The Rec League: Throuples

The Rec League - heart shaped chocolate resting on the edge of a very old bookThank you to Daniela for sending this request in, as I know many members of the Bitchery will be both interested in this one and have some great recommendations:

I was hoping you could help me in my quest to find a solid novel (or ten) featuring thruples (m,m,f). I recently read Heart and Hand by Rebel Carter and was really taken by the idea of exploring the dynamics of three people in a relationship. I really liked Heart and Hand but was bummed that it didn’t do enough, in my opinion, to explore the relationship between the two guys. We were told over and over again they loved each other but we never SAW it…anyway, my point is: I’m looking for an M,M,F romance that meets the following criteria: a) it is not solely centered around sexy times (although explicit sex is more than ok) and does a good job at exploring the other aspects of the relationship between the characters, b) does not involve the men being brothers, c) the love/attraction between the men is explored.

Maybe I’m looking for a unicorn but I figured if anyone would know of a good rec for this very specific request it would be one of you. Thanks in advance!

Beyond Jealousy
A | BN | K | AB
Sarah: Lorelei James’ Rough Riders series has some of these dynamics, specifically book 5, Rough, Raw, and Ready. ( A | BN | K | G | AB )

One of the male characters, Edgard, was part of an earlier book so he’s a background character, and then is a lead in this one. It is erotic romance, though, so there is a LOT of sexytimes.

Amanda: Melt into You by Roni Loren ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) might work. The men in the relationship are friends and do have a connection, both emotionally and physically, though I will warn the pacing is more skewed to the M/F pairing with M/M and throuple development not happening until the second half of the book.

I think one or two books in the Beyond series by Kit Rocha would qualify.

Sneezy: Amanda, you’re right, Beyond Jealousy fits the bill perfectly.

If the person asking wouldn’t mind a mmff, Beyond Ruin ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) is also great. Every way you link that square is a romantic relationship, and they’re all explored.

Three-Way Split
A | BN | K | AB
Although, I have to say the Beyond series doesn’t lend itself to standalone reading. Besides world building, a lot of character development happens throughout the series.

Charlotte B: The Beyond books jumped immediately to mind for me too. I really love how the individual relationships between the characters are developed within the context of the larger group relationship. You believe in each love story and in the group love story.

Sneezy: The only other ménage book I can think of off the top of my head right now is the Venus series by Golden Angel ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) , but there’s no romantic connection between the two men.

However, it does delve into some of the trials and tribulations poly people face about their relationships in current society, if that’s interesting to the requester.

Ellen: I haven’t personally read this book so take this rec with a grain of salt but based on description/reviews A Rational Arrangement by L. Rowyn ( A | BN | K | AB ) might be what the reader is looking for?

Shana: I haven’t finished Three-Way Split by Elia Winters, but so far it seems to be pretty equally focused on relationship building between the two men (who are in a casual sex relationship at the beginning of the book), and one of the M/F relationships (who start out with crushes on each other). It’s an erotic romance tho so lots of sexy times.

What romances would you suggest?

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  1. 1
    Antipodean Shenanigans says:

    Rock star romance Double Time and its follow up/sequel Outsider by Olivia Cunning. It’s erotic romance, but definitely includes the relationship side as well. The relationship between the two men is more explored in the second book than the first, and they should be read in order. They’re part of two larger interrelated series, but I think would standalone ok, with a large cast of characters and minor spoilers from previous books.

  2. 2
    Vivienne says:

    There are some Elle Kennedy books and some Lauren Dane books that would fit this criteria but can’t remember titles off the top of my head. Maybe Kennedy’s SEAL series?

  3. 3
    Gill says:

    I love Jayne Rylon books. Her Hot Rides series was sensational. Jude Lucens wrote a polyamorous historical, Behind these Doors

  4. 4
    MarciaS says:

    The first book in Lauren Dane’s Brown Family series, Laid Bare fits.

  5. 5
    K says:

    @Vivienne – yes, those were my first thoughts too. I think the Elle Kennedy one is Hotter Than Ever? And the first book of Lauren Dane’s Brown Siblings series has a throuple that fits the bill, from memory.

  6. 6
    Helen says:

    A Rational Arrangement is the first one I thought of. I haven’t read it in a long time but I think the two male characters are romantically involved prior to the establishment of the MMF relationship. I seem to remember enjoying it and I don’t think I would have done if they weren’t all involved with each other on at least some level.

  7. 7
    yonari says:

    If the asker doesn’t mind fanfiction instead of books, this is something that might be easier to find there.

