Reverse harem doesn’t occur to them for quite a while!
Emma became best friends with three boys her sophomore year of high school. In her junior year, they turned on her and became her bullies. She and her father moved away but are back in town two years later. Emma starts college, and her tormentors are there and still hating her.
This one was different for several reasons:
1. The hate part of this hate to love goes on for quite a while, well into the second book. I’m more accustomed to the hate part ending much sooner, so that was a twist. And we still get sex scenes while the hate is still strong. So if you like hate sex, you’ll enjoy this.
2. The reverse harem or menage relationship idea doesn’t occur to the group for quite a while. In most of these, the characters are aware of the possibility from the start. Sometimes they know people in poly relationships. Sometimes at least one of the characters has read books like we are reading right now. But in Clearwater, they don’t realize it is a thing for quite a while and then don’t think it would work because –
3. The guys are competitive, jealous, and angry at each other for most of this. They have been best friends forever, but their relationship has been beaten down by what they have done to Emma. Most of the time, the guys are a team from the start. So I liked they we got some unusual twists here!
The writing was very good. It is long with the three novels together, but it was fast paced. I liked the characters, that the guys all had distinct personalities, and that they all grew over the course of the story.
I didn’t like that Trent’s reason for turning on Emma is immature. We know what it is early on, so I don’t think this is a spoiler. Trent thinks Emma told his father that they saw Trent’s mom kissing Emma’s dad. And this results in his parents getting divorced. By the time I was 16/17, I knew that marriages are complicated, and cheating is a symptom of greater issues. Trent’s anger at this small thing, even if true, seemed like an 8-10 year old’s perspective. And then, he gets even angrier when he finds out that Emma introduced his mother to her father at a school event. Why hadn’t Emma and the guys all introduced their parents around when they were still friends in high school? It seems very weird that their parents would let them hang out so much and be best friends without ever meeting their parents. We only see Emma’s dad and Trent’s mom, but they don’t seem like disconnected, neglectful parents. These are the type of parents that I believe would have insisted on meeting the parents of their kid’s friends. Even if not, they are treating the introduction of their parents as something unusual. Especially when the parents are at the same school event, you just would introduce them. So I had a difficult time suspending disbelief for this.
Another complaint I have is more difficult to talk about without spoilers. It’s the total 180 of a character that came out of nowhere. It felt like we didn’t get any lead in to this, like we suddenly need a villain, so we’ll change this character completely. I would have preferred more detail on the character and on their past actions, which would make this turnaround more natural and believable.
Because of these two things, I can only give this three stars. But if they won’t bother you as much as they did me, and you mostly want the hot sex scenes, you may enjoy this more than I did.
Contains many graphic sex scenes. Some are one-on-one and some are group. There is no cheating, scenes with Other People, or Other People drama. There is no non or dubious consent. So this is SAFE. No trigger warnings. Contains foul language. It is well edited. I found 5 little errors.