Title: The Rules of Love
Master Saul is captivated by the beautifully submissive Kenneth and the boy’s love of pain. Unfortunately, Kenneth belongs to Master Preston.
It’s 1926 and as one of the founding members of the Hampton Road Club, Master Saul Liebowitz has enjoyed the charms of many willing submissives over the years. One of the newer submissives to the club has captured his attention more than anyone has in a long time. Kenneth is tall, muscular and also seems to have a greater love of pain than most. If only Kenneth didn’t already belong to another Master.
After Kenneth’s Master died years before, he allowed himself to be taken in by the promises of Master Preston. As time has gone by, Preston has become increasingly crueler to the point where Kenneth fears for his life. They’ve recently joined a sadomasochism club and Kenneth can’t help but yearn for the handsome Master the other boys speak so highly of—Master Saul.
Preston takes things too far one night, and when Saul and his good friend, Master Aaron, do some investigating, they realize that Kenneth might be in real danger. Amidst turmoil at the club over whether there should be rules to keep the boys safe and Preston’s play for power, Saul searches for a way to save Kenneth from what he’s sure is a deadly situation.
Both men fight for what they believe to be the right thing. When they find their way to one another, a wonderful new world opens up to them. But there’s one man out there who refuses to let go of the old ways. Kenneth is his property and Master Preston won’t give him up.
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and dubious consent.
Publisher's Note: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series but can be read as a standalone.
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 #2
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: Hesitant Heart, The Fear of Surrender, Mastering Love
Published by Totally Bound Source: Publisher
Published: February 6, 2015
Genres: BDSM, Erotic Historical Romance, Male Male Romance, Suspense
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Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
Warnings – if you have triggers that can be tripped by scenes of rape and physical abuse, do NOT read. If you don’t like edgy subject matter in your reading – to include sadomasochism and power exchange – do NOT read. This is not for the faint of heart.
It is suggested that “this book is best read in sequence as part of a series but can be read as a standalone.” So true. If you haven’t read the first one, you will miss out on some of the dynamics of the time period and between the characters. Some detail is supplied to make this a viable stand-alone read, but I don’t think enough. You will miss out on the wonderful descriptions of the era.
Okay, enough commercials! This was a powerful story. Things are happening at the Hampton Road Club that has one of its founding members deeply concerned. Is the place safe for the subs? To date, any dominate who paid their dues and agreed to pictures was allowed to join. The pictures being the security measure taken so they wouldn’t talk. It wasn’t made terribly clear how the single subs found the place, but I gathered it was by word of mouth, a willingness to submit, and also agree to pictures. The subs did not pay dues. With those parameters it is easy to see where a problem or two may arise. Arise it did.
Featured in this book is Master Saul – a founding member. We meet Kenneth who belongs to Master Preston. Do you see a triangle happening here? Yep, instant attraction between Master Saul and Kenneth. However, Master Preston isn’t willing to let Kenneth go, even though there is no affection what so ever in their relationship.
In this book bad masters and/or bullies are discussed and how this fledgling club dealt with the issue. In the world of sadomasochism when and where do beatings cross the line into abuse and/or bullying? Do other masters have the right and/or moral obligation to step in? Yes, this is way before safe, sane, and consensual. This was all about, “you are my slave and you will take what I give you.” Although subs were supposed to be allowed to request “mercy,” for some masters is was not acknowledged. With no rules or guidelines, it made for some riveting suspense and action.
I thought the conflict that Saul went through, even in his own mind, about the subject of potential abuse was very well handled. It showed that open and honest communication can not only strengthen the bond between Master and sub, but also with other Masters. Although Saul did have a secret he revealed near the end of the book, he had a valid reason for not sharing with the class. I liked that twist.
Again, in spite of the dark subject matter of the book, it had its amazingly sweet moments. The author does a good job of developing the love, caring and trust between the characters.
Although this had a rather satisfying ending, I see the potential for more. I hope there is more. I would like to see where The Hampton Road Club goes from here. Not to mention, Thomas and Linus both need stories, if not with each other than someone. There is just so much potential for more here. I hope.