- File Size: 1956 KB
- Print Length: 343 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Lydia Michaels Books, LLC; 1 edition (April 4, 2017)
- Publication Date: April 4, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01N5T53AO
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #514,400 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Atonement (Degrees of Separation Book 3) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
As I read this trilogy, I was captivated by each character’s individual stories and their journey together. I found myself asking what makes this story work when so many others seem to fall flat. They all have the same premise- 3 people form a partnership together leading to a long term relationship. Let’s face it though, there aren’t many relationships like that out there. At least that I know of, so it definitely puts these stories more into a fantasy category. What they need is some reality to make it believable. That’s exactly what the Degrees of Separation trilogy gives you, and that’s what makes this series stand out from all the others.
One aspect of this trilogy that makes it believable is that all three characters are attracted to each other. I can’t see a relationship lasting long term if two people are focused on a third but have no interest in each other. December had always loved Austin, and when left in Cord’s care, had grown to love him too. Cord’s love had pulled them both back from the edge of despair. If Austin could share her with Cord, she could surely share him. Cord loved Austin. He’d loved him for so long and keeping it secret had been such a burden. Then he’d gone and fallen for December. Cord was done keeping secrets. That’s what love was, pushing for truth and honesty. He was starting to feel that Austin had feelings for him as well and he wasn’t giving up without a fight. Austin was still trying to process it all. He wanted Cord in their life, he just needed time to figure out what that looked like. Seeing December and Cord together, he knew he’d done the right thing letting his friend in. Still, it was hard to believe this man he’d grown up with, his best friend, despite their recent rocky past, loved him beyond friendship. The things he found himself wanting were a bit shocking and hard to admit. But being held by such strong, capable hands settled him. Made him feel safe.
Another thing that made the story work for me was the dynamic in and out of the bedroom. You know in a real situation there’s bound to be jealousies and hurt feelings. Cord, December, and Austin all felt uncertainty and insecurity in the beginning. Each was still healing from the past. Regardless of what happened or might happen, Austin didn’t want to change he and December’s dynamic. How would she see him? Before he’d always been the one to handle things. Opening himself up to Cord, accepting his help, showed that he trusted Cord. December felt envious that Cord had been the one to save Austin when he was drowning in addiction. She had to accept that she was what had kept Austin working to improve to come back to her. Cord, at first, didn’t reveal his feelings to Austin. He was afraid. He wanted to be certain that this was really what Austin and December wanted. He couldn’t go back to being the third wheel. Both Cord and December dealt with envy of Austin’s relationship with his AA sponsor. They didn’t like feeling kept out of his other life.
The final thing that made Degrees of Separation real for me was exposing the relationship to the outside world. In reality, the vast majority will frown upon a menage. Both family and society. The weight of disapproval can take its toll. Cord, December, and Austin recognized this, thought about it, and discussed how to face it. While December’s parents were pretty much open to any lifestyle, that wasn’t the case for Cord and Austin’s families. While Cord’s mother, though shocked, was accepting of the relationship, his father couldn’t handle it. For Austin, “his track record with his father was a volatile timeline of explosive arguments fueled by alcohol.” He never thought Austin could do anything right. So how would he handle this? It wasn’t just family. How would friends react? What about Austin’s AA family? Could they walk away from people who didn’t approve of a relationship they knew was right?
Like everything I’ve read by Lydia Michaels, her stories aren’t just sex. That can get boring fast. It takes more than sex to make a good book. She takes characters and makes them real and fallible. Characters with their own issues and conflicts who find support in each other. Believability and character growth are what make this story stand out. A fabulous finale to a fabulous series. I loved that all three realized there would be hurdles along the way and life might not always be perfect. But together they were perfectly three.
One of the things I have loved about this whole journey is that all three people are realistic. They act and react like regular people do. They don't behave out of character, nor do they behave like some exalted celebrity. Not that celebrities aren't exciting to read about, but Cord, Ember and Austin are interesting as regular people. They love like the rest of us do, they just happen to share that love with 2, instead of 1.
And the sex? It's steamy, just like I had been waiting for. If MMF, MM and/or MF is your thing, you will be sure to find something to like in Atonement. But, don't think that the sex is the star here, because it's not. The star is the realistic portrayal of 3 people trying to make a ménage relationship work in the face of a lot of naysayers. Cord's family is like most families, and have problems with the idea. Ember's parents are fine with it, of course, they're the original hippie dippy couple, so they're fine with just about anything. But, Cord knows that his own family (especially his father) will not be so easy to appease, so it will really take some work to get them on board with the idea. Thank God the three of them are strong enough to work through disapproval and their own feelings of insecurity, uncertainty and doubt, because once they do, they find that sweet spot that we all look for.
Thank you Lydia Michaels and Allyson Young, for this emotional, sexy trilogy. It's one of the best MMF/ménage stories I've ever read. It's well written, realistic and emotional without being too angsty.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book received through NetGalley.