Golden Dancer by Tara Lain

Title:  Golden Dancer

Author:  Tara Lain

Genre:  Contemporary, M/M/M Ménage, Romantic Suspense

Length:  Novel

Publisher:  Loose Id, LLC (September 27, 2011)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Blurb:  Mac MacAllister is obsessed; the online news reporter needs enough evidence to write a story accusing billionaire art collector Daniel Terrebone of stealing The Golden Dancer, a priceless work of art, from son-of-a-Nazi Horst Von Berg. The story promises the recognition Mac craves, but then Mac meets a real golden dancer, ballet star Trelain Medveyev, and his attraction to the man rocks his formerly straight world.

When the mysterious Terrebone “collects” this beautiful dancer, too, Mac rushes to the rescue like a knight in shining cargo pants and plunges into a three-way passion that tears him between love and guilt. Can Mac keep investigating when his story could send one man to prison and another to the morgue? Will this reporter get his story or get his men?

Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices, ménage (m/m/m).

From the Author

Writing romantic suspense is a skill I’ve always admired — from afar. I used to beta read manuscripts for a dear friend who was a very successful romantic suspense writer. All those twists and turns and double crosses. I loved reading it but never dreamed I’d write it myself. Then Loose Id put out a call for manuscripts for their Men of Mystery series. What fun. Give us your secret agents and super heroes, your undercover cops and assassins, they said.  I don’t usually write those guys. Not yet anyway. But I had just started a story I was inspired to write with a ballet dancer hero. Not exactly Navy SEAL material. But I had woven a story around my ballet dancer that involved an investigative reporter and a billionaire technologist who may or may not also be an art thief. Hmm.

Art theft? What if that theft had bigger implications? What if there was an outside villain who was a seriously nasty guy and what if he had a henchman that would make Ian Fleming proud? What if one hero is pitted against the other in a web of lies and mistrust and what if they both want the same thing? Hey, whaddya know? I had the makings of a romantic suspense. I pitched. I WON! They accepted my proposal. And then I had to WRITE it.  Yikes! LOL.
The resulting book, Golden Dancer is a M/M/M ménage. Here are a few things I learned:
Even with no suspense elements, a ménage is challenging. You need to get far into the heads and hearts of all three men and show their motivations, loves, concerns. When you layer on top of that the need to create a suspenseful plot, you have a lot on your hands.
The beginning of the book, always a big hurdle in any book for any writer, is a huge challenge in romantic suspense. Especially erotic romantic suspense. You need to introduce the elements of the mystery or conflict right away, but the reader also wants to know who the romantic heroes are going to be. It’s a lot to get on stage at once. Especially when you have three heroes!
If you want to create a great hero, write a really good villain. As my husband always says, “Nazis make the best villains.” I took his advice.
Find the right balance between the sex and romance and the mystery and suspense. The reader will get antsy if the romance is ignored in favor of the suspense or vice versa.
Keep up the pace. Romantic suspense is not leisurely!
I had enormous fun writing Golden Dancer. I notice that all my books are getting a little more suspenseful as a result. I hope you enjoy it — the suspense, and, above all, the romance!  :  ) Ta

Reviewer:  Portia

Review:  I’m not going to lie.  I haven’t found too many M/M/M that do it for me…until now.  There always seems to be an inequality that sets my teeth on edge.  Daniel, Trelain, and Mac find a way to make it work.  It is no secret that I am Tara Lain’s biggest fan.  I love the way she lets us fall in love with the characters as they fall in love with each other.  There is plenty of ménage, but you also get to see the MCs interact individually outside the bedroom.

When I started reading about Trelain, I thought we were going to meet the twin of Roan from, The Scientist and the Supermodel.  But, other than being beautiful men at the top of their artistic fields, Lain has created two characters with unique voices.

Regardless of the fact that this book was called The Golden Dancer, this is really Mac’s story.  Trelain and Daniel are his companions and lovers on his journey.  A journey that ends his finding acceptance and love that he never expected.

My favorite character among the trio is Daniel.  He is a switch on every level and you never knew what was going to come out of his mouth.  He is the fuel that powers this romance.

Finally, I know this is listed as a contemporary ménage romance, but there is a pretty decent suspense subplot woven into the steamy bedroom scenes.

Tara can’t write fast enough to satisfy me.  I highly recommend this book, and encourage you to go back and read her earlier releases, The Scientist and the Supermodel and Genetic Attraction.

Sing for your Supper by Jaime Samms

Title: Sing For Your Supper

Author: Jaime Samms

Genre: Cowboy/Western, M/M, M/M/M

Length: Novella (68pgs)

Publisher: Total E-Bound (15th August 2011)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Hunger can drive a man to do just about anything in order to satisfy it, but when it’s hunger of the heart, will past relationships keep three men wanting more?

Taylor has left home, chased out by his family because he’s gay, and pursued across the prairies by the man who violently assaulted him in his own home. Now he’s homeless, friendless and using his charm and skills learned on his knees before his father’s farm hands to pay for his meals.

Matt sees something more than a desperate whore in the young rancher who comes to his diner in hopes a quick blow job will buy him a meal. He sees past Taylor’s current circumstances to a man who just needs a clean break.

Matt sends Taylor off to his friend Jim’s ranch hoping the older man will see the same things in Taylor and give him the opportunity to start over. No one expects the visceral attraction between the rancher and his new hire.

When Taylor’s past catches up to him, and he realizes he’s put both men in jeopardy just for trying to help him, he thinks maybe he deserves to be branded the fool he is.

Reader Advisory: This story has been previously released as part of the Saddle Up ‘N Ride anthology by Total-E-Bound

Review: Taylor is running from his past and for the past six months he’s had to do things he isn’t proud of to keep going.  He is reaching a breaking point when he meets Matt.  Matt owns a diner and he takes pity on Taylor sending him to the ranch of his friend Jim.   Jim takes Taylor on and when Taylor’s past catches up to him a few secrets are revealed.

At first, I didn’t see where this story was going but I was pleased with the unconventional storyline, Taylor’s fear and hopelessness comes across clearly, Matt seems easy-going but a bit of a riddle and we figure out something unsavory happened to him in the past and Jim is like a solid tree; standing tall and true for these two hurt men.

I really did enjoy this book and I am sure you will agree that this is not the usual type of relationship that we see in the m/m genre simply because it doesn’t follow the unspoken rules of what a happy ever after should be.

I will recommend this to anyone who loves complex men, complicated relationships, hot sex and an unconventional ending.