Holly Bardwell is running from her new husband whom she witnessed committing murder on their wedding night. She ends up high in the Colorado Rockies on a snowy night, where he car breaks down, and she starts walking for help. But before she can find anyone, she passes out in a ditch, only to awaken the next day in the care of three of the most gorgeous men she's ever seen, and they all seem to think she's their soul mate.
Adam, Ethan, and Ryan Colter's parents have an unconventional relationship, and after being raised that way, they know that they, too, are destined to have just one woman who completes all three of them. They are starting to lose hope of finding that perfect woman until Adam discovers Holly in a snow-filled ditch on their property. From the moment he holds her in his arms, he senses that she's the one, and when Ethan and Ryan see her, they agree. But convincing Holly of that fact may be a challenge. Not to mention, when her husband comes looking for her and then sends a hit man to take her out, all their lives will be in danger, which is the last thing Holly wants for the men she's come to realize she cannot live without.
About three years ago, I read another of Maya Banks' menage romances that I thoroughly enjoyed, and ever since then, I've been looking forward to trying something else by her. Colters' Woman has been on my TBR pile for quite a while, and since I recalled hearing good things about it, I decided to make it the next of her books to read. I ended up enjoying it, although not quite as well as the other book of hers I read. The main reason for this is that I felt this one was a little light on the character, plot, and relationship development. It's on the short side at only 229 pages in trade paperback, so unless the author was under some constraints by her publisher at the time, there would have been room for more details. Overall, it wasn't bad, but it did feel like things happened a little too easily. I also wouldn't have minded learning more about the characters and their backgrounds. This one was only Maya Banks' second published novel, though, so for one of her earliest efforts, it's still pretty good.
Holly was from a wealthy family, and after her parents died in an accident, she became the ward of one of their friends. Little did she know that he has ties to organized crime and is trying to get his hands on her trust fund by marrying her. She goes on the run from her abusive husband, whom she escaped from on their wedding night after witnessing him murdering another man. After her car broke down, she ended up walking through the bitter cold in the Colorado Rockies, before passing out in a ditch, which is where she was found by one of the three Colter brothers. They take her in and immediately recognize her as the one they've been waiting for. She allows them to care for her and protect her, but when her husband comes looking for her, he places all their lives in danger. Overall, I'd say that I liked and related to Holly. However, where I had a little problem is in the fact that she's only marginally wary of the Colter brothers after experiencing such a harrowing ordeal. Not to mention, despite still being a virgin, she's almost immediately accepting of their proposal of an unconventional relationship with all three of them, and turns into an instant sex kitten. Regardless of how hot and nice they were, I think I'd be a little more questioning of all this before diving in head-first just a day or so after meeting them. Also, her backstory being expanded a little more to understand her motives a bit better certainly wouldn't have gone amiss. Otherwise, Holly is a good heroine, who is equally as protective of her men as they are of her, and she can also be resourceful when she has to be.
The three Colter brothers, Adam, Ethan, and Ryan run a ranch and hunting lodge in the Colorado Rockies. They, themselves, are a product of menage a quatre relationships that have gone back a few generations, so they've always known that they were looking for just one woman to complete them all. Adam, as the oldest and the most dominant, is pretty much the leader. He previously thought he'd found "the one" in Lacey, the local sheriff, but it turned out that he was the only one of the three who felt that way. Adam is the one who finds Holly on their property, and this time, he's certain that she's their soul mate. When he brings her to his brothers, they both agree. Adam can be sweet and also very protective, but he's perhaps the most demanding of the three and the one most prone to possibly saying something he'll regret. Ethan, the middle brother, is more of an alpha/beta mix with a sweet, more thoughtful side. He was probably my favorite of the brothers, although admittedly, he was also the least well-developed. What you see is pretty much what you get with him. Ryan, the youngest, was in the military and was held as a prisoner of war in Iraq before finally being released and coming home. He hasn't been the same since, but he also hasn't been forthcoming about what happened to him over there, so Adam and Ethan hope that Holly will be able to get him to open up. I like the closeness of the three brothers and how they always have each other's backs, and that, of course, extends to Holly when she joins them. They're also all very sensual and seductive, and I like the way they pleasure her into oblivion.;-)
Overall, Colters' Woman was a good story that I liked. The only thing that really bothered me was the magical nature of the romance itself. The brothers' recognition of Holly as their wife is definitely nothing more than a fantastical connection. They simply know just by looking at her, which was a little hard to believe. Holly isn't much different, being attracted to, and aroused by, the thought of belonging to all of them within only a day. Everyone is totally on board without any genuine contemplation at all, which was a little hard to swallow. However, I did like how gentle, but passionate, the men are with Holly, as well as how protective they are, determined that her husband won't get to her. I also wouldn't have minded a little more plot in between the love scenes. While generally pretty delicious, they do dominate the first 2/3 to 3/4 of the book with only a little bit of story in between. The last ¼ or so of the book is better with some fast-paced action and a touch of suspense, followed by a sweet HEA. It may not have been as perfect as the other book I read by Maya Banks, but if you're looking for an erotic menage romance that has a decent storyline, then Colters' Woman should fit the bill.
Note: This book contains explicit language and sexual situations which may offend some readers, including ménage a quatre and anal sex within M/F, M/F/M and M/F/M/M combinations.
The Hope Chest Reviews on Facebook