Rating: 4.25 points for each book and the series overall
Synchronous Seductions is a trilogy of stories about three men,their group of friends and co workers. In the first story, Harlan’s Ryde, one man wants desperately to regain the lover he cast away years ago. The second, Emery’s Ritches, one man finds his love staring back from a photograph on a co workers mantel, and finally in Geoff’s Teddy, just when the one man has given up his dream of finding the perfect bear to love,it he finds him, supposedly straight and working for his boss’s boyfriend.
Harlan’s Ryde Synchronous Seductions #1) found in Word Play anthology: Seven years ago, Ryder Holloway walked away from Harlan Mychals, making the most momentus mistake of his life. He told Harlan he didn’t love him, that he cheated on him and with that threw away the only man he would ever love, threw away college, dumped his life in the garbage and left town. Now he is back, pulled his life together, and wants Harlan back too. Harlan has never recovered from his devastating break with Ryder and doesn’t trust that Ryder has changed.
Ryder does everything he can to get Harlan to see him, listen to him, including breaking into his house to leave messages. When Harlan accidentally puts Ryder into the hospital, can Ryder’s convalesce and his nursing skills give them both their chance at true love.
This short story has it all. Lovers reunited after a long time apart, intense characters and marvelous dialog. In the beginning I wanted to swat Ryder with a noodle but as the layers to his character start to peel away, you see the insecurities, and poor self image that set him on a destructive path to begin with and you start to root for him instead. I loved these characters and wanted them to find their HEA as they so readily deserved it. So I was thrilled to find that I would see both of them again as the series continued with the great secondary characters introduced here.
Emery’s Ritchies (Synchronous Seductions #2): Ritchie Lymings has just finished dropping off his best friend and secret love interest, Harlan Mychals at Ryder Halloway’s house. Harlan and Ryder have reunited after 7 years of misunderstandings and pride kept them separated. Ritchie also tried to keep Harlan from letting Ryder back into his life but love with a capital L brought them back together and now Ritchie is wallowing in a world of self pity, made worse by the fact that he never liked Ryder to begin with.
As he mopes into his coffee at a nearby shop, a stranger barges into his pity party and asks to sit at his table offering to make him smile. Ritchie is unaware that the stranger is in fact Emery Hawkins, Ryder’s boss and friend. Emery has listened to Ryder talk about Harlan and his best friend Ritchie for five years, so much so that Emery has become intrigued by the man Ryder refers to as “the infuriating twit”. Then Emery saw a photograph of Harland and his best friend on Harland’s mantel and he couldn’t stop thinking about the man in the picture. Now coincidence has brought Ritchie to him and Emery has never been one to let an opportunity go by to get what he wants.
Again Havan Fellows gives us a wonderful story with a heart of snark! That would be Ritchie Lymings, snappy dresser, sarcastic manner and a loyal friend. Fellows’ characters are a simpatico bunch, fully realized and totally human. We first met Ritchie as Harlan’s best friend who saw him through the worst time of his life and we agreed for a while with his viewpoint of Ryder as human pest. But now we see that Ritchie also loved Harlan and did what was best for his friendship. All Ritchie’s redeeming features are hidden under a caustic veneer but upon meeting Emery, Ritchie has more than met his match. For every wall put up by Ritchie and sneering comment he makes, Emery comes back with a plan to break down the wall and has the last word in their arguments until Ritchie finds himself succumbing to Emery’s seductions. It is such fun to watch the courting of Ritchie as Emery finds he too must make some adjustments in order for their relationship to succeed.
A real relationship is a juggling act between two people and their baggage. In this case, the men are constantly reminded of their past because of their close circle of friends, includes some of that “baggage”. Havan Fellows understands relationship issues and the sometimes painful journey you must take in order to have a successful one. We watch Ritchie and Emery do the relationship dance. Two steps forward and one step back. Throw in some hot sex, a little frustration, wonderful dialog, and great characters and you will find yourself nodding and thinking “yep, that’s about right,” and then start laughing.
A lighthearted, fun romp that also introduces us to Geoff, Ryder’s smart, small assistant with an attitude much larger than his stature. Geoff is looking for love and finds it in the final book of the trilogy, Geoff’s Teddy.
Geoff’s Teddy (Synchronous Seductions #3): When Geoff’s boss,Ritchie, makes up a false dinner meeting to get out of a date with Emery, Ritchies makes Geoff come out with him for appearances sake. But Emery has Ritchies number, and Geoff’s too when he “accidentally” stops in at the same restaurant, his employee in tow. Emery has brought along Teddy “Fuzzy” Beough, pronouced “boo”, to take Geoff home when Emery wisks Ritchie away for the night. But that is fine with Geoff because Teddy is everything Geoff has always wanted. Teddy is hairy, huge, in fact he is a downright gorgeous bear whose nickname just happens to be Fuzzy Wuzzy to Geoff’s unholy delight. He has a sense of humor about himself and they ended up talking for hours. Too bad Teddy says he’s straight.
The lightest, guffaw inducing story of the trio, you can tell Havan Fellows was laughing the entire time it was being written. From the twists and turns of Teddy’s name (I will not spoil the entire beauty that is his full name for you), to his introduction to gay sex and Geoff’s meeting with Fuzzy’s parents, it’s one laugh after another. Don’t look for angst here, there is a brief whiff and its gone. Fuzzy thinks he is gay because he chose the path of least resistance, at least for him. Girls were ok, he just can’t sustain a sexual, romantic relationship with one. And then he happens upon cable at Geoff’s apartment and much, much more to complete his epiphany. I don’t think that makes Teddy/Fuzzy gay for you, perhaps bisexual at least. Teddy is simply Teddy, a very accepting, non judgmental person open to all possibilities, including the fact that he might be gay. Geoff is more than happy to demonstrate the ABC’s of Gay Sex or as he calls it Gay Sex for Dummies. Everyone should have such a teacher.
Whatever you wish to name it, it is happy, it is fun and it leads to much more. This story is just a delight. Wonderful, fully layered characters having a great time in a fun romp on their way to true love. In fact, the entire series is like this. Don’t miss it. Everyone needs a good, heartwarming laugh. Here are three.
Cover Artist: Victoria Miller
While it is helpful to read these stories in the order they were written, it is not necessary in order to understand and enjoy the books.
The Series Order is:
Harlan’s Ryde (Synchronous Seductions Series #1) – found in the Story Orgy anthology Word Play
Geoff’s Teddy (Synchronous Seductions Series #3) available July 20, 2012 from Breathless Press.