    This is a link to the Archive of Our Own, showing all works that are tagged with F/M/M:

    https://archiveofourown.org/works?utf8=%E2%9C%93&commit=Sort+and+Filter&work_search%5Bsort_column%5D=kudos_count&work_search%5Bother_tag_names%5D=&work_search%5Bexcluded_tag_names%5D=&work_search%5Bcrossover%5D=&work_search%5Bcomplete%5D=&work_search%5Bwords_from%5D=&work_search%5Bwords_to%5D=&work_search%5Bdate_from%5D=&work_search%5Bdate_to%5D=&work_search%5Bquery%5D=&work_search%5Blanguage_id%5D=&tag_id=Threesome+-+F*s*M*s*M

    I personally know there’s some nice ones for Mavel Universe, for Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes/Peggy Carter, Steve/Bucky/Natasha Romanov or Tony Stark/Pepper Potts/Loki, or in Star Wars (new trilogy) for Rey/Finn/Poe, or Harry/Ron/Hermione in Harry Potter.

    You need a bit of knowledge of the fandom the stories are based on, but there’s tons of them, and they’re free.

  8. 8
    Helen says:

    To add to Yonari’s excellent point, if you’re willing to read fanfiction and you’re particularly looking for M/M/F, look up White Collar.

  9. 9
    DiscoDollyDeb says:

    The first throuple that popped into my head was the one in Lexi Blake’s THE MEN WITH THE GOLDEN CUFFS (part of Blake’s long-running bdsm/espionage series, Masters & Mercenaries). The heroes are best friends and have a strong emotional bond, but I don’t think there’s actually anything sexual between them—although I think if you’re looking for how the men in a threesome navigate the emotional elements, that book would be a good place to start.

    I also thought of a number of JA Huss books, especially some in her Taking Turns and Jordan’s Game series (you’d have to check out the books’ blurbs to determine which ones are m/m/f). Huss’s IN TO HER is a stand-alone with lots of sexual activity between and amongst the three people; there is an HEA, but it comes after quite a bit of sadness. Also—Huss is a very prolific writer and her books vary wildly in tone and quality. Be prepared for some slapdash editing and WTF plot elements.

    Finally, Megan Mulry has written some historicals featuring various combinations (I don’t think I’ve read any of her contemporaries, but she may have some throuples there too)—the first one I thought of is BOUND WITH HONOR, which is m/m/f/f.

  10. 10
    Gill says:

    Ruled was by Elle Kennedy. Its book 3 of a dystopian future trilogy, and it helps to read the first 2, imo. I wish she’d write another.
    The Megan Mulry series was fun, though not sure if they are true to life. As I said, fun though.

  11. 11
    Gill says:

    Me again. Lol. I keep remembering them. If you like scifi Susan Hayes Drift series is good.

  12. 12
    LisaC says:

    For a shorter read, My Lord, Lady & Gentleman by Nicola Davidson has this type of pairing. It’s the 3rd book in the Surrey SFS series & could be read as a stand-alone, but you’ll miss out on a bit of character development for one of the men, Clayton. The whole series is fun & erotic, plus shorter reads so they are easy to devour quickly!

  13. 13
    nagarajas says:

    Leverage fanfiction also has excellent MMF. They also explore some interesting variations, Parker as ace, Elliot as aro, etc.

    @yonari, remember the old tag “everyone is poly because Avengers”? Good tag. Good smut.

  14. 14
    Qualisign says:

    R. A. Steffan’s series, “The Horse Mistress” [read this set first] and the “The Lion Mistress” (2019 Rainbow Award Winning Reverse Harem series), were surprisingly thoughtful. None are of the characters were exactly binary f/m/m (and the second is f/m/m/ghost m), which mades the relationships all the more central to the stories. I believe the books fit in the paranormal category but in a world without advanced technology. So many different aspects to the relationships were addressed and all done very well without a cookie cutter character among them!

  15. 15
    Jeannette says:

    I’m looking forward to the answers on this post as my TBR pile is going to grow.
    There are some great series based on MMF:
    Future fantasy (not all MMF but quite a few) – 3013 series by Susan Hayes, Laurie Roma, and Kali Argent
    Post Peninsular War Britain – Brothers in Arms by Samantha Kane
    More contemporary, “Just One More” by Stephanie Beck, an exploration of how it works in a modern world.
    And there are also some great MMM throuples, and Laurell Hamilton’s Anita Blake series (which is too complicated to diagram) but that might be for another rec league.

  16. 16
    Heather says:

    Plenty of sexytimes, but interesting relationship for the MM part in Menage by Emma Holly.

