Stephanie Beck is here today with her ménage story, Mary's Men, an emotionally intense and steamy read. Keep reading to get my impressions of this book and learn even more about this book by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour. Make sure to fill out the form for your chance to win a $20 bookstore GC and swag packs!
Three husbands—a dream come true or a pipe dream destined to break them all?
Mary Duncan likes to think she's as open as any modern 1960's woman, but when her boyfriend presents his vision of "family" she finds herself between twin brothers and a cousin—all willing to love her if she'll have them…together.
Loving Thomas and Paul comes easily, the sexy twins everything she'd never hoped to dream. If not for her new mother-in-law, the gossiping townsfolk, and the wall of silence from her own family, Mary would be in Montana heaven. Just as the young group finally start to find their footing with the new relationship, Duane Paraby returns from Vietnam, reluctant to join the relationship, but an integral part Mary refuses to give up.
When confrontation explodes around them, threatening to terminate their bonds before they're even set, Paul, Thomas, and Duane will have to prove they have what it takes to be Mary's men.
"Really? I suppose the small town you two are from is waiting with open arms to accept the floozy girl willing to screw two brothers, aren't they?" Mary asked.
"It's nobody's business what we do," Paul said, though the real reasons behind her protests became more clear as she explained.
"It's everybody's business. Think about it, Paul. If a rancher came home with a young woman and they were living together, how would that woman be treated? Multiply that by two—by ten."
"So marry us," Thomas said.
The off-the-cuff solution sounded fair enough to Paul, but sweat popped up on the back of his neck. He didn't know if he was ready for that step, and honestly didn't know how he wanted Mary to respond.
"Don't say stuff like that, Thomas," Mary said, though she sounded more sad than angry. "You don't mean it. Besides, look at Paul. The second you said marriage he turned pale."
"That's because he's a wimp." Thomas shifted and leaned over the front bench seat to look her in the eyes. "You're not. So marry us."
Paul wished he could pull over and add his two cents, but he was grateful for Thomas. His brother took the lead, something he did well, when push came to shove.
"Marry us?" Mary demanded. "Do you hear yourself? That's illegal."
"I'm a lawyer, I know," Thomas snapped, finally showing a little irritation. "I mean marry one of us legally and the other symbolically. You'd have the legal and emotional assurance you need. I can't guarantee people will accept you if they find out how close the three of us are. But I can promise you Paul and I will love you and be your best friends for the rest of your life. Duane too."
"Big promises," she said, the edge of disbelief sharp and pointed.
"Yeah, well, we aren't doing this for shits and giggles. You said the permanency is holding you back. We're willing to make it permanent," Thomas said.
Mary poked Paul on the shoulder. "And you? Do you agree with all of this?"
"You can bet your sweet ass I do, darlin'."
"Then take a right at the end of the driveway. We're going to Vegas."
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
I've read many committed ménage stories and must commend Ms. Beck on presenting one in such a way that I can truly see its viability in the real world. Before this, I considered ménage reads to be more of a fantasy, but Mary's Men shows a relationship of very different individuals who are made whole through their mutual love of Mary.
Thomas and Paul are twins who grew up with a mother who worked her fingers to the bone after the loss of their father. They don't want to see another woman they care about go through that and want the other to pick up the slack when work keeps them away from their love. They want the one they love to be pampered and happy and they know that only together can that happen. They're both hard working and loyal but don't see how unaccepting the reality of their relationship is to their mother and their community. They don't really understand a woman's heart and mind and it's sweet to see them struggle to do what's right. To truly show their commitment it will take a grand gesture in front of the entire town to truly reach their HEA.
Duane is the third part to their whole who doesn't enter until over half way through the story. He's carrying lots of emotional baggage due to a stint in the Vietnam War and a childhood with an absent and unloving father. He's not good at handling emotions and dealing with PTSD has him even more hurt and running from the comfort Mary's offering. Ms. Beck deals with his hospitalization in a realistic way, and though we see improvements, his cure is a slow and steady one that still isn't complete by the conclusion. I felt sympathetic to him and ached for what he was having to deal with, but happy he didn't have to do it alone.
Mary is almost too good to be true. She grew up in a polygamous lifestyle that favored one man and many wives but doesn't want that for herself. It's led to her separation from friends and family with only an aunt to count on. She's lonely and aches for a family but isn't naive about the problems with a ménage in small town Montana. Her love for Thomas and Paul has her hoping for the best but dealing with anger and vile words from the community who label her a whore. She tries to fight on her own, but if they truly want a HEA her men must stand beside her in the open. Mary is extremely kind-hearted and wants to pamper her men. She wants to help them become stronger and reach the dreams they've fought for for so long. She wants to help Duane heal from a lifetime of pain too and her caring nature binds all of them together in a tight-knit group who are always there for one another.
From a vindictive mother to a jealous harpy the verbal cruelty aimed at Mary is a bit over-the-top in its vehemence. These vile creatures, through their actions, appeared almost like caricatures with this stereotypical behavior. It took up too much of the story and the resolution to it a bit unbelievable. The sexual encounters in this story are addictive in their presentation. They're varied and bring out each man's individuality. While I enjoyed these steamy encounters their frequency almost overwhelmed the story but luckily Ms. Beck kept pushing forth the character development to make this a satisfying story. Fans of erotica will finds this a fulfilling read and it leaves me wanting to read more of Ms. Beck's works.
My rating for this is a B.
*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Even before she understood what all the thrusting meant, Stephanie Beck loved reading romance. When the stories didn't end the way she wanted, writing her own was the perfect solution. From ridiculous humor to erotica, Stephanie loves being transported within a story.
When she's not elbow deep in words, her husband and three children command her attention. After they are sleeping she knits or bakes cookies…or squeezes in more writing. Stephanie loves to hear from readers. Contact her at: stephaniebeckauthor@gmail.
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