The Rules – Jamie Fessenden

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“Sexually, both men pushed all his buttons, much more than any of the guys he’d dated. So, yes, he wanted to have sex with them. But it was more than that.”

 

In a word: Read the thing! So much emotion in this book, I love it. This is the story of two men opening up their marriage to include a third man they’ve both fallen in love with, written totally in the third man’s point of view, and how they all come together to form a strong romantic three-way relationship. Hans is a college student who has been hired as a housekeeper for Thomas and Boris. It’s clear from the start that Hans has an attraction to both men, especially Boris who is constantly naked. There isn’t much time wasted in all three men deciding that they’re all very open to the idea of being together in some capacity, but even coming to that decision doesn’t make things easy. Thomas and Boris have been married and exclusive for around ten years, suddenly adding another person into their dynamic will take time. And that’s not even accounting for all the other issues. What I really liked about this book is that not everything fell into place right away with no problems. The story is as much about reworking and developing relationships as it is about three men getting it on. Hans, Thomas, and Boris are three different men who all have different needs; coming together in one functional relationship is going to take work. It’s something that they all have to want and it isn’t something they can jump into lightly. I really liked the emotions in this story, and the characters, and the humour, and the dark themes that appear throughout. At first I thought it was maybe a bit odd that Thomas and Boris all of a sudden decided to include someone else into their marriage, but it soon became clear that all these men shared a bond that deserved to be explored. I definitely recommend this one.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) WHEN HANS BAUER, a college student in New Hampshire, accepts a job as a housekeeper for an older gay couple, he soon learns the reason they’ve hired someone with no experience is that professional agencies won’t work there. Thomas is a successful businessman whose biggest goal in life appears to be giving his husband anything he wants. Boris is a writer who immigrated to this country from Russia, and suffers from depression and PTSD because of the things he endured in his native country.

He also refuses to wear clothes—ever.

While Hans is working alone in the house with Naked Boris all day, things start getting a little weird. Boris gets flirtatious and Hans backs away, not wanting to come between him and his husband. So Boris calls Thomas at work and asks permission.

At that moment, The Rules are born—rules about touching and kissing and pet names that the three men use to keep jealousies at bay, as they explore the possibilities in a new type of relationship….

WARNING: This story deals with themes of sexual assault and past abuse.

 

[available for purchase at Amazon.ca]

 

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We’re Both Straight, Right? – Jamie Fessenden

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“I wasn’t going to suck some random guy’s dick. That would probably be pretty gross. But I figured sucking on yours wouldn’t be too bad.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. I didn’t find this as good as other works I’d read from this author, but I still enjoyed it. It was funny, and frustrating at some parts, and kind of silly. Zack and Larry have been best friends since middle school and now they’re roommates in college. They’re both in need of money and that leads them to consider doing gay-for-pay porn. Neither of them has been with men before so they decide to practise with each other so they won’t embarrass themselves in front of a camera. That’s the premise. It could have ended up being a whole lot sillier than it actually was, except we also get a sexuality crisis and surprise romance thrown in. I personally felt that the sexuality crisis was gotten over fairly quickly considering how much Zack was worrying about it, and I still don’t know how to feel about Larry’s character (sometimes I like him, sometimes I don’t), and I felt that the romance was a bit rushed and not very fleshed out, but that could all be down to the length since this one is pretty short. It’s a quick read and, in the end, it’s all pretty fun.

 

[available for purchase at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, and Chapters]

 

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Screwups – Jamie Fessenden

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“He’d found his true home, among people he’d always been told were “weirdos”.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. I didn’t like this one as much as I did Violated (by the same author), but I still really did like this one. It’s a very different story from Violated, though it also has some really heavy and dark themes that happen. This one was more sweet and had a lot more humour. Also a lot of nudity and RPGs (though not at the same time) (mostly) (there may have been a kilt involved at one point). The main focus of the story is the relationship between the main couple and the obstacles they have to overcome (so much pining); but there is a lot of other stuff going on too. It’s also a story of self-acceptance and finding a place where you feel comfortable being yourself. There’s an importance on friendship, since one half of the main couple not only gets a boyfriend but friends as well. There is also a lot of focus on RPGs, which doesn’t exactly drag the story, but if it’s something you have no interest in you’ll probably be bored reading those parts. So definitely read this if you get the chance, just remember that for as sweet and fun as it is, it can also get pretty dark.

[available for purchase at Dreamspinner Press, Book Depository, Chapters, and Amazon.ca]

 

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Violated – Jamie Fessenden

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“Except the person in the mirror didn’t feel like him anymore. It wasn’t him. It couldn’t be.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. Definitely read the thing. If you enjoy hurt/comfort stories (like I do) this is something you might enjoy. Of course, this is a book that deals with rape, so some of it is pretty dark. It’s got engaging characters, a nice pace, angst, some humour, and has a fairly realistic depiction (or so I’ve been told) of a rape and what comes after. All in all, it’s a very emotional read. Also there’s dogs.

[available for purchase at Book Depository, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, and Chapters]

 

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