American Joel Cooper and Brit Christian Harris are bisexual lovers who have been feeling rather incomplete without a woman in their lives. Organized Joel works long hours and doesn't have time for household chores, while work-at-home Christian is housekeeping challenged. The two men decide to hire a maid and place a funny advertisement that is answered by a bizarre mix of people, none of whom really fit what they had in mind until a bruised waif-like creature shows up on their doorstep, late for her interview, stirring both their protective instincts and their desire.
Susie Hood has struggled through life, first dealing with an alcoholic mom, then a life-threatening illness. Now that she's better, she wants a job to make her own way in life, but with no higher education and no real work experience, she is having trouble finding a position. She is drawn to the amusing advertisement for a maid, and since she has spent years cooking and cleaning for her father and two brothers, knows that it's a job she can do. Unfortunately, an accident on her bike leaves Susie scraped and bleeding and late for her interview. Although the two men are kind to her, Susie believes that she just botched her best chance, so is shocked when they tell her she has the job. She sets about making their house sparkle and cooking meals that make them beg for more, and soon that's not all they're begging for. Although Susie was attracted to both Joel and Christian right from the start, she never would have imagined that one, much less both, would reciprocate her feelings. Can they really make things work as a threesome, or will Joel soon be heading back to the States, leaving Susie and Christian incomplete again?
Susie's Choice is one seriously steamy erotic romance that's enough to induce breathless panting, drooling and a need for a cold shower or a hot male body.;-) Yet, the author still managed to imbue it with a very sweet tone. It is the story of bisexual lovers Joel and Christian who feel incomplete without a woman. When they advertise for a maid and the lovely, adorable Susie Hood shows up on their doorstep scraped and bruised, she stirs both their protective instincts and their desire to a fever pitch. It's just a matter of time before she's doing far more for them than just cleaning their house and cooking their meals.
Susie is a kindhearted, gentle young woman who is a classic Cinderella desperately in need of a Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet, and the lucky girl ended up getting two. Rather than an evil stepmother and two stepsisters, Susie has her dad and two brothers taking her for granted and expecting her to cook and clean for them. She's been through a great deal in her short twenty-four years. She had to deal with a crazy, alcoholic mother who was jealous of her beauty, and then weather through a life-threatening illness, all with only minimal support from her family. Now that she's finally healthy again, Susie wants to work, but isn't having much luck finding anything she's qualified to do. When she sees the advertisement of two men looking for a maid, she knows this is a job she can do. After all, she's been cleaning up after men all her life. But, when she shows up on their doorstep bleeding after having an accident with her bike, she's certain she lost the job. When she gets the call that she's hired, Susie couldn't be more thrilled and sets about making Joel and Christian's house shine like a new penny. As she works for them, Susie finds herself becoming more and more attracted to both of them, but with an ugly scar on her face, she harbors little hope of landing even one of them, much less both.
Christian is a freelance writer who is something of an untidy, free-spirit. He's a lovable charmer who is very open and expressive with his feelings. He loves Joel to distraction and wants nothing more than to make a forever commitment to him, but he would still like to have a woman in his life too. Christian is a sweet beta who is usually more than willing to let his partner take the lead, but the green-eyed monster briefly rears it's ugly head when Joel decides to make a move on Susie first. Christian really wanted to be the one to draw Susie into their relationship, but truth be told, he's rather shy and might never have gotten that far. He is really lacking in confidence, especially around women. I thought it was really sweet that Christian could write all the right words in his erotic stories, but gets tongue-tied when he tries to talk to Susie. He also seems to be in a constant state of amazement that someone like Joel would want to be with him.
Joel is definitely the alpha in the relationship, and he seems to enjoy playing the dom, first to Christian and then to Christian and Susie together. Joel is darkly handsome, but reticent and a bit brooding. Whereas Christian is more happy-go-lucky, Joel tends to be pretty serious and grounded. Christian and Susie are British while Joel is an American. He is a successful lawyer who was sent to London by his firm for a job that was only supposed to take eighteen months. Because he knows his time in England is limited and because of a major emotional trauma in his past, Joel tries to keep his heart locked up tight. He thinks if he can just get Christian and Susie together, they'll have each other and won't miss him so much when he has to go home, but he didn't expect both of them to stir his emotions to the point that his heart feels like it's breaking at the thought of leaving either of them behind when his time is up.
The story begins with the established relationship between the two men which is very spicy, but I can't say that I sensed a great deal of emotion passing between them. Christian openly professes his love for Joel, and even though Joel admits to himself that Christian is the best lover he's ever had, he still holds back on saying those three little words. When Susie comes in as their third, it changes the whole dynamic between the two men. I really liked the way the author added a bit of depth to the story by exploring issues like jealousy which I would think might be inherent in a polyamorous relationship, while also creating a complexity in the way in which each character relates to the other two. It all came together to make them fit together like the pieces of a puzzle. The three of them as a whole make up a relationship that is not only hot and sexy, but romantic, loving and playful. There were lots of humorous moments as well as ones full of emotion, angst and darker eroticism. I loved how sweet and tender both of the men are with Susie the first time they each make love to her, and even after that, they still take their time with her, building trust by showing her that they would never hurt her and she's free to say no to anything they suggest. They are both very protective of her but in different ways. Joel is more the type who would be ready to beat up anybody who dared lay a finger on her, while Christian is the loving, caretaker who is attentive to her needs. When put together, Joel and Christian pretty much create the perfect man, but apart they were each scrumptious in his own way.
Susie's Choice was my first book by Barbara Elsborg. I found it to be a fun, extremely hot, and sometimes emotionally-charged read. For an erotic romance, it had pretty good character and relationship development. This was only my second menage romance, but I really liked all three characters and their interactions. The author truly made me believe that they were going to have a happily-ever-after together. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and have no real complaints. Susie's Choice was a romantic, sexy read that definitely has earned a spot on my keeper shelf and has me excited about checking out Barbara Elsborg's other works.
Note: This book contains explicit language and sexual situations which may offend some readers, including menage a trois, some light BDSM elements, use of sex toys, intimate shaving, and anal sex within the following combinations: M/F, M/M, M/M/F, M/F/M.
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