Book Reviews

Bend (Love in Xxchange 3) by Bailey Bradford at Pride Publishing

Genre Bisexual / Contemporary / Cowboys / Menage MMF / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 26-August-2011

Book Blurb

Annabelle Calhoun has always been too strong to break, but now she’s going to have to bend if she wants to keep the love that’s unexpectedly come into her life.

Annabelle Calhoun had always been proud of her independence. She didn’t need a man in her life for any longer than a night, and even then, it was her way or the highway. Seeing her brother Rory in a loving monogamous relationship didn’t sway her, neither did the love between her bunkhouse mates, Max and Bo. She didn’t want anything other than a good time from a man.

But two men—she’s been there, done that, but these two men, Justin and Evan, want something more than one night. Together, they just might be enough to make Annabelle bend.


Book Review

Falling in love isn't always convenient. In fact, it often strikes out of the blue, completely disrupting our lives. Sometimes, we can't stubbornly cling to our preconceived notion of things; we have to adjust our expectations. Annabelle Calhoun in 'Bend' by Bailey Bradford needs to learn this lesson. Being independent is one thing; being stubborn just for the sake of it is another. In Annabelle's quest to prove that she is capable of doing everything a man can do, she is unnecessarily rude and abrasive at times. Annabelle needs to learn that being independent does not mean she has to be tough all the time. Real independence comes with knowing when to be soft as well.

The way Annabelle treats her brother Rory made me want to smack her, especially when he's just trying to help her. The only thing that saves her, in my mind, is that she didn't mean most of what she said, especially to him, and couldn't stay mad at him for any length of time: “I can’t help worrying about you. You’re the only sibling I have, the only family…” Rory’s eyes grew damp and his lower lip trembled. Well, crap. That always kills my mad.” She knows she's controlling and that she can't express her feelings properly. She knows she's faking it most of the time, but doesn't know how to stop. “On more than one occasion, Annabelle had wished she was more like her brother. Sure, they looked as alike as siblings who were of opposite sex could, but Rory truly had the personality to match his angelic face. Whereas she…didn’t.”

Annabelle's relationship with Josh or 'Joshie' as she's determined to call him, is a pleasant surprise. Josh is adorable, but can be tough and stand up for himself as well. He has a special ability to see through Annabelle's defenses and call her on it. At the same time, it was amusing when he deferred to her, like when he let her dress him up as if he was her doll. She definitely needs a friend and Josh is right there, ready to let her do whatever she wants. However, when it does matter, he stands up to her and she listens. Through her friendship with Josh, Annabelle begins to see herself as she could be—strong, but gentle at the same time.

It didn't surprise me that Annabelle is willing and able to handle two men in bed, but the emotional response that Evan and Justin evoked in her did. Even though she resists, when she first meets them, a fire is lit in her heart, as well as in her loins. It takes her a while to realize just how important Justin and Evan are to her, but Justin and Evan feel the strength of their connection and realize almost right away that Annabelle is the woman who can complete them. However, they are also wise enough to know that if they don't give her time to sort it out, there is no hope of success for their triad.

'Bend' is a complex love story which examines the themes of sexuality, pain, forgiveness, and acceptance. Mostly, it's a sexual romp between Annabelle, Evan and Josh as they navigate the ropes necessary to form a lasting emotional and physical relationship. Its complicated plot has many emotional twists and turns which clarify and solidify various relationships in the book. As in Bailey's other stories, it introduces the characters who'll be featured in her next book in the Xxchange series. If you like books which have a plethora of lustful, sexually diverse scenes, while exploring the emotional dynamics involved, you may like 'Bend.'





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Pride Publishing for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 50900 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-August-2011
Price $5.23 ebook, $12.23 paperback
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