Thursday, 5 May 2011

SHARED TOO gets Top Pick Review

The sequel to SHARED has just received its first review - and its great.

Miz Love Loves Books gave it a Top Pick Rating!

Here is what the reviewer said - 

"As I reviewed Shared, I took the chance to read the sequel. I knew Quinn, Liam, and Ariane well already, so when I started Shared Too I was pleased to find I slipped back into their lives easily as though I had never had a break.

It’s ten years later, and the trio have had children, who go to boarding school. This is just as well, because what happens in Shared Too isn’t something that could be accomplished with children around—unless they are seriously heavy sleepers! The trio are incredibly happy still…but are they? Ariane certainly thinks so, as does Liam. She’s our wonderful heroine who, because of the talented Ms Harlem’s 1st person perspective, is shown as a deep-thinking, lovely woman who is shocked by Quinn’s revelation. Of course, she would be, because she was under the impression they all had exactly what they needed. She was secure, happy, and everything worked out just fine.

But Quinn has been working with a woman, Eve, and has found himself attracted to her. Eve…I didn’t like her purely because she was the reason for upsetting the balance in the trio’s relationship—of course, Quinn had something to do with it because he had developed sexual feelings towards her, but still, I enjoyed solely blaming her because I didn’t want to blame him. He’s gorgeous, so very lovely, and I can imagine how he felt because Eve is dominant, makes it clear she’s after him, and really, a man would have to be made of granite to not feel something for her—she’s gorgeous too.

Ariane is understandably shocked at Quinn’s revelation, and he puts it to her and Liam why he feels the need to explore with Eve. Ariane is understanding, but I really got hooked by her internal reaction. Of course she’d feel this new turn of events would upset her life, their relationship, and everything they had built up. Of course she’d wonder if she wasn’t enough for the two men, as she had been for the past decade. But she agrees, because she loves Quinn and wants him to be happy.

Liam isn’t pleased about this—he is devoted to Quinn and Ariane, is the nurturer, the one I feel Ariane has a closer bond with, if only for the friendship side of it and being able to express her feelings without receiving any ridicule. But Liam wants Ariane to be happy, and so the rules are set down for Quinn to have his time with Eve.


What Quinn doesn’t know is that a camera has been set up in the bedroom he takes Eve into, and Liam and Ariane watch the show. Ariane watches out of curiosity, and also, I felt, to see how Quinn acted with another woman. She’s human, she needs reassurance as to why Quinn feels the need to be with someone other than her, and I understood her reasoning and her reaction. Liam is concerned about how it affects Ariane—he is such a caring, wonderful man—and sits beside her for support.

The tangle of emotions portrayed throughout Shared Too is incredibly real and thought-provoking. One might ask why Quinn wanted to sample another woman if he’s in a committed ménage relationship, that his revelation was nothing short of asking for permission to commit adultery, but the fact he did ask says a lot about him. But my understanding of this change in Quinn was that he is human. Time moves along, life happens, Eves or Adams come along and entice. He found himself wanting more than he had—haven’t we all felt like that at some point?—and he got what he wanted.

I felt Ariane and Liam loved him enough to allow him to get this “urge” out of his system. They wanted what was best for him, and despite it not sitting well with either of them, not deep down anyway, they agreed. That is the main point here—they did agree. I don’t think Quinn would have done anything without their consent.

As it turned out, his tryst with Eve worked well and gave Ariane and Liam a new insight into how Quinn ticked, what he wanted in the bedroom. His encounter with the seductive siren (that’s how I came to think of her) made the trio's sexual relationship more erotic and hot.

I particularly loved the scene where Ariane came to know what Quinn wanted. Her feelings, her thoughts about herself and how it would affect them all, were very real and, to be honest, a little heartbreaking from my perspective. If she had accepted it any other way—more easily or with just a shrug—it wouldn’t have rang true for me, and her introspection, examining her self and why she might not be all Quinn wanted anymore…it was a poignant, beautiful scene that I will never forget.

I also enjoyed the voyeur scene, seeing how it affected Ariane in ways she hadn’t imagined. She had been prepared to hate watching, to be uncomfortable, jealous, and all the other emotions you would expect in such a situation, but as well as feeling all those things, she felt something else… This was very real.

I also liked, when Ariane met Eve for the first time, how Ariane tried desperately to hate her. She inspected the woman, taking everything about her in, and this is exactly how any woman would be in her situation, I think. Comparing herself to Eve, examining their differences and why Quinn found Eve attractive. What was it about her he liked? Ariane was polite, making sure her body language didn't betray what she felt inside, and she made Eve welcome. But the internal war she was wonderfully written, brilliantly crafted.

An excellent sequel to Shared that brought forth a tumult of emotions that I dealt with bit by bit as I read, pausing to digest and wonder, to think about how this revelation would affect me. I would be outraged, and I enjoyed seeing how Ariane dealt with something so massive, so potentially relationship-destroying.

Although Shared Too can be read perfectly fine by itself, I would recommend reading Shared first because if you don’t, you not only miss out on a delightful read, you also miss out on getting to know the characters so that by the time you read Shared Too, you have a better understanding of who they are and how this new intrusion in their lives will affect them.

Very well written, beautiful 1st person, intimate voice. What more could you ask for?"

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