Review: The Master
The Master by Claire Thompson
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Is every Domme secretly a submissive too? In THE MASTER, it comes across in this manner with Donovan Cartwright pushing hard for Domme Jaime Heller to submit. Jaime is a twenty-seven year old loans officer experiencing a mid-life crisis. Realizing she's miserable, she packs up and leaves New York. She winds up in San Francisco without a job or home. Lucky for her, she easily find a room to sublet and job as a waitress in a BDSM club within days of her arrival.
Donovan is one of the owners of the BDSM club with the distinguished title of "The Master". It sounds more pretentious than it is in the book. Donovan is actually an accomplished Top who titillates and entices submissives and bottoms to tremble under his lashing and flogging. Honestly, the BDSM in this story is hot. The scenes are well done and very realistic. This is to be expected from the talented Ms. Thompson. She arouses the reader with pet play, wax, ice, whipping, flogging and spankings. She even takes our breath away with sensual asphyxiation. If she threw in a bit of fireplay and figging, I would have melted into a puddle of goo.
The issue I have with this book is how hard Donovan pressed for Jaime to submit in a D/s way. He kept at it despite her misgivings. Now, in this story, Jaime is a bit of a submissive. This is not the case for all Dommes. Since Jaime is in denial about it, forcing her to confront it made me feel ill at ease. One could argue Ms. Thompson showed how Donovan wanted Jaime's consent by compelling Jaime to ask for it. This is true. At one point Donovan does demand Jaime to willingly consent by kissing his feet. It still rubbed me wrong. My preference is for Jaime to want to submit and seek Donovan's expertise. This minor difference is inconsequential since the result is the same - Jaime savours Donovan's domination of her. For other readers, it may not be a sticking point.
While Donovan keeps saying the right words of "trust" and the three tenants, the actions did not exactly ring crisply for a D/s relationship. This is to be expected since Jaime isn't interested in D/s and she's always been more of a Top to bottoming males. It is a nice example of someone just starting to explore the D/s aspect of BDSM. The apprehension, first time subspace and tentativeness are all too familiar for me.
The romance part of this story is sweet and fast. Jaime is a strong female who can crank up the sultry heat when in Domme mode. She's a perfect match for the devilish Donovan. Donovan is a fine example of a good Dom. He's not perfect with his all too believable commitment issues. The chemistry between the two characters is smoldering hawt. To be co-Dommed by these two would be heavenly. This delicious kinky romance is recommended to BDSM readers who want a bit more intensity to their play.
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