Author: Maxine Mansfield
Length: 14,865 words (65 pdf pages)
Publisher: Wild Rose Press/Scarlet Rose
Genre: m/m/m contemporary
Beach volleyball player Sam Waterson knows he made a mistake–a really big one–three years ago when paparazzi interrupted his jubilant celebration with sexy Carlos Delacruz, the love of Sam’s life, and with their ménage partner Drew Eversly…and Sam blamed the public exposure on the wrong man. But fate has given him a second chance to prove his prowess on the sun-baked beach volleyball court and at loving the sensual man who has unknowingly held his heart. Can he–or Carlos or Drew–win a spot on the team? But even beyond sweating it out on the court and regaining the spot they had to forfeit three years ago, can Sam win back Carlos’s heart? Sam needs to show Carlos that he can spike and score where it counts…between the sheets.
I had several issues with this menage romance, which is not really a true menage romance at all. Three years ago, Sam, Carlos and Drew were all trying out for the national beach volleyball team, when they were caught by the paparazzi with their pants down under the net. Sam accused Carlos of tipping them off, and even after realizing that it was probably a very competitive team mate Eric who did it, he never contacted either man to apologise. However due to an injury, the three have been asked back to try out for the team before they head to the Olympics, two of them going with the team.
Of course all three men find themselves sharing a cabin and even if Carlos is not prepared to have a relationship, he’s more than happy to share a bed and before long the three are hot and heavy and it seems Eric is not about to let “the best man win” and has been making sure he is the one going to the Olympics. Some of my issues came with the who plot. My understanding from watching beach volleyball is that the teams are a pair. They have been playing as a team for months if not years. You don’t just add another guy in and say “you are playing with X now”. And in all of the US, three guys who haven’t played a lick of professional volleyball are invited back to try out for the Olympic team? I’m pretty sure there would be tons of guys on the circuit who were in shape and ready to play. And four of them are trying out, but three of them share one cabin? How convenient. Where was Eric? In his own cabin?
Their behaviour also frustrated me. Despite having been kicked out of try-outs in humiliation for their sexual antics, they are once again getting down and dirty in the hot tub, where Eric walks up on them. If he could, clearly anyone could access them. Did they not learn their lesson? And passing up meals for sex just before trying out for the Olympic team? Where is you head? If you can’t put aside sex for two days, how can you focus on the team? The bad guy Eric was the ultimate bad guy. Throwing out gay slurs, he was unattractive with pock-marked skin and yellow teeth. He just needed horns on his head to really top off his persona.
So there were just too many issues for me to enjoy this, and it’s not truly an m/m/m romance, it’s m/m with another guy thrown in for fun. Sam and Carlos are the main romantic pairing although Drew seems to be an integral part of this and they tell him he’ll always be welcome in their bed, but he speaks of finding his own love. I was expecting something a bit different, with Drew being less of an add-on. Overall, the dynamic between the men just didn’t work for me, and while there is lots of threesome sex, it didn’t seem to draw me in. It wasn’t all bad, the feelings Sam had about the sand and being in his element on the beach, the sun, the heat, the sand, was well drawn, but it wasn’t enough to save this one for me. However fans of less popular sports might enjoy it, as despite the sex appeal of beach volleyball, there’s not much written about it.