Review: Surefire (Sure Mastery #3) by Ashe Barker


Title:  Surefire
Author: Ashe Barker
Publisher/Year: Totally Bound Publishing 1/31/14
Length: 183 pages
Series: Sure Mastery #3


Now her submission is complete, will her Master still be there when she needs him most, or will the ghosts of her past destroy their fragile future?


Ashley and Tom’s sensual journey continues as an old friend returns to Black Combe. As her business flourishes and her relationship with Tom deepens, Ashley is happy—truly happy—and looking forward to the future. Then, without warning, her world is shattered once more as her past comes crashing back, violence and malevolence crushing her new-found happiness and threatening all she now holds dear.


Shocked and horrified as she learns the terrifying truth, Ashley has to battle for her own survival and that of the tiny life just starting inside her. Can her Master protect her? Is there a future for them after all?

My Thoughts

So….to be honest, i was getting a bit bored with where this story was going from the last installment and was really just pushing through this last one since i hate to leave things unfinished.  There was a surprise though – when we thought that the story was just on Ashley coming to terms with who she is, we also find that there’s a bit of a survivor story there and one of someone who needs to push herself to heal.  Which is what Tom as a good dom should do and does.

Throughout this story, we’re really just put through the paces with them, they are in an ok place in their relationship, Tom continues to push Ashley’s limits in the bedroom (and dungeon) and well, it’s something that’s finally getting to be more manageable.  Meaning that while she fights him on things, she’s open minded and lets him have at it.

We meet a few interesting folks that pop up in this installment.  a past lover from Nathan’s past that really changed his life and made him miserable when she left.  She had a secret though and that secret comes to a head which is a good thing for EVERYONE.

Then there’s the identification of Ashley’s dad and all of the questions that come along with that.  Does he know about her, does he even WANT to know about her and what will that mean.  It adds a nice layer of realism and depth that was a bit lacking.

And then there’s the expected bits of close calls with death, psychos coming looking for someone (or someones) and a wonder of what that will mean for people with questionable pasts.

All in all, i’m glad that i made it through the series since along with all that we get some AMAZING scening, some great D/s interactions with gadgets, equipment, toys, jewelry and all the heat and passion that’s oh so necessary to make a BDSM erotica complete.  Tom is the kind of guy that you WANT to have around – masculine, rugged yet very refined when needed and that’s just HOT in my book.  so enjoy!

Review: Sure Thing (Sure Mastery #2) by Ashe Barker


Title:  Sure Thing
Author: Ashe Barker
Publisher/Year: Total-E-Bound Publishing 1/31/14
Length: 240 pages
Series: Sure Mastery


He wants her body, but will she surrender her soul too? Despite her fears, is submission her only choice?

As their relationship deepens, Ashley is terrified and fascinated by her enigmatic lover, and drawn towards the seductive promise of surrender to him. But she’s escaped one abusive relationship, and it cost her dearly. How can she be sure that the exquisite pain promised by her dominant, masterful partner will be any more acceptable? And will the pleasure be worth the price? Can she take a risk? Will the reward be there for her?

He wants her, but he wants her surrender too. And Tom Shore knows just how to get it. He uses his sensual expertise and talent to arouse her desire, but can he win back her trust? Sure mastery leads to absolute surrender-or does it?

As Ashley reaches tentatively for happiness, will it be brutally snatched away? Can she find a way to forgive Tom and move on? Despite their past, can they build a future together, or even just settle for here and now? As her Master strengthens his sensual hold on her, Ashley has to make her choice.

My Thoughts

I’ve been reading this next installment to the series at the same time as a few others because my attention has been really scattered lately.  I don’t think that it has anything to do with the story here since i really enjoyed the first intro to the series and this continuation of the story takes us on a really nice journey of what limits are in reality and in life and what that means for this couple.  While i’ve become accustomed to a ‘new sub’ questioning whether she’s really submissive, and ultimately letting go of control, i think that this is a struggle for Ashley and that’s the underlying theme to this bridge book.

We were left off on a cliffhanger of sorts in the first book, knowing full well that things would end up ok.  They end up better than ok since it means that Ashely’s forced to look deeper into things with her and Tom and to better understand what that means for her in her life – both romantically and sexually.  She’s finding security with Tom and what they have, yet she’s still questioning whether she has what it takes to make him happy and decides whether she can push herself far enough to keep him.

I think that perhaps that’s where i’m lost a bit in this story.  I get that there’s an internal struggle here for her and that Tom’s patience is something to be impressed by but i think that there is a bit too much of a push away from her and that’s not necessarily attractive in this genre since it undermines his role as the Dom.  What i said before though about Ashe Barkers ability to really make you want to invest in characters and a story line – that holds true here and it’s something that keeps me engaged.

We’re given little hints and teases about what could be and there’s always a semi-unexpected wrench put into things that makes you wonder what’s truly going to come next in their relationship.  I hope that we get to see things progress and that we see that there’s a chance for happiness for everyone, even with the little surprise that comes up at the end.

