Kneel, Mr. President, by Lauren Gallagher
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (June 9, 2015)
Page Count: approx. 300 pages
Genre: Threesome (M/F/M) Romance
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Short & Sweet: Take one stressed-out President, an extremely worried First Lady, and a head of Secret Service who will do anything to protect the man he secretly loves. Mix with a generous amount of BDSM and sex. Shake well. Twenty years ago, James and Kent were friends-with-benefits when they were in the Navy SEALs together, but James has since moved on to marry his love, Carlene, and is now President of the USA. Kent sticks as close as he can, sworn to protect James with his own life if need be. But when the stress of an impending war starts to take its toll on James, Carlene comes to Kent with an… unusual solution.
My Thoughts: Whew, you’re going to need a glass of ice water when you finish this one! I wish that I’d known going in that Lauren Gallagher writes under some very familiar pen names (L.A. Witt/Lori A. Witt), because then I would have known what to expect here and could have prepared myself for this incredibly well-written, scorching hot story!
James is cracking at the edges, and his wife, Carlene, is terrified that her husband is going to end up broken or worse– dead. In the middle of the night, when he’s tossing and turning, James calls one name over and over, and it’s not his wife’s… it’s Kent’s. But Carlene is desperate to help, so she proposes something to Kent that scares both of them: carte blanche for Kent to do whatever he needs to keep James from going over the edge.
“You two have a history.” She broke eye contact and glared out at the forest. “Go back to that history if you have to.”
“Our hist–” Kent blinked a few times. “Are you… are you asking me…”
“Sleep with my husband?”
He gulped and then nodded slowly.
Carlene squared her shoulders and lifted her chin slightly, still staring down the trees. “If that’s what it takes, then yes.” (ePub page 12)
It doesn’t take long for Kent to realize that what James needs is more than just sex; he needs to let go, to be dominated, and to forget about the weight of the world on his shoulders for a while.
This novel is fairly light on the actual kink, but heavy on the emotional power exchange. Kent and Carlene form an uneasy truce to dominate James, and for Carlene to learn from Kent’s own experience as a Dom. But there’s no sado-masochism or bondage here, just James’ desperate need to have someone controlling him. And Kent is more than happy to take up the role, even believing that their arrangement can never be anything more than temporary.
Because there was nothing in the universe hotter than a man with that much power getting down on his knees. Kneeling at Kent’s feet, completely focused on obedience and surrender and beautiful submission– willingly and gratefully offering up the most profound power exchange Kent had ever experienced. (ePub page 192-193)
And let’s not forget how amazing Carlene was! So often in these types of novels, the female is an after-thought, or isn’t treated as equal to the main characters. But Carlene was a strong, realistic character who was never dismissed in favor of Kent and James. She was loving, jealous, confused, everything a woman in that situation would be. And it was almost painful at times to read about Kent, long-suffering and self-sacrificing, showing his love for James in the only way he can. But James was the lynchpin, holding everything together, and loving both his wife and his best friend equally.
As a bonus, I like that James was definitively stated as being bisexual. He wasn’t just straight with a one-off for his best friend; there’s actually an entire scene where James discusses his bisexuality, and how he discovered what that meant.
I blazed through this novel in a single sitting. I literally couldn’t put it down, because I was so wrapped up in these characters and their emotional journey. It wasn’t just James’ discovery of his submissive tendencies, or Carlene’s desire to help her husband heal… it was the three lovers on a journey to come together in one relationship.
Despite the rather cheesy title, this was definitely one smokin’ hot, brilliantly-written novel!