Book: Three Shots
Genre: MMF/ erotic romance (contemporary)
Publishing date:January 31, 2017
Length: 94 pages
Reviewed by Meredith
Reeve Jenkins is an amateur musician playing in a dive bar. Grant McGuire is a man drowning his sorrows in beer after a painful breakup. When Reeve charms a reluctant Grant into coming home with him, they begin a three-year friendship with some very nice benefits.
But when the two gorgeous men walk into Hawk Point Tavern—the bar Rachael Bradford owns—one evening and greet each other with a kiss, it sets off a chain of events that leads to a steamy night and maybe something more for the trio.
Rachael sighed and took a seat at her desk, forcing Reeve and Grant from her mind. They made for a fun fantasy, but had no place in real life. She had hours of work to do, and not enough time to get it done in. Hawk Point Tavern didn’t run itself.
She tackled the paychecks first. Her employees would want checks to cash soon, and it couldn’t wait. Thankfully, she had few employees and it didn’t take overly long to tally hours and make out the checks. She had moved on to sorting order invoices for the month when she heard a soft knock on her partially open door. Thinking it was Jenna or Tyler—the other bartender on tonight—she absent-mindedly called out, “Come in.”
“Excuse me,” a low, sexy voice replied.
Rachael’s head shot up and she was startled to see Reeve peering in the door.
“I, uh, hey. Um, hi Reeve,” She stuttered. She cleared her throat. “Come in.”
He stepped into the room and pushed the door nearly closed. “Can I talk to you for a sec?”
“Uh, sure.” She frowned, puzzled by what he wanted, but not entirely displeased to have him in her office either. She stood and walked around the desk—leaning back against it and looking up to meet his gaze. “Is there a problem with your bill? Or something else I can help you with?”
He gave her a slow, sexy smirk. “I certainly hope so.”
Rachael stared at him, waiting for him to continue, but he was silent. His gaze raked over her body and she felt heat building between her legs at the slow, frank perusal of her body. By the glittering, heated gaze of his eyes, Rachael could see that he liked what he saw. Her jeans and t-shirt were hardly high fashion, but Reeve didn’t appear to have any complaints. Besides, Rachael knew she had a tight body and the jeans showed off her ass nicely.
“What can I help you with?” she asked, her voice breathless.
“Well you see, I came here looking to have a drink with a good friend, nothing more, but I found something else I am interested in.”
‘I’m … I’m sorry?”
Reeve stepped closer until he was just a foot from her, and she felt her heart speed up in her chest.
“What’s that?” Rachael repeated when he didn’t reply immediately.
“You.” The word was simple, but it did nothing to clear up her confusion.
“But … but what about Grant?” she asked. “I mean, it looked like you two were together, and I—I don’t want to cause any problems or get in the way of anything.”
Reeve moved so he was standing in front of her, booted feet on either side of her crossed ones. He leaned in, breathing softly against her cheek and she wet her lips reflexively.
“It’s pretty simple actually,” Reeve purred in her ear. “Grant and I hook up occasionally and we are both very attracted to you.” His lips brushed the sensitive outer shell and she shivered.
Bi then. Her experiences with Tom made her a little leery of bi guys, but it’s not like she was going to get involved with them beyond a quick—or maybe not so quick—roll in the sheets, she thought. This was a one-off. It wasn’t like she was going to see them after tonight so she might as well enjoy it while she had the opportunity.
“You aren’t in a relationship with him?” she said aloud. The last thing she wanted was to get involved with another cheater. Jonah had been more than enough, thankyouverymuch.
Reeve shrugged. “We’ve been friends for a long time, but it’s nothing exclusive. We keep things fluid.”
“So how would this work?” Rachael asked, her voice going a little breathless as she imagined what could play out if she said yes. “We’d have a threesome?”
“That is entirely up to you. If you’re only attracted to one of us, the other will step aside, although we’d both be very disappointed. And I somehow don’t think that’s the case, is it?”
“No, I’m definitely attracted to you both,” Rachael admitted. Reeve wrapped an arm around her lower back and pulled her flush against his body.
