Tink (Elite 8 Studios, #3), Emmy Sanders
Rating: No Rating
Publisher: Emmy Sanders
Genre: Gay Erotic Poly Romance
Tags: Contemporary, Bi Character (Finn), MMM/Polyamorous Relationship, Porn Industry, Romance, Series
Length: 337 Pages
Purchase At: Amazon
This review is one big spoiler. Keep that in mind before reading.
Have you heard the tale of Goldie and the Two Bears?
Working in the adult entertainment industry has its challenges. Mainly, scoring a date that lasts longer than a night. I’d started to wonder if my own happily-ever-after wasn’t in the cards.
But then a hookup turned meet-cute lands me right on top of Rowan, the shy, submissive bear of my dreams with a serious weak spot for sweetly spoken words. He doesn’t see Tink, the performer. He sees me.
Yet before I can lick my territory, Rowan’s neighbor Finn walks in. Quite literally. And the tatted, pierced, ginger-haired papa bear has his sights set on my new crush. Even worse, Rowan returns his interest. I assume that’s game over, so imagine my shock when Finn suggests a less-than-traditional arrangement in which we all win.
They say you should never run from bears. So really, what’s a boy to do when faced with his ultimate fantasy?
After all, maybe happily-ever-after is meant for more than two.
Tink is a poly MMM romance between one golden-haired troublemaker and two very delicious bears of the human variety. There’s praise, furry chests and unexpected piercings, an extensive collection of orchids, tight white pants, coworkers who are like family, and one very HEA. It’s book 3 in the Elite 8 Studios series but can be read as a standalone.
Tink/Alex’s story was the one I was most looking forward to. He’s been in every book I’ve read by this author so far – Dix (Elite 8 Studios, #1), Virgin Hearts (Plum Valley Cowboys, #2), Malibu (Elite 8 Studios, #3), and this one. They’re listed out of order because I read them out of order. Alex has been the pervy comic relief in all of them. I absolutely adored him. I adored him so much that I rushed through the other books, eager to get to Tink. I finally started it, and it didn’t take long before I was really disappointed.
This is not Alex’s story. This is first Rowan’s story, then it’s Finn’s story, and if the reader is lucky, they may see a few pages here and there with the one the book should be the most about – Alex/Tink.
Rowan, a thirty-year-old mechanic/garage manager, has the hots for Finn, a thirty-two-year-old computer programmer (I think?), his next door neighbor. Finn has the hots for Rowan. Neither can get up the courage to make a move. They dance around each other, watch a baseball game together once a week, and even cook for each other. They’re friends not knowing the other one wants a whole lot more.
Rowan gets on a hookup app, Alex finds him, they have phenomenal sex, and go back and forth in messages over the next week. They get together again, Finn catches them in the act against Rowan’s couch, he gets turned on, they have a conversation and start a relationship – minus Alex, the poor thing – and Alex leaves feeling hurt because once again he wasn’t enough. He’s tried having relationships before, he yearns for one, but it’s never in the cards. He puts on the act with Rowan and Finn, and he genuinely is happy for them, but it also reminds him that he’s good for a quickie or blow, but nothing more.
Only that’s not what happens this time.
Finn can see clearly how much Rowan and Alex already care for each other – after two quick hookups – so he meets with Alex and tells him he wants him to date Rowan, who is now Finn’s boyfriend. The boyfriend thing came to be after Alex left that night. Finn then talks to Rowan about dating Alex, and there you go. It isn’t a romantic or sexual relationship with all three men. Rowan is Finn’s boyfriend. Rowan is Alex’s boyfriend. As for Finn, he’s just with Rowan. He does get off on watching Ro and Alex hook up.
I can honestly say that I can’t remember the last book I read that had characters as boring and bland as Rowan and Finn. Seriously. I kept thinking, “These are the guys the author puts sweet and hyper Alex with?” The book is told in alternating points-of-view, with the first half being more in Ro’s than the other two. Dear Lord, I was ready to throw my Kindle. And Ro’s not as bad as Finn as far as being bland. Finn is described as a ginger with tats and lots of piercings (everywhere if you’re wondering) with kind of a bad boy vibe. Uh, no. If I was one to fall asleep reading a book, it would’ve happened during the parts where Finn’s POV was coming out. I know that’s harsh, but it’s the truth.
