Title ~ Wayward Son (Sons book 2)
Author ~ Shae Connor
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 11th May 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, Menage
After his move to Atlanta and away from the influence of his conservative parents, Mikey O’Malley finally feels free to be himself: art student, aspiring animator, and out gay man. He has friends, a new job, and not one, but two men interested in him. Cory Lassiter and Jimmy Black have been a happy couple for years, occasionally bringing a twink into their bed, but only for a brief roll in the hay. When Mikey meets the pair, the attraction is immediate, and it runs three ways. Mikey just can’t believe they’d have room in their lives for a permanent addition.
When Mikey’s newfound life is shattered by a lawsuit that accuses him of molesting a child years earlier, he’s determined to face his troubles on his own, but Cory and Jimmy are just as determined that he not have to go it alone. To reconcile his need for independence and his desire for love, Mikey has to learn that being a man isn’t just about standing on your own two feet. It’s about letting yourself lean on the ones who love you.
Jimmy, Cory and Mikey were all secondary characters in Unfortunate Son: the first book in Shae Connors Sons series. Friends of Evan's (the MC from book #1), Jimmy and Cory in particular really stood out. Slightly older, with past histories of their own that made them interesting and intriguing in their own right, I fell in love with them straight away. An ex porn star and a drag queen who supported and helped Evan through a lot of his bad times; they were extremely loveable, vibrant, memorable secondary characters and...joy of ménage joys!...they weren't averse to taking in an extra playmate every now and again, as we learned when young Mikey turned up and caught their eye. It was obvious then, that there was a story to be told, so I was excited about their upcoming book. I love my threesomes and having really connected to these guys, couldn't wait for this one to come around!
Because of the blurb, I was expecting a fairly angst driven background story, but actually that turned out to be a bit low key. The conflict was there, and it was addressed throughout the story, but that side of the book didn't affect me as emotionally as I hoped it would. Mikey's reactions to being wrongly accused of child molestation seemed a bit underwhelming. He was bothered about it of course, but I never really felt the intensity of what he was experiencing. All I could think was that if that had been me I'd have been an absolute wreck! Plus there was his relationship with his estranged father: the Pastor, that I guess ties into the title; although I'm not sure that "wayward" fitted Mikey. Yes, he'd defied his parents and left the fold, but as that area of his life also felt a little under explored, I thought it was a bit of a misnomer, as wayward to me means willful, rebellious, and headstrong but that wasn't particularly how I saw him.
I can't say I didn't enjoy that side of of the plot but I wasn't gripped by it. There could have been so much more emotional backlash but it never really fully emerged. He was a sweet guy, but if I'm being honest I did find him a bit bland compared to his two older lovers, who had great on page presence. When Jimmy and Cory were around, my attention was totally held and it was when Mikey was with the couple that he came alive on page for me. Outside of his scenes with them, which were attention grabbing, the story lacked the drama and emotional connection that I got from Evan, in Unfortunate Son, who I also fell hook, line and sinker for, even though there where things about that story I had reservations about.
But... I just LOVED Jimmy and Cory! Beautiful men in both looks and personality they were experienced, mature, kind, supportive, protective, fun, playful, seductive and sexy as hell in the bedroom...pool...car...shower...couch...or wherever the mood took them, LOL. PHEW!...the ménage scenes worked a treat for me and got my temperature rising towards boiling point— so absolutely NO complaints there! But there was much more to it than just sex. Aside from the fact that the love scenes sizzled in the hotness factor, it wasn't all 'wham bam,' meaningless, in your face threeway kink. This was where the emotion came in, and I loved that. There was warmth, patience, tenderness, passion, and a true sense that these men completely cherished the time they spend with Mikey; who in a way was still quite gauche when it came to the physical side of their relationship. Whenever they instigated sex it was seductive and knee trembling, but always in a caring, reassuring, way which never failed to have Mikey literally melting every time and OMG! I melted with him.They had his legs wobbling just with a (dirty) word or a (sultry) look!
He couldn't understand why an established couple like Jimmy and Cory would want another body in their lives, the sex was great but he was never really confident of what his role in their threesome was. Did they only want him for sex? Was it just a temporary arrangement? If he allowed himself to fall in love with these men would it ever be reciprocated? Also, in his mind, allowing them to take charge and help, meant losing the independence he'd gained after escaping being under his fathers thumb.
The story going on in the background was integral to Mikey eventually realising that it was okay to let go and accept that being supported doesn't necessarily mean giving up control, and it was watching that happen and witnessing the love unfolding between the three of them that ultimately made the book for me.
I won't deny I've had issues with both stories, which had they been with another author might have put me off going any further with the series... but not in this case. I really do like the way Shae Connor writes. Her writing style is easy and sexy and twice now, I've come away utterly enamoured with characters she's created and a definite "want to know what happens next" feeling. So once again I'm looking forward to which 'Son' is going to get his story told in book three. I have an idea and I think I'm going to fall in love with him too.