Throwback Thursday Guest Review: The Strongest Shape by Tessa Cardenas

Posted September 3, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 10 Comments

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: The Strongest Shape by Tessa CardenasReviewer: Tracy
The Strongest Shape by Tessa Cárdenas
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 28, 2009
Genres: M/M
Pages: 232
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After his boyfriend breaks up with him, fashion photographer Caleb Moss finds himself alone in Los Angeles looking for work and friends. He finds both in a group of aspiring musicians, who offer help through their connections. But while building a strong friendship with Scott and Chris, a startling sexual tension flares to life among the three men, and Caleb is afraid the new friendships will fall apart.

It won't be easy for Caleb, trying to find his way when Scott and Chris invite him into their relationship. They face criticism from their friends, but they'll struggle to stay together because they have discovered a three-fold love.

This review was originally posted on August 10, 2011.

This story centers around 3 men, Caleb, Scott and Chris. Caleb is a fashion photographer who followed his boyfriend out to California from New York and then got dumped. He meets Jason who introduces him to Scott. Scott is dating Chris but Chris is on tour (Scott and Chris are both singer/songwriters) and Caleb is warned to not get too chummy with Scott as Chris will be extremely jealous.

When Chris gets home, however, he’s not jealous and the trio become friends. Caleb finds himself liking both men but he doesn’t want to set Chris’s jealousy off so he avoids the couple for a couple of weeks. Chris and Scott go looking for him and bring him back into their fold. They want to be closer friends, in fact, they both like Caleb and want to be a trio instead of a pair. Caleb isn’t sure it will work but he decides to go for it. The trio have their work cut out for them but it’s the work that makes the book…work.

This story really has one main focus and that is the relationship between these 3 men and all of its quirks. Chris and his possessiveness, Caleb and his insecurities and Scott and his devil may care attitude. I really like that aspect of the book as we got to see in depth stuff about the men. How they dealt with letting their friends know about the relationship, as well as their parents, or not. I loved how the men stuck together through thick and thin. Yes, Caleb had to have his breathing time and his space at some points but it was good.

Were there things about the story that I would have liked to have seen? Of course. I would have loved to have known more about the men and their jobs. We know that Chris and Scott are singer/songwriters but not to what level. Near the end Caleb mentions something about what would happen if they were ever signed so I assumed they weren’t at that level. Yet, Chris was on tour at one point and recordings were mentioned. It was a bit confusing for me and I either wanted to know more…or less. lol

One of the things I wish for in most of the books I read is more communication! In this story the guys were horrible at it – especially Chris and Caleb – and didn’t want to be “girly” and share their feelings. If you can’t share them with the ones you love who can you share them with? Of course the non-communication fed into Caleb’s doubts about his place in the relationship but I very much liked how the men worked it out.

Overall it was a good book. I’m not usually a fan of m/m/m stories but this one definitely worked for me.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.


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10 responses to “Throwback Thursday Guest Review: The Strongest Shape by Tessa Cardenas

  1. I have been noticing more and more menage stories that involve three or more men–not a literary configuration one would have encountered a couple of decades ago. One or two I have read are filled with gratuitous sex, but this one sounds like it is about men who are trying to work through their own issues individually and collectively. Good review . . .

  2. Ok, I'll put this on my maybe list. I'm NOT a fan of menages that are all sex – it has to work emotionally, or I won't bother to finish the book.

  3. Leontine – As I said – I'm not normally one that gravitates towards m/m/m but this was recommended and it was good.

    Dr. J. – Definitely not something you'd read about 10 or 20 years ago! I've read a few shorter books with 3 men and enjoyed them but this was a longer book and it was done well. Oh, and this definitely had a lot of sex in it but I didn't feel it was gratuitous – just helped the story along.

    Chris – This wasn't all sex. Yes, a lot of sex but not a sex fest. I liked 911 but at one point in the book I was like, yeah, yeah, get on with it. lol This wasn't like that for me. 🙂

  4. You're welcome!
    That makes me a bit crazy as well. The sex scenes in this book are sensual but not long and drawn out for pages and pages.
    I heard that about More and that's why I never read it. 🙂

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