Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Book Review for Four Real by Alyssa Turner

Her love was greedy. Their love was infinite.
Lead singer of the start-up band Four Real, Tricia Donahue left her hometown with one question. How can you love three men at once? She’s convinced herself that it can’t be done—not without living up to her family’s infamous reputation. Now, years later, lead guitarist Michael Hill is touring with world famous TRE, far removed from the small town band he once called his family. Home will never be the same until he makes things right. Keyboarder, Pete Morello and drummer, Marty Pierce were always close, but when the one girl they ever loved disappeared from their life, their casual threesomes and life’s hard knocks revealed the feelings they share for each other. Reunion time for four best friends with unfinished business means they will finally face the music. Fantasy…meet reality.


When a high school reunion acts as the catalyst in bringing four individuals who once meant everything to each other back together, sparks will fly in this scorching ménage romance.  Hurt feelings, fears over what others think, and the inability to move on from the past weigh down these characters to keep them struggling for their HEA and will keep readers immersed from start to finish.  Throughout the story these issues were easy to relate to and made this an emotionally engaging story balanced with scorching encounters that kept me furiously turning the pages...and will do the same to you.

Tricia Donahue's home life growing up was dysfunctional to say the least.  A drug-addicted mother with bipolar disorder didn't make for a warm and loving home, but rather she was left embarrassed and angry over how her peers perceived her because of her mother.  The only people who supported her, protected her, and gave her unconditional love were Hill, Pete, and Marty, who played alongside her in a high school rock band.  With them by her side she could be herself and release all her dark thoughts through her lyric writing.  When her mother's addiction finally becomes too much Tricia's left no choice but to put her in rehab which leaves her more on her own than ever before.  Guilt, loneliness, and fears over what her mother's disorder means for her led to an unforgettable evening that brings her even closer to her three guardians but leaves her confused and running from them by morning.  She never forgot them in the years since, never found any others who could match the feelings they engendered in her, which is what brings her back to reunite with them on stage.  Old hurts and new truths, as well as their helping out a friend, lead to close quarters and tons of sexual tension.  When Hill reveals another truth as to why he came back home this foursome ends up banding together one more time in support of Tricia.  Will their renewed closeness lead to commitment or will she keep running from the HEA that's always been waiting for her?  Tricia's clearly a woman in pain who had to grow up far too soon.  She had three friends who were devoted to her and her happiness but was confused by the intense feelings she had towards all of them and has been hiding ever since.  Seeing them as grown up men, their sweet and caring sides, shows her how much she's missing out on and leads her to making changes and taking control of her life which leads to a cheer-inducing moment.  I applauded her evolution as she finally grew up to let loose the shackles of self-doubts to grab hold of the love given to her from three honorable and drool-worthy men.

Hill was drawn to Tricia the moment he first met her in their youth.  He was drawn by her gritty and powerful lyrics that came from her soul.  He fell for her wholeheartedly but knew his cousin and friend cared just as much.  He soon became her boyfriend but always kept from claiming her completely as he knew that without the others there Tricia wouldn't feel wholly loved.  The one night they all had together changed everything though and set each of them on separate paths.  He went to California to get famous, desperately wanting Tricia there, but surrounded by her lyrics.  When those lyrics lead to Tricia being betrayed it becomes yet another reason to confront her about her running and hiding from them all.  Being back home has them remembering their pasts and them pushing Tricia about their future in moments that were frustrating as well as heartbreaking.  Hill's a delicious hero who hasn't let fame go to his head.  He always seemed so mature in their younger years, knowing what Tricia needed before she could barely understand it herself.  He's protective of her, supportive of her, even after she pushed him away.  He's feeling tied down to the music he's making now and hopes that Tricia will be the impetus to his sound becoming more reflective of him.  I enjoyed his interactions with Pete and Marty as they were brotherly yet mocking of each other, the ease by which they shared Tricia.  He felt no jealousy towards them and in their erotic encounters they were perfectly in sync which made it easy to lose yourself in their erotic interludes.  His interactions with his new bandmates was equally playful, particularly with Dougie who's a self-described player, and I long to see it played out more fully.

Pete and Marty have always been close as Marty's parent's divorce had him clinging to the happiness Pete's family exuded.  Early on they knew their feelings were more than that of friends as their longing glances and sensual support depicted.  Once they met Tricia though they were committed to her and did everything they could to love and support her, until that one night when she was most lost and needy.  Her running frustrated them and broke their hearts leading to many erotic encounters with women who looked like her.  They've made a life together since everything fell apart which was wonderful to see but diminished the emotional impact of their ménage once Tricia returned.  They felt separate, an add-on at times, despite how well-choreographed their encounters were.  I loved this couple and their dichotomy of Pete's sweetness and protectiveness balanced with Marty's brashness and commanding nature.  They were combustible together with a single kiss igniting my tablet and I wish we'd learned more about the evolution of their relationship.

All in all this was an enticing and decadently delightful read of friends who fought fate, fears, and society to become more.  I liked Tricia and applauded her bravery in her dealings with her mother but was frustrated by her running away after her night with her three saviors.  She was a coward pure and simple and owed everyone a lot of apologies.  I enjoyed the glimpses of the music world and the machinations of a greedy record company that were realistically depicted.  Seeing Hill's new bandmates was also enticing as Dougie's my quintessential book boyfriend for his snarky and sexy ways and I'd love to see a series based on them.  The main issue of this story is the ménage and it fell just a bit flat for me because of Pete and Marty's already well-established relationship.  They already had their HEA, so whatever happened with Tricia was just to make a happier HEA.  Hill and Tricia were clearly a couple too, had been since their teens, so they felt separate as well despite their being a scorching foursome.  Despite this I still enjoyed these characters and the obvious proof of the power of love and unending friendship and found myself quickly caught up in this foursome's outcome and my hopes for more romances set in this world.

My rating for this is a B.

*I got this book from the author and Xpresso Book Tours for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

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