Content Warnings: discrimination against same-gender partners as well as discrimination against polyamory.
Not going to lie, the cover is what drew me in and after reading book one, Alight, I knew that I needed to know more about Mariana and Mason. If you read Alight you’d know that Mariana and Mason have a long and complicated history. Anytime their friend group questions them, they evade and dodge all opportunities to clarify what they are to each other.
Mariana and Mason have both loved each other since they were teens but, because of some hesitations on both sides, never committed to more than just friends with benefits. They seamlessly fit into each other’s lives and are always there when the other needs them, yet they haven’t fully committed to a relationship. When they meet Daniel a new world of possibilities seems to open up before them.
Total honestly, there were many times that I wanted to reach through the pages and just shake these characters, Mariana especially. Though infuriating, at times, it was wonderful to see all three of them open up and warm to the idea of a future together.
Though they just met, Daniel just fits, as if he was made to be part of their lives. Its equal parts fascinating, and infuriating, seeing these three learn to be open and communicate their feelings and emotions. It takes a lot of trust, and love, to be in a relationship and these three put in the work, to build something beautiful.
This book shows how open communication, and trust, can create strong bonds and happiness. I love seeing these three not only learn from each other but explore kink together. Being able to open up and express all of your deepest desires takes a lot of trust and vulnerability, and I love how the author wrote the discussions around them.
It felt like the author really took her time ensuring that we could see how normal, and beautiful, kink is. The level of care Daniel shows, by having Mariana and Mason learn more about kink before they start a physical relationship is wonderful. He constantly makes sure they’re checking their limits and remember their safe words and ensures they practice aftercare, which is an important step.
I really enjoyed seeing this relationship blossom and each of these characters grow, individually and together. I’ve never been happier to stumble upon a new author and cannot wait to see what other relationships Cunningham writes us.