What He left Behind by L.A. Witt ~ Book Review by Queue

what-he-left-behindTitle: What He left Behind

Author: L.A. Witt

Publisher: Samhain

Cover Artist: Angela Waters

Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 08/18/2015

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Menage/Poly

Blurb:

Can you ever have a second first time?

Josh Carver thinks it’s just another lunch with his best friend, Michael—until Michael confesses he just turned down a date with his hot veterinarian crush. It seems Michael’s abusive ex left him more scarred than Josh realized.

Josh and his husband, Ian, have done their best to help Michael leave his horrific past behind, but even Josh is stunned when Ian suggests that Josh help Michael with his fear of physical intimacy. After all, it isn’t like it would be the first time—Josh and Michael were once each other’s firsts.

A hesitant first kiss, and Josh and Michael’s natural attraction eases the way. But with Michael still balking at the prospect of sex with someone new, Ian steps into the breach.

Everything is fine and dandy until emotions become so entangled, their friendship—and a marriage—could be at risk.

Warning: Contains three guys who will do anything for each other, a hot tub that’s always the right temperature, and a cat with an attitude problem.

My View:

L.A. Witt is real hit or miss with me. There are times I absolutely love her books or they’re just meh. She’s extremely talented without a doubt and this book shows her skills. I absolutely loved this What He Left Behind from beginning to end. It was one of those books I did not want to put down and stayed up until 2 a.m. reading just one more chapter.
Josh, Ian and Michael are the main characters in this engrossing tale. Josh and Ian are happily married and Michael is Josh’s best friend and high school lover. It was easy for me to fall in love with the men because they were all animal lovers. You gotta love a man who can deal with a fickle cat. The animals in the book were almost characters themselves and I laughed often at the cat who hated Josh, put up with Ian and adored Michael.
Michael is still recovering from an abusive relationship, despite being away from the creep for five years. In fact, Michael hasn’t had sex in all that time and is scared to move forward.
It’s Ian’s idea for Josh to help Michael by sleeping with him. Yup, he gives his husband permission to have sex with another man. I love how this wasn’t a spur of the moment decision that Ian made, but he trusts his husband enough to do this. This might not be something every couple could do, but Josh and Ian’s marriage is strong enough to handle it.
Josh and Michael don’t just jump into sex. Michael’s hesitance is portrayed perfectly and they slowly work from kissing and groping to anal sex. Even anal sex doesn’t happen easily, the first time it happens, Michael freaks and stops. It was sweet how much Josh cared for Michael and how far he was willing to do.
Every angle of conflict was explored here, from Josh and Michael’s feelings for each other, to how Ian felt about the arrangement to how Josh had to make sure his marriage stayed strong throughout.
The sex scenes between Josh and Michael were incredibly well written as were the ones between Josh and Ian. The two relationships were vastly different and Witt was able to expertly show how all the men cared for each other.
Even after Michael feels comfortable having sex with someone he’s been with before, he’s still concerned about doing it with someone he hasn’t. Once again it’s Ian to the rescue and he agrees to be that person.
I have to say the first time Ian, Michael and Josh go to bed together was damn sexy. Witt has a way to write sex scenes where the emotions are just as vivid as the physical actions. Every pairing was explored here: the three together, Josh and Ian, Josh and Michael and even just Ian and Michael without Josh there.
The issues that arise aren’t glossed over, they are dealt with by all three men together. I felt the passions between the men and it was no surprise when they realized they were meant to be together as a threesome.
I’m not usually a big fan of menage books where the men end up together. It usually feels like one side of the triangle is ignored in favor of the others. Or I can see why the men would couple up but don’t believe in the relationship as a whole. That wasn’t the case here. I loved all the men individually and together and I saw how they completed each other as a threesome. I believe that Josh, Michael and Ian could make it long term. They all acknowledged the issues that would come with such a relationship but were more than ready to face them.
There is a lot of sex scenes in the book. A lot. But there aren’t any I could see being removed. They were all needed to show not just Michael’s growth, but the emotions between the men.
Another truly amazing tale by Witt. So highly recommended.
4.75 stars

Links

What He left Behind on Goodreads
Samhain
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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