I’ve decided to do review Kallypso Masters books as a series review and so they will get a series star score. It’s taken a while to do, but I feel I’ve got this into a format that works. The Rescue Me Series was on my Wish-List for a while but I couldn’t get round to reading anything that I hadn’t been requested because I was so busy! Luckily, I was contacted with review copies J A word to the wise, these books DO need to be read in order and the series is nowhere near finished
Masters at Arms
This is the first in the series and is the “back-drop” to each of the series. I’m not reviewing this one as a book in its own right because it ISN’T a book in its own right; it’s more an anthology of stories detailing the lives and decisions of each of the men up until they decide to start up the BDSM club. They meet in the Marines, suffer events that no one else would understand, and are bound together because of them. They create a space that they can call their own in the BDSM club and start to heal and go forward with their lives as the people that the tragedy of war created. It’s not a romance, it’s not nice (there is torture, incest, amputation and rape in the tales) but it certainly sets a scene. You cannot read the rest of the series without this. I will say that I got a little confused by the multiple names for each character. My Goldfish sized memory struggled with the names, ranks and endearments related to each character; it is my only complaint about an otherwise fabulous book.
Masters at Arms: Master Marc’s life was out of control before he signed up. He hated his job of running his families resort, missed his newly deceased brother and needed to get away from his python of an ex. His brother had died serving his country in the Marines after 9/11 and Marc had never been able to shake the feeling that the wrong brother had died. Enlisting with the Navy seemed like the thing that he should do but things didn’t go according to plan and instead he ends up a Medic’s with a group of Marines on tour in Iraq. There he finds surrogate brothers in the form of Damien and Adam, men who understand him and the damage that war can do to the
There is a FAB threesome scene in a BDSM club but the lasting memory I have from this book is of Marc’s selflessness and determination to try to get every man home, even to the detriment of his own health. I really was looking forward to his HEA J
Nobody’s Angel: After his bad experience with his ex, Marc keeps women at a distance. Even at the club, he only uses them for mutual pleasure and then walks away. When he turns up late for his Dungeon Monitor shift at the club one night, he walks into a situation that makes him wish he had been on time. A new couple are using the room, only the man seems to be less of a Dom and more of an abuser. After realising the subs cries aren’t that of pleasure, he intervenes and rescues her. Realising she has been pushed into a precarious mental state by the incident, Marc stays with her until she regains some sense of normal. Slipping away just before she becomes completely lucid, he is quite happy to be a mysterious guardian angel.
Angelina doesn’t remember much of the night of the club; she just knows that BDSM is definitely not something she wants to try again. When she meets Marc and his partner Luke in a diner, she can’t help but feel that she knows him somewhere and that he’s safe. Marc is shocked to see her again outside of the diner and be attracted to the woman that he hadn’t seen beneath the layers of pain that night. He is even more shocked when his partner Luke tells him that his dead wife had been to him in a dream and told him she was sending him an angel and that he thought that angel was Angelina. It is obvious that Angelina has no idea who Marc is and, deciding that if she can bring Luke out of his slump he should push them together, he decides to keep it that way. But when it becomes apparent that Luke and Angelina are not destined to be, he realises that Angelina needs someone to show her that the BDSM that she needs is not only about pain, but that she can get great pleasure from it too.
BDSM is about trust, about knowing the person you gift your pleasure to. Marc knows that he can’t tell her the truth about that night and expect her to submit to him, so he continues to lie. What will she say when the cat is out of the bag? Also, is he lying to himself by pretending that she is nothing to him but a sub that he needs to heal?
Oh my, this book was all kinds of NAUGHTY! I loved Marc and his tortured Dom ways (I also love Luke…looking forward to that story :D) I couldn’t help cringe every time he lied to her and pretended he’d never met her before; it was inevitable that that was going to blow up in his face. Angelina was a lovely, opinionated woman who was a pleasure to read about. Her inner dialogue was very very funny; I’ve often wondered what goes on in subs heads during orgasm denial and now I know 😀 I enjoyed every aspect of their story, but I didn’t know how it would end. It was clear that Luke would never be enough for her, that she needed the release that a Master could give her but I have to say I was torn. Marc was lovely and drool-worthy but Luke was lovely and damaged….it was a toss-up for me. The scenes at the club were very well-written and very erotic; bravo Ms Masters, this book was one hell of an emotional rollercoaster.
