Emma James had a secure life. She lived with her step-brother and had an inheritance from her father and social standing. Until she walked into the kitchen and found something she shouldn't have. Her brother took her money and sold her to a brothel. Emma is given two choices by the madam: either work off the money she paid for Emma or participate in a virgin auction. When the auction is over, Emma is shocked to find out that she has two husbands.
Whitmore Kane and Ian Stewart served in the British Army together. They learned about the Mohamiran style of marriage when protecting a local secular leader. When they left military service after their commanding officer attempted to pin a murder he committed on Ian, they came to the American West with others in their military unit so they could enjoy the lifestyle they wished to pursue. They found out about the bride auction and decided to bid.
For me, this is an unusual Historical Menage. It is written in alternating POV, kind of like a New Adult Romance, which I am not a fan of. By the end of the first chapter, I was hooked. Vanessa Vale made the alternating POV work. I loved the characters and reading from their point of view. It was a steamy, erotic novel.
I know that when you read menage, you have to suspend belief. However, there were several things in this book that bugged me. Kane is introduced as being British and for the first half of the book, his speech patterns are British. Close to the end of the book, Kane starts speaking as if he is Scottish. Huh?
When Emma gets to Kane and Ian's ranch, there is another menage marriage: Robert, Andrew and Ann. It felt like this was the second book in the series and I had missed Robert, Andrew and Ann's story.
And, Kane keeps calling Emma "baby". This isn't a term that I can remember seeing in any historical yet alone out of the mouth of an Englishman.
What happened to Ian "taking care" of Emma's step-brother? Ian talks about it and nothing is ever mentioned again.
I think this would have worked much better as a contemporary not historical.
That said, I received an ARC from NetGalley and I ended up buying this novel and the third. I did like it.
I received this novel as an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.