“Then how we fuck—” he skimmed a hand down her back to cup the lower curve of her ass “—is up for negotiation. Whatever you’re comfortable with.”
Reeve, Grant, and Rachel have a very rare meeting. There's an ease to their coming together. Not a lot of beating around the bush. They are a seamless trio, they just fit. They don't question it or focus on drama inducing situations. They are three consenting adults.
Menage is one of my most favorite tropes. It's also the one trope I am very picky on. Now, in Three Shots the only thing missing for me here was the in depth psychology of this. But, I easily was able to accept that because it was a novella and this isn't a story that focuses on backstory much. Kind of a chance and it's success.
This is super steamy. The sex is quite engaging and the characters are all likeable. Rachel is a strong woman which I love! This is 100% angst free. Seriously, it's a fun, relaxing, hot story that is just so welcoming. I smiled pretty much through the entire book.
Bisexuality and Representation
I wrote a good chunk of this novella several years ago. At the time, I didn’t think a lot about portrayals of bi characters. When I pulled it out and read it again, with the idea of re-working it, I realized I’d done a pretty good job. (If I do say so myself!)
I liked that I hadn’t made a huge issue about Reeve or Grant’s bisexuality. Their sexual orientation was no big deal to either of them. I have read some amazing stories about bi characters exploring their sexuality and discovering their identity. I’ve written stories with characters doing that. But in this case, it didn’t feel right for Reeve and Grant.
Both of them are comfortable with who they are, and I thought it was a good opportunity to show characters who are already past that conflict. In fact, Reeve never felt ANY major struggle with his identity. I really liked the idea of having a broad spectrum of characters represented.
Rachael, on the other hand, is a little bit hesitant about getting involved with the guys because of her past experiences. Her ex realized he was bi (while they were in a relationship) and she got her heart broken.
When I expanded the story, I considered the idea of making Reeve and Grant’s sexuality a bigger issue with Rachael. I thought maybe that’s where the bulk of the conflict would come in, but after thinking about it for a while, I decided against it.
I didn’t want to make Rachael dead-set against bi guys. For one, it didn’t fit with the character I’d written thus far. She’s too open-minded of a person to hold onto those prejudices in the face of facts.
For example, after Reeve and Grant suggest she take a few days and think about what level of involvement she wants with them, she sits down with her best friend, Jenna, and talks it through.
Jenna frowned at her. “You’re usually way more decisive, lady. This isn’t like you at all. What’s up?”
Rachael chewed at her lip. “Maybe I’m kinda leery because of the bi thing and my history with Tom. And Jonah.”
“Well, I don’t think you can really equate the two. Jonah was a cheating asshole. And Tom just didn’t know he liked pussy and dick.”
Rachael snorted. “I know. But it makes me kinda wary about getting involved with two bi guys.”
“I don’t see why. Reeve and Grant are clearly totally comfortable with their sexuality. They’ve already figured it out. That should actually be a selling point in their favor.”
Rachael considered that. “Fair point.”
“And as for Jonah, yeah, he was a liar and a cheater. Do your guys seem untrustworthy?”
Her guys? Hardly. But maybe a part of her wanted them to be. “No. They were nothing but trustworthy last night and this morning,” she admitted. “And they’ve been really open about things. Grant was totally upfront about not being monogamous.”
Rachael’s like any other decent human being. She has a few flaws. A few prejudices. But she’s open to admitting she’s wrong. When Jenna points out that Reeve and Grant are actually less likely to break her heart because they’ve already explored their sexuality and are very comfortable with it, Rachael is able to take her advice and let go of that prejudice.
My goal for my writing is always to make it as realistic as possible. As a bisexual woman, I have some experience with the prejudices many people have about bi people. I could have really focused on that, but I also liked the idea of making it subtle and a bit more nuanced in this story.
Why do most of us hesitate to start a relationship? We’re scared. Our past experiences and relationships have made us wary. I wanted the story to reflect that and that’s what I chose to focus on for the conflict.
About Brigham Vaughn
Brigham Vaughn is starting the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.
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