Menage or Not?

Lately I've been writing several stories featuring menages or threesomes, as they're often called. This wasn't planned. Somehow I ended up writing two at once, on the heels of a book where I'd written my first, albeit brief, menage. (I do have a vampire threesome book I finished over a year ago, but as it's not polished and submitted yet, I count Provoke Me as my first "finished" book containing a menage.)

Provoke Me's menage scene came about completely in when I sat down to write the scene, I had no clue how far my heroine Kelly would want to take things. I figured she'd send the third guy home and that would be that, as her hero, Spencer, is not fond of sharing. But that scene went its own way, and they ended up having a menage with Paul, Kelly's ex-boyfriend - but it's a very limited menage. Paul is clearly there for Kelly's pleasure, and the scene serves to show a lot more about Kelly and Spencer's growing feelings than just "hey, I've got another hot guy here! Woot!" The guys do not interact sexually, and at first Spencer's kinda pissed Kelly wants Paul there at all. But if I did my job right, that scene shows how much Spencer is beginning to care for her, and how far he'll go to make her happy. Even so, I know some readers don't like menages. The threesome isn't a very long scene in an 80K book, but there will be a warning on the book that it's in there.

My other two menages are a different story. The one in Need Me, book 3 in the Unveiled series - the new official name for my EC books centered around Kink, the voyeurism club - is the focus of the book. As is the menage in my Christmas book I'm hoping to pitch to Loose Id, All She Wants for Christmas. And that menage is m/m/f, meaning the boys touch, a new one for me. None of the other threesomes I've written have been anything but m/f/m.

I'm loving All She Wants For Christmas for a lot of reasons - mainly because I've doing several "couples" at once. There's the relationship between the men, the relationship with each of the men and the heroine, then the relationship of all three. It's a fun dynamic to play with and I'm loving writing three point-of-view characters. But again, I know some readers don't enjoy these sort of books, and I guess I'm hoping that maybe some people will find they enjoy them more than they'd guessed. I know a couple years ago I didn't like menages - now I like them enough to write about them!

How do you feel about menages? Do you like them? Feel they're overdone or just not for you? I'm really curious.

Also - on March 21st, I'm having two great erotic romance authors, Mari Carr and Jayne Rylon, on the blog to celebrate their upcoming Samhain release Northern Exposure! I love both authors' writing and can't wait to get them on the interview hot seat. Stop back for prizes and tons of fun!


Saranna DeWylde said...

It really depends on the story. If the characters fit together I like it.

But I really despise when people write menage as kink and dress it up as a deeper relationship when its obviously not. Not to say it can't be, I've read some really well-done menage stories where I believed in the HEA or the HFN.

I guess it boils down to honesty. I want the story to be honest not necessarily to reality, but to the characters themselves and their story.

If it's just kink, own it. If it's deeper, own that too.

Otherwise, it's meh. And for me, that applies to any story.

Harlie Reader said...

I like them as long as there is a HEA for all three of them. I don't like it when in the end someone gets shafted. When I writer teases you with a menage and in the end someone gets really hurt and you have to wait for "his/her" story, I'm bored. I've invested in the story and I feel like I've been cheated. In our story, you clearly let the reader know who the heroine is gonna end up with, so the menage is a one time thing and that's great! I like that in a story. The scene is to show the reader how the hero/heroine are feeling at that moment and it will enhance the relationship, not tear it apart.

Anyhoos...........just my 2 cents.

Kaye Manro said...

Hi Cari, I'm not against menages. But I don't write them. Don't know if I could! I so admire you for doing this. For me -- depends on how good the story/plot is, and the relationships, how deep they are, etc, since I'm usually a straight m/f type of girl myself!

Valerie said...

I love a menage if it's done right. I especially love when it is a permanent relationship, whether it's m/f/m or m/m/f. I don't like it if the men are in competition for the woman or when there is tension in any way, that can ruin the scene for me.