2.5, it was okay, certainly not as bad as it could have been (as others I have read). But there were a few things that dropped it from a three.I'm getting so tired of BDSM. It seems like it's everywhere nowadays, but for little reason other than to ride a trend and portray erroneous stereotypes. That particular issue isn't apparent in this novella, but it did succumb to another trope. Of course, one of the characters is the best Dom around. And he is afraid his lovers only want him for that purpose. After articulating this fear, for some reason and without any prompting, he immediately reprises the role treating the other two as subs. This is not someone who can't function outside of being a Dom, they actually haven't played in quite some time. So why not start off the relationship and then work it in later? It didn't track for me. He also did so without having a real discussion with the one who was new to the lifestyle, even though the first few chapters emphasized how important that is.There was another point when he was binding one of his subs, even though like two pages earlier he said he wouldn't that night (and for spoilery reasons he absolutely should not have). Then, when that person kept getting scared, he got irritated with their fear, and even imposes a penalty on using their safe word ('that'll be it for you for the night, and we'll continue on without you'). Which, as far as I'm aware, is a big no-no. I was also bothered by what seemed to be the interchangeable use of "pain" and "punishment" as descriptions for what was going on. Again, as far as I'm aware, not all punishment is pain and not all pain is punishment. Just saying.Kind of a small irritation was one of the characters immediately laughing and joking about food after someone he deeply cares about was brought to him in a bad state and no one knew what happened and why. I mean, at least take a minute for the rage to die down.The ending was way too abrupt. A couple of major life decisions were made and the story ended in the same paragraph.I did like the characters. They were drawn well enough in the very short amount of time we were with them. The situation that Harner set up was entirely plausible so I wasn't distracted by how impossible it is that three people would fall into a relationship like this in such a short amount of time. I did question the change in Marcus and Max's relationship, but it obviously wasn't unbelievable. It's really too bad it is almost impossible to find this sort of pairing outside of erotica (the only reason I touch the genre nowadays is because it's the only place to get polyamourous relationships and pretty much all M/M that isn't YA). I would have liked to read this as a full length story with little to no sex and no BDSM.