My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I don’t know where to start with this one or what to say really other than, if you’re looking for a hot menage, this isn’t your book.
I’ve never read this author before but I absolutely will be keeping an eye out now because this book was stunning. A character-driven exploration of the terrors of PTSD and trauma, nothing cured by magic dick.
No one recovers, Jason and Shade (oh God, how much did I fall for Shade), still suffer trauma. They don’t reach their best self, but they do become a better self.
The concept of AI becoming sentient independent beings is also superbly explored. Chase and Shade are not constructed AI, both had their awareness birthed through circumstance.
Shade has been badly treated, Chase is his rescuer, his love, his partner, together they offer companionship in the form of a home help essentially. Jason is so deeply traumatised he fears himself.
To watch these three begin to break barriers and for Jason to open up to touch and to emotion really was beautiful. Theirs is a long, slow, at times painful journey, but it’s absolutely worth the pay off.
There’s no steam in this and it totally works for the narrative. There is a lot of communication, a lot of learning to rely on others, an element of of assumed belief of what’s going on off page between Shade and Chase, then later with Jason too.
There is, however, lots of love. It’s shown in a myriad of ways, from Chase’s baking, to Shade’s loyalty and to the gentle kisses that start to bring Jason joy.
Imho there’s been a lot of research into PTSD and the various ways it can manifest gone into this book. I believed in these guys and I loved reading their romance.
#ARC kindly provided by the publishers DSP, in return for an honest and unbiased review.
Get your copy here at DSP: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/rule-of-thirds-by-aidan-wayne-451-b