O Christmas Three

By: Suzan Butler

Series: Texas Highlanders Ice Hockey

Book Number: 0.5

Star Rating:

Sensuality Rating:


Not Available

Spoiler Disclaimer


Garrett and Brianna Zane have been married for ten years and still love each other as much as the day they first met. The couple are scheduled to spend the Christmas holiday at a remote mountain cabin with Garrett's best friend, Leobardo Vasquez. Garrett and Bri have always engaged in spicy sexcapades, but when Bri confesses that she'd like to have a threesome with Leo, it reawakens feelings for his best friend that Garrett thought he'd put to rest long ago. Although he's never told his wife, Garrett and Leo were lovers before they married. But because Leo was afraid of what the ice hockey world he inhabits would think of a star athlete being bisexual, they cooled their relationship and haven't been together since. Garrett is now a bit worried about how Bri might feel if she finds out, but it hasn't stopped him from formulating a plan with her to seduce Leo during their stay. Although Leo is a little uncertain at first, he pretty quickly finds that he can't resist his two best friends. But when the holiday is over, will they simply go back to their separate lives or could there possibly be a place for Leo as a third in Garrett and Bri's relationship?


O Christmas Three is, as the title suggests, a holiday-themed, erotic romance novella about a threesome. It apparently used to be considered a prequel to Suzan Butler's Texas Highlanders Ice Hockey series. However, it no longer seems to be available for purchase anywhere and isn't even mentioned on the author's website. Leo, one of the two heroes, is a player for the ice hockey team. He and the other hero, Garrett, have been best friends forever and used to be lovers, as well, until Leo, worried about what people would think if they found out a public figure like him was bisexual and in a same-sex relationship, got cold feet. Leo and Garrett have remained friends but cooled their romantic relationship. Then Garrett met and fell in love with Brianna, to whom he's been married for the past ten years. Recently Garrett confessed to Bri that he and Leo used to engage in threesomes, which piqued her interest. The couple are scheduled to spend the Christmas holiday at Leo's remote mountain cabin, so they've formed a plan to seduce him into a little menage action. At first Leo is a bit resistant to the idea, but eventually he can't say no to his two best friends. But when Bri decides she'd like them all to become a permanent threesome, she and Garrett will have their work cut out for them convincing Leo that they're all prefect together.

To be honest, the characterizations in this novella are pretty weak and I didn't come away from reading it with a great sense of who Garrett, Brianna, and Leo are as individuals or what really drives their decision-making. Garrett apparently repairs computers for a living, but it barely gets a mention. I got no real sense of who Brianna is at all beyond the fact that she apparently carries a suitcase full of moisturizers and beauty products with her when she travels, which made her seem a little shallow. Out of the three Leo might be the best developed. He loved Garrett once upon a time, but as an ice hockey player and public figure, he was worried that the media would have a field day if they discovered his bisexuality, which could also lead to backlash from fans and the team's owners. When Garrett and Brianna start trying to seduce him into a menage, he's a little resistant at first, concerned that he would simply be a third wheel in their well-established relationship. However, while Leo does angst for a while, his objections are ultimately overcome fairly easily, and quite frankly, I felt like his concerns about the nature of their threesome becoming public were largely swept under the rug. I just really wanted to know more about these three characters. There isn't even any information on how Garrett and Leo met and became lovers or how they got started engaging in menages. All three of them are supposedly already in love with one another, and while I can see how Garrett and Leo might still be holding a torch for each other given their shared past, I have no idea when Bri fell for Leo. For his part, Leo is simply said to have fallen for her pretty much from the moment he met her, which isn't very satisfying. I just didn't end up feeling very connected to the characters, because there isn't much there for me to relate to.

In addition to the lacking characterizations, the plot was pretty thin, too. Without really getting any background information on the characters, we dive right in to see Garrett and Bri on their way to Leo's cabin, having already agreed to try to draw him into a threesome. However, their communication is terrible. At one point, Garrett says that he and Bri were honest with each other about their respective sexual histories early on, but that isn't really true. Garrett never told Bri about his sexual relationship with Leo and only recently revealed that the two of them engaged in menages before he met her. Apparently from the moment Garrett told her, Bri has had a fantasy of having their threesome (that hasn't even materialized yet) become permanent, but she never told Garrett. Neither of them really let Leo in on their plan, and instead immediately start trying to seduce him. There were times when I felt like they were trying to railroad Leo into the three-way relationship rather than genuinely taking the time to listen to him and try to understand his concerns. It was almost like they were telling him that they all belonged together and he just needed to get with the program.

Despite my concerns, I've read more frustrating stories. The love scenes were decent, although not phenomenal. There could have been a better emotional connection. There also were sometimes inconsistent details, such as one of the guys removing a condom that was never put on, and there was also sometimes a lack of details that made it difficult to envision the scene. There was also a brief moment where Leo gives Garrett oral right after Garrett had... ahem... been inside him without any washing taking place, which grossed me out. There were also a lot of little things with regards to the editing such as typos and incorrect or missing words that could be a bit distracting. Then there was the conflict, which mostly consisted of Leo's internal disharmony, which became a little repetitive. There was no forward motion in his thought processes, and as I mentioned before Garrett and Bri simply kept pushing him to give in, with Leo's concerns being easily overcome. Even though I've had a lot of criticisms, O Christmas Three wasn't a bad read, but I think it would have been much better if it had been lengthened and the characters and story fleshed out a lot more. As is, it's mostly just a series of steamy love scenes loosely held together by Leo's angst. I liked the characters for as well as I got to know them, and I genuinely would have liked to know them better. Without that, the ending felt more HFN than HEA because there was no solid resolution to Leo's issues. So ultimately this was just an OK read for me. The jury is still out on whether I'll give the other books in the series a try.

Note: This book contains explicit language and sexual content, including anal sex, within M/F, M/M, M/F/M and M/M/F combinations, that could be objectionable to sensitive readers.


Suzan Butler


Christmas Stories
Friends Before Lovers