Review: The Foster Family, by Jaime Samms

The Back Porch Reader has flown the coop to soak up some tropic sun.
I’ll be back soon with new book reviews and recommendations. In the meantime, please enjoy this favorite selected from my GoodReads archives.
~Katie

Blurb:

cover-jaimesamms-thefosterfamilyGrowing up in foster care has left Kerry Grey with little self-esteem or hope for his future. A college dropout, Kerry scrapes by on a part-time job at a garden nursery. His friendship with his boss and working with the plants are the only high points in Kerry’s life. He’s been dating the man who bullied him at school, but when his boyfriend abandons him at a party, Kerry wanders down the beach to drown his sorrows in a bottle of scotch.

Malcolm Holmes and Charlie Stone have been together for fifteen years. Despite Charlie’s willingness to accept Malcolm’s unspoken domination in bed, something is missing from their relationship. Early one morning, they rescue a passed out Kerry from being washed away by the tide and Charlie immediately senses a kindred spirit in the lost younger man. When Kerry’s roommate kicks him out, Malcolm and Charlie invite him into their home. As Charlie and Kerry bond over Charlie’s garden, Malcolm sees Kerry may be just who they have been looking for to complete their lives. All they have to do is show Kerry, and each other, that Kerry’s submissive tendencies will fit their dynamic.

But someone is sabotaging Kerry at every turn. As he struggles to discover the culprit, he fears for the safety of his new friends. If Malcolm and Charlie cannot help, their lifelong search for their perfect third may not end with the happily ever after they imagined.


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Edition read:
February 13, 2014
Dramspinner Press
Contemporary, BDSM, M/M/M, GLBT+
330 e-book pages
mix of 1st & 3rd person
Stand-Alone
July 31, 2015
Kindle Edition
See the book on GoodReads.

Rating:     ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ratings are 1 to 5 stars and based mostly on GoodReads standards.
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Review:

This review originally posted on GoodReads July 31, 2015.

Before I get to my thoughts on the actual book, I need to talk about the cover. I mean, I think it’s hot…but it appears that there are too many hands. I’m talking about the hands at the bottom on the Main Guy’s abs…that looks like two rights overlapping to me – and they’re different colors. The top hand is definitely a right, and it would be an awkward position for the way his arm is reaching to overlap his own left hand. Right? For the two men whose torsos are pictured – their hands are accounted for. Anyone else see this?

Okey Doke, that weirdness aside………..

This book was a nifty surprise. I saw that it was on sale for cheap, and I bought it. I didn’t read much of the blurb, saw it was MMM/BDSM and thought, sure why not.

I’ve gotten a little picky about ménage books. I need to see and feel that it’s not just gratuitous, titillating freaky sex. I want to be made to see that the union of three is truly stronger than two. Same with BDSM. I want to see it as a functional part of the relationship – that those involved get something real out of it that makes them stronger…not just kink for the sake of kink.

Mal and Charlie had, for years, gone through the motions of life – not so discontent that they were ready to split, but had just become comfortable with each other in the dysfunctional way that they didn’t actually communicate wants, needs, or problems. Adding the occasional third was a fun distraction while it lasted, but was more a mask of what each of them really needed to be complete with themselves as a couple. Then along came Kerry, who wasn’t interested in being a shiny plaything. He needed a connection. He needed to belong. He needed a promise.

Oh, Kerry…what a train wreck of a guy. Bless his heart. There was a level of maturity and insight that was surprising to me for his age. For all his questionable choices and the times life kicked him in the ass – he kept going, kept hoping and wanting to belong and at some point realized he shouldn’t settle.

The BDSM elements – well, they weren’t very strong in this book. Mostly fade-to-black. I mean, they were there in the dynamic between Mal and Charlie and a dawning realization for Kerry. But, this was not a tie-him-up-and-spank-him kind of book. It wasn’t the main focus of the story – and the elements that were there, I thought, were well done in that there weren’t just “scenes” with fancy toys sprinkled throughout. We got the gist of the D/s power exchange, a few tastes of protocol, in a very mild way that illustrated that the characters got what they needed out of it on a higher emotional level. So, I could have gone for some more explicit kink scenes because I think the rest of the story was strong enough to support it – but I have no complaints about what was actually delivered.

This was a far more emotionally complex read than I anticipated. For me, that’s a good thing. The author dug deep into the characters’ individual problems from past and present, the problems of the established relationship between Mal and Charlie, and the addition and inclusion of Kerry – the third.

Overall, a well done engaging read.

 

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