Title: Mastering Love (The Hampton Road Club: Book Four)
Author: Morticia Knight
Publisher: Totally Bound
Pages/Word Count: 197 pages
At a Glance: Fantastic fourth novel in a historical BDSM series.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: 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.
Review: While you don’t necessarily need to read this series in order (I still haven’t read book one, though I do now own it in paperback), I would recommend reading book three before book four, because Evan is introduced at the tail end of the third book. While the author does a great job of discussing his backstory in this novel so that new readers won’t be missing out, I think it just wouldn’t do it justice to not know exactly what transpired between Thomas, Linus, and Evan.
In April, I had the surprising pleasure of meeting Morticia Knight at the Rainbow Book Fair in NYC. I was there with my publisher, and after wandering around looking for books to buy, I stumbled across her table and pretty much exploded in excitement. After chatting with her—she’s super nice—I bought the first three books in the series in paperback. Hurray! I was also excited to learn Evan and Ned would have their story next!
It’s interesting how everything is starting to really connect in this series. Ned is the man who initially brings Linus to Hampton Road Club in book two, and now he’s back, looking for his own boy. Evan is still recovering from the shock of finding Master Thomas taken after having been kicked out by Master Gabriel. Of course, you know what’s going to happen next.
It’s not easy for these men, though. Master Ned believe he needs an innocent man not yet mastered by a man. In other words, a virgin. Which is Evan’s greatest fear—Master Gabriel tossed him out because he found someone younger and “better.” My heart broke for Evan because of how tormented he was. Even though Sam, Linus, and the other submissives take to him, he still worries about finding the right Master for him.
Even though the story focuses on Evan and Ned, I did enjoy seeing how all the other boys are coming along. Of course, I STILL want Theodore and Francesco’s story. I love seeing Francesco practically crawling out of his skin every five seconds. And Kenneth is like the older brother sub. Seeing him—so much older—than all the others, and completely calm and collected, is kind of funny. During the lawn party, I just pictured him as this patient Golden Retriever, calmly sitting there and then going about his business while the puppies tumble all around him and get in the way. It made me laugh.
I really hope there is more to this series. My bet and hope is for Colin to be next, and he’s so different from the others. I’m not sure who the Dom would be, though the more the series goes on, the more I’m intrigued by Javier, who is always in the background. Maybe it’s time for him to have a chance? Or would he be a sub? No matter what happens, I hope this series is far from over.
You can buy Mastering Love here: