Dial M for Menage by Emily Ryan-Davis
Katrina Holland began the new year by waking up with two men in her bed. Introducing marine Hunter Croft into her marriage was passionate and explosive—for Katrina and her husband Liam. But now that the honeymoon period is over and they’ve returned to the real world, can this arrangement ever work?
Liam Holland thought he had it all—a beautiful wife, great home, and a solid career. Only one thing—one man—eluded him. When he saw an opportunity to grab Hunter, Liam reached out with both hands, determined not to let go. But as the first rush of passion fades, Liam must identify exactly how far he’s willing to go to keep Hunter a part of their lives.
Hunter needs something only Liam and Kat can give him. But while he’s willing to change some aspects of his life to be with the couple, he’s a marine before all else. When a reassignment means relocation, he’ll need to move on—with or without his two lovers.
See how Kat, Liam and Hunter’s love began in Ménage on 34th Street.
Liam placed his phone facedown on the bar without replying. The romantic evening he had planned was at risk of going straight to hell. Abruptly, he said, “You can’t tell Kat.”
Hunter narrowed his eyes. “She deserves to know. This isn’t something you can keep to yourself until you decide the timing is right.”
“Yeah, actually, it is. And it’s something you can keep to yourself too. Tonight? Shitty timing. If you can’t put it aside for tonight so Kat can have her hearts and flowers, say so now. I’ll make other arrangements for you.” Liam grabbed his wallet and threw two twenty-dollar bills on the bar. “Sometimes a man has to make a judgment call. When it comes to Kat, I’m the one who gets to make the call.”
Hunter stood, jaw clenched. “Make up your fucking mind, Liam. Either she gets to make her own decisions or she doesn’t.”
Liam’s phone vibrated again. He ignored it. “What decision do you want her to make tonight that she can’t make tomorrow?”
Hunter held Liam’s gaze. “Are you going to answer her?”
“I’m waiting on you, man.”
Hunter lowered his voice another octave. “You’ve crossed a line. I’m not going to forget it. We both know this isn’t about some fucking candlelit bubble bath. You’re balking because something unexpected came up and you’re too chickenshit to face it head-on before you’ve decided how you want everything to play out.”
Without another word, he stood and strode away. Liam closed his eyes as the heat of confrontation dropped to a bone-numbing chill. Regret might have bowled him off the bar stool if he hadn’t been gripping the edge to brace himself. What the fuck was he doing? What had he done?
He stood and turned to go after Hunter but Hunter was gone and Liam didn’t know which direction he’d taken. Kat texted him again, deciding his course. He couldn’t spend all night paralyzed in the bar. Kat was waiting for him upstairs. Waiting for him to explain to her how he had driven Hunter away so soon after finding him again. For one brief moment, he wondered whether he should do her a favor and follow in Hunter’s footsteps. Just walk away. When Kat married him, he’d had his life together. She had married a man who was moving forward and climbing out of the dark pits of his past. Not a man who was moving backward, every day a struggle to stay one step ahead of the devil drawing him back.
Liam exhaled through his nostrils and pivoted toward the bank of elevators across the lobby. The God’s-honest truth was he didn’t have the guts to let her go. With so many of his other safeguards failing, Kat was his last anchor. Inside the elevator, he stabbed the button for his floor and considered his options.
His options. That was a joke. He’d backed himself into a corner and could no longer see what he really wanted.
Too soon, the elevator doors slid open. They didn’t reveal any answers. Liam exited but couldn’t make his feet move. He was still standing in front of the elevator when a door opened at the other end of the hall. A tall, well-built man emerged from the stairwell. Liam’s throat tightened.
They recognized each other at the same time. Liam half expected Hunter to turn around and walk away again. Instead, he strode toward Liam and didn’t stop until they stood face-to-face.
Hunter spoke first. “Why are you doing this? I know it’s not about a bullshit commercial holiday.”
Liam opened his mouth to answer, but pressed his lips together without speaking. He looked away, staring past Hunter’s shoulder until the gold-leaf pattern on the wallpaper blurred.
“Everything I’ve ever done, I’ve done it to protect her.” He pulled his gaze back to Hunter’s face, expecting the hazel eyes Liam found so beautifully alive to be devoid of emotion. Liam’s breath stuttered in his chest.
Hunter had abandoned his stoic Marine persona, but after a moment he wrestled the illusion of control back into place. “She doesn’t need any protection from me.”
“You’re not the problem,” Liam said quietly.
Q: Romance readers have a lot of choices these days. What makes Dial M for Menage stand out in the crowd?
A: Some affairs begin with a flash of attraction and an intoxicating cocktail of hormones but in order for them to grow and evolve into something deep and lasting, those affairs have to build strong bones and muscles. You know that saying, “if it hurts, that means it’s working”? That phrase usually refers to the good ache after a hard work-out but I think it’s also an important idea to keep in mind where love is concerned. Kat, Liam and Hunter have more than a spark of attraction that burns up the pages. They have a connection that can survive mistakes and recover from hurts. A connection that will last if they remain vigilant and work at it. “Dial M for Menage” is more than a sexy fantasy–it’s a book about people who love each other working together to navigate their mistakes, recover, and forge ahead together.
Q: We like to include our favorite quote in our reviews of the books we read. What is your favorite quote from Dial M for Menage?
A: My favorite quote from Dial M for Menage is:
Given the opportunity to choose again, he would still choose the Marines.
But he would also face his need for the two people he’d run from. And he would fight for his place in the triad they offered.
About Emily Ryan-Davis
Emily Ryan-Davis is a lifelong East Coaster whose passion for the written word saw her through jobs writing obituaries, press releases and grants before she decided “I’m going to do this” and sat down to write a book. And then she wrote a book. Several, actually, in a variety of steamy romance sub-genres.
Life has undergone many changes since that first book. Now she spends her days writing full-time and parenting even-fuller-time. All the usual author loves apply, with chocolate, coffee and cats at the top the list.