By the Book

Scarlett Parrish
By the Book
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Loose Id
Release Date
January 2011
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ, Ménage or more

Two's company; three's allowed.

Reece Hutton conducts his life between the covers -- of books and beds. A librarian by day, in the evenings he's a man whose tastes are anything but vanilla. So when local writer Daniel Cross appears in the library one afternoon with the aim of doing some research, Reece has a hard time not noticing how attractive he is, or what feels like chemistry between them. They exchange a few words and Daniel's business card, an interlude which Reece puts down to networking rather than flirtation.

After all, he has his girlfriend Georgia to go home to and her best friend: a threesome to help his birthday go literally with a bang. Reece, being a gentleman (most of the time), has no objection to returning the favor, especially as his new friend Daniel seems all too willing to be their third for an evening. Georgia sees their triangle as nothing more than a temporary bit of fun but Reece...? He'll eventually have to own up to breaking the unwritten rules of their relationship or close the book on a growing attraction to Daniel.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Male/male sexual practices, menage (m/f/m, f/m/f with female interaction).

Book Review by Rho (reviewer)
Jan 28, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
185 people found the following review helpful
I think that by the age of twenty-eight, most of us have a pretty good sense of who we are. Imagine that one day, you are going about your business and you meet someone that not only changes your life but also changes the very image you have of yourself. BY THE BOOK is an erotic romance with a deeply emotional story line that will have you hoping and praying that love will conquer all.

Reece's life is pretty fantastic. He's got a sexy, adventurous girlfriend who's giving him a hot birthday ménage with her best friend, and his job as a librarian is going along fine. But his world is turned upside down when he meets author Daniel at the library where he works. Reece is instantly attracted to Daniel, and doesn't know how to feel about that. So when his girlfriend, Georgia, says that she wants to bring in another third again--this time a male--Reece knows just who to ask. The one night that the three of them are together elicits feelings in Reece that he doesn't know what to do with. And when Georgia wants a repeat performance of their threesome, Reece is forced to admit he wants Daniel for himself as well. But when he owns up to those feelings, he stands to lose more than just his sexual identity.

This book was very sexually erotic as well as very emotional. Reece goes through a lot in the story: accepting that he has feelings, sexual and emotional, for a man, facing possible rejection from the woman he loves, and trying to hold on to two people he really cares about. I truly felt for him as he was trying to navigate these unsure waters and keep his head above water, so to speak.

The sex scenes in the book were very steamy, and drew me in. There was m/f/f sex, m/f/m sex and m/m sex. The characters were great. Georgia seemed like a confident, sexually adventurous woman who enjoyed new experiences with her boyfriend. Daniel was this "put it all there" kind of guy who was comfortable with who he was and didn't make excuses for himself. Reece wasn't my favorite leading character ever but I really empathized with everything that he was struggling through.

I loved the way that Georgia and Reece seemed to accept each other in the beginning of the book. The dialogue was funny at times and very real. They interactions between the characters felt comfortable and just fit even when they were in a particularly awkward scene.

But by the middle of the story, I really felt like I was reading a totally different story. And while I would have enjoyed this book if it had been purely m/m from the beginning, I felt like it took an abrupt turn. I didn't like the way the ending left me feeling.

So, overall, a great story that had me captivated right until the end, but I must say that the ending left me frustrated and sad. And that lasting impression really stayed with me. I really liked the author's style of writing as well as the eroticism in the book, but I'm a true romance girl who prefers the HEA at the end. I must say that this is my first book by Scarlett Parrish, and while it wasn't a home run for me, I plan to read more of her work. She's definitely intrigued me.
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