“You can run away from yourself so often, and so much, just because the broken pieces of you cut your feet too deeply if you stay around for too long. But then what if someone were to come along and pick up those pieces for you? Then you wouldn't have to run away from yourself anymore. You could stop running. If someone sees you as something worth staying with—maybe you'll stay with yourself, too.” ~ C. JoyBell C.
Luke Moore is definitely a man on the run. He is running from his vindictive father whose purpose in life is to continue to punish his son until Luke lives the way his father wants him to. Luke, being stubborn and obstinate, refuses to give in. In fact, he tries to keep one step ahead of his father at every turn. Luke hasn't given in to his father's bullying, but his entire existence is centered around avoidance techniques. Luke doesn't even realize how lonely and miserable he is until two very special men come into his life and everything changes.
Luke believes what his father told him fifteen years ago when he caught Luke with a lover: “You start living a decent life or I swear to God, I will track you down and take away every lover you ever have. I'll make them see who you are. I'll make them hate you. I'll make your life a living hell.” Needless to say, this put a kink in Luke’s love life, literally and figuratively. From that night on, Luke had one hard fast rule: only one-night stands, no repeat performances for him. Ever. Rather than feel that awful pain again, Luke completely shut himself off to the idea of ever loving and trusting himself again. That is why when Luke meets Richard—large, strong, and driven, and Matthew, with his enthusiasm, openness, and sweetness, he's entranced. Something magical happens between the three of them that goes beyond the incredible sexual connection they feel. Luke has to learn how to love and trust all over again and Richard and Matthew are the ones who can draw him back into the light. When his father finds out about their arrangement, he starts plotting to destroy them, but Luke is no longer the scared boy his father so easily intimidated; he's a strong man who, through two men's love, has gotten back his self-confidence. Luke knows that if he doesn't finally stand up to his father, his life will never be his own.
When Richard asks Luke and Matthew to move in with him, he's not under any illusions. Two men in a relationship are difficult enough, but with three it will be even more so. He trusts his instincts though and it helps that he usually gets what he wants. Richard has a sense of what each man needs or doesn't need and tries to guide the other two men in this seemingly impossible voyage into intimacy. Richard likens Luke to a scared colt, ready to bolt at any moment. Matthew is so much younger than he is, but there's also a wisdom beyond his years as well. Both of his men have self-esteem issues that he's going to try his hardest to help them overcome. There are surely going to be setbacks; it will take all three of them working as hard as they can to make this happen. Communication in a three-way relationship is more vital than ever. Besides being phenomenal in bed together, they also have to trust each other enough to bare their souls. That's not an easy thing to do, especially for Luke who has depended on no one for a long time. When Luke's father begins his threats and underhanded business ventures to try to ruin Richard's business or worse, he underestimates their unity. Rather than divide them, the resistance only makes them stronger. It also throws Luke into combat mode. He involves the authorities, but knows that, ultimately, it's him who needs to put an end to his father's reign of terror.
'More' is a well written book with powerful characters. It's one which has stayed with me long after I read it for the first time. I felt an immediate empathy with Luke and his plight. As I learned how awful his father really was, I felt even worse for him. However, I applauded his resilience, his ability to survive and rise above his self-doubt, fear, negativity, and lack of trust. The fact that he was able to love again is amazing. Sloan's handling of Luke, Richard, and Matthew's relationship was very believable. The issues they faced seem to be ones which would come up in such a relationship and were presented with clarity and extraordinary sensitivity. 'More' is Sloan's first published book and I'm still in awe of how well written it is for a first-timer. If you like books with angst, mystery, suspense, ménages, erotic sex, and tender, loving moments, as well, 'More' may be a book you will enjoy. Thank you, Sloan, for an outstanding story.