Series title: Lessons by Loki 1
Author: Aubrey Ross
Publisher: Anything But Ordinary
Genre: Contemporary, Ménage
Heat level: (M/F/M, M/M/F, Oral Sex, Anal Play/Sex, BDSM)
Number of Pages: 172
Katie has spent the past five years fantasizing about her sexy neighbors, Josiah and Chase. They’re wild, adventurous, and completely unconcerned with society’s expectations. Basically, they’re everything she’s not. Then a mysterious stranger tells her that she’s the target of their latest competition. According to “Loki”, Josiah and Chase will try to seduce her and the first one to succeed wins the ridiculous bet.
Seductive and mischievous, Loki entices Katie into playing a game of her own. Armed with insight and newfound confidence, she challenges the two men, determined to teach them a much-needed lesson by unraveling their heartless competition.
As Katie is drawn deeper into this web of lies, she finds herself doubting everything. She’s affected by Josiah and Chase far more than she’d expected to be and she’s convinced there’s much more to Loki than he pretends. She’s not sure who she can trust and she’s worried that a broken heart will be her only thanks for participating in Loki’s lesson.
Review of book:
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this story. I mean, I knew it was a ménage themed book, but Players the first installment of the Lessons of Loki series by Aubrey Ross was much more than the run of the mill interchangeable bed partner tale. What I foolishly expected to be a fairly predictable and unexciting read, had my stomach in knots over the emotional gymnastics the three main characters, Katie, Josiah and Chase had to undergo to find their way. Wait - did I say three main characters? How could I forget the one who’s behind the scenes work put it all in motion? Loki may not have been one of the primary players, but his touch was evident in every part of the wonderfully crafted plot.
I thoroughly enjoyed the twist that Ms. Ross put on the Loki character. Sure, he was still the trickster god of Norse mythology, but his psychic vampiric ways certainly had me sitting up and taking notice. I felt a little sorry for the guy too - he seems to be at the point where he might be ready for a deeper emotional connection of his own, though he’s no where near ready to admit it. Wouldn’t that be an amazing installment to the Lessons of Loki series?? In any case, his role here in Players was to get the ball rolling between the three lovers and offer his assistance by way of insight to Katie.
Loki aside, I loved these characters. They’re emotionally flawed, vulnerable in ways they may or may not be aware of, and yet have a sense of decency towards one another that defies logic. Even in spite of the bet/wager that Chase and Josiah have, they recognize that they don’t want to treat Katie like all of the other previous “prizes”. The two men have a complicated relationship to begin with - Josiah loves Chase and is happy to share a sexual relationship with him - Chase not as much. In fact, Chase is so hung up on what other people might think if he doesn’t live the “normal” life of wife, house and 2.5 kids, I felt he was in danger of losing Josiah completely. There was a lot of soul searching for both men in this book, and it added another layer to the already well constructed plot.
Then we have Katie. At first glance, you’d think she was the shy, retiring, wallflower type. You would be dead wrong. She’s got fire and a back bone, but Katie’s been hurt in the most devastating of ways - by an unfaithful lover that sold her on the concept that she wasn’t “enough”. She hit the road after that, and has done pretty well making a life for herself, though she’s shied away from any relationship that could challenge her on an emotional level. As much as she thinks she’s disgusted by the revolving booty call that her neighbors have, she’s also fascinated by the thought of being with both Josiah and Chase. So, when Loki appears to her, and gives Katie the skinny on their wager, she’s all for turning the table on the two and teaching them a lesson they’ll never forget. Katie’s also aware that she’ll be risking her heart to do it. I admired Katie’s grace under pressure. She bore a lot of grief from Chase’s ex-girlfriend and her own insecurities, but shook them off to follow through with her mission.
And then there was the sex. The old adage, “if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” definitely didn't fit here. The author threaded the emotional angst of Katie, Chase and Josiah throughout the sex scenes, making it equal parts heated and passionate. Make no mistake, the bedroom play was scorchingly hot - and I think that’s entirely due to Ms. Ross’s delightful ability to write sexual tension like nobody’s business. If you’re a fan of stories where the characters are engaging, hotter than sin, and the plot leaves you panting for more, Players by Aubrey Ross is a surefire cure for what ails you.
Five Shooting Stars