Title: Mastering Love
Evan sees a Master who could be his whole world and Ned sees a beautiful boy in need. But shattered trust and broken hearts could keep them apart forever.
Evan landed on his ex-Master’s doorstep after Master Gabriel dumped him for a virgin. He’d hoped Thomas would take him back, but he’s moved on with his new submissive, Linus. Evan has nowhere to go and barely a penny to his name. Fortunately, Master Aaron and his boy, Sam, invite him to stay at their guesthouse. Alone and abandoned, Evan aches for a Master who can give him more—if only he knew what ‘more’ meant.
Master Ned has finally decided to settle down in one place after traveling on the road for years. He’s always loved the Hampton Road Club—it’s a private sanctuary for men such as himself. The roaring twenties might be freer than ever, but the decadence of the sadomasochistic club could put its members in danger if they’re not discreet.
Ned’s on the lookout for an untried boy who’s ready to fully submit to him on a daily basis. In return, he plans to train and care for his submissive. If he can also find love, then his life will be perfect.
After Evan is introduced to Ned at the club, they have an intense encounter that catches them both by surprise. What should lead to a possible future for them as Master and submissive is destroyed when Ned mysteriously casts Evan aside. Evan wonders if he’ll ever be good enough to keep a Master, and Ned fears he may have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.
Shattered trust and broken hearts have to be repaired before Evan and Ned can find their way to each other—if it’s not already too late.
Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene of exhibitionism.
Publisher's Note: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series.
Author: Morticia Knight
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Dangerous Wish, What's His Passion?, All Fired Up, Hard Riders Anthology
Series: The Hampton Road Club #4
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: Hesitant Heart, The Rules of Love, The Fear of Surrender
Published by Totally Bound Source: Publisher
Published: May 8, 2015
Genres: BDSM, Erotic Historical Romance, Male Male Romance
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
I do like this series. The placement of a gay sadomasochism in the roaring twenties is genius! I am not usually a fan of novels of this era, but this series has caught my imagination. The author does an amazing job of making sure we feel that we are in the era. The descriptions of the autos. The bath houses. The pansy clubs. How that society views gays in general, sadomasochists in particular. The whole thing ignites my imagination and carries me away to a by-gone era.
Then I get to meet the amazing characters that frequent this fascinating club. One could be forgiven for feeling this club could be the beginning of the current safe, sane and consensual philosophy we see today in this lifestyle. The author has taken us from rescuing submissive types from malevolent employers and abusive fathers to the difference between abuse and sadomasochism. It has been an inspiring, if sometimes shocking, journey.
The Masters at The Hampton Road Club have gone from “anything goes” to having rules of conduct. In Mastering Love the “contract” was introduced. I thoroughly enjoyed how that came about. It was presented in a very effective way. Of course it didn’t hurt that it happened with these particular characters – Evan and Master Ned.
Evan was Thomas’ former sub in Santa Barbara. We met him when he showed up on Thomas’ doorstep toward the end of the last book, The Fear of Surrender. That was rather a curve ball thrown at us there, and also indicates that yes, you want to read this series in order. Evan is really a decent guy who is just looking for someone to care for him. He knows he screwed up with Thomas, but he also knows that Thomas was not right for him. But what to do now. He has been kicked out and has nowhere else to go. Thomas, being the conscientious Master he is, helps him, with Linus’ full support.
Master Ned, although he was the one who first brought Linus to Hampton Road, is also relatively new to the area. He has passed through and visited the club a few times, but has now decided to settle in the area and join the club permanently. He has decided he wants to find an untried, untrained young man (read virgin) to make his perfect sub. So, although he very much enjoys his night with Evan, Evan isn’t what he wants. Silly man.
The title of this book fits the story so well. This couple truly has to “master love” before they attain their happy ever after. One of the tools they employ to do this is “the contract.” I very much enjoyed how it all came about and was used in this story. I also enjoyed how this story included all of the other wonderful characters that I have met in the other books. They all had a bit of a part in bringing this couple to a happy ending. That is one of things I do enjoy about this kind of series, seeing all the previous characters, what they are doing and how they are getting along. It is so fun.
Since there was a new sub, Colin, introduced in this story, I do hope there will be more Hampton Road Club. I do enjoy visiting there.