Three, Two, One, by J.A. Huss
Published January 28, 2015
Format: e-ARC, provided by the author
Genre: adult dark erotic suspense
To Buy: Amazon
Rating: 5 STARS
(From Goodreads) ONE GIRL
Battered, barefoot, and huddled under a bookstore awning in the pouring rain, Blue only knows one thing. After fifteen months of captivity, finally… she is free.
Self-made millionaires JD and Ark are not out to save anyone when they stumble upon a wet and shivering girl one early Sunday morning. But when you sell sex for a living and salvation rings your bell… you answer the call.
After years of searching, love lifts the veil of darkness, and three people—with three very big secrets—find themselves bound together in a relationship that defies the odds.
Or does it?
Love. Lust. Sex.
This trinity might be perfection… but not everything should come in 3’s.
When JA Huss decides to go dark, she really goes balls to the wall. I’ll admit – I don’t usually do dark. I don’t mind the suspense – it’s the pall that sort of hangs over you like a blanket as you read that really gets to me. I prefer romance and grand gestures and happily-ever-afters. Especially the HEAs.
But, see, here’s the thing about Julie Huss. I’ve read enough of her books to know that she believes in all those things too. And, the one thing she’s taught me is that just because a book is dark does not automatically preclude it from the romance that I love. You just have to look a little harder to find it.
Three, Two, One deals with some heavy stuff – prostitution, suicide, depression, cults and drug use to name a few. But, in the midst of it all, there IS love. It may be a bit untraditional – triad relationships are not the norm – but there are these moments of light strategically scattered among the dark that make all the difference. They loosen the breath you didn’t realize you were holding and drive you forward toward the ending that will make everything all right again.
Ark’s, JD’s and Blue’s story opens on a cold, rainy Denver morning as Ark and JD stumble across Blue shivering on a stoop. At the time, I didn’t realize it, but there was so much symbolism in that first meeting. Blue was so wet and cold and lost. And then, there was Ark – like a ship in the night who showed up to shield her and take her away from whatever it was that had hurt her. Ark’s and JD’s job is to capture sex on tape – specifically public sex – and sell it to fund their own public sex website, due to launch in a few weeks. Initially, Blue was a possible candidate. She quickly became something much more.
There was something about Blue that made JD and Ark want to take care of her. They take her back to their place, and over the next few weeks, a new relationship is formed between the three of them. Can one person romantically love two people at the same time? I think the answer to that is purely subjective. In the case of Ark, JD and Blue, the answer is… sort of. All three grow to love one another, but it’s all different types and based on different feelings and experiences. It’s especially challenging for Ark. He was the most reluctant to get on board with the triad relationship, because although he definitely loved Blue, his love for JD was different. And Ark knew – a relationship based on that imbalance could never survive for long.
And the secrets – yeah, those aren’t usually healthy in any relationship either. And these three have secrets in spades. None of them fully trust each other enough to let them out. Because these secrets? They’re game-changer secrets. We get little glimpses into what may have been in these three’s pasts along the way. They’re like bread crumbs leading you down a dark path to something at the end that you just know will be truly awful. And, for all of them it is. When all the subterfuge was over and the secrets finally came out in their entirety, I was floored. I couldn’t have seen earlier on how these three seemingly different lives could end up being so connected.
This is something I’ve come to count on from Julie Huss. Her plots don’t seem complex at first glance. On the surface, Three, Two, One is a story of three damaged people who hook up and have some ridiculously hot sex before it all goes to shit. But, then, when everything is revealed, you’re left gaping like a fish because you NEVER saw the big picture until it was smacking you in the face. I love that about her books.
Three, Two, One is told in dual POV – Blue’s and Ark’s. Initially, I thought it interesting that JD’s POV was excluded. Much later in the story, I understood why. This is a pretty steamy book, too. The ménage scenes are not for the faint of heart – my goodness, but was Ark intense. He was dark hotness personified.
Three, Two, One will leave you sad one minute and happy and hopeful the next. It will set your girlie bits aflame and make your jaw drop in shock. It will keep you guessing and freak you out. And, in the end, it will amaze you.