Now back to Rowan. Rowan was with Manuel for two years. Manuel was a horrible human being who continues his ‘hurt Rowan’ campaign long after they break up. He knocked Ro down to the point where he feels worthless, not good enough for anybody. I get where the author was TRYING to go with Ro. Really. She was trying to show the reader and Alex and Finn how hurt he’d been and how down on himself he is thanks to Manuel. Unfortunately, it was overkill in the worst kind of way. I swear nobody would act the way he did during his first hookup with Alex. Why bother getting on the app and creating a profile (complete with dick pics) if you’re going to act like a shrinking violet when somebody actually shows interest? Poor Alex. There’s being shy, and there’s Rowan and his internal monologue and lack of action during sex. He eventually got a little better, but not by much.
As for Alex, he was robbed of the story I felt he deserved. He’s everybody’s sweetheart at Elite 8, everybody’s friend. He has a heart of gold and a personality that lights up every room he goes into. He’s a pervy little thing and he’s not even a little bit ashamed of that fact. But this wasn’t his story. It was Ro and Finn’s story with a little bit of Alex thrown in.
Ro and Finn are thirty and thirty-two. I swear I had to go back and recheck their ages because they both act like really old men.
Finn and Alex do eventually come together, and not as just Rowan’s boyfriends. It actually started to get entertaining at that point but it was much too little much too late. I had to force myself to not DNF starting at around 20%.
The guys from Elite 8 are in this but nowhere near enough.
There’s a ton of winking in this book, like throughout the entire book. It got to the point where I was rolling my eyes each time it happened because it happened so much.
The book was WAY too long at 337 pages. Nothing happened in this book that couldn’t happen in 200 pages or less. And as long as it was, it still didn’t say much. It was so much Ro and Finn time, both together and individually, and very little Alex time. There’s a lot of telling and very little showing.
I’ve loved Alex from the very beginning. I was actually glad to see he’d be in a poly relationship when MMM books are usually hit or miss for me. It could’ve been a decent enough story had the author not kept Alex and Finn separate. They were both in a relationship with Rowan, but they were only friends with each other. The author took too long (in my opinion) to bring Finn and Alex together.
It literally doesn’t happen until 64%. The book is almost over at that point.
There’s quite a bit of hardcore sex in Tink, which I guess could be expected considering Alex is a porn star, along with the fact that there are three people in the relationship. I’m all about sex in books, but I’m not going to lie… I skimmed the ones in this book, something I never do. I skimmed because I just never felt it with any of these guys together, even Alex.
Manuel, Ro’s ex, was over the top. If the author was going to push him at all – especially with Ro’s woe-is-me attitude throughout the book – she should’ve given him more of a story, maybe gave more details about his and Rowan’s relationship. All she did was throw things out in passing, and had Manuel say some hurtful things. They were really bad things, but it kind of read like Manuel was this comic villain thrown in the story for effect.
I’m really disappointed in this book. I’m definitely in the minority if all the other reviews are to go by. I guess everybody else saw something I didn’t. This is my fourth book by this author over a period of a few days, the third in the Elite 8 series. For the first time in I don’t know how long I was so involved in books that I stayed up in bed reading them. Not this one. I literally had to force myself to even go back into it. I kept reading because I’m invested in this series, and was determined to get through the book in the event something actually happened that I’d need to know later in future books. I also wanted to finally see Alex get his HEA, even if his partners were boring as hell.
There’s an epilogue that takes place four years later, which is the norm in the books in the series. Normally an epilogue clears some things up for me, or there may be an Aww! moment. What happened here was just off. It didn’t read right considering how the three men had been together and away from each other in the rest of the book. It was a complete 180.
The next book in the series is Himbo with Cas and Jason, a shy barista that’s in Dix quite a bit. I don’t know much about Cas, but I am curious about Jason.
Overall, I think it’s obvious how I felt about what should’ve been ALEX’S story. I made a decision to not rate it because of all the books I’ve read over the years, this one has given me the most fits on deciding the rating. I seriously don’t know how many stars to give it, though I’d be leaning toward 1 when it’s rare for me to give a book only 1 star, especially when I’ve enjoyed the books before it so much.