Bonds of Desire is book 3 in the Wicked Play series and I thought the natural choice for the H/h would be Seth, the remaining unmatched club owner, and Allie, Kendra and Cali’s apartment mate. What I didn’t know was that there would be a bonus player in Tyler. When I realized this would be a m/m/f book I got really excited!
Bonds of Desire opens with Tyler in the middle of a brutal scene. The three owners of the club helplessly watch while he is beaten and abused but because he doesn’t use his safe word they are unable to interfere. I was a little turned off by the start because at some point there has to be a line, but we learn later that Tyler was not given a safe word so there was no way for him to stop the abuse. Eventually the scene is broken up but not before he is raped and torn open.
Tyler is taken to Seth’s rooms and Allie is called to determine what rights he has. Allie is a lawyer and has a passion for pro-bono work. Once she meets Tyler he becomes more than just a case for her. She vows to stay with him, help him and make sure he is not taken advantage of in any way. Allie has a very bad example of strong men with an abusive father and doormat mother. She doesn’t trust Seth and makes that distrust clear. But what is also clear is the crazy attraction that runs between them.
What Seth recognizes though is that there is a connection between all three of them. Seth is part owner of the club be he is only a Dom. He doesn’t get off on giving or receiving pain. Tyler is a male escort that has no liking for pain but does it because he is paid. Allie is damaged by being raised with terrible role models. Each has their issues and while it seems like they should clash, somehow they fit. This is the closest to peace Seth and Tyler have felt in a long time and they will do anything to have a part of it, even if it only lasts a short time. Tyler feels like he must take advantage of this clean, loving relationship because soon he will be back to whoring and he will be left with only his memories.
Menage relationships are tricky in romance and they have to be done just right in order to work for me. Here we have three unconnected people who come together basically for Tyler. Seth is the overwhelming Dom with both Tyler and Allie submitting for him. What I really liked and haven’t seen before is how Tyler, when with Allie, was also a dominant personality. Tyler was only submissive for Seth and it really worked for me. This wasn’t all about two subs and a Dom, the roles were interchangeable at times. There were parts were Seth would sit back and let Tyler be the strong personality because Tyler was the one that could calm Allie. It allowed each of them to develop a relationship while strengthening them as a threesome also.
There is a background story of Tyler’s abuser also. He was a famous politician and Seth is unable to rest until something is done about him. He raped Tyler and though Tyler does not want to press charges, they feel that he cannot be let off with nothing happening. This causes conflict for the club and the partners have to deal with the fallout. In a way it was good because it allowed Seth, Jake and Deklan to bring in some partners which will make this series continue. Smooth. I think there might be a Domme in there too which will probably stretch my comfort zone a lot!
M/m/f menages are my preference because of the sexual contact with all the partners. It seems more equal when it isn’t just all focused on one person. Tyler was hurt in the first chapter so we don’t get to see as much as I would have liked from him and Seth but there was still enough to keep me happy. Just the suggestion of m/m/f makes it that much better for me.
Overall, I think this was my favorite book so far in this series. Maybe it is because of the m/m/f menage or maybe it is because Tyler was such a damaged yet lovable character. He was the star and made me want to fold him up and take him home. He was hurt yet dominant, hard yet comforting. It is interesting that the character I didn’t expect ended up being the one to pull everything together! Final grade- B
This was what she wanted but couldn’t voice or go get. But if he just took it, claimed her like this, then it was out of her control.