A Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: What He Left Behind by L.A. Witt


Rating: 5 stars out of 5:

Can you ever have a second first time?

What He Left Behind coverOver lunch one day with his best friend, Michael, Josh finds out that the reason Michael is still not dating, five years after he broke up with his abusive ex, is because he’s scared to death to even touch someone, never mind possibly have sex again. Josh is shocked by the confession. Though he knew Steve had been both physically and emotionally abusive to Michael, he just didn’t realize that so many of the things he takes for granted with his husband, Ian, are denied to Michael by fear of intimacy.

Josh and Michael have been friends ever since their early teens, and it was Michael with whom Josh first had sex when he came out in his senior year of high school. In fact, they were lovers off and on all through college while remaining best friends. And it was Michael who helped get Josh and Ian back together when they broke up early in their relationship. The trio has been friends ever since, and it killed Josh and Ian to see how very abusive Steve was to Michael, but they were there to love and support him when he was finally able to break away.

Over the past few years, Josh and Michael have seen each other at lunchtime, and the trio gets together every Sunday night to talk and drink wine in Josh and Ian’s hot tub. And it’s because of this close friendship that Ian suggests that Josh help Michael get over his fear of intimacy by having sex with him. After all, they’ve done it before and were each other’s firsts, so why not help him get back to where he can be intimate with a man again. Shocked by Ian’s idea, Josh nonetheless follows through and, though it takes time to break down many of Michael’s barriers, it eventually works. Then one Sunday night in the hot tub, Michael tells Josh that he’s ready to do it with someone else, and the two decide to approach Ian.

Ian’s involvement with Michael then leads to all three having sex and eventually Josh and Ian realize that they need to take time for themselves or they will lose what they have together. But when Michael starts to date again, a whole new world of hurt opens up for Josh, and he doesn’t know whether his marriage to Ian will survive the turmoil created by his obviously engaged heart.

Content advisory: Get your personal fans out before you read this story! The sex is sizzling hot, the characters endearing, the relationships—all of them, from the pairs of Josh and Ian and Josh with Michael and Michael with Ian to all three together—are amazingly well-developed and realistic. As a reader, I could feel the deep bond of friendship and love that existed between Josh and Michael, as well as the oneness of the Josh-Ian marriage relationship. In fact, although I can’t tolerate cheating, I didn’t feel that there was any hint of that in this story. There was emotional support for each other every step of the way. Everything that happened made sense as the men slowly bonded, and all of the relationship dynamics developed.

This was the best example of ménage I’ve read in a long time. In fact, it may be the best ever because it made so much sense for the three to be together that it was like watching all the pieces of a puzzle click into place. I can’t recommend this one highly enough. If you like M/M/M, this is a must buy.

Cover Art by Angela Waters depicts three men representing the MCs—One is wearing glasses and a suit (Ian), one is wearing jeans and is shirtless (Josh) and one is depicted off in the distance (Michael). This is a clear representation of the story with the one character being somewhat distant from the married couple at the start of the book.

Preorder it July 19th at Samhain Publishing,  read it on August 18!

All Sales Links Coming In September

Book Details:

Expected publication: September 2015 by Samhain Publishing
(first published August 18th 2015)
edition languageEnglish