  17. 17
    Jenny says:

    Laura Kaye’s book, “Theirs To Take” features a throuple. It is part of her Blasphemy series, so it features some pretty explicit sex scenes and light BDSM [although it helps to know the gist of the Blasphemy series, this one does well as a standalone]. The m/m dynamic is between two long-time friends, Cruz and Jonathan, who are Masters at Blasphemy. They meet Harley through their boat-repair business, and quickly(!) fall into a three-way. In earlier books in the series, Cruz and Jonathan are described as frequently sharing a female partner at Blasphemy (although you don’t see much of them until this book). Although both Cruz and Jonathan are bisexual, and were secretly in love with the other, they did not come out to each other until this book. There is some discussion of how Cruz and Jonathan would navigate being in love with each other, while also both being in love with Harley (an interesting facet is that both Cruz and Jonathan are doms at Blasphemy, and they discuss how this dynamic would work).

  18. 18
    DiscoDollyDeb says:

    I thought of one more: Cara Dee’s Touch series, which revolves around a bdsm club, involves various combinations but at least one is m/m/f. In my opinion, Dee is very good describing the emotional entanglements, but her sex scenes usually seem rather clinical and detached, but ymmv.

  19. 19
    Steph says:

    “The Art of Three” by Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese is about a younger (early/mid twenties) actor who becomes involved with his older costar and his artist wife who have an open relationship. It spends a lot of time on the work done to establish the the dynamics of the relationships both all together and with each pair individually. There was a lot of sexual tension. So much so that I didn’t realize until it was almost over that there isn’t really much on-page sex. It wasn’t perfect but I think it was a lovely story. Also a nice depiction of an older heroine.

  20. 20
    Steffi says:

    “Sins & Mistrust” by Isabel Lucero fits the bill, though its decidedly on the more erotic side of romance. It’s also the third book in a series but should be fine as a standalone.

    To be honest I didn’t much care for the book and it made me roll my eyes on a few occassions, but YMMV.

  21. 21
    DonnaMarie says:

    Lauren Dane is my go to for this type of book. She will have an f/m/m book in many of her series, and they can be read without having read the other books.

    There’s the previously mentioned Laid Bare, and you continue to see them in other Brown Family and aligned books, plus a short story Laid Open. The Brown Family books are dear comfort reads.

    Then there’s Tart in the Delicious off shoot.

    The Federation series has two books Undercover and Captivated which may be more what you’re asking for as the m/m relationship exists before the female protagonist enters the story. As long as you like sci/find romance.

    I’m sure her Cascadia shifter books have a few, but I haven’t read any of them. Yet.

  22. 22
    Michelle says:

    Emma Barry’s Strange Attractions comes to mind.

    If you’re interested in relationships that are way out there, Octavia Butler’s Lilith’s Brood series has sort-of poly aliens who have a third reproductive partner. It’s SUPER complicated though.

  23. 23
    Lisa F says:

    I’ve been looking all over for good poly recs and this is a treasure trove, thank you everyone!

  24. 24
    Another Anne says:

    I second the rec for Men with the Golden Cuffs by Lexi Blake. She also has a number of throuples in her Bliss series and Sirens series. In some of the books the men also have a sexual relationship with each other and in others they do not. I think that she originally wrote both series under a different name, but she has reissued both. Some of the characters from her Masters and Mercenaries series pop up in both the Bliss and the Sirens series.

    Cherise Sinclair has a series about shifters, where all of the relationships are throuples (2 men and one woman). I’m drawing a blank on the titles now, but I think that there are 4 books. It seems to me that there is also at least one throuple in her Masters of Shadowlands series, towards the end of the series. The men are FBI agents (or former FBI) and the heroine’s name is Sally. Of course, I can’t recall the title now either.

  25. 25
    Marisa G. says:

    The NEW CAMELOT series by Sierra Simone fits the bill! It is HAWT, HAWT, HAWT. Although, they end on cliffhangers, so keep the next book in the series at the ready. The books are: AMERICAN QUEEN, AMERICAN PRINCE and AMERICAN KING. And, I promise, the series read as a whole, is a romance.

  26. 26
    Vasha says:

    Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander, a regecy historical by Ann Herendeen, has gotten lots of word of mouth. It’s on my TBR shelf.

  27. 27
    Dreamingintrees says:

    Another Emma Holly fits this exactly as well. The Billionaire Bad Boys Club focuses first on the relationship between the men and then how that dynamic changes with a woman in the throuple as well. Her follow up in that same series is a two book set focusing on the evolution of the throuple relationship with each of the parties involved (not the same throuple as the first book). Definitely erotic romance and BDSM for all but with good emotional explanation.

