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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Tally: A Polyamorous Romance by J.M. Northup, Tally Abram is a successful lawyer but when it comes to finding love, the cards seem stacked against her. She longs for a family of her own, but time is fast running out. She has just broken off with her married lover and decides to ask the closest people in her life, her married friends Lex and Ishkode Ackerman, to help father her child. Her proposal and the events that follow uncover cracks in a seemingly solid marriage between the two men, and also unresolved issues of jealousy and confused emotions. The three friends discover that love is sometimes not enough to become parents. The law is also against them. There is only one solution but it means heartbreaking sacrifices must be made, ones that threaten to tear the friendship apart.
This is a story that will touch every emotion inside you. Tally is a wonderfully strong protagonist; she is willing to put her own needs to one side for the sake of others. Lex is a charming, witty and loving character too and the relationship between Ishkode (Kode) is beautifully relayed to the reader. The dialogue is realistic to the personality of each character. I thought the story was going to be about surrogacy and the emotional complications attached to it, but the author has cleverly woven a subplot into the story, dealing with the legalities of the trio's situation and how it does not align with the changing dynamics of the modern family structure. There are many great conflicts throughout, making the story incredibly engaging. The rights of the LGBT community to raise a family, the misconceptions around polyamory, and the confusing emotions of jealousy are all covered with sensitivity. There are some adult scenes but I feel they were appropriate and necessary to drive the story forward.