Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review for Lovely Wicked by Kari Gregg

Mitch McAllister and Olivia Winslow have been supportive of one another since they were young kids living with horrendously abusive parents in a dirty trailer park.  Now adults, they've made something of their lives, but keep getting pulled back towards their families still living in that dirty trailer park and still getting put through that emotional wringer.  One night of physical comfort between friends soon leads to something much more intense when forbidden fantasies brings Sam Lawson into their intimate circle.  The road to a happy threesome is a rocky one as secrets and unplanned events force unpleasant truths to be revealed from which this threesome might never recover.

This story started out strong by showing how far Mitch and Olivia have come from the abusive start they had in life.  You can't help but feel happy that they climbed out of that shabby existence to become at least a bit successful.  You soon realize that old scars run deep, particularly for Mitch, and the ties that bind truly never let go.

This leads to some very flawed characters.  Mitch is a three-time divorcee who is very dominant due to a rather unpleasant period of time after he ran away from home.  He steamrolls over both Olivia and Sam to get what he wants in a relationship, which is one where he can keep his secrets but no one else can.  He constantly makes major decisions about the course of their threesome which alienates the others and causes many misunderstandings.  His heavy-handedness got very irritating and made me really dislike him.  I wanted to feel sympathetic towards him because of his truly horrible childhood, but his constant secretiveness and overbearing control of the threesome rubbed me the wrong way.

Olivia just seemed numb throughout the story, with very little backbone.  She was a puppet for Mitch to manipulate and let herself be hurt more by acquiescing to Mitch's every desire.  Sam too allowed himself to be manipulated by Mitch into doing things he knew would return to haunt them and leads to a MAJOR roadblock for their threesome and an uncertain ending to the story.  I actually didn't mind these two characters, particularly Sam who was the most likable of the three and the most honest in his feelings and words.  But having Mitch in their lives was definitely not beneficial to them in my eyes.  They became playthings to Mitch that he used to make his life less lonely.

The sexual interludes in this story were very steamy and VERY frequent to the point where it started to feel repetitive and became a way for Mitch to distract the others from discovering his secrets.  Storyline was sacrificed for sexual interludes and unnecessarily manipulative misunderstandings were used repeatedly to batter at the threesome's connection.  I was often left frustrated by the events in the story and by Mitch's cavalier attitude and it was hard to keep turning the pages.

After such an emotionally draining opening I so wanted this story to continue with the theme of redemption that was at first hinted at.  Because of Mitch and his creation of a threesome everything ground to a halt and any redemption that the characters were working towards suddenly came to a halt.  His overbearing attitude and reluctance to open up emotionally made this story a disappointment to me.  I normally like menage stories but the total lack of equality and honesty amongst the lovers led me to downgrade this story even further.  I don't regret reading this story but am sad it didn't live up to the opening chapter's promise.

My rating for this is a D+.

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