This is one of the better ménages I’ve read in quite a while. Other than a couple moments of the author’s pontification on a few social norms, I really enjoyed this story. This is a new to me author and the first in her ‘La Belle sans la Bête’ series. Most ménage romances tend to stick to the trio involved and this one did to a certain extent. It’s rare to find one where there’s potential ‘exposure’ to parties outside of the trio’s world or anyone else who would normally give a crap about them anyway. Now before I go on, this is a millionaire story, both men are filthy rich, so there’s a lot that money will do.
Born and bred in California, Devina ‘Devvy’ moved to France a few years ago, when she was in her early 20s, on the promise of working for a company doing what she loved to do, cosmetic research. When she started working for, then dating, and finally marrying Sebastien Jacques, a man 19 years her senior she knew that was it for her. She was content and desperately hoped and prayed that Sebastien was too. Married for 2 years, you can imagine the shock and dismay that Devvy felt when she asked her husband if he was cheating on her and he answered yes. Imagine the additional shock when she finds out that the person that Sebastien is having an affair with is a man.
I must admit that it’s terribly convenient that the man that Sebastien is seeing outside of his marriage is Alexei Ivanov, who Devvy’s had a nerd crush since she was in her teens. In his mid-30s, Alexei is a distinguished scientist who has discovered the cure for a few types of cancer. He’s a genius and Devvy likes smart people, as she’s one herself.
I liked this story a lot. I think that Serena Akeroyd’s writing was strong – the dialogue was realistic, the development of the characters was done really well, and the plot progressed at a nice consistent pace and didn’t feel rushed in any way. As a matter of fact, when I found this story it was around the same time that the second book in the series was released and that’s already in my TBR.
After finding out about Alexei, Devvy is understandably upset. She already has so much angst about her place in her marriage and is constantly worried about her husband’s happiness within the marriage. Then she’s also got her mother contributing to her angst with the monthly phone calls about all the things that Devvy’s doing wrong. It’s a lot for one woman to put up with and we get to take this wonderful journey of self-discovery, self-worth and self-respect with this likable heroine.
One of things I enjoyed most about Devvy was her self-doubt and what that stemmed from. She’s so smart, she finished grad school at 21 for goodness sake but I totally understood her desire to make herself attractive to her husband. Once Sebastien introduces Devvy and Alexei and explains to her what they want, Devvy doesn’t immediately give her husband and his lover what they’re asking for. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to not have the heroine in a ménage immediately jump into bed with a man in addition to her husband and act like she’s gagging for it. Oh, so refreshing.
And even better, Devvy isn’t the only one making sacrifices and changing. All three of these characters are flawed, Alexei most of all, but they each have their own hurdles to jump. If you’re in the mood for a contemporary ménage that has a plot, character development and scenes outside of the bedroom then I highly recommend this. Oh, the sex is pretty hot too.
Happy Reading Folks!
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Serena Akeroyd
Release Date: November 10, 2014
Publisher: Siren Publishing