Book: The Rules
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publication Date: September 6, 2017
Length: 275 pages
Reviewed by Meredith
WHEN HANS BAUER, a college student in New Hampshire, accepts a job as a housekeeper for an older gay couple, he soon learns the reason they've hired someone with no experience is that professional agencies won't work there. Thomas is a successful businessman whose biggest goal in life appears to be giving his husband anything he wants. Boris is a writer who immigrated to this country from Russia, and suffers from depression and PTSD because of the things he endured in his native country.
He also refuses to wear clothes—ever.
While Hans is working alone in the house with Naked Boris all day, things start getting a little weird. Boris gets flirtatious and Hans backs away, not wanting to come between him and his husband. So Boris calls Thomas at work and asks permission.
At that moment, The Rules are born—rules about touching and kissing and pet names that the three men use to keep jealousies at bay, as they explore the possibilities in a new type of relationship....
WARNING: This story deals with themes of sexual assault and past abuse.
Okay… Where does one start to review when the book has blown your mind and stolen all your words? No, really, where? I will do my best and hope I do this book justice.
I didn’t know what to expect from The Rules by Jamie Fessenden. I knew I was ultra-picky about ménage books. I’m overly critical of them. Why? Because it’s my favorite trope/sub-genre. It fails when the psychology and mental connection between the triad is nonexistent. Sex cannot sustain any relationship and when I see that happen I start to shut down. The Rules, well, it was the best balance I’ve read in a triad relationship book in a very VERY long time.
This relationship actually starts out as a polyamorous. Thomas and Boris are married. They hire Hans, a college student, to clean their home. Hans needs the money and Thomas and Boris need an open-minded person. Thomas is a great man. Wonderful husband. He spoils Boris and takes care of him. He looks like a 1950’s movie star and has an inner strength that is honorable.
Boris is from Russia, a writer, likes to be naked all the time, has depression, anxiety, and some interesting quirks. He loves Thomas with his whole heart. Then there’s Hans. He steps foot into their home and all their lives change.
So we have Thomas and Boris. Then Boris wants to fool around with Hans. Thomas then fools around and then the three become one. Yes, that’s a super short synopsis but I won’t give away anything and I have to tell you watching this relationship come to fruition was breathtaking.
Boris has a secret that he has never told a soul. It’s not until his past threatens someone he loves he’s forced to confront it and in doing so embrace the fact he’s loved no matter what.
I can’t put into words how this book affected me. The emotions mingle and tangle and get all lumped together. There’s no way you walk away from this book and wish you could forget it so you can experience it all again for the first time.
The Rules is one of the best books of 2017 in my opinion and I very highly recommend it!
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