Author: Lorelei James
Publisher/Year: Penguin Group USA 3/25/14
Length: 384 Pages
Series: Mastered #2
In this conclusion to the Mastered series by New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James, a man’s need for control is tested by the one woman he’ll risk everything for
When sensei Ronin Black first encounters Amery Hardwick, the fire in her eyes ignites a sexual spark a thousand times better than the primal rush he used to get from mixed martial arts matches. She accepts his darker edges and admits to him that her desires aren’t as wholesome as he believed. And before long Ronin is grappling with emotions he’s never felt before .
Yet despite demanding Amery bare her body and soul to him, Ronin holds a part of himself back. When she learns Ronin’s secret and walks out, his life begins to unravel. To regain her trust he must let go of his pride and prove to her that it’s more than passion binding them together.
I always love when i’m expecting a trilogy and it turns out that it’s just a 2 book series. Very nice – since it means that i don’t have to wonder how much more pain a couple is going to put themselves through until they get to where they are finally at peace.
In this 2nd and final installment, we come upon this couple while they are still broken up. If you’ll remember, Amery had left Ronin after she met with his sister unknowingly about the Okada job, and learned about who he really is. Since he kept that part of him away from, she’s left questioning everything and ends up running home to North Dakota just to get away.
Of course since we know that Ronin is intense,things have to go miserably wrong for him right? During the weeks that they are apart, he has gotten into fighting as a way to deal with the pain and control a pain that he can….and this leads to some pretty serious beat downs – some of which he actually lets happen, just so he can feel more pain.
It’s 6 weeks after they’ve ‘broken up’ that the final knock out happens that lands him on Amery’s doorstep and brings them back together. Because the extent of his injuries, Amery is forced to take him to the hospital, and this reingnites a bunch of feelings that she’s been trying to tamp down. She feels the emotion pull again, and finds herself playing nurse maid since she’s actually the only one that can calm Ronin down.
Where this story takes us in now on a new journey of this couple trying to repair what may be irrevocably broken, while trying to figure out what life can be now as a result of medical limitations.
What we continue to get here though which is different from other BDSM stories is a great education on bondage itself. I have to admit that all that i knew before about tying was on to a St Andrew’s cross or to a bed or things like that. In this story though, we know that Ronin is a rope master, and therefore we learn so much more about different knots, ties, suspension holds etc. it’s passion and heat and very steamy – which is what we need.
There’s also the subplot about why Shiori is staying in Denver when she’s the heir to the Okada fortune as well. Ronin questions it but never gets an answer and actually is happy to have her around since she’s the next highest belt around and she can help where he can’t physically do it. It also allows him to repair his family relationships, in a sense…..and we get the nice insight into things in that piece
So the question throughout is what other secrets are lingering and what’s that going to mean for the couple. I have to say that i was also waiting the entire time for Naomi (Ronin’s psycoh ex) to pop up and when she does, it’s with gusto. you can’t blame her for how she feels, and i think that i feared for everyone when she finally appeared.
The closure that we get in this story is a nice one, although not a happy ending for everyone. I think that Ms. James took us on a very nice journey of a couple finding each other and learning how to bend and compromise when that is so far away from the nature of our controlling male lead. All the while, we get a couple that can’t stay away from each other that leads to some really imaginative scening. It’s hot, passionate and you can feel the tension rolling off the pages. Enjoy!