Stoneface by Tymber Dalton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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Betrayal, infidelity, jealousy, hot ménage, sanctimonious parents, steadfast best friends, what isn't in this book? Oh right, my favourite erotic genre, BDSM. I can forgive Ms. Dalton leaving out the BDSM because this book drew out various emotions from me – anger, frustration, sorrow, pain, pleasure – the list goes on. Ms. Dalton is an auto-buy.
In STONEFACE, I'm once again gasping in sympathy pains for the characters she creates. I'm sensing a reoccurring theme in her books, which I enjoy. The theme is betrayal. The personal betrayals the lead character experiences are realistic and cuts so deep. Gwen experiences many setbacks in her life. Her ex-husband drunk repeatedly calls her after their divorce due to his infidelity. As the youngest of three siblings, she was surprisingly not treated as a loved baby of the family. Instead, she's the whipping boy by her conservative and controlling parents. Lest the reader think Gwen is a young "thing", she's in her 30s and an accomplished erotic writer. The abuse she quietly suffers from her parents makes me go into a blind rage. I can't abide by their narrow-minded caustic behavior and cruel biting emotional blackmail.
Gwen's older sister and brother are both too weak to stand up to their parents. It's like watching a train wreck hostage situation. To top this off, Gwen's sister goes off the reservation in a crazy manner that drags both Gwen and her brother to search for her, for fear of foul play. This is when the saving light finally shines on Gwen. Her fan, beta reader Tim, lives in the city where Gwen's sister Amy is last seen. Tim and his boyfriend, Jake, help Gwen out and entice her into a hot ménage. Finally Gwen experiences some good fortune. I'm happy for her. Ms. Dalton can't leave it at that because there isn't enough pain in Gwen's life. Instead, we are treated to more slices of pain and then a heavy heaping of salt into open bleeding wounds. Please Ms. Dalton, I can't take anymore. Stop with the sadistic emotional pain you inflict upon your poor characters!
Through all of this, Gwen's brother, Liam, helps her through the pain and growth. While the situations that happened to Gwen is like a trashy episode on Jerry Springer with anticipated outcomes, I'm still captivated. Why? Because of the way the story was told. This contemporary ménage romance where the triad is really a triangle, not a v triad, demonstrated the ups and downs with real to life experiences.
In addition, no one person was fully evil. Each person made some bad choices and they had to deal with the consequences. Ms. Dalton has a gift of showing us the flaws we make as humans and how we can overcome them. What I get most out of Ms. Dalton's books is hope. Even when the character hits rock bottom, Ms. Dalton writes in a way to bring that person back up and hope for a better future. The pain she visits on her characters provide them ways to grow and mature. I love this underlying message.
How can I leave out the sex? Please, there are two super hot men in a hot tub with a cute sexy erotic writer. Do I need to say more?
STONEFACE delivers hot sexy scenes which didn't feel forced. I was happily aroused by the threesome. I can always count on Ms. Dalton for hot sex scenes. STONEFACE did not disappoint in the sex department.
I recommend this to erotic romance lovers who enjoy hope triumphing over sorrow. Basically, by this book and read it!
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