Master at Arms: This is the story that grabbed me in the prequel; I really wanted this book! Adam is sat at a bus station when he first meets Karla. Lost in his grief after the death of his wife, he doesn’t want to get involved when a group of men start to harass the lost looking teenager. Karla had decided to run away from home, determined to start out on her own. She didn’t seem to realise how dangerous it was until she found herself in a dangerous situation.
When Adam rescues her from danger, he becomes her hero. He makes sure she goes home, exchanges addresses so they can contact and Karla falls in love. To him, she is a child that needed rescuing but to her he is her White Knight. It was such a sweet story that I teared up a little. He is a man that has lost so much that he made me hurt and she is such typical teenage girl that I smiled with every step she took towards her infatuation. I wanted Adam to feel whole again; I didn’t know how to feel about Karla being the woman to heal his wounds because she
was a just a girl to me.
Nobody’s Hero; Adam has never allowed himself to get over his wife’s death. Guilt is the major driving force behind this decision as he was away in service for most of the time she was sick. After his service was done, he turned his hand to running the club but he never allowed himself to truly live. He kept up his correspondence with Karla, emailing her and writing her letters but, to him, she is still the girl he rescued at the bus station. When she turned up (in the last book) auditioning to be a singer at the club, he had a fit. She was a young innocent that shouldn’t be around the carnal pleasures experienced at Masters at Arms. Try as he might, he can’t deny that, although his mind still thinks of her as a child, his body fully appreciates the woman she has become.
Karla has loved Adam since the day he was her White Knight. No longer a child, her feelings have morphed to encompass the whole of Adam; the good, the bad and the ugly. She knows that Adam still thinks of her as a child but the 25 year age gap means nothing to her. She has done everything to make him see her, except the one thing that she knows he will never allow; give him her submission. She hatches a plan to get him to train her, a plan which works. But is she ready for the full force of Master Adam? Will she take everything he throws at her in order to break down some of those walls? And, if she does, will it work? Adam gives her the option of “Safe-wording” out of the arrangement and tries to push her towards taking that out. Question is will Adam allow her to take all that he doles out just to be his slave?
Oh my giddy aunt this was hot and wrong in all kinds of ways. This is my favourite in the series so far for so many reasons. Karla is a lovely, strong, courageous woman who risks everything. She has to give it her all, has to put in everything to try to get to the man of her dreams because, if it all fails, it won’t be because she didn’t try. Some of the stuff she puts up with from Adam in Dom mode is awful; the man tries and tries to push her to the brink on multiple occasions. Once he starts to realise what a complete tosspot he is being (and believe me, he is so horrible I started to hate him a bit) he turns up the heat. He doesn’t accept that he needs her, but he decides to train her properly. There is an Arabian Nights scene which made me quiver, there is a rope suspension scene which was OUT OF THIS WORLD HOT and I could tell that his resolve was starting to falter. Of course, he makes it harder on himself than he has to because he’s a tortured Dom and that is the stupid shit that they do. Karla also made it harder on herself than she needed to. Neither of them communicated with each other and this was at the root of why they could never work unless they changed.
Adam was not the man that I thought he would be; he was a flawed individual who allowed his guilt to rule him. Karla was a feisty girl, but I felt that her immaturity showed a little with the amount of shit that she was willing to put up with from him. Yes, he needed to be pushed but she allowed him to carve out her personality just to get him to notice her. She never once explained herself, he never once explained himself and it was all FUBAR. They were not perfect but by god, the book sucked me in. I laughed, cried, got angry, got turned on….these are not emotions you feel in a bad book.
So when’s the next one out?