By the Book is the first piece I’ve read by Scarlett Parrish. I’ve seen it, and its characters, discussed a lot online and finally curiosity got the better of me. As soon as I started reading I knew I’d have trouble putting it down until I was done. The book shoves you right into the middle of the action and doesn’t let up.
By the Book tells the story of Reece Hutton, a librarian who is far from vanilla. He may seem a quiet mousy man by day, but his sexual relationship with his girlfriend is far from typical. They often invite both men and women into bed with them, but as a straight guy, Reece only ever plays with the girls. Until Daniel comes along, that is…
The day Daniel Cross walks into the library that Reece works in, everything changes. Reece is baffled to find he’s attracted to the guylinered writer, and what’s more, Daniel seems to be interested in him, too. Pushing his thoughts and feelings aside, Reece thinks that Daniel would be an interesting third for their bedroom activities. After meeting him, his girlfriend Georgia does, too.
Following their first sexual encounter as a threesome, whereby both men play with Georgia, but not one another, Georgia is eager to repeat the experience. Reece, however, is terrified. It seems his attraction isn’t temporary and he’s thrown into utter turmoil – he wants both Georgia and Daniel in equal measure, but will they all agree to a more permanent arrangement?
As I mentioned, this is the first book by Parrish that I’ve read, and it’s also the first m/m erotic romance. It was refreshing to read something so different and it was so brilliantly written that I was reading like a maniac to find out what happened next.
I’ll be honest, after hearing other people’s opinions I was expecting to end up being quite the fan of Daniel. But it was actually Reece that kept my attention. His struggle with coming to terms with his bisexuality, his awkwardness and his fear, was just endearing and I found myself desperately hoping it would all work out for him in the end. Of course, I’m not going to give anything away about that, but let’s just say I would like to read more about Reece and friends.
Overall – a damn hot read. This has steamy sex and a brilliant storyline as well as humour in spades. If contemporary menage is your thing, add By the Book to your to be read pile, pronto.