Mastered: 10 Tales of Sensual Surrender by Opal Carew
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dominant males who seduce a woman into submission is my kind of man. When the male possesses quiet authority, it's even more attractive. In this anthology, a submissively inclined reader is treated to one after another sensual male in panty wetting goodness. The book kicks off with Scientific Method by Joey W. Hill. This is my favourite story in the book.
Debra is a perfect servant. She is smart and the best partner for Brian. She gave up a lucrative life to become Brian's possession. Unfortunately, the relations between a vampire and their servant should not be more than owner and pet. Anything more loving will give the vampire council cause to destroy the servant. This is the law for centuries. When Debra and Brian discover the missing element to create more born vampires, it rocks the vampire world. Yet nothing changes for Debra. Brian still treats her as a thing and the last time she expressed her devotion, he crushed her painfully both emotionally and physically.
This story is so well written, my heart physically hurt for Debra. Her desolation is understandable. She is a candidate for death by heartbreak. Ms. Hill does a marvelous job in the creation of both Debra and Brian. Debra is the one who captures a reader's sympathies. The damage she suffers through willful neglect is inhumane. Suicide is a distinct possibility and I see her point of view and wouldn't begrudge her for ending her heartbreak.
"She almost heard her heart crack. She would have done the unthinkable, scrambled away, run back to her room and close the door, but he tightened his arm around her. He wasn’t done with her. I’ll never be done with you. She might die from the pain of that. She was starting to understand all too well why some servants took their lives. (loc. 1332-1334)"
This story is a beautiful in how it describes Debra's pain. Fortunately, the story ends in a beautiful happy ending. Five Stars for this book and this story alone makes this book worth buying.
Three Secrets by Ms. Carew is okay. This story unfortunately swings the other way for me and I didn't enjoy it at all. One star for me. I nearly put the book down and didn't continue.
His Secret by Ms. Da Costa does not bring any further encouragement to continue the book. It starts out well and fizzes out. Two star for me.
Bondage on 34th Street by Ms. Ryan-Davis & Ms. Leeland is hawt! Oh my goodness is the ménage so good. The sex is delicious and the triad of Noah, Tasha and Ty makes me want to read more. This story leaves a reader yearning for more delicious mastery by Noah. There does seem to be a book for later this fall for more of Noah, Tasha and Ty's marvelous ménage. Four star short story for me. Fall won't come earlier enough.
Remastered by Ms. Ellis is just okay for me. Ms. Ellis's writing never works for me. I've tried several times and this one with rock atars still doesn't do anything for me. What I do like is the warning Ms. Ellis places against those who steal. "Violators will be forced to re-enact that book with my neighbour’s dog, while wearing a corset made of living bees. Twice."(loc. 4970-4971) This is awesome and kind of saves the story for me which is why I rated a two star instead of one.
Working Out by Ms. Harte is erotically hawt. The characters - Mac and Maggie are just okay. She's written better and more endearing characters. Maggie and Mac are a bit forgettable yet their sex is good. A reader can always depend upon Ms. Harte for good sex scenes and funny dialog.
“The Mac I know has no problem serial dating. What was it you said to me not so long ago? To indulge in the holy trinity and forget my problems? Tits, ass and an orgasm. There you go, buddy. You have two more-than-willing candidates still making eyes at you.”(loc. 5653-5655)
This is the first I've seen a holy trinity described in this manner. I like it! Three stars for this story.
Juicy by T.J. Michaels is also not my style. Solie is a bit of an annoying twit. This story is best for those who enjoy friends to lovers. The BDSM is good. The characters are not to my taste. Solie is frustrating and not the kind of female I enjoy. This is a two star for me.
No Limits by Ms. Pearce is out of this world smoking hawt. The club, the gang banging, all of it is amazing. Ms. Pearce is a new to me author who knows how to crank up the heat. Her descriptions are crystal clear for a reader to visualize. After reading this story, I immediately search for more stories in this world. It appears this is the only one. A reader can only hope Ms. Pearce will create more in this world and bring more fantasies to life. This is an author to watch. Four stars for this story.
Ink Reunited by Ms. Ryan pens a sweet lovers reunited story. It's tightly written. It's a sweet romance between three best friends broken apart and then coming together a decade later. There is so much more which can be fleshed out in this story. Ms. Ryan does a nice job of hooking the reader, making them wanting more from her. For those who love the bad boys grown into alpha men, this story is for you. Sassy is a female worth fighting for and she's tough with a heart of gold. Three stars for this story.
This anthology finishes off with Unfettered by Ms. White. Why haven't I read her before? Her BDSM scenes are good and she does something which I haven't seen in a while. She turns negotiation into foreplay. This is an excellent example. Her story is a three star for enjoyment. From a BDSM perspective it is four star material. Either she's in the lifestyle or she is amazing with research. For those who wonder about how to first start off with a play partner, here is a fabulous demonstration of how it can be erotic.
“I don’t like to be spanked, so the bench is out,” Ronnie told him. “What about the Cross? I’ve never been on one, but have always wanted to try it.”
“So spanking’s a hard limit?” Conner asked. “What else?”
He [Ian] listened for another minute, then interrupted. “Not bad, guys,” he said, stepping forward to stand next to them. “You’re communicating clearly, which is good. But negotiating doesn’t have to feel like a job interview, or worse yet, like a shopping list of do’s and don’ts.”
Conner grimaced and Ronnie chuckled. They looked at each other, neither offended or upset by the critique, and both open to what he [Ian] was saying. Perfect. He [Ian] let out a short whistle and everyone in the closed club turned to him. The shopping list was something lot of the newbies did, and every class needed a demonstration. Looked like he was going to do it for this class.
“We gave you guys a list of things that should be covered in an initial talk, but that doesn’t mean you have to check them off like a to-do list,” he said to the group. “Negotiating can be as erotic as any sexual play when done right.” He turned to Ronnie. “May I take your hand and lead you to the stage?”
She nodded, wide-eyed.
“Don’t think of your negotiations as something that has to be done before you get to play, think of it as part of the play. Use all your senses to gain, and give information. Watch, and listen.” When they got to the stage he turned to face Ronnie and smiled, but didn’t let go of her hand. (loc. 12886-12898)
Read the story to find out how to erotize negotiation!
Ms. White states in story in a way that isn't a lecture and hit home for me. This captures how I feel about D/s.
"Dominance isn’t something that can be faked, and I was tired of meeting men who considered it a game. Men who played at it. I want a real man, one who knows that true dominance is mental before it ever comes close to being physical. That my submission can not be demanded, it has to be earned, and when I give it, I give everything.” (loc. 13050-13052)"
Overall, this anthology is great. There are some really good stories and others which didn't appeal for me. The ones which I really enjoyed is what made me decide to rate the book a four star. Recommended for kinky readers who want a taste of ten very different BDSM writers.
*provided by NetGalley
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