Falling, Freestyle (Xtreme Adventures #1)

Falling, FreestyleBy Vivian Arend

Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: November 30, 2010
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Author

Never venture out of bounds without a buddy-preferably two.

Dara’s past four incredible years have been lived to the fullest. Along with her best friends, Kane and Jack, she’s left no local wilderness unexplored, no ski slope unchallenged. Yet lately she wonders why they’ve never seen her as more than a buddy with breasts. When-or if-either man will cross that unspoken line.

It’s a line Kane eyes harder every day. Since high school, he and Jack have shared everything. A condo, vacations-and their best girl. Kane’s ready to get serious about his wilderness school and outfitter business, and that includes putting down roots. Preferably with Dara.

Wary of the men who’ve recently been sniffing around Dara, Jack has a growing sense that he or Kane better make a move soon, or they’re going to lose out on their perfect match. Question is, who does she prefer…and who’s going to bring their easygoing trio to an end?

Overhearing the boys arguing over her, Dara’s floored-and torn. Choose between them? No way. Drastic measures are called for, a plan for their annual holiday getaway that will clarify her feelings once and for all-or lose everything in a sexual storm of whiteout proportions.Warning: Old friends turned lovers can get into the most trouble-exhibitionism, bondage, spanking. Anal sex, oral sex, unauthorized use of ski safety harnesses, icicles in the hot tub… The author apologizes in advance for any melted monitors.

Goodreads Summary

With apologies to Forrest Gump, a story about a ménage is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’re going to get: the crappy hard coconut thing, the caramel piece that tastes good but is hell on your teeth or if you’re lucky, someone who loved you sent the box and there are some fresh smooth milk chocolate truffles in there.  I have a secret admirer (shh, it was me), since Falling, Freestyle turned out to be a mini box of the tasty stuff.

The beginning of the story was a bit of a jolt, like walking in on someone’s conversation; for the first ten minutes, I was tempted to scribble on a piece of paper what color hair Jack had and what color Kane had (I still get them reversed, by the way).  It’s easy to forgive though.  This is after all a rather short story and there’s a lot to get to.

I’m a sucker for the friends to lovers trope so I was on board with this one from the get go. Kane and Jack may click the same way as Dara’s buddies, but they’re flip sides of the coin sexually.  Kane is an adorable mixture of being a little hesitant to start having monkey sex in front of anyone else but not being able to help ripping Dara’s clothes off every chance he can find.  Once he gets the go-ahead from her, he’s the emotional cuddle guy who’s immediately in touch with his feelings.  Jack’s the dominant partner who gets off on getting Dara off; he finds the erotic book she’s been reading and takes control of her fantasies.  When Kane feels uncomfortable with the idea of the ménage, Jack’s the one who smoothes things over.

Dara is very..exuberant.  When she skis, when she’s joking with Kane and Jack and when she’s having sex, she’s got her arms flung wide open and she lets it all hang out.  In the beginning, she’s worried that the guys don’t think she’s attractive and within a dozen or so pages, she’s wearing nothing but a towel and sucking Jack’s face while she has an orgasm.  The girl moves fast.  I loved her personality though; she obviously loved the two men, although it was a little hard to imagine that anyone would consider having sex with two friends in order to find out which one they wanted to end up with.  But this isn’t meant to be read as War and Peace.  As a contemporary erotic romance, there was enough of a setup between the three friends that it was plausible enough.

There were a couple of things that set this apart from other nicely written friends-to-lovers romances.  The dialogue between Dara, Kane and Jack was wonderful and funny and you could easily find their friendship in it, then when they started having sex, it was hot, hot.  Speaking of hot, the erotic elements here delivered more bang for the buck than anything I can recall reading in the last several months at least and they did it without being unnecessarily detailed and graphic (that’s not to say they aren’t graphic – they just don’t go into the level of uncomfortable detail some erotic books do).  I didn’t think the actual ménage was as powerful as the scenes of Dara and Kane and Dara and Jack separately were though.  I sort of developed a favorite.  Bad me.

My Summary:  I have yet to read the perfect ménage story.  I don’t think it even exists because the whole setup itself complicated and fraught with emotional issues that aren’t meant to be solved within the span of a novella and few claim to, including this one.  Falling, Freestyle is a quick, funny and sexy story about the possibilities for three people who know and love each other already and want to pursue a deeper relationship, separately or together.  Arend’s writing is sizzling, the dialogue hot and clever and even in this small format, the love in the relationships between Dara, Kane and Jack plain to see.

My Rating: B+



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