Review: Love Plus One (Maths, #1) by P.A. Friday

Laurie and James are a monogamous couple with an occasional lover in James’s best friend, Al. It is a casual, friend-with-benefits situation which suits them all, especially given Al’s promiscuous lifestyle.

When Al is assaulted, however, Laurie and James are forced to confront the fact that their feelings for Al might be stronger than mere liking. But would free spirit Al ever want more than what they already have?

Wow. Yeah, this book packs even emotion than One Plus One and that surprised me.

I am going to recommend you read these books out of listed order. I cannot imagine starting with this and not knowing the history of James, Al and Laurie. We got James’ POV in One Plus One telling his story of the unrequited crush on his mother’s friend, Laurie and how he turned to his best friend Al for comfort and sexual release. You need to understand the length and depth of friendship James and Al have and how truly beautiful the intimacy was between them in and out of bed. You need to know how much James longed for Laurie, how Laurie rejected him all the while wanting nothing more than to be with James. You need to know that Al has always been a witty smart ass who was so open and fluid with his sexuality without reservation. You need to meet them before so you understand how they could work as ménage now in this book. Trust me on this.

We get inside Laurie’s head this time and I have to say how much I adore him. He’s this professional academic bloke who tried to resist the feelings he has for his friend’s son for years and finally gave in. Laurie loves the bones off James and when James brings up the topic of adding in a third in bed and it being Al, the boyfriends become monog-Al-mous and begin their three pointed relationship.

This book has some seriously hot sex in it. Goodness. I love how Laurie has become dominant when the three are together and how Al has pressed this new trait in Laurie. Knowing Al, it makes sense that he would provoke Laurie to get him to be all sorts of toppy and how much Al would get off on it. We know from One Plus One that Al whined and begged for James to fuck him so him turning into a bottom brat, just fits his personality. Along with the hot threesome sex we still get the moments between James and Laurie filled with love and how respectful Al is of those moments though he covers them with humor.

When Al shows up late one night at James and Laurie’s door battered and bruised from being physically and sexually assaulted, the three start to examine the truth of their emotions. Al has always been free spirited with his love and his life only be nailed down by his career as a film maker. But this assault has shaken him more than he admits though his lovers see it. James and Laurie do what they can for their friend without smothering him but the boyfriends thinks it’s time the man they both love, moves in with them, even if it’s only temporary.

I cannot say enough how much I appreciate getting Al’s POV in this book. I wasn’t expecting it when I turned the page yet was thrilled to get inside his head to see how he truly feels about James and Laurie as well as their relationship. Al says he doesn’t do love and doesn’t do relationships but living with James and Laurie provides him a front row seat to the couples intimate touches that start to flow over and onto Al.

As Al deals with his feelings and keeping them secret from James and Laurie, we see the side of Al that I adore and that’s the one who wants to be owned by his lovers. The kink that gets brought into their play time was scorching and was always important to the situation and how these three men connect with one another. Al is reeling with breaking his own rules of falling in love and as he spirals a bit out of control, Laurie is always there to bring him back with James by his side handling Al in the ways he needs it.

The assault isn’t something that is glossed over, Al does suffer recurring nightmares from it but for me, it fit his personality as well as his lovers how they tried to deal with it and move on. People deal with trauma differently and while sex wasn’t used as a magic pill for Al, being dominated and protected by his lovers during sex was his way of gaining control again.

Oh but Al just about broke my heart in this book. Knowing how his parents treated him and how as a teen he’d overheard their disdain at being parents, it’s no surprise that Al has a hard time dealing with falling in love with his best friends and thinking they can’t possibly love him back. But they love their Al and accept him for who he is including his having sex outside of their poly relationship. I adored the talk they had when he says he won’t be faithful and James and Laurie say he will and that sex is something different than his fidelity to them.

Yup. This was a good one and again, read the series out of order. Then… just enjoy watching these three fall desperately in love and have some ridiculously hot sex.

A review copy was provided.

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