Review: By Any Other Name
Thom and Dru have been in a committed and loving relationship for three years, when a phone call comes that will change their lives. Skye, Dru's best friend from childhood, is being released from a mental hospital. He's been there for two years, recovering from horrible and extreme sexual abuse at the hands of an uncle.
Dru hasn't seen or heard from Skye in seven years, but he knows his old friend has no one else to turn to. So he and Thom decide to take him into their home.
Things are rough at first. Syke is very fragile. But the feelings Dru had for him as a teenager come rushing back. Even Thom is not immune to the pull Skye generates. But is there any chance for a future for the three men with the baggage each carries? Skye's issues are obvious, but Dru has big abandonment issues and Thom has serious insecurities, especially when it comes to the relationship that means so much to him.
There are parts of the story that really worked for me. The love between Thom and Dru is tangible. The evolution of their feelings for Skye was well-done and believable. The author also did a really good job portraying Skye's confusion about his sexuality and his reticence to explore a relationship with men. I couldn't put the book down, waiting to see how things would play out.
But I did have a some problems. First of all, the introduction of Syke's backstory from his doctor was abrupt and the degree of his abuse was almost too big to really take in. My other issue is the pseudo time-jump near the end. I understand why we don't see Skye hop into bed right away. In fact, I would have balked if he were able to be physical too quickly. But I wasn't happy with the way we blew through the weeks/months of the newly formed relationship with just a bit of narrative. I would have liked to see some of that happen, instead of just hearing about it in a brief wrap-up.
That being said, I liked the book. It had a lot of emotion and I found myself empathizing with all three of the men... especially Thom. The sex was good. It's not down and dirty, but loving and meaningful. I'm usually really skeptical in menage stories, but I believed in this one. I would read from this author again. Just under 4 stars.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley
Release Date: August 22, 2011Publisher: Dreamspinner Press