Third Wheel by Lynn Burke


Third Wheel by Lynn Burke
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (79 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Multiple Partners
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Carpenter by day, manwhore extraordinaire by night, Reid Sullivan lives every man’s dream. But, Elite Escort’s hottest third wheel longs for something more than casual sex with clients.

Jessica Lindy’s testimony helped put her ex-husband behind bars, but she can’t escape his vows of revenge. A jaded single mom, she guards her heart and daughter’s life against any man.

One fateful night with Reid, the temptation for Jessica to allow another man into their lives becomes too hard to resist. But when her past collides with the present, lives—and love—will be lost unless Jessica learns how to lower her defenses. Can the professional escort convince the wary young mom that he can be a different sort of third wheel—the one she can trust?

Reid works for Elite Escorts – satisfying clients who want someone tall, dark and handsome and are willing to pay for it. He sees himself as a professional third wheel – normally acting out fantasies with and for married couples. But Reid honestly wants more now – a commitment, someone that’s his who he doesn’t need to walk away from. And then Jessica’s best friend pays for them to have a night together – one that changes both their lives forever.

I found this a delightful and refreshingly different style of story. While Reid is an escort who (until Jessica) only works as the third in ménages, there isn’t any sex between Reid and Jessica until well into the story. I loved getting to know more about Reid and Jessica as people first, before the sexiness steamed up the pages. I also liked how the chapters swapped between Jessica and Reid’s perspective – which really helped me feel closer to both the characters and understand them better than I would have had we only been exposed to one or the other’s thoughts. I found the conflict aspect of the plot – Jessica’s criminal ex – fairly predictable. I almost feel the story could have been slightly stronger without the crazy ex element in it – the progression of Reid and Jessica’s relationship was doing quite well with peaks and troughs even without the “conflict”. The fact the actions were easily guessed lessened my enjoyment of the story slightly.

I really enjoyed the pacing of Reid and Jessica learning to trust each other and find happiness in each other’s company. I also enjoyed how there’s plenty of chemistry and sex in the story, but the feel of the pacing really led me to believe that it was neither rushed nor skimmed over. I felt the author really excelled at this. I also liked how there is clear bait for the next story in the series (Jarod and Christine – I suspect) but this did not overshadow Reid and Jessica’s story nor did it feel like their story was short-changed to prepare the lead up for future stories to come.

A balanced and sexy romance, I felt this book had great characters and excellent pacing. I really enjoyed it.

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