Letting Jack Watch by Kathryn Wallis
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Length: Short Story (100 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Dahlia
Edmonton cop Jack has one rule for dating—don’t get emotionally involved. A string of short-term flings leaves him dissatisfied, though, and he starts to envy his partner, Jeremy, who’s been dating curvy redhead Caitlin for a year.
Then Jack glimpses something forbidden—and realizes a glimpse is not enough.
For Caitlin and Jeremy, letting Jack watch began as an accident and became a game. But they soon realize the game has high stakes—and threatens to tear them apart forever.
Jeremy doesn’t want to lose his best friend, but what will he have to sacrifice to keep Jack around? Caitlin knows what she wants, but getting it might destroy everything. And Jack may have come second, but he won’t settle for second best. He started out just watching. Now he wants it all.
What if the one you’ve been looking for has been standing right in front of you, but belongs to someone else?
A betrayal in his last serious relationship left Jack wanting nothing more than no-strings attached affairs with women who wouldn’t get emotionally involved. This worked for a while until Jack started noticing his friends’ relationships and the companionship he was missing. When asked to describe his perfect girl Jack didn’t have to look any further than Caitlin, his best friend’s girlfriend. Problem is Jack doesn’t want someone like Caitlin, he wants Caitlin and after being invited to taste the forbidden there’s no going back. The womanizer has finally found his forever, but at what cost?
Jeremy and Caitlin are still in the honeymoon stage of their relationship and loving every minute of it. This is it for them and they couldn’t be happier, but when it becomes clear that their friend Jack has hit a dry spell, they decide to help him out. However, after the lust fueled adrenaline fades, they realize they may have made an irrevocable mistake that may not be fixable without someone getting hurt. They can’t go back, but can they go forward?
Within the first few pages, it is clear this is would be a very sexy, steamy read. Not only are we the readers treated to scenes of delicious voyeurism courtesy of Caitlin and her hunky police officer boyfriend, but they also gradually take on an exhibitionist approach that lands them both in bed with Jack. Caitlin and Jeremy have a healthy sexual relationship, but when Jack comes clean about his witnessing a portion of their private moment, Caitlin and Jeremy discover that perhaps they could take sex to the next level and indulge a little. What started out as a kinky exhibitionist game soon becomes emotionally tangled for Jack and Caitlin. Regardless of the best friend status, it seemed a bit far-fetched that Jeremy would so easily step aside in his emotional relationship with Caitlin to let Jack in. I think there needed to be more time for all parties to consider the personal consequences of entering into a ménage relationship. Of course Caitlin benefits greatly by having not one but two men in uniform vying for her affections, but considering Jeremy’s prior claim on Caitlin, is it strong enough to add a third?
What I liked most about the story is how relatable the setting and characters are. They work hard and they play hard, but loyalty among the friends is incredibly strong. Caitlin is down to earth and isn’t afraid to take what she wants sexually; Jeremy is the gentle giant who’s always out to please and try new things; and then there’s the womanizing Jack who just needs to be loved.
There were a few instances where the details in a particular scene felt out of place and not really important to the set-up, but that was quickly overlooked. Also, there were times where the POV was inconsistent and would briefly jump to one character and then jump back. This created a few hiccups in the flow, but again easily overlooked.
For my first read by this author, I am impressed with how much was packed in and how very much I enjoyed the voyeuristic and exhibitionist aspects of the story. I will absolutely read more by this author and will recommend this story to any erotic romance reader who likes equal parts sex and romance with a touch of angst in their story.