Wednesday, July 13, 2011

And I Should Forgive You Why???? "Siren Beloved" by Sophie Oak

Aiden O'Malley left his fiancee, Lexi Moore, and their best friend, Lucas Cameron, after a night of passion left him shaken to his coresw. Years later, Aidan is back and he knows what he wants: he wants Lucas and Lexi forever.

Lucas has always been in love with Lexi, but he knows they need something more. They need the perfect Dom to complete their family. He never expected Aidan would be the Dom of their dreams. Lexi is hiding a secret. She knows she is drowning and the time has come to heal, but her anger at Aidan holds her back from moving on with Lucas. When Lexi's life is in danger, Aidan knows he will do anything to win them back--and keep them alive.

This is the fourth book in the "Texas Sirens" series and continues on with characters found in the preceeding novels. Alexis is the daughter of Jack & Abigail Barnes, who together with the "third" has their story told in books one and two. Lucas is Jack's half brother. Aidan is briefly mentioned but really doesn't come into his own as a main character until this book.

Lucas and Lexi have had an extremely close friendship/relationship for several years. Lucas knows all of Lexi's hurts and trials, has stood with her when Aidan walked away, brought Lexi into his world of BDSM at Julian Lodge's swanky "Club," Dallas' most infamous BDSM clubs and one where the membership fee would beggar most people. Because of their relationship to Jack Barnes, Lucas and Lexi have been experiencing this world weekly for quite some time but both know that they are only biding their time. Enter the mysterious Master A, a new and highly trained Dom who has agreed to work with Lexi and Lucas under contract and who is prepared to administer Lexi's "punishment" for her inappropriate behavior when she was drunk. But all does not go well, and just a little thing like noticing an old scar on the Master's face clues Lucas in to the fact that Master A is really Aidan.

Talk about the "spit hitting the fan!" All Lexi's old hurts, all her sense of rejection and betrayal because of Aidan's leaving her just three weeks before their wedding, all her subsequent years of feeling unworthy of love, of putting aside her dreams to be a novelist, of knowing that Aidan was probably the love of her life and wondering how she can go forward -- all come back to swamp her emotions and unleash her anger. Lucas isn't far behind. He, too, had loved Aidan as one of the two people he loved most in life. Aidan's rejection of them both hurt him as much as Lexi. Now what shall they do? It is only when someone begins to shoot at Lexi as she stomps out of her apartment that she reluctantly accepts Aidan's presence as he and Lucas take her away from Dallas to Aidan's ranch about several hours away.

This story is about three people who all share common hurts, who all love each other and are unwilling to acknowledge that love (with the exception of Aidan who is very up front in expressing his feelings), and who still struggle with the past. Aidan is scarred and broken in many ways because of his choice to go into the military and to come back home nearly dead. Yet now he will do whatever it takes to win his two loves back. He no longer cares what family or his small rural community might think of a polyamorous family. It's who he is and what he wants. Much to their collective surprise, the violence against them continues only now it is thought it is the work of a former girlfriend who seems intent on winning Aidan back, even though he has been very clear about not wanting her in his life any longer.

This novel is also about owning up to one's needs and being willing to seek the remedy that addresses those needs. Lucas is better at this than Lexi. There are some hurts in her past which Lucas has been trying to get her to acknowledge and address verbally, but she is like many of us when we think that stuff like that will go away if we just don't think about them or talk about them. Lexi was so 'stuck' but she just couldn't seem to face her fears and her pain. This story brings these people forward with all their wounds and brokenness and I think the author has used them to address some common kinds of problems many have, regardless of the kind of relationship may be in question. Obviously, not all individuals seek a remedy through the practice of the BDSM lifestyle , but for these three, the giving up of their closely-held personal power meant that they also opened themselves to one another at a level that was healing and restorative. And in whatever relationship one may find themselves, the bottom line is just that: being willing to be fully available in spirit, emotion, heart, mind, and soul. It means giving up the pain and sharing the joys; acknowledging one's need to submit or dominate, being honest and taking responsibility for mistakes, causing hurt, or failing to act wisely.

Human living and loving is messy, and in many ways this is a messy novel. When writing about life, the honest author acknowledges that fact and doesn't back away from the mess. Ms Oak is so many things as a writer, not the least of which is her innate honesty in addressing the realities of living and relating. All the characters in the novels in this series are connected with the BDSM lifestyle to some degree, but whatever the remedy people seek, being honest about the need and faithful in apply the remedy is ultimately the resolution.

I found all these books to be so very well written. The characters really come alive and in all Ms Oak's work that is a quality she brings to the writing task. This is most definitely a menage relationship and that may offend some. But any reader of romance fiction today has to realize that the menage is gaining in popularity in all sorts of romantic settings and genres. Not at all rare as it once was. But if one has difficulty with that family configuration, there is still the underlying message in this book: open and honest communication, loving one another to put the other's needs before one's own, being faithful in one's willingness to accept one another as they are, and always willing to take the risks of loving fully and deeply without regard to the future eventualities. When considering those qualities of relating, Ms Oak has "hit one out of the park" with this book. I highly recommend all the novels in this series. I give this book a rating of 4.5 out of 5.

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