Grace Hunter is trained in survival and doesn't need anyone to protect her from the anarchy that results after the EMP. But still, she is stuck confined in an underground shelter with three men - Steven "Sarge" Connelley, Van Goodwin, and Luke Evers - all totally different, all powerfully sexy. Together, the group faces the threats of the deadly city above ground. Individually, each man succeeds in seducing her. And before long, all three want Grace for himself alone. Animosity inside the shelter grows unbearable until Grace finally resolves to end it once and for all…and simply vanishes without a trace. It takes months for the men to eventually realize that Grace left them willingly. When they do, hostilities flare between them again. They fight each other, and then fight together to muddle through the complexities of sex, love, and their own egos to forge an arrangement that could make them all happy.
This is a very female-focused story, which is yummy. A big lesson in it is that the perfect man cannot be found in one man. We all need a minimum of 3 of them to get all of our needs met, if that’s the goal. This option for Grace—not saying it should be an option for all women—came after their spot of the world experienced an EMP (nuclear electromagnetic pulse). Then there was no running water, electricity, and their world was in chaos.
Grace was a college student and daughter of a survivalist who was raised without her mother. Her father was a truck driver and not present when the EMP occurred. So Serge, a friend of Grace’s dad, came to help Grace. Eventually, two other men entered the story and all 4 worked and lived together to survive—Grace, Van (national guardsman), Luke (psychologist turned bar-man), & Serge/Steve Connolly (short for sergeant; ex-marine, prison sergeant).
The story is certainly erotica, and sex plays a big part. There were about 6 sex scenes all involving Grace and no m/m action. The scenes were 2 with Serge, 1 each with Luke and Van individually with Grace, and then 2 with all 3 focused on her simultaneously.
There was a bit too much of Grace allowing all 3 guys not to use a condom and also not pull out of her during sex, if you know what I’m saying. I began to see her as an ashtray of sorts, and it just wasn’t my taste. But, to each her or his own. At least, it was implied that she was on birth control pills, and she began to speculate about the need for condoms. That occurred after sex with two of the guys and never happened. Even with the explicit sex, the author did a good job of providing a sufficient and plausible plot and playing it out well and with consistency. It held together well. The characters were relatively likeable but with flaws. My only exception is the author’s use of the word love and with no time for its development. So it didn’t make sense and was hard to buy. I liked watching the men navigate their attraction to and desire for the only available woman, Grace. And I liked that Grace was a mentally and physically strong young woman who was very self-sufficient. But she didn’t balance her strength and self-sufficiency well with the realistic need she had for help and safety and companionship. It was also nice to watch as each male found their role and the acceptable pecking order and together formed a family unit. Most of all, I liked that the outcome of the story didn’t come easily.
The narrator did not help the story. He had a great masculine voice, but all 3 of the men sounded the same. And he couldn’t maintain his portrayal of Grace. Sometimes it sounded too masculine and other times too high, almost child-like; it wasn’t constant. And it sounded HORRIBLE during Grace’s times of sexual ecstasy. But worst of all was the narrator making an indrawn breath at the end of most of his sentences, like he’s surprised each time. It was quite irritating. And to the author, please don’t use the phrase “Indian summer”; it is offensive.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from Sylvia Ryan and/or Rex J. Silverton?
Read Saved By One by the same author and enjoyed it but I couldn't finish this one at all. The narrator is one of my least fav to say the least, it drove me insane because I could hardly understand and hear what was being said. So disappointing that I didn't even listen to a quarter of the book. I love audiobooks while I'm driving and being a domestic engineer and I just could not get the volume high enough to be able to understand what was being said. Has never been a problem before for me and I've listened to numerous books (probably around 100 by now) with tons of different narrators.
What did you like best about this story?
Plot was intriguing and I think I would have liked if I could have enjoyed different narration.
How could the performance have been better?
I don't mean to offend but I honestly did not like the narrator for this story at all.
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
Any additional comments?
Please redo the narration!