Story Rating: 4 out of 5 paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 5 out of 5
Tate and Sebastian are having trouble maintaining a successful monogamous relationship.When trust is betrayed and old friends reappear, the men are faced with the challenge of making things work or changing the way they will be together. Nobody ever said relationships were easy, and when sexy Dom James Lucas swoops in at the right time, things get even more complicated. Or do they? Do gay men have to tow the traditional line, or is there room for a new definition of true love?
In “The Cross and the Trinity” we witness the evolution of a BDSM menage relationship. As the book opens, Tate and Sebastian’s relationship is under many of the same strains that almost any couple – gay or straight, kinky or vanilla – experiences. And like too many young couples, they don’t have the maturity or life experience to help them deal with the stresses of work and other responsibilities. Although James is initially seen as a threat to the relationship, owing to his past dealings with Tate, he goes out of his way to help the two patch up their relationship, becoming the kind of mentor the younger men need.
Of course, James doesn’t remain as a platonic outsider for long, and soon the three men are trying to work out whether three’s a crowd or just the way things work for them. James is a powerful force, taking the two younger men on a journey of sexual discovery, introducing them to all sorts of new experiences. The kinky scenes are extremely varied, although perhaps not too extreme. The range is from puppy play to fisting and just about everything in between.
However, it should be pointed out that the emphasis in most of the scenes is on the reactions of the men involved, as related from Tate’s point of view. Sometimes the descriptions of what was being done were a little short on details, leaving you to wonder exactly what’s going on, or even if what is being described is physically possible. It was never bad enough to stop your enjoyment of the scene, but you will wonder what’s going on from time to time.
The characters are well drawn and chances are you will identify with one of them. While the way the relationship evolves is an interesting idea, it’s not necessarily the central theme of the book. In some ways, it’s just a vehicle for some hot scenes. Of course, there isn’t anything wrong with that. The tone of the book is further lightened with a bit of humor, mainly in Tate’s reactions to the situations he finds himself in. It comes across as entirely natural and makes for some fun reading.
“The Cross and the Trinity” is actually a sequel to “Beyond the Edge”, which introduces the three characters and sets up Tate and Sebastien as a couple. I didn’t know about the first book when reading this volume, and while it was clear there was more back-story to the three characters than was related in this book, it didn’t feel like there were essential details missing.
Reviewed by Michael Joseph