Three to Ride by Lexi Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

Re-released in a second edition with two new chapters and additional new content.

Rachel Swift is a woman on the run.

A stalker sent Rachel’s world reeling. Now she’s running for her life, and Bliss, CO, seems like the perfect place to hide. Bliss is a strange little town, filled with artists, nudists, and the occasional conspiracy nut. It’s a good place to start over.

Max and Rye are just the men to catch her.

Horse trainer Max and Sheriff Rye gave up on their dream of finding one perfect woman to share long ago. Rachel walks in, and they’re both in love and fighting their true natures.

A town like no other….

When Rachel’s past catches up with her, all of Bliss is in danger. Rachel knows she should run, but how can she leave behind the love she’s found with Max and Rye and the home she’s built in Bliss? With her whole town behind her, Rachel is ready to make her stand. It’s time for her to get back in the saddle and ride.

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Lexi Blake, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…  I’m gonna tell you after this book I have to add at least three, but when I think about the secondary and tertiary characters, there are several more I’m sure I’ll be adding to the list.  Even if Bliss was, perhaps, the most bizarre town I’ve ever read about, Three to Ride was a fascinating story and the idea of living in a place where everyone accepts everyone else without judgment was wonderful.

Three to Ride is the first book in Lexi Blake’s Nights in Bliss, Colorado series.  These books were originally published under the pen name Sophie Oak and have been re-edited with content added.  Three to Ride is written in third-person semi-omniscient perspective.  The narrator follows a number of characters including, but not limited to, Rachel, Max, and Rye.

As always with Lexi Blake’s books, Three to Ride is far more than an erotic ménage novel.  It was a story of acceptance, strength, and learning to love and trust yourself, despite the misgivings of others.  It was full of suspense and hurt, and had me bawling during the prologue.  Rachel’s story was heartbreaking, especially since it didn’t feel like fiction at all.  Far too often women all over the world find themselves in the same position and not all of them have a team of guardian angels working to give them a new start in life.

I found Rye’s part in the relationship both intriguing and frustrating, which I am sure was the point.  I loved how much chemistry he and Rachel had before they were anything beyond two people who cared deeply for Max.  It made the transition from a two-person relationship to a ménage feel much more natural.  There was never any question, to me, that the three of them all needed one another and despite how the relationship began and everyone’s reservations about asking for everything, they’d all realize they weren’t complete without the other half of Max.

I’m full-blown obsessed with everything Lexi Blake writes.  I’m slowly making through her backlist, and I’m ecstatic to have the opportunity to read these previously published titles as they’re re-released with additional content.  Her writing feels different from almost anything else I’ve read, and her characters are all so intriguing.  I love how flawed they are, yet each of them possesses an undeniable strength that is unencumbered by their shortcomings.

Max’s hands slid down to cup his girlfriend’s perfect cheeks. He pulled her close and didn’t try to disguise the erection he was sporting. It had been days since he’d gotten inside her. It was starting to make him crazy.

“Hello, gorgeous,” he breathed as he leaned down to slant his mouth across hers.

Rachel softened against him and wrapped her arms around his neck. She didn’t protest as his tongue swept in to play with hers. He hauled her up so her feet were dangling. It was the only way to get her pussy where he wanted it. He rubbed himself against her. He knew it made him a caveman, but he wanted to mark her as his. He wanted her to get a tattoo on that perfect ass of hers that read Property of the Harper Brothers.

Max set her down. His brain went there all the time now. He couldn’t stop thinking about Rachel between him and Rye. “What’s for breakfast?”

“Pancakes and sausage,” she replied with a suspicious gleam in her eyes.

He kissed her forehead gently and went to sit down at the kitchen table. He was very careful since she was studying him like she was trying to guess what he would do next. He didn’t want her to figure out what he was thinking. He had more than one thing he needed to hide from her today. He schooled his features to express nothing but innocence.

“Oh, God, what are you thinking?” Rachel looked utterly horrified. “Who are you going to kill?”

“What?” Max asked, holding his hands up in confusion.

She rounded the table and leaned over. He couldn’t help but notice she wasn’t wearing a bra. If he leaned in a bit, he could see the curve of her breasts and the faintest hint of nipple.

“Eyes up, mister,” she ordered in what he’d come to think of as her “drill sergeant” voice. His eyes obediently came up. He’d learned when it was in his best interests to obey her immediately. His baby was one tough cookie, and he was man enough to admit he needed her to be that way. He would walk all over her otherwise. That would make for one boring relationship. Rachel kept him on his toes.

“Sorry, baby.” He would try to distract her with charm. He had some of that. He smiled and pulled her hand into his. He tugged her down onto his lap. “I can’t help it. I get distracted by your breasts. They’re pretty. And I’m really, really horny. We haven’t had sex in days. It’s killing me.”

She rolled her eyes and sighed. Her arms went around his neck. “You just had surgery. You haven’t even had the stitches out yet. The doctor said we should wait a few days.”

“It’s been almost a week.” He put a little whine in his voice. Maybe if she thought he was simply horny, she would forget her suspicions. It was imperative that she not figure out what he had done after she’d gone to sleep. “I promise I could be super still. I would lie perfectly still, and you could do all the work.”

She grinned. It did strange things to his heart. “That sounds tempting. I’ll call the doctor today, and I’ll see if we can get him to let you off the leash.”

She kissed his cheek. She got up and went to the stove, where she poured out pancake batter. Max relaxed.

She rounded on him suddenly. “You’re sure you’re not planning something terrible?”

She knew him far too well. He grimaced inwardly. This was where Rye would come in handy. Rye could distract her. Rachel was far too much woman for one man. He needed his brother because Max had figured out that a tag team approach was required when Rachel got saucy. But he was all on his own now. He didn’t like the feeling.

“Baby, I’m planning on doing some light work around the barn. I’m going to spend some time with Sunflower, and then I’ll have Rye drive me into Del Norte for my checkup. That’s my plan.” It was true. It was part of his plan. He didn’t mention the stop he intended to make.

Her eyes narrowed, and he wondered briefly if she could make that spatula into a weapon. He thought she probably could. Max sighed. He could make it into one, too. He could pull her over his lap and shove those boxers off her hips, then spank that pert rear. He wouldn’t hurt her. He’d simply get her bottom all pink and pretty. He’d rather use his hand, though.

“You have crazy eyes today, Max. What did you just think?” she asked breathlessly.

Rye stood in the doorway. He had on jeans and a T-shirt. His hair was still wet from his shower. “He was wondering how you would handle it if he pulled you across his lap and spanked you with your spatula. You should use your hand, Max. It would be better.”

Rachel’s mouth fell open. She looked between the two of them like she was trying to figure out what to say.

Max pointed at Rye. “He said it.”

Rye shrugged. “He was thinking it.”

“So were you.”

Rye’s face fell. Max saw him look down at the crotch of his jeans. “Damn it.”

Rye turned and walked back down the hall. Max knew exactly where he was going.

“What’s wrong with him?” She looked concerned as his brother marched off.

Max smiled broadly. Rye had done his job. She wasn’t thinking about his potential plans anymore. She set a plate in front of him.

“I guess he’s not hungry,” Max lied.

His brother was hungry, all right. He’d been hungry since the minute he laid eyes on Rachel.

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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