There are some books that when you read them, you know when you've finished they will stick with you for a long time. Whether it's the characters, the writing, the story itself--or a combination of all or some of those things--something will resonate deep in your soul and make its mark. Such is the case with the gorgeous and emotional, The Art of Three written by the duo of Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese. I finished this book over a week ago and still find myself thinking about this book. I've never read anything by either of these extremely talented writers, but I can guarantee you that I'll be changing that immediately. After this book, I want all their words.
If you've ever wondered about and been fascinated by poly relationships then The Art of Three is for you. If you're a fan of romance novels, then this is definitely the book for you. What interested me more than anything is the fact that Callum and Nerea are a happily married couple of more than twenty years. They obviously have an open marriage as both have had numerous relationships with other people while maintaining and sustaining their own marriage. I wanted to see how this was accomplished.
This is a story of love and family and all the ups and downs that come with both. I wasn't at all sure what to expect when I started reading this book, but from the very first page, I was hooked. Callum and Jamie and Nerea are wonderfully complex, layered, and flawed characters. The way these authors have developed each individual relationship, as well as the one between the three of them, was so well done. Each one is unique, giving each person what they need from the other outside of the poly relationship between the three people. It's hard enough to balance time and attention and everyday demands with just two people, with three it's that much more difficult and McRae and Maletese brought this to life so realistically. Callum's fame, Jamie's burgeoning career, Narea's art and being a wife and mother, all of this must be taken into account and feelings and thoughts must be shared openly and honestly. There was SO much communication between them all and gosh, how nice that was to see!
If you've heard anything about this book, don't let the age difference between Jamie and Callum and Nerea scare you. It's a big gap, there's no getting around that, but the more you read about these characters, the less you'll notice it. As for sex, you might expect lots of it based on other books like this, but there's none on page. Oh, there's plenty of it, and the authors let the readers know this, but the intimacy between Callum, Jamie, and Nerea is done through words and actions, not focused on the sex and I found this so refreshing.
The writing flowed effortlessly, the setting, especially the parts in Spain were so vivid and evocative, and then all the characters were so likable and engaging, not to mention really great bi and poly representation.The Art of Three is a lush, gorgeous book that I highly recommend. Make sure to check this one out!
McRae, Erin & Racheline Maltese. The Art of Three. Avian30. 2017. 298p. ebk. ISBN N/A. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE Having a crush on his wedded costar should be an issue for Jamie, but it's clear there’s more to the marriage of heartthrob Callum Griffith-Davies. Callum and Nerea have been together 30 years, are blissfully polyamorous, and more than happy to bring Jamie into their world. Without that pesky love triangle, can this threesome build something together?
Ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmyGOSH. You guys. I very stereotypically cannot even.
This is a stunningly nuanced, seriously romantic, and altogether impressively-written novel, and I would honestly rather read it repeatedly than risk my literary happiness on some of the books that cross my social media feeds on a daily basis.
I mean…this thing has 3 equal MCs! Two of whom are bisexual, and one of whom is a Spanish woman, and they’re all from different countries! And one is a silver fox! And there are grown children and disabled siblings and and AND the single most realistic, responsible portrayal of polyamory that I’ve ever personally seen in fiction! Please give me a sixth star so I can give it to this book.
Actually…considering this is my very last review here at Prism (sniff)…it seems only appropriate to go out on a high note with an incredible story like The Art of Three. I’m extremely grateful to Brandilyn, pizzygirl, Queue and the rest of the PBA team for giving me (a smol, queer bibliophile) a place to fret and flail for the past year. I wish all of our kind, funny, and supportive readers nothing but the best!
When I first heard of this I knew I had to read this sooner than later so when it was up on Amazon I pre-ordered immediately.
Then I found it browsing through Netgalley but didn’t request because I had preordered after all and what were two more weeks anyway? Apparently too much because I did end up requesting. And I’m SO happy I did because this book is truly fantastic!
My absolute favourite part of The Art of Three was the development of each relationship. Not just the one between Jamie and Callum, but also the one between Nerea and Jamie and the triad-relationship. I loved how organic and natural it felt for them to end up together. Each relationship is a bit different, just like the characters involved, but I really enjoyed each pairing equally. I loved the glimpses we got into the already existing and still going strong relationship of Nerea and Callum. I loved the parts when Jamie and Nerea “ganged up” on Callum and teased him about his quirks. Overall the banter and humor was lovely but I also loved the more sedate scenes.
In particular I loved is that this story showed how important communication and time-management in a relationship are, maybe more so in a relationship involving more than two people because each of them needs time as a couple too, not just as a triad. Mind-readers only exist in fiction after all, so things can’t improve if you don’t voice your opinion and talk about expectations and hopes. Racheline Maltese and Erin McRae managed to portray this with such ease and simplicity.
Callum and Nerea are more “experienced” when it comes to being in a poly-relationship and have been living like this for the last 30 years. But it’s an all new situation for Jamie and I loved how – even though he’s sometimes unsure – he still stands up for what he wants. He’s such an endearing and sweet character but also so determined. I really, really loved that.
And Nerea! Boy! She knows how to handle those two and it was so delightful! She’s the embodiment of a strong, independent woman. Easily standing her ground against them; I wish I was just a little bit like her.
Callum… he’s so charismatic and such a charmer. Each of them separately is already a handful but the three of them together are not to be messed with.
The Art of Three focuses more on the emotional bond between each of the characters and while the reader knows they’re intimate, there are no explicit scenes in this book. And I don’t feel like they’re needed at all. Sex can be a good way to show intimacy of a growing relationship but this story works perfectly without.
Not only has The Art of Three a strong cast of main characters, the side characters are also equally interesting. There’s really not one character that I didn’t like. Each of them brought something to the story and I feel like some of them have a story of their own to tell. I’d love to read about them.
The ending of the story definitely leaves the possibility for a sequel so I hope that we eventually get more of these characters. I’m decidedly *not* ready to say goodbye to these characters yet.
So to conclude: The Art of Three is a fantastic story with amazing characters, great bi- and poly-representation, you absolutely should not miss.
Metro Weekly invited OutWrite 2018 participants to submit excerpts of their work for publication in the magazine’s first-ever Literary Issue. What follows is a sampling of the writers and literary styles you can meet at this weekend’s OutWrite 2018.
1) I was smitten by this book and couldn’t put it down. The authors are fantastic storytellers, navigating the reader through complex emotions, varied landscapes, jet-setting life-styles and the social minefield of colleagues, family, neighbors, and the Church. The plot races on, slowing down for the tender parts where love and affection blooms unfettered by extra words, and by extra physical descriptions of sex. I noticed the lack of on-screen intimacy, but didn’t miss it. In fact, the already complex plot would’ve been all-too busy with extra thrown in. I recommend this book without reservations.
2) Utterly fascinating story of three romances and one marriage, each brought to life with deftly written characters, who populate a tale of romance, lust, and humor. As the trio of unplanned lovers find their lives coming together in more ways than one, the reader will not be able to close the book until the last word is read.
3) This book had wonderfully complex characters, rich, colorful descriptions, a complex and interesting storyline, and good dialog. I really didn't want to put it down!