Aside from trying to guess who the featured master will be in the next book, i always love trying to figure out if there’s a character that was introduced that might find herself at the core of the story too. in Dark Citadel we were introduced slightly to Beth on the night that Kari was taken into the Capture Gardens and i had a feeling that it wasn’t the last that we were going to see of her.
Alas, here she is in Book 3 Breaking Free and this third installment does not leave us feeling like we were not intrigued. So we formally meet Beth, she’s got a past that’s really damaging to her self esteen, yet some how she managed to keep it together enough to become successful in her professional life and in turn try to bury what hurt her in her last relationship to find something that does work for her. She was married to a sadist – someone who liked pain more than the woman. She escapes him and moves away in the hopes that his threats can’t follow her, and tries to rebuild her life. she knows that she’s not a ‘vanilla sex’ type of girl, yet she hasn’t been able to fully submit to anyone since her husband and that’s an issue for her. She went to the Shadowlands in the hopes that the nature of the doms there would be good for her, however no one manages to do for hre what she needs. no one is powerful enough or authoritative enough to push her past her limits of both trust and pleasure.
Master Nolan however isn’t the flowery guy that she needs, yet is EXACTLY what Z thinks would be perfect, so they are thrown together. When Z sees that every dom in the club is trying with ZERO success, he places Beth into Nolan’s care and gives her one last chance. Basically Beth is given the ultimatum that either she makes it work with Master Nolan or it’s out of Shadowlands for good. that means that we get to see a LOT of dom/sub behaviors running amok and yet it all works.
since we’re already familiar with Master Z, Master Dan, Jessica and Kari, we get a lot of great interpersonal relationships here. you really get to see a great dynamic building up between this pseudo family which i really enjoy. it makes you see the best in some of the folks, really root for others, and well, being a hopeless romantic, you just want everyone to fall in love.
In this story though, there’s a history of viscous erotic pain – i.e. Beth was in a situation with a past lover/dom that didn’t quite know when to stop – he was an evil SOB, and her fear is that she NEEDS that level of control to be ‘happy’ yet she can’t find it from anyone. no one gets her ‘hot and bothered’ and that’s a running theme at the onset of the story. What we all know from reading books 1 and 2 though is that the masters DO NTO FAIL. they will get you off, make you want more, keep you from getting more, and then making it roll over you again and again and again.
so if you want to see if Beth can be broken from her fear of pain since she was left all bettered and bloody by her last dom, while trying to find out if she’s even able to have an orgasm again -check out book 3. definitely not another disappointment.