Be warned, this is a fan girl review, so there’s a high chance I’m going to be a little bit giddy and rambly. I’ve read all 4 previous stories in this series and while I could probably recommend this as a standalone, I’m not going to, because this is a continuation. The story of the three main characters – Henry, Jay and Alice – is told in a traditional over-arching storyline. Each story builds on the last and there’s very little, if any, retelling. That’s one of the big pluses for me, the ability to fall right back into the lives of these three.
This picks up directly after book 3, Healing the Wounds. Book 4, Becoming his Master, tells Henry and Jay’s story and how they came to be. Henry, Alice and Jay are still living together, they’re still functioning as a ménage, and they’re still determined to be happy. They all know that happiness is a choice and they want to be together – no ifs, ands or buts about that.
As we’ve come to expect, this is primarily from Alice’s perspective. We get to know move beyond the walls of their apartment. There’s a big focus on the people and activity within the ‘club’ where Henry met Jay. Surprisingly, I really thought I was getting to know Henry and how he ticked, but while his relationship with Jay and Alice are his main focus it turns out Henry is a very good friend to have. He’s a nice guy. And believe me when I tell you it has nothing to do with Alice or Jay. It has to do with his relationship with Emma and a little bit of Will, but mainly Emma. Emma’s been a present force in the last few books but there’s so much more to her than I could ever have imagined. I would really enjoy reading her story (that’s a shameless plea).
And then there’s Will. Every time Alice refers to him as Santa, all I see is a big bellied guy with a white beard. I’m not sure that’s the image I’m supposed to have, but that’s what I’ve got and with that, I truly do not want to see Santa in any kind of a D/s situation. I don’t know the situation between him and his wife; we have some idea, but it’s a one sided perspective that I’m not convinced it’s the whole truth (that’s not a shameless plea for his story). If you ever wondered what happened to the slime ball Cal who is one of the worst human beings – there’s some good stuff there about that.
The chemistry between Henry, Jay and Alice is still very strong. Alice takes on a bigger role helping Henry build Jay’s confidence outside of his work and the apartment. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but there’s actual progress made. The Henry and Alice dynamic continues to fascinate me, because I wonder if not for Jay, would Henry have ever had a chance with Alice. I say that because Henry’s personality is so strong and he’s so restrained that if not for his blatant passion and compassion for Jay, would Alice have ever seen a ‘gentle’ side to him? But that’s a thought for another day, because in the end this story is a ménage and there’s no ruse that’s it was or ever would be something else.
If you’ve read the prior installments, this is a must. If you’ve not read the prior installments, I definitely recommend the entire series if you like a good story about a reluctant heroine building a relationship with a Dom and his sub.
Happy Reading folks!
*Book provided by publisher via NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
Finding Their Balance
by M. Q. Barber
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Lyrical Press