The Hot Floor by Josephine Myles
Josh Carpenter wants. He wants and needs something so badly that he’s willing to reveal certain truths that he’d never before imagined admitting aloud, neither to himself nor to anyone else. And especially not to Evan Truman and Rai Nakamura, the couple about whom Josh harbors certain fantasies.
The Hot Floor is a story narrated by a lonely and starving man, who wants and needs but doesn’t know how to ask for what it is he desires. Josh is a man who yearns for simple and ordinary things: someone to love, someone to love him in return, to be a part of something bigger than himself, to find someone to embrace him for nothing more than that he’s willing to give everything of himself, and all he wants in return is to hold a place of value in that relationship. Never would Josh have imagined that he’d find all of that and more within the hierarchy of a partnership between himself and a loving and committed couple.
Josephine Myles has written a lovely and compelling story that explores the complications of a ménage relationship; the jealousy, the fear, the uncertainty of exactly where and how to fit in, the confusion of the absolute certainty that it’s possible to fall in love with two people equally and with absolute abandon and commitment, and the utter certainty that until you give voice to your wants and desires, you run the risk of going without all of those things that are right there in front of you for the taking.
While this story is undeniably erotic, I found it to be much more provocative in its exploration of the whys and hows of a couple who seemed perfectly content in what they had but were willing to rebuild themselves around a man who brought another layer of something to their relationship they didn’t even know was missing. Within Josh’s passive submissiveness, the three men found something that strengthened their foundation, a natural spectrum in the sexual order that completed them in a way they hadn’t thought possible. In a world that embraces monogamy, Evan and Rai and Josh break the rules; Josh isn’t merely a placeholder in a relationship that was missing something or was broken. No, he becomes a necessary component in the completion of a picture that now makes perfect sense.
Of course, this is all presented in Josephine Myles’ most charming and clever way, with all the witty banter and loveable characters that I’ve come to expect from her stories. This story made me want to imagine these men far into the future and hope they were still finding their happily-ever-after together.