Review Post – Outside the Lines by Anna Zabo (5 Stars)

Posted June 2, 2018 by Nix in review / 1 Comment

Outside the Lines by Anna Zabo
Series: Bluewater Bay #22
Published by Riptide Publishing on 2017-12-18
Genres: Contemporary, Gay, Polyam
Pages: 224
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon

Miniature artist Ian Meyers has one week to rebuild his damaged set. Needing help, he goes to End o’ Earth, the local comic and gaming shop. Owner Simon Derry pushes all of Ian’s buttons, and he also has steady hands and the skills Ian needs.

Before they can even grab a beer, Ian meets Lydia Derry, Simon’s wife. If Ian had any interest in women, he’d suggest a threesome, but then Simon explains that he and Lydia are polyamorous, and if Ian wants Simon, neither of them will complain. If anything, Lydia encourages the relationship.

Ian’s all in, and it’s fantastic working with Simon to piece together his set and then take each other apart at night. His friendship with Lydia grows too. The only problem is, the more time he spends with Simon, the more he wants everything Simon already has with Lydia: A house. A cat. A commitment. So Ian runs, and shatters the trust he has with them both—right when they need him the most. Piecing their relationships back together might prove harder than a smashed set

Trope Tags : #Polyam #M-M #F-M #Geek-protag #amazing-heroine #voyarism #bondage #First-POV #standalone #open-marriage

Heat Level – 4 out of 5 Chilli’s – On page MM sex.

Content Warnings – None that stood out within the work however it is a Riptide Book.

Notes about writing style – Anna Zabo has a light, humourous author voice throughout this book, with lots of pop-culture references included that made me giggle. It is written in first POV from both Simon and Ian’s POV, chapters being dedicated to each without head-hoping. I would definately pick up another book by this author.

Nix One(ish) line summary –  Simon, a geeky, married, polyam, minaturist, falls in lust at first sight with Ian, another geeky man who visits his shop in desperate need of minature assistance. Lydia, Simon’s wife, likes Ian too (in a non-sexual way) so they all embark on a Polyamorous journey together…which isn’t as uneventful as it sounds!

Quick Ratings –

  • Ian – 3/5. He gets bonus points for all the dirty talk (*fans*) but he annoyed me with all the assumptions that he made throughout the book. I repeatedly screamed “use your words!” at the kindle …
  • Simon – 5/5. I adored Simon. Cute, geeky, a bit bumbling, totally submissive – lovely.
  • Lydia – 4/5. Lydia isn’t really a character in her own right in this book; she never get’s her own POV as this isn’t really her story. In the bits I did see her in, she was awesome. Lydia takes no prisoners and tells it exactly as it is – she is a driving factor for the love story.
  • Romance – 4/5. We all know that drama caused by lack of communication is not my favoruite HOWEVER, alongside this, the romance is cute, fluffy and just a teeny bit kinky.
  • Plot – 4.5/5 – Slow at points but it flowed well. This is a romance with some internal conflict that blights the path.
  • Cover – 4/5 – Cute and reflects the story well.
  • Re-read Potential?Very high.

Favourite Part – The flirty, sexy banter that litters Ian and Simon’s first couple of meetings are lovely to read. They left me with a huge smile on my face.

Favoruite Quote (s)

Lydia and Simon

“I can’t imagine spending the rest of my ethically non-monogamous life without you.”

“Ditto” sleepy voice. “Never gonna –”

Before she could get the next word out, I pressed my fingers agianst her lips. “Don’t you dare Rick Roll me in bed, Lydia Dery!”

Simon and Ian

I took his hand in mine. “I don’t always say or do the right things. I’m horrible when it comes to sexy. I always guess wrong when it comes to men.” I shrugged, which he probably didn’t see. “I like you, only I don’t know how to tell you that.”

Anything that didn’t work for me?

At times, the pacing was slow. Anna Zabo takes great pains to ensure that us as readers, and Ian as a character, know that this is not cheating and this lifestyle is a choice that is embraced by both Simon and Lydia, but this does mean that there are lengthy conversations which slow down the plot line.



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