Long Shots Series:
Calling the Shots: Josh Scott, Beth Norris and Oliver Stephenson
Order on Amazon: Christine D’Abo – Calling the Shots (Long Shots)
Release Date: October 8th, 2012
He’s had a wild ride, and now sex club owner Josh Scott is looking for a change of scene. But first, he’s determined to bring two friends together, and he’s willing to be a third wheel to move things along…
Beth Norris is eager to be set up with hot bartender Oliver Stephenson, but she’s equally attracted to matchmaker Josh. Soon she’s fantasizing about both men at once—and about being the one to call the shots in the encounter…
Ready to move on with his life post-divorce, Oliver is conflicted by the realization that he’s attracted to women and men. Or more specifically, to Beth and Josh. He tries to keep his distance, but it’s not long before the chemistry between the trio combusts in a night of mind-blowing sex.
In the light of day, it’s clear something deeper than desire is growing between Josh, Beth and Oliver. But though Josh has helped others find love in unconventional relationships, is he willing to take a chance on one himself?
I love this series, I love the characters, and they make this series what it is. Sure the sex is hot, but without good characters or story, it’s just that hot sex with no substance. I had been waiting for Josh’s story, I liked him in the previous books and wanted him to have a HEA (Happily Ever After). What I didn’t expect to happen was to like the other characters as much if not more than Josh.
I loved how all three interacted with each other, the push pull of attraction between them as well as Beth and Oliver exploring new heights in their sexuality made for an endearing and entertaining story. Beth is a complete sweetheart, she will do anything for the people she cares about and that includes Oliver and Josh, but she has a harsh past when it comes to relationships that has left her gun shy. Her ex Mitch had done a number over on her, leaving her self esteem lower then she would prefer. With Oliver and Josh she begins to find herself again, to start to believe in herself and her sexuality for the first time in a long time. I loved how she could navigate between the needs of Josh as well as Oliver, she made a perfect foil for the two. For me she was kind of the glue that brought them together. I think that Josh was supposed to be, but without Beth none of it would have worked. She was such a great character I don’t think anyone could hate her as our heroine.
Although, I loved both Beth and Josh it was Oliver that ended up intriguing me the most, which is surprising. Usually, I go for the more dominate male. Oliver is surprisingly more submissive. He genuinely likes to do whatever he needs to make his partner happy. He’s a giver! What I think drew me to Oliver was his vulnerability, he is getting out of a marriage that burned him… bad! She cheated and stole all of his money. To say his self esteem is in the gutter is an understatement. For me it’s Oliver that kind of has to get over the most, although, Josh is pretty damaged as well. Oliver not only has to get over his failed marriage, but come to terms with being a submissive as well deal with these new found feeling towards a male. He has always been straight and has never really looked at a man before.. until Josh. I liked to see how Oliver dealt with everything and by the end he was stronger, more confident, a man comfortable in his own skin and that is irresistible to me.
Josh, oh Josh, how you can dish but can’t take, oh how you preach but don’t take your own sermons. Of the three I think Josh had the hardest problems with the feelings that threaten to overwhelm him. He is confused and doesn’t know what steps to take even though he is the one with the most experience. Hardships from his teenage years have shaped Josh into what he is today, but he never truly dealt with the issues. He’s basically been skating by with a façade in place. His loneliness is tangible and it makes your heart ache for him. You would think that Josh would be the one that would keep them all together but it is Josh that tears them all apart.
Aside from the sexual play in this book which is scorching, there is actually a bit of a mystery added to the plot line. There is a person or group that has been going around and vandalizing clubs in the area but it is Mavericks that seems to be targeted the most frequently and the vandalization escalates threatening everything that Josh has built up over the years.
I just wanted to touch on the BDSM factor in this book or the non-factor. I would say the actual BDSM in this book is so light that I wouldn’t even necessarily say this book fits into that classification. Yes, Josh is considered a Dom, as he likes to be in control but there is very little to no bondage or sadist/masochistic behaviors in this book. Oliver takes a spanking but that is about it. So if you are a little skeptical about BDSM this might be a good entry level book for you.
*This book was provided to me through NetGalley for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.
Rating: 4.5 Orchids