Sunday, June 9, 2013

Review of Triad by Cat Grant

Eric Courtland has spent the last decade tucked away in a Tuscan villa with his wife, Allison—and their partner and lover, Nick Thompson. Worlds away from the bigotry and hatred they faced in the States, the triad has built an unconventional relationship that is unassailable. Or so they think.
After years of disappointment, Allison is finally pregnant. But the happy news is soon blunted by a family crisis that brings them—reluctantly—back to the country they've foresworn and the emotional riptides that bide there.
Assailed from every direction, the three face blackmail and a potential corporate takeover, but it's the devastating revelations from both Eric's and Nick's pasts that leave them shaken to the core. The three must stand together and face the maelstrom, or risk losing everything they've worked so hard to build—including the unique love that binds them.


Cat Grant's intensely emotional roller coaster ride, The Courtland Chronicles series, comes to an immensely satisfying but slightly melodramatic conclusion in Triad.  After 20 years this loving and committed trio seem to be happy with things going their way overseas. It's not long before the real world comes knocking on their Tuscan fantasy in the form of a family member's failing health, a vengeful ex-lover, and another round of secrets to put this triad's devotion to the test.  It's only through honesty and acceptance of what's truly important to them that they achieve a complete HEA.

Each member of this trio has aged and thus have become a bit wiser and deft at keeping a balance to their triad.  Each member finally feels equal and you can truly see them as a family as they protect and support each other through thick and thin.  Eric has changed the most as he's more inclined to talk than keep secrets now.  Every decision he makes is now done with input from his spouses and I find this more open Eric delightful.  He's still a commanding presence but it's tempered with a more kindhearted soul.

Nick is put put through the emotional wringer this time around as his mother's health starts to fade and a shocking secret kept by someone from his past comes to light.  I ached for all the pain he had to endure but grateful he had so much support since there were moments in this series where he was on his own.  While Nick and Eric are dealing with issues from the outside world Ally is put on the backburner throughout this story as she's dealing with her pregnancy.  After losing a previous baby she's being extra careful this time.  Her role is to be the voice of reason, the one to keep the peace, the glue to keeping their family close.

Many of the issues befalling this trio were a bit obvious and soap opera-ish in nature.  The return of the vile Branford Crane bent on revenge using Eric's past as blackmail being the most annoying of all the issues.  It takes up a big part of the book but is quickly wrapped up in an out of left field denouement. The actual ending of the book, while satisfying, left a few things slightly undone to leave us forming our own opinions as to the rest of this trio's life and how society will ultimately treat them.

Ms. Grant seamlessly incorporates political/societal responses to this lifestyle in a sympathetic and believable way.  Once or twice it becomes a bit heavy-handed but on a whole it promotes thought-provoking conversation.  The sexual interludes aren't as frequent as in the previous installments but just as satisfying in their intensity.  This triad has definitely become a family and it's heartwarming to finally reach this hard fought conclusion.  The journey's been difficult to witness at times but we'll worth the time invested.  Ms. Grant has created an enticing and memorable saga that, though originally written a few years ago, still resonates today.

My rating for this is a B.

*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

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