Expanded Hearts by Logan Meredith

Expanded Hearts by Logan Meredith
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (224 pgs)
Other: M/M, Ménage, M/M/M, Multiple Partners, Anal Play
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Cholla

Psychologist Victor Mascari and his partner, spa-owner Derek Jameson, have been together eight years, but their relationship is still evolving. Derek distrusts monogamy because of his parents’ messy divorce, but as marriage equality advances, Victor’s doubts about their open relationship are growing. He doesn’t necessarily want a legal union, but he’s increasingly concerned about how others view them.

When Victor comes home to find Derek with another new conquest, he’s annoyed… at first. As he gets to know Antonio, Victor discovers the young man is intelligent, self-assured, and charming. This time, it’s Victor who is intrigued by someone else and Derek who thinks Victor’s interest is crossing the lines they’ve agreed on. If Victor wants to keep Derek, he’ll have to let Antonio go.

But Antonio is in real trouble and has nowhere to turn. Victor and Derek take him in, and it soon becomes clear how well he fits into their lives and how strong the bonds between all of them are growing. A committed relationship between three men—all very different in age and background—is enough of a challenge, and then the horrifying secrets of Antonio’s abusive past emerge.

Long-time couple Victor and Derek like to keep things fresh and exciting in their partnership. Their open relationship hasn’t ever been an issue between them until Antonio. Now Victor is looking at things in a different light and questions arise. Will Antonio be the death of Victor and Derek’s relationship or will the couple evolve yet again into something more?

Of the two, Victor Mascari was the one I related to best. He’s a psychologist and more reserved than his younger partner, Derek. He’s content to be in a committed, monogamous relationship although he allows Derek his fun, too. The choices Victor makes and the heartaches he goes through were real for me. I’m not sure I’d be able to man up in the way that he did at times.

Derek Jameson, on the other hand, is outgoing, adventurous, and always on the lookout for his next conquest. Although he often shared these temporary partners with Victor, he didn’t always include him, either. That bit bothered me somewhat, partially because Victor is at a fundraiser when it happens at the beginning of the book. It rubbed me the wrong way that Derek was home while Victor was at something that was important to him.

Antonio is an enigma. Although Derek brought him home, he knows nothing about him, and Antonio’s not offering any information up. I really liked Antonio from the beginning, even if his backstory and current situation was a bit far-fetched. I can get past things like that, however, if the character is relatable to me.

One thing that really bothered me about this story was that Derek, the one that had not just suggested, but insisted, on an open relationship, suddenly becomes jealous over Victor’s attraction to Antonio. This seemed out of character to me for many reasons, but mostly because he’d been putting Victor into the same situation repeatedly and Victor never said a word about it.

All in all, Expanded Hearts is an enjoyable, steaming hot ménage. Well-written and engaging, I enjoyed seeing Victor and Derek not only work through their issues, but also help Antonio through his problems as well. I’d love to see where the three of them are now and how far they’ve come since we left off.

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