  28. 28
    Amanda says:

    Hotter than Ever by Elle Kennedy
    Misadventures of a Curvy Girl by Sierra Simone
    Nights in Bliss Series by Lexi Blake

  29. 29
    DonnaMarie says:

    @Heather, yes! Emma Holly, when doesn’t get enough love, is another writer with plenty of these in her backlist. I’d say Strange Attractions would fit the bill nicely. She’s certainly on the erotic side, but she has a way with relationships. Her Personal Assets is my all time favorite erotic romance.

  30. 30
    Sylvia says:

    Samantha Wayland has several good MMF books, but her Hat Trick Series is excellent. Fair Play introduces the first MF couple, Two Man Advantage brings in the MM relationship (with the knowledge and approval of the woman), and End Game explores the relationship between the woman and the second man, and then the dynamic of the three of them together. There’s also a follow up Christmas book with them in a settled relationship. The author did a great job of balancing all the aspects of the relationship.

  31. 31
    Emily B says:

    Chiming in to also recommend Sierra Simone – the New Camelot series, her Misadventures of a Curvy Girl, and it’s looking like her new Thornhill series but I’m saving these up to read once the whole series is out. Her books are hot but the mythology is also always thoughful and well done.

    Elle Kennedy’s Hotter Than Ever is another good one, though definitely erotic romance so heavy on the sexy times, lighter on plot (but the plot is there).

  32. 32
    Meg says:

    Outside the Lines by Anna Zabo is polyam with the primary story being the m/m relationship (Ian & Simon), but you also get a lot of the m/f couple (Simon & Lydia, who have an open marriage) and how all three of them work together. Ian is gay so he has no sexual relationship with Lydia, but they do develop a close relationship as metamours.

  33. 33
    MegS says:

    Definitely Cherise Sinclair.

    Also there are a lot of throuples in Bianca Sommerland’s two primary series (COBRAS & WINTER’S WRATH). She tends to write some pretty heavy backstories, though, so check for CW on individual titles.

  34. 34
    LauraL says:

    Another vote for Hotter Than Ever from the Out of Uniform series. Explores all the relationships in the throuple. Not my usual jam, but a favorite “hot SEAL” book because I was so caught up in the characters. Not hard to do with an Elle Kennedy book!

  35. 35
    Hannah says:

    Brill Harper’s Altogether is exactly what you’re looking for.

    And I just wrote one, but it’s not out yet. Sorry!

  36. 36
    BrandanWH says:

    I hope this hasn’t been mentioned already but I think Vivian Arend’s “Rocky Mountain Freedom (Six Pack Ranch Book 6)” will be just what you’re looking for. Second chance lovers where the 3 were involved at one time and are figuring out if they can be together again out in the open. It’s awesome, sex scenes (with MM, MF and MMF) are hot as all get out. Enjoy!

  37. 37
    Jeannette says:

    Another older one, but good, is “Trinity Broken” by Jamie Craig – it s about two shapeshifters and the scientist studying them. Lots of angst, but a good book and the M/M part of the throuple really bond (due to the kidnapping of the F – as I said, lots of angst).

  38. 38
    Shana says:

    I want to second @Sylvia recommendation of Samantha Wayland. Beyond just the Hat Trick series, she has several other MMF stories, as well as MF and MM. All of them are definitely more than “just” sexytimes. All of her books are connected in some way, with most revolving around some connection to the Ice Cats hockey team.

    Other authors/titles:
    R.G. Alexander has MF, MM, MMM, MMF books in her Finn Club series
    Samantha Kane’s Birmingham Rebels series (football)
    Lila Rose has a mix of MMF, MF, MM, and MMM (motorcycle club – multiple interconnected series)

  39. 39
    Denise says:

    Does the Neighborly Affection series by M.Q. Baber qualify? https://www.goodreads.com/series/116407-neighborly-affection

    There is also Tart by Lauren Dane.

  40. 40
    Dan Ancona says:

    This thread. Wow. So much goodness! BRB, going to go read for a couple of years. Want to put in a word for the self-pubber I’m working on, Venus Shrugged. The protagonist is married but very much nonmonogamous, and there’s an FF steamy in Part 1, with MFF and MMF connections coming in later parts. (the draft of Part 2 is sitting here on my desk saying “edit meeeee”). Link’s on my name. Thanks for contribution all these amazing suggestions!

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