Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Demons Within
Author: Rhiannon Ayers
Series: For Love of Authority #1
Genre: M/M/F Contemporary
Length: 283 pages
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
Release Date: May 28, 2014
Available at: Bookstrand
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Allen Heras just landed his dream job, and he’s determined to make the most of this chance for a new life. Only there’s a problem: he can’t seem to stop lusting after his bosses. After suppressing his bisexuality his whole life, he can’t afford to let his hormones ruin his chances for success. Now, if he could just get his big head to convince the little one of that, he’d be just fine.
Sidri McKenna and Tatum McAlister have always known there was something missing between them: another man, one who could bear the love of two Doms. And they’ve chosen Allen to be that man. They’d always known it would be an uphill battle, convincing Allen that three people could make it in a long-term triad. But when the demons from Allen’s horrible past threaten their relationship, they realize that the real battle isn’t convincing Allen to love them—it’s convincing him he’s worth loving in the first place.
This is one of the best mmf ménages I’ve read in a very long time. I found it really hard to believe this was a first attempt by this author.
The story starts out somewhat slowly, with a few quick flashbacks to show how Allen came to be in his current position from where he started as a new hire two years earlier. I’m not generally a fan of flashbacks, but they work here and only really happen in the beginning stages.
Allen Heras was basically recruited by MM&M, a top marketing firm, for the raw potential they saw in his creativity and skills as a photographer. He was basically untrained, with little to no schooling. He didn’t even finish high school. But recruit him they did, although it was by chance that he just happened to apply for a job in the company since he had unwittingly not responded to any of their communications up to that point.
So, the company is run by two of its bigwigs, Sidri McKenna and Tatum McAlister. Allen feels a strong attraction to Sid, as does Sid with Allen, but they keep things under wraps for a good two years as their friendship and working relationship grows. During this time, Tatum has been behind the scenes having had to fill in for someone in their London office.
Sid and Tatum believe Allen is the perfect third for them. They have a major plan of action, but it is finally put in place by Sid when she pushes things a bit further with Allen. When Allen and Tatum finally see each other face to face, the attraction is immediate and strong. However, Allen has some major issues, one being his closeted bi status. He takes a lot of convincing to give the threesome a chance.
Allen is such a sweet soul. He is gorgeous on the outside but feels quite the opposite on the inside, mostly due to his horribly evil and bigoted televangelist parents. He ran from them at the age of fourteen and has been on his own ever since, so he has had it pretty rough. He was completely up front about his past, or he tried to be, with Sid when she hired him, but she insisted his past didn’t matter, that they only cared about his future.
Sid is wonderful with Allen. She and Tatum have been friends with benefits since they were old enough to do so. They realized long ago that they could never really be what the other needed mainly due to their both having such dominant personalities and appetites. And then, Tatum is bi as well, so that put a wrench in their being a happy couple. But, over the years, they have experimented and learned exactly what they needed – a third who is also a submissive man.
All this talk about dominants and submissives would lead you to think this is the usual BDSM story. It is not. There is very little of that, in fact. It is mostly about control, with Sid and Tatum both needing to be the ones controlling. Turns out that Allen is perfect for them, and it was lovely to watch them show Allen that side of him and nurture him to become comfortable with everything.
I have to admit that while I enjoyed Sid and Allen together, Tatum stole the show. Tatum and Allen together were unbelievably hot stuff! There were really no jealousy issues here either. Tatum had some issues of his own due to previous men not actually wanting a relationship with him making him fear rejection from Allen, but they were dealt with and the three remained equal members of the triad, except for Allen when his past crept back to haunt him.
I really could go on and on, but this is already getting long. Suffice to say that I really enjoyed this. It was extremely refreshing with Sid being such a strong female character. At the same time, whenever I sensed things were about to go over the line of cheesiness, they just didn’t. There were a few niggling things here and there that kept this from that final ½ star, but overall, I thought it was fantastic.
I am really glad I picked this one up and am super excited to see it’s the first of a series. I have a feeling Ms. Ayers will be an auto read for me if this is any indication.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*