A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Outside the Lines (Bluewater Bay #22) by Anna Zabo

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

I’m a huge fan of the Bluewater Bay MM romance series so I was surprised to see a female on the cover of this one.  I love MM and I’m not a fan of adding in an F to that mix, but as it turned out, I need not have worried, since this is principally about Simon and Ian, and Lydia only plays a minor role in one sexual situation.    

Secondary characters, including recurring Bluewater Bay characters like Carter and Levi and Hunter and Kevyan and the new characters who helped in Simon’s store, Dexy and Jesse, were all amazing and well-developed. I particularly enjoyed the visit by previous characters! Most of all, I loved the storyline and the brilliant execution of a polyamory relationship involving a woman and two men, with the romance and love between the two men taking the forefront, while keeping both men’s love and friendship for the woman realistic and not detracting at all from the love between the men.

Before I read this I would have said it couldn’t be done, but I was so wrong. Simon and Ian took one look at each other and they were lost in lust.  Ian was psyched because he’d found an off-site location where he could rebuild the miniature set he was working on for Wolf’s Landing—and not only a perfect location but a perfect (and perfectly stunning!) man to help with the project. Simon, the owner of End o’ Earth, sells and paints models and miniatures. Watching him do the superlative work on a model when they first meet and seeing that gorgeous face and stunning body—what more could Ian ask for in the perfect specimen of manhood?  Well, being unmarried would have been ideal, but Simon is not. 

Finding out Simon and Lydia have a polyamory marriage is shocking but it allows the men to be together guilt-free and once Ian gets past the novelty of a lovely, friendly woman not only allowing her husband to have sex with him, but encouraging it?  It seems too good to be true. 

As time goes by and they learn more each other, Ian and Lydia become friends, and their mutual respect and admiration transcends the romantic relationship developing between Ian and Simon, allowing Ian and Lydia to grow to love one another as well—in a completely different way, of course.  But nevertheless, they do eventually find that love is the only word they can use to describe the unique relationship they foster. 

I really appreciated the way the author took the time to build this story. The dynamic between the men together, and between each of them individually with Lydia, and then the full threesome together was fantastic.  The story was sizzling hot, but it was also tender and loving and compassionate, showing the love of a man and woman, a man and man, and one friend for another.  It was just superbly done.  I’m totally impressed, and I highly recommend it to lovers of MM romance. 

For those who don’t like F in their MM, don’t worry—lady parts aren’t included.  At it’s core, the story really is a beautiful romance between Ian and Simon and told in alternating POVs so we get to experience all the emotion—from angst to love.

One more thing: I picked this up because I’ve read all the books in the Bluewater Bay series and I didn’t want to miss one, even though I was worried it was MMF.  As I state in my review, that’s really not a concern here.  And it most certainly can be read as a standalone despite the fact that a few characters from previous books are included in this one.  Not knowing them should not detract from one’s enjoyment of this story so please don’t miss a chance to read this gem.      

The colorful cover features all three characters, beautifully drawn by gifted artist L.C. Chase.  Lydia stands facing her husband, Simon, and his boyfriend, Ian.  It nicely represents the trio who make up this interesting story.

Sales Links Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 260 pages
Published December 18th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626496521
Series Bluewater Bay #22

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