Title: The Threefold Tie
Author: Aster Glenn Gray
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 148 Pages
Category: Historical Romance, Bisexual Romance, M/F/M Romance
Rating: 3.5 Stars
At a Glance: The Threefold Tie is a quiet story, not given to extremes of emotion or action. I found more to like in the book than not, but would’ve appreciated a bit more word count to seal the deal.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Everything was fine till Jack fell in love with his former lover’s wife.
Shy Civil War veteran Jack never expected to be involved in an affair du coeur. It seemed like a minor miracle when he and his comrade-in-arms Everett became lovers – and a painful return to reality when Everett married his sweetheart, Sophie. And the situation is only more complicated now that Jack has fallen in love with Sophie, too.
When Everett found himself in love with Sophie, the proper thing for him to do was to end his dalliance with Jack and marry her. But even though everyone says it’s impossible to be in love with two people at once, Everett has never really gotten over Jack.
Sophie’s unconventional family has shown her that love is not always simple. But she’s still startled to find herself responding to Jack’s very obvious crush – and to realize that Everett, too, still has feelings for Jack. How can they navigate nineteenth century romantic conventions and still find a satisfying arrangement?
Review: I can say with absolute conviction I was never, ever, curious about the origins of my silverware until I googled around and found out about it anyway when I searched the history of the Oneida Community, thanks in every way to this short novel. Before I get too randomly off topic, however, The Threefold Tie is not a story about the community itself, but it does introduce its practice of “complex marriage” in the lead-up to the polyamorous relationship between the story’s protagonists, Everett, his wife Sophie, and their mutual love interest, Jack.
The Threefold Tie is a quiet story, not given to extremes of emotion or action, save for a pivotal event between Everett and Jack which eventually serves to open the conversation between Everett and Sophie about how much they each love Jack and how they might make a relationship work between the three of them in a time (the post-Civil War era) when two men together was taboo enough, let alone a married couple inviting a third person into their marriage and their bedroom. There is no preachiness to the story either; rather, it’s simply about the connection between three bisexual people who learn some things about themselves in the process of considering the feasibility of taking their friendship to a new place.
There is a difference between saying I wanted more from a book (I didn’t want to let the characters go) and I needed more from a book (just a bit more time with them and some deeper backstory would have served the purpose of building a fuller connection to them). With The Threefold Tie, the case is that I both wanted and needed more. I felt a deep affinity with Jack in his being decidedly less extroverted than either Sophie or Everett, in his need to carry on in his own space, and I loved his artist’s daydreams and idyllicism of what quiet days with them might look like. That he and Everett came together during a time of peril and uncertainty in wartime gave a lovely emotive aspect to the story, Everett making some poor decisions after their discharge from the army figures significantly, and the fully plausible truth that they both love Sophie because she’s a bright, charming, forward-thinking, and strong woman was genuine. I merely needed more time with them to invest in what I felt was a bit of a quick turn from friends to lovers.
One thing Aster Glenn Gray does not promise in the end of her story is a happily ever after for this throuple. The consummation of their relationship doesn’t extend to Jack moving in with Everett and Sophie, nor does it proceed beyond the commitment to try things out, feel their way along, and see what happens from one visit with Jack to the next. This may not be satisfying to those completionists out there who like the solid affirmation of new beginnings and pledges of forever, so that’s something to take into consideration if the storyline piques your interest.
There is no doubt this author is a fantastic weaver of complex relationships (if you haven’t read Honeytrap yet, it’s gorgeous), and I love that she writes outside the traditional romance box and yet her stories are inarguably romantic. I found more to like in The Threefold Tie than not, but would’ve appreciated a bit more word count to seal the deal.
You can buy The Threefold Tie here:
[zilla_button url=”https://smarturl.it/TheThreefoldTie” style=”black” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon/Kindle Unlimited [/zilla_button]