“Three Player Game” by Jaime Samms does a great job of gradually revealing the backgrounds of three very different men who find a way make the puzzle pieces of their emotions and egos fit together. It is a bit confusing at first, trying to parse out who is who and learn how they fit into Bluewater Bay, and I suspect there is a story involving these characters before this one, but background is eventually provided and one gets drawn into the struggle between these unique personalities who require very different elements to feel comfortable.
It is important to pay attention to the titles of the chapters, as action shifts from man to man, but this allows one to understand the motivations and complications of each person. Lee’s history is gradually revealed, allowing one to understand his honey badger personality and his determination to keep his walls up, while the contrast between Pete’s professional and private personas is succinctly portrayed and gives an insight into the give and take of his bond with Vince.
There are hints of the positives and negatives of BDSM in a relationship, and allusions to the complications of creating a spinoff game from a successful series, both of which elements would benefit from additional exposition, so I hope to see all of these characters in a subsequent story in the series. I enjoyed the beautiful imagery sprinkled through the story (e.g. “spiky because his soul is bruised” or ”fitting into his empty spaces like putty, bracing him where he was weakest,” and the exploration of a polyamorous relationship and I look forward to reading more stories by this author.
This adult contemporary m/m/m romance is part of ‘Bluewater Bay’ series and follows the changing relationship between coworkers Lee and Vince as they deal with Lee’s back injury and the interest that both Vince and his partner Pete have in the prickly Lee. Exploring what they can be together will require patience and persistence and an ability to get past the defenses that keep the world at bay.
The stories in the Bluewater Bay universe can be enjoyed in any order — jump in wherever you'd like!
Vince’s life has improved immeasurably since he moved to Bluewater Bay two years ago. He’s gone from working for a man he hated, to helping found a company he believes in. And he and his boyfriend, Pete, have built a delicate balance of power between them that keeps them both grounded and thriving.
Pete’s job on the set of Wolf’s Landing is demanding. He needs lots of downtime off set, and that’s where Vince’s firm but gentle control isn’t always enough. And for Vince, Pete’s constant high-energy needs are turning out to be more than he can handle alone.
It’s no surprise to either of them, then, that sparks fly when Vince’s coworker Lee enters the picture. Outwardly, Lee is tough and confident, but when a bad back confines him to Pete and Vince’s spare room, the cracks start to show and his desire for connection begins to peek through.
Pete and Vince both like what they see under Lee’s prickly outside, but now the three men must learn that love isn’t about beating the game — it’s about balance, trust, and letting each other in.
Word count: 70,400; page count: 284