But back to the D/s bit of things, one of my favorite things about this genre is being able to see our characters engage and participate in clubs and that’s something that becomes a focal point in this installment.  We get to see that there’s a lot of apprehension that Ashley has and that as a Dom, Tom is going to push her as far as she can go, and in that one moment when she lets go, it’s hot and it’s steamy and it’s something that anyone who wants to be in the community would truly appreciate.  Personally , all the talk of having a St Andrew’s cross in the apartment makes me hate that i live in an urban environment myself and clearly don’t have the room for something like that.  Think about how much fun that could be?  In any event, i hope that you’re all having a great week so far and now it’s on to the next!

Review: Unsure (Sure Mastery #1) by Ashe Barker


Title:  Unsure
Author: Ashe Barker
Publisher/Year: Totally Bound Publishing 11/22/13
Length: 216 pages
Series: Sure Mastery #1


He’s hurt her once, and terrified her. He holds her future in his hands. Can she trust him with her body too?

Desperate to escape her past and start over, Ashley McAllister cuts her ties with her old life and heads for the wild landscape of West Yorkshire, the perfect place to reinvent herself. And her carefully laid plans are working, until she encounters her nemesis—the one man she’d hoped never to see again. Tom Shore, the man she and a gang of thugs attacked and robbed, and who swore he’d make her pay. He owns the cottage she now lives in and adores, and now he wants his pound of flesh. So he takes it.

Intimidated, beaten and dismayed by her sexy and dominant landlord, and totally confused by her intense physical response to him, Ashley needs Tom to guard her secrets. But will he, and his enigmatic and terrifying friend Nathan Darke, allow her to leave her past behind and start again? Having survived her first explosive and humiliating encounter with Tom, Ashley struggles to get her new life back on track. But Tom wants her. His demanding, persuasive, sensual charm is almost irresistible, his mastery of her assured.

But—can she submit to Tom’s dominance? Should she? Ashley has escaped one violent and abusive relationship. Is she about to be sucked into an even more dark and dangerous liaison?

My Thoughts

Who would have thought that a well off guy would get beat up by a bunch of street thugs, one of which was a ‘little bit of a thing who’s 6 months preggo’ and then fast forward about a year to encounter that girl again?  Well, in the realm of reality in books, we knew that it would happen here.  Granted, it’s been a rough go at it for Shaz aka Sharon aka Ashley, so it’s more about getting to understand what took her to live where she was to really see who she’s become.

Ashley has reinveted herself as a result of turning her life around, as well as hoping that a new identity would keep Kenny away from finding her.  He’s the guy that was part of the gang that beat Tom up, and for any number of other reasons, she knows that he’s bad news for her and wants a lot of distance.  On top of that, she’s lost the baby that she was preggo with, gone to jail, lost her mom, and well, has just about nothing left to hold onto.  Aside from Sadie – her moms cat.

So we’re now in the English countryside where Ashley is trying to start her life again, as a photographer and just when things seem to be going ok, she meets the man who owns the property and it’s none other than Tom,….the man she mugged.  it doesn’t take very long for him to realize that it’s her and well….doles out quite the punishment – a stern spanking and a way for her to make amends – as his maid.

Between you and me, for anyone who knows the genre, a man who loves to give a good spanking is quite the dom usually and well, i think that we’re just starting to see under the hood so to speak.

From here on out, it’s really an interesting plot line.  We meet Nathan, the man who’s Tom’s partner and owner of a few other businesses in town.  Nathan’s clearly a Dom as well and HATES Ashley on site.  So that makes things interesting – especially when he realizes that Tom has a thing for Ashley (meaning that he wants to sleep with her in very kinky ways) and that makes things all that more complicated.

Where the story goes from there is a bunch of games, a test of patience and the beginnings of an education.  We don’t see anyone do more than Google BDSM for a bit,  but there are services offered up and well, it’ll be interesting to see the reason why and if anything comes to fruition.  You know that it’s inevitable that Tom and Ashley will get together, but will it be ‘vanilla’ because of her past or will she open up and allow Tom to do with her what he wants.  That’s really the twist and question since i get the sense that Tom would just about give anything of his kink up to be with her.

As promised though, there’s a bit of a cliffhanger, and we see that things continue to get worse for Ashley.  She’s out and about in the mountains when a migraine takes her by surprise,and you know that when a hiker is left alone, on a trial, at night and in winter, well….that means that there’s going to be drama.  So – it’s now a task for me to find the 2nd book in nook book form since i can’t seem to find it in my first go spaces, but i’ll sort it out since i already have book 3.

I’m quite new to this author and i have to say that i like how Ashe writes in these characters and the story line.  Although i have to say that there’s a LOT of UK verbiage and language that i’m not familiar with at all – so that’s a learning curve, but the dynamic between Tom and Ashley is enough to get me going, and i’m even warming up to Nathan and would love to see what he’s about.  so on that note – i’ll enjoy and i hope you do too!