Three's a Crowd-Pleaser by Nakeesha J. Seneb
I didn't think it was possible. I didn't think you could have a plausible menage romance that was engaging and believable. I read menage stories under the covers in the darkness of night with no expectations of craftiness, character development, or a plot that makes sense. It's literary porn, after all. Kele Moon has put all erotica authors on notice. She has elevated the game with "The Queen's Consorts," a PNR set in another world that features a true, blue romance between one woman and two men who all are desperately in love with each other.
Its starts off with fantastic world-building that weaves the rules of a world where women are so scarce they are worshiped by men as gifts from the gods. Because males are in abundance, the custom is that two men form life-bond partnerships with each other and then seek out a female. This world is ruled by a queen who, for all intents and purposes, is Mother Nature. Her being is so tied into the spirit of the planet that when she cries tears of sorrow it rains and when she cries tears of joy rainbows appear. Moon weaves this mythology from the first page on through the epilogue, and it made me a believer of this fantastical tale.
Moon introduces the rules of the world immediately by telling us about the laws, for example flowers and any vegetation can only grow in green houses with artificial lights and its illegal to harm a woman's body, punishable by death. Then Moon shows the consequences when the rules are challenged. When we open, the world has gone dark and barren because the new queen has been missing for nearly twenty years. We open on Sari, who we soon learn is that long lost queen. After a brutal attack by street males, Sari is rescued by the Captain of the Queen's Guard. The males who attacked her are thrown into the dungeon to die. Sari is taken to the palace where she is tended to by the lifemates intended for the long lost queen: Taryen and Calder. Moon then takes a moment to show you the deep, palpable love these two tortured (literally!) males have for each other, and their confusion over their instant attraction to Sari. Tons of intrigue, political maneuvering, and some cringe-worthy abuse unfold in the middle of this book, but what kept me turning the page was watching two men (who're evidently in love with each other) fall for this women, and vice versa...vice. I mean, sure, read it for the sex scenes because Moon does not disappoint! But stay for the romance that unfolds because it is truly something to behold.
One thing I've noticed about Moon's writing is that she has this amazing ability to write supporting characters in a way that doesn't overpower the main characters, but still makes you want to get to know them better. I was totally captivated by the "true heart" Kayla and her Romeo-Juliet-Mercutio romance. Please, please, please do a novella about the beginning of this amazing love story that we only got glimpses of. I'm also hoping little Aria grows up and gets her own story -with yellow flowers, a yellow dress and lifemates who come to adore her as I did. Please, please, please Ms. Moon. Please revisit this world in another work. Your mythology was too good for a one time trip!
ARC provided by the author (cause that's how I roll!).