Helen should be celebrating her first year of marriage and the honeymoon phase. She should be proud of herself for successfully being in an open marriage. They have rules they both have agreed to that she feels are easy to follow. She's been dating their wedding photographer Grant and Ben has been dating Ryley. In addition to having a successful open marriage, Helen is on the verge of a promotion that is requiring a lot of her time. Because she's been at work a lot, she might not realize that Ben is at home breaking their number one rule.
Helen had the best of intentions when she made those rules with Ben, and she's a stickler for the rules, so not falling in love with a partner should have been an easy one to follow. In fact, she's not in love with Grant, it's something very easy to control. But denying your feelings for someone isn't the same as following the rules, and she's learning to see that with Ben. If only she wasn't so angry with him that she could communicate her feelings.
This entire adventure for Helen is something widely out of her comfort zone. She's learning that she needs to rely on honesty and openness to communicate her feelings. What started off as a healthy approach using therapy turned into a stubbornness to admit it was such a good thing. All relationships are going to have their ups and downs, you have to put in the work. Helen has some great friends who are in various types of relationships that have invaluable advice is only she were to listen.
I love the Poly Passions series because Sagan has included a plethora of inclusive characters. There's also great advice for people that are interested in varying lifestyles. I love Helen because her personality is a bit similar to my own in that she thinks "It's not that I need things to be done my own way. It's that my way always happens to be the best option." But at least Helen is learning that when it comes to unknown territory, that might not be the best approach. This has been such a fun series and I'm always excited to see what the next book will have in store for the characters. I was especially pleased to see the bookshop in chapter 9, it's definitely one I would love to visit ;) Another excellent addition to the series, Out of Control shows us that even with the best of intentions, some things in life are just beyond our control.
For now you can also read my review on Goodreads as I was lucky enough to receive this as an ARC. Out of Control is available for preorder on Amazon for $2.99, it releases December 10th.