Title: Angel Without
Series: For Love of Authority, #2
Author: Rhiannon Ayers
Genre: Contemporary, D/s
Stand Alone: YES
Re-issued /Re-edited: NO
Date published: August 2014
Published by: Siren Bookstrand
Publisher bookstore: LINK
Word count: 106,377
Page count: 264 pages (real)
Rhiannon Ayers has lived in many cities over the years, having grown up the daughter of parents who suffered from wanderlust. Currently, she and her husband reside near the Gulf of Mexico with their children, both the two- and four-legged variety. An artist to the bone, Rhiannon spends her days dreaming up snappy headlines and creating eye-catching artwork for clients all over the world, though telling stories has always been her first love. After writing her first epic adventure series at the tender age of eight, she went on to garner several creative writing awards, including the prestigious Vanderbilt Award for Excellence in Creative Writing. Becoming a published author is her single greatest achievement to date.
When Amber Whitman’s fiance suddenly turns violent, she flees back home—only to be told she has no choice but to marry the bastard. Refusing to live her life as an abused woman, Amber takes off in the dead of night. But now she’s out of money, out of options, and out of ideas. She has no place to turn…or does she?
All these years, Amber thought her beloved adopted brother, Allen, was dead. When she discovers he’s not only alive, but living in the same city, she runs to him for help. Fortunately, Allen and his lovers have a plan to keep Amber safe. Allen brings his little sister to stay with Maddox Henley, a Dom with a dark past, and Riley Jones, an ex-soldier with a dark secret. Together, these two strapping construction workers have the balls and ability to keep a young woman safe from all outside threats.
But can they keep her safe from the threat they pose to her heart?
How different! Finally a story that is different from the romances labelled BDSM.
One thing that always bother me is the lack of imagination with most authors that wish to write about the lifestyle and always portray the lifestyle with the mandatory spanking, the punishment because the heroine cannot have a brain of her own or may have a different opinion, the binding/cuffing, etc.
I despair to see one day publishers that will decide to label their story the correct way. Most goes with the cash flow but it sucks to not rely on the right tag/label. There is a huge difference in my book between, Dominance and Submission, between Bondage and Discipline and Sadism and between Masochism. So each time a romance is labelled BDSM, I know at 99.99%, I will not find sadism and masochism. Most of the times authors have no choice in the matter. Like with this story, Angel Without.
Angel Without is the complicated story of three characters that will meet, love and discover their needs within each other.
First a man, Maddox, who is a Dom but describes himself as a sexual dominant:
“All that really means, at the very basic foundation of the concept, is I need to be in control of the motion during sex in order to come. Most men assume they are Dominant, because they usually prefer to be on top. The difference is, for someone like me, I actually need to be on top in order to find satisfaction.”
But instead of being a caveman character, Rhiannon Ayers, portrayed her Dom as someone who needs control verbally. No spanking, no cuffs, no St-Andrew crux and so on. And that, for me is the most credible Dom character I have ever read in a menage romance!
Then the second character is a woman, submissive to the core. But she does not need to be physically dominated:
“A sub also prefers to have someone else in control. What that entails depends on the person, what each one wants and needs. ‘Control’ can be as simple as being on top all the time—or it can extend further, to controlling the entire encounter. Giving commands, arranging scenarios that push the sub’s boundaries, etc. The Dom takes control because that’s his nature, and the sub chooses to give up control, because that’s her nature.”
A submissive does not have to receive punishment and receive pain. Some need that, some do not. Angel, the female character of this story need an exchange of power.
And finally the third character, Riley, who has no idea about the lifestyle and discovered his bisexuality and submissive nature.
Rhiannon Ayers definitely know what she is writing about. Funny enough, I can always make the difference. The fact that she avoided all the lifestyle clichés and developed a D/s relationship with the details of three individuals with weaknesses, including the Dom, was totally awesome. It made the romance more real, more credible.
This author knows what she is talking about. I felt that each explanation about the lifestyle made sense, most especially the difference between abuse and submission. Each time, I was: yep, yes, that’s right, that’s exactly right. And you know what I enjoyed the most in this story? The author did not try to portray a perfect Dom… that only exists in FantasyDomLand. She portrayed him as a normal next door person. He did not need to have a cane or a flogger. He did not need to spank in order to make sure his sub understood they could not breath or think without his approval… On a contrary, Rhiannon Ayers made the lifestyle in one side of the spectrum… the non physical side of Dominance and submission. I loved it!
A couple of things bothered me though.
I was not fond of Maddox saying that he could not be patient and wait to have sex with the heroine when he just discovered how much she had been abused. I understood that it is a romance and readers must feel how much he lusted and loved her but I felt it was a glitch in the story.
Then, I did not like that Maddox did not tell Riley about the phone. Not saying in details because I do not want to spoil but for me it was so not the right thing to do. Hot, sure. Justified afterwards, okay. But the first time when the trio was not even completed? nope. I felt the Dom did not respect his lover.
Maddox also had a difficult past and although the other two characters shared in details their past with each other, he did not. I did not like it. I was waiting his confession that never came.
Last, Robbie, her older brother. He was never bothered about witnessing what happened with her ex. He was a complete asshole and enjoyed seeing his sister suffering and more… yet, both characters did not know the full extend of his implication. He got away with a punch in his face but for a different reason.
Sex scenes were good but not scorching hot for me. But I AM difficult to please in this topic. If you ask me what else I would have liked here, I am not even sure what I would answer.
I loved the plot. Tons of dramas. It was real life dramas. Of course, I was not surprised of the development and epilogue because I knew the villains from the start but it had the right amount of intensity.
So overall, this is truly a great story. I did not relate to the heroine but I was pleased with the dynamic of the three characters. Even if I have a tiny problem to find out credible that a grow up man decide to jump the fence and pop his cherry so quickly but I decided that love is love and in the mist of the moment, we can all be impulsive. I was okay with that because I understand that genres and labels are not the essence of people… and this is exactly what Rhiannon Ayers explained in this story: if you love somebody, genre and orientation are not important. Love is. With respect and trust.
Book #3, Saints United, should be out soon, another menage and if I read well a dominant couple with a male submissive, like book #1, Demons Within. Reviews for this author are great. She is a new published author at Siren Bookstrand and already her two books are on top of the best seller chart. I guess, either you have it, either you don’t… talent, I mean! Looking forward to read you again, Mrs Ayers!