Reviewed by Louisa
TITLE: Outside the Lines
SERRIES: Bluewater Bay #22
AUTHOR: Anna Zabo
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 260 Pages
RELEASE DATE: December 16, 2017
Miniature artist Ian Meyers has one week to rebuild his damaged set. Needing help, he goes to End o’ Earth, the local comic and gaming shop. Owner Simon Derry pushes all of Ian’s buttons, and he also has steady hands and the skills Ian needs.
Before they can even grab a beer, Ian meets Lydia Derry, Simon’s wife. If Ian had any interest in women, he’d suggest a threesome, but then Simon explains that he and Lydia are polyamorous, and if Ian wants Simon, neither of them will complain. If anything, Lydia encourages the relationship.
Ian’s all in, and it’s fantastic working with Simon to piece together his set and then take each other apart at night. His friendship with Lydia grows too. The only problem is, the more time he spends with Simon, the more he wants everything Simon already has with Lydia: A house. A cat. A commitment. So Ian runs, and shatters the trust he has with them both—right when they need him the most. Piecing their relationships back together might prove harder than a smashed set.
I really wasn’t certain what I was starting when I began to read Outside the Lines by Anna Zabo because I had never read a Poly book before, in the past the only books I had read where a threesome. In this book Simon has a relationship with is wife Lydia and a relationship with his boyfriend Ian. They are both sexual relationships, though you only read sex scenes between Ian and Simon.
The things I really enjoyed about this book were the way that Ian and Lydia grow together as friends. At no point does Ian stop being gay, but he has a very loving relationship with Lydia. They both love Simon and care about him.
I really enjoyed the Wolf Landing set and how it worked together with the comic book store and Ian’s need for help. The Wolfs Landing actors and characters from other books were really nice little hints into other storylines, but I never felt like I was missing anything by not having read any of the other books. Though I probably will now.
The thing that took me a while to get use to was the changing point of view. It was really well done, but sometimes it felt like I was reading Simon’s uncertainty and then Ian’s similar uncertainty one after the other. And it really made it annoying that both characters shared the same concerns but weren’t doing anything about it. It took me a fair while to get into the story, which is why this is a 4 star rating. The start was a bit slow for me and it took a while for me to find the main characters interesting.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. The storyline was well done and the poly relationship was well explained and easy to read/understand. It was a really good introduction into the series for me and I will enjoy other Bluewater Bay books in the future.