s long-lost friend, Skye, suddenly reappears, shocking them both. Skye suffered years of inconceivable abuse before escaping it, and while he’s back on track, he has nowhere else to go as he begins to rebuild his life.
Dru, Thom, and Skye each want to belong somewhere, to belong with someone – or someones – with no fear of being hurt, set aside, or left behind. It’s a challenge with daunting odds, especially for Skye, who’s never loved before. He’s determined not to come between his two friends who so clearly belong together, and it will be up to Dru and Thom to conquer their fears and convince Skye to stay.
Review: I took interest in this story because it had a recovering character. What is unique about By Any Other Name is the fact that we get to know the character through his final stages of recovery – which is, in this case, Skye’s incorporation and integration into the modern world – which wipes out the prospect of unnecessary drama. Too often I encounter books where so much happens, both internally and externally, that the drama just seems forced. (In fact, there was a discussion about too much angst in a review site a week ago.) Thankfully, Tia Fielding’s first novel is a “quiet” one – no major angst that seems contrived, just a couple of moments where we are reminded of what Skye has been through.
To be honest, the abuse seemed a bit too much at first. When I read all about Skye’s past, the combination of it plus the abuse he underwent seemed a bit too tragic, even for an unlucky person. Yet it wasn’t really highlighted; while it did cast its own shadows in the lives of our three protagonists, it didn’t overtake the story and, like I said before, didn’t cause any melodrama. The conflict here is purely internal, and there’s really no room for poorly characterized villains that are flat and very much reminiscent of mad scientists. I appreciated that. I don’t particularly like antagonists that are just so crazy and unbelievable.
I do have a couple of niggles though, ones that made me falter between three stars and four. First, at times it seemed like the affection was concentrated on Dru. Sure, more often than not he is described as a high maintenance lover, but I think Thom and Skye’s love for him overshadowed the growing affection among the three of them at times. I’ll admit that I was looking forward to Thom and Skye’s interaction with each other more than anything, but to me their feelings for each other fell a bit flat. Of course, that might just be me setting the bar a bit high for them both, but it still disappointed me a bit. Kara was… I don’t know how to describe her. I got the feeling that the author wanted her to be seen as a supportive person, and I did feel that, but some of her actions ticked me off a bit. I didn’t dislike her, but I didn’t feel any warm and fuzzy feelings for her either.
However, setting aside these qualms, I liked this book. Again, it’s a quiet novel with no big and tragic scenes that run rampant in a lot of books. I’ll probably be reading something by Tia Fielding again.