Believing Blue

Believing Blue - Nicole Colville Review originally posted at Sinfully.

Believing Blue is another good entry in the Manchester Ménage series. Blue, Kellan and Valentino are all very different men with very different pasts, whose worlds collide in unexpected ways. This is a long story that covers a lot of ups and downs and tells a lovely tale of grief, love and hope for three men who only thought they were living before entering each other’s lives.

If you’re looking to dive into some hot three way action from the get go, this isn’t the book for you. Nicole Colville spends the first half of the book delving into the lives of the three men and building individual relationships before even putting the three together in the same place. Kellan is the linchpin, separately meeting first Valentino and then Blue and developing two very distinct and different relationships.

Kellan is a pool of Zen-like calm; a police officer and mountain climber. He is stoic on the outside but full of emotion that he has learned to mask on the job. He is a complete contrast to the fiery personality of Blue and Valentino’s emotional ups and downs. Not to say Kellan is unemotional, he gives as good as he gets when it comes to Blue and Valentino has him wrapped around his finger from the start. Kellan has never been attracted to a man before, but his feelings for both men come naturally for him and he reasons that it’s not gender, but personality that attracts and calls to him.

Blue is a force of nature. Outwardly brash and cocky, he has his share of insecurities hidden beneath that façade, as well as an old soul, constantly throwing out his grandmother’s words of wisdom. He’s still dealing with the emotional fallout from a disastrous relationship years ago and few people know the real man from the rumors or the show he puts on. His first meeting and subsequent clashes with Kellan are hysterically epic attitude-filled rants with nicknames flying and, as everyone else can see, are foreplay in the vein of pulling pigtails on the playground. While Blue is happy with Kellan, when Valentino enters his life Blue feels a pull as well as they share an appreciation for the arts, and in Blue’s case an appreciation for Valentino’s art of seduction.

Then there is Valentino who will break your heart as he tries to deal with the overwhelming grief of the sudden loss of his longtime partner Stuart. Valentino hasn’t left their home in years, but now Stuart isn’t around to be that buffer between him and the outside world and Valentino isn’t sure how he will be able to manage. Kellan isn’t going to let Valentino get lost, especially after Stuart’s dying request to look out for him. Valentino appreciates it but still has to process his grief, depression and fear. Underneath all of that is a passionate artist and lover who once again begins to emerge as the months go by. As much as he grows to care for Kellan, he refuses to repeat the mistakes he feels he’s made and pushes him away so that he can work on his issues without dragging Kellan into the prison that is his life.

There is a fourth person involved in this love story and that is Valentino’s former lover Stuart. Although we only meet him very briefly, his presence is always there with Valentino and has a huge effect on all three men. He brought Kellan to Valentino and his reach and influence continues throughout the story and touches all three men in surprising and unexpected ways.

When the three men get together it is clear how well they balance each other out. Kellan is called out by Blue on his enabling of Valentino (with much more over the top dramatics than anyone would deem necessary) and Blue refuses to allow Valentino to wallow. Valentino won’t allow Blue to hide behind his “mask” or the cruel words thrown at him by his ex. Kellan finds these two men he loves offer him a reason to stay in one place and really live his life.

The timeline overlaps that of [b:Discovering Dalton|26165817|Discovering Dalton (Manchester Menage Collection, #2)|Nicole Colville||45846948], but this can easily be read on its own although the throuples from both prior books are well represented here. This is a long story and there were a couple of times where I felt the pace was a bit slow. I would have also liked to have spent a little more time with the men once they agreed to all be together to see them working things out, especially with respect to Valentino still not being comfortable leaving the house.

As with the prior books in the series I really liked the way the triad was set up. Based on Kellan’s history with both men and the newness of all their relationships, I didn’t feel that anyone was marginalized or that one part of the relationship trumped another. Although there is hesitancy on Valentino’s part initially, the feelings and sexual tension between all three of them couldn’t be denied. The first three way sex scene they had was one of the hottest I’ve read! Having all three men’s points of view definitely added to the story telling and I especially enjoyed the way Nicole Colville tied the men together even more than I expected; it was a delightful surprise that made everything that led them together even more poignant.

I’ve really been enjoying this series and am glad to see there will be more stories coming in the future.