Title ~ What he left Behind
Author ~ L.A. Witt
Publisher ~ Samhain Publishing
Published ~ 18th August 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, M/M/M
Can you ever have a second first time?
Josh Carver thinks it’s just another lunch with his best friend, Michael—until Michael confesses he just turned down a date with his hot veterinarian crush. It seems Michael’s abusive ex left him more scarred than Josh realized.
Josh and his husband, Ian, have done their best to help Michael leave his horrific past behind, but even Josh is stunned when Ian suggests that Josh help Michael with his fear of physical intimacy. After all, it isn’t like it would be the first time—Josh and Michael were once each other’s firsts.
A hesitant first kiss, and Josh and Michael’s natural attraction eases the way. But with Michael still balking at the prospect of sex with someone new, Ian steps into the breach.
Everything is fine and dandy until emotions become so entangled, their friendship—and a marriage—could be at risk.
Warning: Contains three guys who will do anything for each other, a hot tub that’s always the right temperature, and a cat with an attitude problem.
It’s been five years since Michael left his abusive boyfriend Steve. Five years of counseling and support from his friends Josh and Ian. Michael has been on some dates in that time, but panics at the thought of getting physical with anyone. His counselor suggests a sex therapist but he is uncomfortable thinking about opening up like that with a stranger. Michael and Josh are best friends that have known each other since they were kids. They were each other’s firsts and slept together on and off until Josh married Ian, but never actually dated. Ian and Josh have been together for ten years. Prior to meeting each other neither had considered long-term monogamy, but they are both committed to their marriage and have a closed relationship.
When Josh tells Ian about Michael’s issues, Ian comes up with an idea that is either brilliant or insane. Believing Josh may be the only one Michael will be comfortable enough to try to get intimate with, Ian encourages Josh to do whatever Michael needs to move on. Even after considering the potential pitfalls of the plan, Josh still isn’t prepared for the emotions and problems that arise. When it seems that Michael is almost ready to give dating a try again and get physical with someone who is not Josh, Ian becomes the perfect person to test that. One of the biggest hurdles that the men failed to consider is what happens when Michael is finally ready to move on?
At first I balked. On the one hand, this whole “sexual healing” situation could spiral out of control in so many ways and could wind up hurting all three men, why would any of them even want to go through with it? On the other hand, the men all love and trust each other at least as friends. Everyone starts off on the same page, with the same goals, so it would seemingly be the best situation to make Michael comfortable. What really won me over to the idea was the open communication, especially between Josh and Ian. The two men have one of the strongest, honest relationships I’ve read in a long time. Little is ever held back between them and they act like rational adults.
I thought L.A. Witt did a great job laying out the story and anticipating the questions and emotions her readers may have. Every time I spotted a potential issue or was wondering what on earth someone was thinking, I found it addressed soon after. The drama never felt manufactured and didn’t get over the top. It flowed naturally from the situation as Josh spends more time in bed with Michael and he becomes conflicted about how he is feeling towards Michael and how it is affecting his marriage even in the small ways such as missing out on time together with Ian. While I would have liked to be in Ian’s head a few times, the story is told strictly from Josh’s POV.
Of course, I can’t leave off without discussing the frequent sex scenes which cover every possible combination between the three men both as couples and as a threesome. L.A. Witt definitely writes sex hot enough to melt your Kindle. Beyond that though is the love, respect and tenderness that is there even when the sex is hard and rough.
This story offered a fresh twist on a ménage while exploring the different dynamics of friendship, love and marriage and I recommend it to any m/m/m fan.
Connect with L.A. Witt
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer currently living in the glamorous and ultra-futuristic metropolis of Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two cats, and a disembodied penguin brain that communicates with her telepathically. In addition to writing smut and disturbing the locals, L.A. is said to be working with the US government to perfect a genetic modification that will allow humans to survive indefinitely on Corn Pops and beef jerky. This is all a cover, though, as her primary leisure activity is hunting down her arch nemesis, erotica author Lauren Gallagher, who is also said to be lurking somewhere in Omaha.