Author ~ Posy Roberts
Publisher ~ Labyrinth Bound Press
Published ~ 28 January 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary Romance, M/M/M/M
Jude Garrity visits the farmers market every Saturday. As an environmental engineering student, he’s curious about living off the grid and sustainable agriculture.
And one particular farmer.
Hudson Oliva has worked hard to support his commune, where queer people live without fear of harm or retribution. When Jude asks pointed questions about living there, Hudson realizes he needs to be honest about his home. Few people know what the farm is actually about, but Jude is insistent.
Jude moves to Kaleidoscope Gardens, however his sexual hang-ups make it hard to adjust. He’s an uptight virgin living among people who have sex freely and with multiple partners. When Jude finally loosens up, Hudson is flooded with emotions. Falling for Jude wasn’t part of Hudson’s life plan. But when vindictive rumors about the commune begin to spread, love might be all he has left.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect going into a story about life on a commune, but I really liked getting to know the community of Kaleidoscope Gardens and the four men who were the main characters in the book, especially Jude and Hudson. The men in the story are consensually polyamorous, living in a sex postitive community, so if you don’t like romance that is outside of the traditional monogamous coupling this may not be for you. If you’re willing to give it a try it provides a different take on an m/m/m+ relationship that I really enjoyed.
Jude has escaped parents that are part of a religion that sees sex as only for purposes of procreation and, in Jude’s case, took steps to make sure he didn’t so much as masturbate. He ran as soon as he could and is now twenty years old, in college and working toward an environmental engineering degree. Their shaming still rings in his head each time he tries to be sexual with someone or even just alone in his bed. Thus far, his attempts at exploring sex with another person have been misguided and unsuccessful. He does, however, look forward to his trips to the weekly farmer’s market where he gets to see and talk with the sexy Hudson.
Hudson knows what it’s like to grow up in a family steeped in religion and suffered until he ran at eighteen. He has been at the commune since then. Hudson enjoys sex for the sake of pleasure and doesn’t need to have it wrapped in emotion, but he does crave love and hopes someday to find it again. The last man Hudson loved left him five years before, and while his housemates Leo and Charlie include him in sex and give him affection, he still feels left out and lonely when he sees them together. They love him, but it’s not the same as being in love.
When Jude decides to try living at the commune, Hudson couldn’t be happier, but soon emotions run high and misunderstandings threaten everything Hudson loves and counts on. Jude is finally in a place where he is beginning to feel safe and comfortable enough to express himself and fight through the shame, but the one man he hoped to be with seems to push him away at any turn. As Leo and Charlie try to help, things go from bad to worse fast. There is also growing unease about their homophobic neighbor who has been looking to start trouble for years.
The dynamics of the relationship between Hudson, Leo and Charlie were complex to begin with, but when Jude enters the equation, he unintentionally opens up wounds for Hudson that have never healed. Both men have had similar family issues, but they are at different points in dealing with them. Hudson recognizes the mistakes he is making as far as Jude is concerned, but his jealousy and fear of abandonment prevents him from working to fix them.
Aside from the well-developed main characters, the community of Kaleidoscope Gardens is yet another character in the story and is essential in bringing Jude to a place where he can really start to heal. The open love, affection and joy in the physical he finds there has a big impact on him from the moment he arrives.
I thought the book moved along very well and had just the right amounts of angst, emotion and sex. Posy Roberts shows both the ease and complexity the men find in their arrangement and what each individual gets from it. While Hudson and Jude are the main characters, we also get to know a bit about Charlie and Leo and they play an essential part in the story.
While there are storylines that will obviously be continuing, there is a full story here. While Jude and Hudson are just starting their relationship and there are more tests ahead, there is solid ground to build on and everyone is happy at the end. I’m really looking forward to the next book to catch up with Hudson and Jude and to learn more about Leo and Charlie as well.
Meet Posy Roberts
Real life. Genuine men. True love.
Posy Roberts writes about the realistic struggles of men looking for love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.
Posy is married to a man who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep. Her daughter, a budding author and dedicated Whovian, helps her come up with character names. When Posy’s not writing, she enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make normal seem more interesting.