3 out of 5 Licks
Savannah Gentry, now Savi Baker, escaped the abuse, torture, and degradation forced upon her by a sadistic father for eleven years and has made a safe life for herself and her daughter. When her father threatens her peace of mind–and her daughter’s safety–Savi runs to Damian Orlando for protection. Eight years earlier, young Savannah shared one perfect day with Damian that changed both their young lives and resulted in a secret she can no longer hide. But being with Damian reawakens repressed memories and feelings she does want to keep hidden–buried. At Damian’s private Masters at Arms Club, she discovers that sexual healing might be achieved through BDSM (Bondage, Dominance/submission, sadomasochism)—specifically SM administered by a loving Service Top named Damian.
Damian, a wounded warrior, has had his own dragons to fight in life, but has never forgotten Savannah. He will lay down his life to protect Savi and her daughter, but doesn’t believe he can offer more than that. She deserves a whole man, something he can never be after a firefight in Iraq. Damian also has turned to SM to regain control of his life and emotions and fulfills the role of Service Top to “bottoms” in the club in need of catharsis by whipping or other SM practices he is skilled at delivering. But he could never deliver that level of pain to Savi, who needs someone gentle and loving, not the man he has become. But when Savi witnesses a cathartic whipping scene on her first night at the club–delivered by Damian–she begins to wonder if this Damian could also help her regain control of her life and reclaim her sexuality and identity.
Let me start by saying I do LOVE this series, but I struggled with this story. I could not connect with the characters Savi and Damian. A lot of this book tackles some very heavy subject matter and I don’t know if that is why I struggled. Most of the book is watching how Savi and Damian both come to terms with what has happened to them in the past and then wham all of a sudden it seems like there is a rush to wrap up the book. Don’t get me wrong there are some moments that make you want to cry for the couple or kill Savi’s father for his abuse. The naming of their genitals as Chico and Chiquita seem so out of place in this dramatic themed book, I don’t know if she was trying to lighten the book…it just did not make sense in this book. And I was a little confused on what is going on with Angelina and Marc all of a sudden having issues?
All things considered, I look forward to more stories from Ms. Masters and it looks as though it maybe Luke’s turn if you go by the preview at the end of the book.