The Strongest Shape - Tessa Cardenas, Tessa Cárdenas 3 handsome men + Nonstop sexing = Utterly boring

I've never been fabulously talented at math, but I do know this: there's something off about the result of the sum above.

An adorable picture to cheer myself up...*takes deep breath*...

I made it 3/4th through this book before I called it quits. Since it took me ages to get into The Strongest Shape in the first place, I feel vaguely defeated. Why the author thought it would be a good idea to opt for the present tense narrative, I have no idea. I like to think that I'm very open minded when it comes to style choices in books, but this particular narrative only proved that there are indeed great ways to sabotage your own work. Eventually, I did manage to somewhat adapt to it, but it never became NOT annoying. There's of course the possibility that I'm just being a cry baby. Below is a small excerpt from the book, so you know what to expect:
“Yeah, so you told me every day.” Caleb mumbles, but he turns over to face Scott anyway. Scott tastes like toothpaste and coffee when they kiss, and Caleb thinks that maybe it’s not fair Scott’s having to put up with their morning breath, but he wraps his arms around Scott’s back and pulls him closer anyway. “Hum. Where’d you want my mouth, babe?” Scott asks when he pulls back from the kiss. “Everywhere,” he says, and Scott chuckles.(...) "You good?" Chris asks as he rubs over Caleb's prostate again, making his head swim as Scott licks down his chest. "Yeah, I'm good."

When I finally managed to get into the story I realized that there was no story. No really, this book is pretty much plotless, other than simple MTV's Real Life-ish drama à la (not an actual quote); "Is something wrong? No... I know there's something you're not telling us...we worry about you. Okay, it's just that I'm at work right now and can't be with you guys and don't know where I stand in this relationship. But you're not just a phase for us darlin' (yes, darlin' pops up constantly, unfortunately). We want to make this work, we love you. Are you sure? Because I don't want to come between you. Well, let's all have sex again to feel better."

You would think that a gay couple taking in a third man and finding out if and how they can make their ménage à trois work, would lead to all sorts of interesting (and amusing) situations and fascinating dilemma's and complications.

A while ago, I read the excellent (well, except for the lousy ending) Beautiful Losers. Here the author, Remittance Girl, brings a girl into the lives of two men and creates a little world inside our world for them, in which they get their fair share of confusion and issues, but also manage to expand their boundaries, emotionally and sexually. In Beautiful Losers, the essence of what a love triangle can entail was captured beautifully in my eyes. And although it still seems like a lot of fuss and I personally am probably not mature enough (yet) to make it work in reality, it still ignited my imagination.

The Strongest Shape isn't food for thought at all. It's simplistic in every aspect. The three men are one dimensional: it's virtually impossible to tell them apart. Well, other than that male 1 is the new guy in the relationship and a photographer, male 2 is more inclined to talk about feelings and male 3 says "darlin’" all the time and is jealous to the extent of coming across as a caricature (growling mine, mine, mine at male 1 during their first or second sex scene, snarling at every mention of the name of one of male 1's friends).

So these interchangeable men have explicit, excruciatingly dull sex constantly. I felt detached the entire time and was disappointed that the author hardly experimented with the fact that a 3rd player entered the stage (which made me wonder: why add a 3rd in the first place, if you don't have the imagination/knowledge to milk it?). Weirdly enough, she does put a lot of emphasis on the more complicated proceedings of a ménage. Like who is going to clean up who and gets to hold what and sleeps where and...

Recommended as uncomplicated, forgettable smutathon fun. And what the heck, I'm adding another star because I approve of the subject matter and it's not bad as in bad.