Erryn reviews the ebook of ‘You, Me and Her’ by Tanya Chris. The ebook was published May 15, 2018 and is 279 pages. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I am loving Tanya Chris and love me some MMF
Nate wasn’t made to be monogamous, a fact he never fails to disclose to his partners. No matter how much he loves the women he’s with, he sees potential in others. Does that make him a horrible person? His on-again, off-again lover and current co-star, Deb, certainly thinks so.
But his other co-star, Joshua, understands. Joshua, who’s fast becoming the best friend Nate ever had, doesn’t even mind when Nate hooks up with his wife, Sherry. Well, he does mind a little, but only because he has the hots for Nate himself.
Nate’s always known he’s polyamorous, but is he also bi? He loves being with Joshua. He loves being with Sherry. He definitely loves being with Joshua and Sherry together. Can he make the transition from loves-being-with to just-plain-loves? And even if he can, how does he fit into another couple’s relationship?
Meanwhile, the situation with Deb is growing ever more toxic, the future of their show is at stake, and not all of Nate’s friends are on board with the whole poly/bi thing. It’s a minefield Nate can only navigate with the help of one very special man.
Content warning for alcoholism. This book describes an open relationship that remains open after a romantic bond is formed. It’s not suitable for readers who consider open relationships to be cheating. This book includes both M/F and M/M loving.
Ms. Chris’ blurb includes a warning about alcoholism and open marriages/relationships. I was recently on an online chat where the topic was BDSM. One chatter asked what BDSM stood for. Once the acronym was explained, she was out of there. As was her prerogative. Not everyone wants to understand Dominance, submission, masochism and sadism. They view it as taboo and, in some cases, just downright abuse. Those in the lifestyle, however, do not see it that way.
It is the same with open relationships and open marriages (and swinging, although that doesn’t come up in this book). So, Ms. Chris’ warning is justified because, for many people, love is binary. For some, it can only be heterosexual. I suspect readers of this review and those contemplating reading this book do not feel that way.
I didn’t understand this way of living – no judgment, just was ignorant. Now, I know a number of people who choose to live this way and I understand it much better. Recently, my friend, a sex educator gender-queer mother and wife, opened her home to a local reporter and this story was the result:
The reactions were, unfortunately, predictable. Instead of seeing two loving parents providing a wonderful home to two precocious and charming children, people saw only immorality – something that didn’t fit into their ‘box’.
Ms. Chris alludes to many boxes in this book. Nate is the protagonist/hero in this novel. A few chapters into the book, I had the suspicion this was not the first book in the series. It isn’t, but do not let that dissuade you. The current and previous relationships are adequately explained so as to not lose the reader. I never felt excluded. That being said, if the first two books are as good as this one – and I would bet they are – I think there would be an advantage to reading the books in order. It is clear Nate has an arc and that this book is the culmination of his journey.
The story is told entirely from Nate’s point of view. And although there were moments where I wanted insight into Joshua and Sherry, the author gave me just enough information so I felt I was in the ‘know’.
Nate is not a man suited for monogamy. He is capable of being faithful and loyal, but not monogamous. Confused? That’s why you have to read this book. He is an actor, selected to play a leading role in a Shakespearean tragedy. Two problems: his bitter ex-girlfriend is playing his wife, and his closest confidante in the play, Joshua, is also one of the nicest, sexiest, and most talented men Nate has ever met. Quickly becoming fast friends, Joshua invites Nate to come to a bar and listen to his wife Sherry perform. Her talent is superior to the venue, her body is curvy and hot, and her open and honest sexuality is potent to Nate. He can’t deny her request to go home with her and Joshua. Thus begins a relationship that involves a lot of communication, honesty, and hot hot hot sex. Joshua and Sherry have rules within their marriage and Nate is willing to respect those strictures because it means he gets to have sex with Sherry while continuing to live his non-monogamous lifestyle.
Best of both worlds, right?
As Nate explains it in his mind, “When I thought about monogamy, cold iron bars formed around my heart and started squeezing. Intimacy, yes. Relationship, yes. The future, yes. But monogamy? No.” And then, when Sherry offers to give him a tattoo, Nate responds, “I get grief for being commitment-phobic – which is probably true – but it’s more about my body being my medium. Even if the character I’m playing would have tattoos, he probably won’t have the ones I have.”
Nate’s friends try to understand, assuming there was something traumatic in his past because, “polyamory isn’t born into people”. Since many in society have come to believe homosexuality and even transgender are genetic, why not polyamory?
This is, at its heart, a story about love in its many forms. Nate has left behind more than a few broken hearts – women who believed they could ‘change’ him. He has a moment of reckoning with his ex-girlfriend right in the middle of the production, so he doesn’t come out unscathed. But he does come out a stronger person.
The sex scenes in this book are especially well-done. Some authors write the scenes clinically while others write so esoterically that you lose track of body parts. Ms. Chris provides her readers with all the sensuality while still giving them a very good picture in their minds of what is going on. Did I mention the scenes are hot?
This book works. On so many levels. Polyamorous relationships depend on honesty and jealousy can easily destroy them, but Nate, Sherry, and Joshua make it work. But not without problems. Because that’s real life – messy and emotion-packed and full of ups and downs.
Poly is a way of life for many people because they are able to see that love isn’t binary. Love is infinite and if you’re lucky to find more than one person to share your life with, why not embrace the love?
Tanya Chris writes in a variety of romantic and erotic genres, being an avid follower of many of these genres herself. Some of her favorites are M/M romance, MFM threesomes, and BDSM with male submissives.
Tanya lives in New England with her boyfriend and her cat and has participated in many of the activities about which she writes, but not all of them. It’s left to the reader to decide which are which.