Title: Five-Sided Heart
Author: Max MacGowan
Length: Novel (230 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 16th 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: Noah Trevelyan has lost his moorings. Disowned over his sexuality as a teenager, he hasn’t been back to his home on the Outer Banks since his fisherman father kicked him out. But when he returns for the Old Man’s funeral, he discovers his father left him the house and boat in his will. Noah must choose whether to stay or go, but he won’t be alone. There’s Ian, working to overcome the emotional scars left by a domineering ex-boyfriend, and Ty, a cheerful housekeeper who’s struggling to take care of his Alzheimer’s-stricken aunt. There’s Joshua too, running from the destruction of his old life, and Gabriel, who was once beaten and left for dead, and doesn’t know how to survive on his own.
Will they find in each other the strength and courage to keep living—and learn, together, how to love again? A polyamorous relationship is the last thing any of them expected to find in the Outer Banks, but it might be what they need most, and it might even be their redemption—if they can keep their group from breaking apart under the pressure.
Review: I never expected to love this book as much as I did because polygamous relationships are not something that I can accept lightly; this was the first book I’ve ever read where five different people make a go of a very unusual relationship. The most I’ve ever dealt with in my reading experience are threesomes, and I can’t tell you how many times the relationship didn’t work for me for different reasons. Maybe I was wrong to start this book thinking it was going to be a fail, but I LOVE when I’m wrong and my mind is blown in the best possible way.
Noah Trevelyan has returned home after ten long years to bury his father; kicked out at a young age for being gay (in order to keep from tainting the whole family), Noah is now trying to make peace with his father’s death and the fact that he never got the chance to fix their relationship.
Ian has been living next door to Noah’s father for the past seven years and recently being dumped by his long-term asshole boyfriend, he’s still trying to recover from the heartbreak. Ian is a mother-hen, a doer, a caretaker who wants nothing more than to make those he loves feel happy and taken care of.
Joshua has spent almost a year behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit and even though he’s been acquitted, he ran far away from his hometown in order to start over. Joshua doesn’t think he has much to offer and knows that his past will more than likely put a shadow over any relationship he might form, regardless of his innocence. Joshua is plain and average, but he’s got a calming effect on those around him and he’s great to be around.
Ty is happiness, joy, cheer, and sunlight. He’s one of those people that everybody loves, who should never be anything but happy and smiling and shining bright. But Ty is dealing with his own problems; his great-aunt Lily, the woman who raised him after the death of his mother is suffering from Alzheimer’s and Ty’s heart is breaking day after day.
Gabriel might look like an angel but he’s definitely not one; his risky sexual behavior landed him in a dangerous situation that found him beaten, cut, scarred for life, and left for dead. Gabriel suffers from depression and has plans to take his own life; but why exactly has he traveled so far and how did he end up where he is now? He doesn’t know but plans to stay alive long enough to figure it out.
Five men who are not perfect, who are as different as can be, work together perfectly to get over the obstacles life threw in their path. Everything about them, from the way they met, to the way they interact, how they end up together, EVERYTHING felt as natural as breathing. I expected to feel overwhelmed by their polygamous relationship; I expected this book to feel more pornish than it did considering there are a lot of dicks in one bed; I expected the drama level and maybe the angst to be sky high considering the men’s backgrounds. Pretty much every one of my expectations was blown to dust. What I got were five men who become best friends, who complement each other perfectly. Yes, there’s sex, but the fact that it’s not overly descriptive or crude makes it natural and not overwhelming at all. I loved the support they offered one another, a make-shift family who had each other’s backs and never gave up on each other. I loved this book!
I can’t wait to read more from Max, I think they’re becoming more experienced in their writing; Five-Sided Heart is much better than Taking the Long Way, the writing has a nice even flow and the pace is perfect. Great book!