by Alessandra Torre
Published: December 1, 2013, Alessandra Torres
My rating: 4 of 5 ⭐️
When a crisp new snowfall captures her complete attention on the street one day, she bumps into Stewart, a gorgeous and enigmatic but hardworking professional. He is completely enamoured with her, as she is with him and his voracious appetite for her, but since his devotion to his work does not leave him much time for a 'normal' relationship, Madison is clear she cannot promise exclusivity. Neither of them want to let go of their highly fuelled sexual hunger for each other.
Only a few months later, Madison meets Paul, another lover of life, not held back by rules and regulations, and an unending sexual appetite, who is for all intents and purposes Madison's equal. He is the antithesis of Stewart, devoted to Madison and accommodating in all that she needs. Even when, in her need for honesty, she lets Paul know that there is another man who will take up a part of her life. After some initial adjustment, Paul and Madison have an almost normal day to day relationship, except for the occasional night that Madison has 'another engagement'.
Madison has always known there would come a point in time where this situation would come to a head. Not something she enjoyed thinking about, she loves them both. They are so different and yet share so many similarities. At some point she would have to make a choice.....unless that choice would be made for her.
From the distance a woman watches.....she watches all three of them. She also loves Stewart and Paul. She doesn't love Madison........
What a clever and intensely stimulating story!! Not just with a physical, but also a solid psychological impact.
Although the synopsis may cause you to think that Madison is not necessarily a very likeable person, flitting between two men. She is actually the one who is probably most true to herself and to the people in her life. Yes, she self indulges and she doesn't apologize for it, but she doesn't take what is not freely given and by one well aware of the implications. She doesn't lie, she doesn't beat around the bush. She is honest in her expectations and her desires and expects no more or no less from anyone else. There is not a malicious intent in Madison's thoughts or considerations. She is a pure "take me as I am" kinda girl, living each day as it comes.
The men in her life both have an agenda of sorts.
Stewart can't bear the thought of losing Madison, but cannot find it in himself to make any adjustments to his 100-hour work weeks to facilitate a worthwhile relationship. Instead, he finds a way to ensure a place in her life, while she is safely occupied when he tends to his first priority....the one thing truly controllable, his work.
Paul wants her to himself, but he decides to settle for whatever he can get. He learns to deal with 'the other man', but is biding his time, keeping the hope alive that one day she will belong only to him, that she can give him the non-judgemental love he craves.
I thoroughly enjoyed in particular Madison's character, who seemed almost set free by some of the harsh realities of her upbringing. She did not seem to feel the need to conform to anyone's measure or standard and lived very much 'in the moment', radiating that zest for life to those who came in contact with her.
I would have loved to have seen the characters a bit more 'fleshed out', in particular with respect to the underlying relationships that don't come to light until later in the book. It might have explained responses and reactions a little better.
A well-written and interesting study in sexual diversion, relationship dynamics and various levels of love.
✨A clever and provocative balance of odds and chances.✨
**ARC provided in return for an honest review.**