Series: Stand Alone
Release Date: September 2015
Genre: M/M Romance
Source: Copy provided for honest review
Rating: ★★ ½
Can you ever have a second first time?
Josh Carver thinks it’s just another lunch with his best friend, Michael—until Michael confesses he just turned down a date with his hot veterinarian crush. It seems Michael’s abusive ex left him more scarred than Josh realized.Josh and his husband, Ian, have done their best to help Michael leave his horrific past behind, but even Josh is stunned when Ian suggests that Josh help Michael with his fear of physical intimacy. After all, it isn’t like it would be the first time—Josh and Michael were once each other’s firsts.A hesitant first kiss, and Josh and Michael’s natural attraction eases the way. But with Michael still balking at the prospect of sex with someone new, Ian steps into the breach.Everything is fine and dandy until emotions become so entangled, their friendship—and a marriage—could be at risk.Warning: Contains three guys who will do anything for each other, a hot tub that’s always the right temperature, and a cat with an attitude problem.
I have a 'thing' for male/ male romance. If you tempt me with the possibility of male/ male/ male romance, I'm going to be immediately...intrigued? Hot? Horny? Probably all of those things.
With that being said, What He Left Behind sounded like something I HAD to read. So, I did.
Michael went through a horribly abusive relationship. He's been seeking therapy, which is helping in most aspects of his life. However, he's terrified to date or be intimate with anyone. Understandably.
Enter best friend Josh and Josh's husband Ian. Josh and Michael have known each other for years, they've slept together off and on over the years and were each other's firsts in many things.
Ian basically offers Josh up as 'sexual therapist' to Michael. Which turns into both Josh and Ian playing hard (hee hee) roles in Michael's healing process.
As unconventional as all that sounds, all of that worked for me, well enough. I understood Michael's reluctance and Josh and Ian's yearning to help him. I understood the situation. I'm not sure it's a very viable one for most marriages, but hey ... this is fiction. You want to let your husband screw a guy healthy, who am I to balk at it?
What I didn't fully grasp were the characters. All three were quite bland, very little depth. Honestly, they all could have been the same guy, just with different names. I felt absolutely no connection with any of them. I don't even know what Josh, the main character, did for a living. It's possibly mentioned...I think he wore a tie. Come to think of it, I don't know what Michael did either. They aren't memorable. And that's just, well, sad.
On top of that, there was a lot of 'what did this guy do to him', 'if I ever see that guy again' type comments and thoughts. While the care of a friend is endearing, a reader can only take so much of the same before they begin to lose a little of that empathy.
If you are only looking for some steamy homoerotica, What He Left Behind is nice(ish). But again, probably not very memorable.