Josh is a shy young man living in Bath. He was recently dumped by his boyfriend and now lives in a small apartment on the top floor of a run-down converted house. He likes his job as a glass blower, making traditional ornaments, but otherwise he has a rather empty life with few friends. As the story opens, Josh is crushing on his downstairs neighbors, Evan and Rai. The big strapping Evan from Manchester and geeky Japanese Rai make an unlikely couple. They’re as different as chalk and sushi, but the two men seem devoted to each other. They also seem to enjoy a very active sex life, as Josh is reminded when he visits his friend Denise, who lives on the floor below Evan and Rai. The sounds of their lovemaking can be clearly heard in Denise’s rooms.
Evan and Rai befriend Josh, but as he spends more time with the two men, Josh is unsettled by his growing attraction to both of them, as well as envy for the close relationship they share, which is something he longs to have. Then, one night the crumbling old house conspires to throw Josh, Evan and Rai together. The relatively inexperienced Josh is drawn into a sexual relationship with both men. But as much as the sex thrills him, as Josh is drawn closer and closer to Evan and Rai, he wonders how long it will be before he is asked to leave. He feels like a guest in the relationship, and isn’t sure if the other two feel as strongly about him.
“The Hot Floor” is a very good story of a developing menage relationship. Each of the characters is fully developed, with distinct personalities. The tale is told in the first person by Josh, so we get everything that is going on in his head. Josh’s lack of self confidence comes across as a bit of angst at times, but it stops short of being annoying. I’ve marked this as a D/s story, but Evan and Rai don’t have a typical D/s relationship. Although Rai is a pure bottom and sometimes likes it rough, he and Evan banter as equals. However, they do have rules, particularly as it relates to playing with people outside their relationship, and as Josh is drawn into their embrace it becomes clear that he does have submissive desires.
For the most part, “The Hot Floor” is a very enjoyable read. The humor is generally very funny. However, the attempt at rendering Evan’s Manchester accent isn’t very successful, for a non-UK reader. It makes you stumble over the words, especially at first. However, this is a minor annoyance and didn’t detract too much from the story. There is also a rich set of well drawn supporting characters in the story, although they seem to get a little lost as the relationship heats up, only to suddenly to pop up again near the end.