Hailey loves Tony. She also loves Mark. Mark and Tony both love Hailey, but they are best friends — which puts the three of them in quite the predicament. That is until an exotic vacation to Hawaii help the threesome break down emotional barriers and become open to the idea of Sharing Hailey. We were pleased to hear from RT reviewer Eve that in Samantha Ann King's new story, the author does an excellent job of weaving together romance and realism in the three-way relationship that takes center stage. So we asked the author to give us an inside look at the issues that Hailey, Mark and Tony all face when they decide sharing is, in fact, caring.
Sharing Hailey is the story of three longtime friends who become lovers. The journey from friendship to polyamory isn't an easy one, but the characters have some unique qualities that make it possible for them to forge this unusual relationship.
When I first began writing Sharing Hailey, I didn't know much about what led to Mark's and Tony's proposal to share the woman they both loved. I only knew that they were biding their time, hoping Hailey would show a preference for one of them. I discovered their reasoning as Hailey did. But like Hailey, I had a good idea of their characters before I started their story. You see, I'm surrounded by nerds. And Mark and Tony are both very sexy nerds. Like the nerds I know and love, they're creative, intuitive, scary smart, and most importantly, accepting of alternative lifestyles. So the idea that these two men could engage in a committed, loving relationship with Hailey seemed natural if not "normal."
How can two men share a woman and get past the jealousy? For most men, I suspect it's not easy. Mark and Tony have been friends since sixth grade. They shared a dorm room in college, something that strains many friendships, male and female, but theirs thrived. The fact that their friendship has lasted so long speaks to their love for each other. Still, I don't think the polyamorous relationship would have worked if they hadn't already shared Hailey's friendship for years. The good, the bad and the ugly. Heartaches, vacations, families, career highs and lows. The only thing the three hadn't shared in their twenty-odd years together was sex. And sex seemed like a natural progression of their relationship. In fact, had Hailey fallen for just one of them, their "three musketeer" camaraderie would have died. Not from jealousy so much as the heartache of the man not chosen.
While jealousy was not a big concern, societal norms were. Mark, the more free-spirited man, has already rejected familial expectations by quitting law school and becoming an artist and craftsman. He suggests the polyamorous arrangement to Tony almost a year before they present the idea to Hailey. As they wait for Hailey to end her current relationship, they explore the legal safeguards they need to put in place if Hailey agrees. They must also decide the best way to come out to friends and family.
So when Mark and Tony make their proposal to Hailey, they've put a lot of thought into the idea, done their research, and discussed their options. They're way ahead of Hailey, which creates its own problems but also eases them through others. Of course, things don't go as smoothly as the three lovers would wish. That's where the story begins.
- Samantha Ann King