Tuesday, February 27, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Sharing Rylee by D. Kelly

3.5 Stars

Rylee Stafford, 28, can’t decide between her new love interest Pete Rafferty and her longtime on-again/off-again love Nick Morris. Rylee feels the pressure to choose while struggling with her ultimate fantasy.

I think I picked this up as a freebie at some point. It’s been sitting on my kindle for a while, and I just now gave it a try.  It drew me in and it was pretty hot….Okay really hot, especially Nick who was also sweet.  I should point out that while I generally don’t have a problem reading ménages provided they have a group HEA, I don’t do love triangles. Initially it seems like Rylee and Nick and Pete’s love story is a triangle, but it’s really a ménage romance or more accurately a triad relationship.

On one hand, this story offers the feel-good perfect coupling signature of many romantic reads. In fact, Rylee frustrated me in the beginning because her perfect happily-ever-after is literally right in front of her, and yet she didn’t communicate very well with either of the men in her life. On the other hand, the story maintains a realistic approach to the topic. The three character’s struggles with their sexuality are detailed, Rylee’s therapy sessions are depicted, and stress and anxiety over family reactions is portrayed. There’s no insta-love or insta lust driving this plot.  Rylee, Nick, and Pete’s desire for an alternative relationship as well as their love for each other is aptly developed.  
“‘…you don’t get to be ashamed of who you are. Of what God made you. Made us. People may not understand it, but that’s their burden to bear, not ours.’”
I also give major points for the positive discussions of sexuality and acceptance of non-traditional pairings.
“‘…just because your sexuality isn’t the norm, doesn’t mean you’re not normal.’”
The glaring flaw in this otherwise engaging erotic romance was the abrupt shift from first to third person for part two. Until this almost half way point, the story is narrated by Rylee, Nick, and Pete, allowing the reader to hear all three perspectives and become invested in their individual as well as shared struggles. But once the third person narrator, a detached observer, kicks in, I was pulled out of the story and struggled in what were otherwise anticipated and critical scenes. The POV change was not just abrupt and annoying, but made me feel cheated of the character’s inner thoughts and reactions for the rest of the tale. This narration switch appears to be a poor editorial decision.

Sharing Rylee is the second book in a series, the previous title depicting Rylee’s twin brother and his girlfriend’s romance. I have not read Chasing Cassidy so that may be why there were places where it seemed like backstory was referenced. I was still able to easily follow this one though.


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