Author: Lorelei James
Publisher/Year: Penguin Group USA 12/2/14
Length: 98 pages
Series: Mastered #2.5
When Amery Hardwick first met martial arts master Ronin Black, she wasn’t ready for the primal urges his sensual rope artistry released in her. As it turned out Amery and Ronin were made for each other. But when they head to Japan for a delayed honeymoon and Ronin’s annual training with his sensei, Amery struggles to adapt to the foreign customs as well as running her burgeoning business from afar. But culture shock is the least of her worries when faced with the changes in Ronin—it feels as if she’s married a stranger. Caught between his sensei’s demands and pleasing his wife, Ronin is at war with himself over choosing advancement in his jujitsu training, or staying at home with the woman who owns his heart and soul. As the limits of their relationship are tested once again, Ronin and Amery discover that they both have a lot to learn about each other….and what it takes to build a love that’ll pass all life’s little tests.
This is a great continuation of a story that we really invested a lot of time with so far. The romance that blossomed between Amery and Ronin was a rough one – since they come from such different worlds but to see how well they fit together – there’s something great there and seeing how their lives will continue to merge is something that i can’t wait for.
So as the summary said – we are with these 2 as they are on their way to Japan – both for the belated honeymoon as well as for Ronin’s training with his master since he’s been cleared to go back to intense training. While he’s made it clear what this will entail for Amery while she’s there with him, she’s never really prepared and finds that it’s much harder than expected.
I have to say that it’s one of the more realistic qualities that this author brings to us – knowing that it’s set up to be a challenge for her, yet the challenge takes another shape. While i think that it could have been taken further – meaning that there was rather quick resolution to it all, at least the struggle was there.
So we’re with this pair for several weeks while they are in Japan and we see that Ronin gains some interesting insight into his master’s mind (care of master’s brother) and at the same time Amery becomes more self aware of what she’s comfortable with in her relationship with Ronin and what that will mean for them in the future.
The curveball of course is that once they get to this shared space, it’s time to meet Grandfather and we know that he’s been set up to be this masterful scary sort of man, and I have a feeling that Amery’s going to have issues with him. or vice versa. And that’s where this story takes us. The proposition that she’s given towards the end is one that i wasn’t necessarily expecting and will be interested to see how it plays out.
We get the heat, passion and romance that Ms. James has brought to us so far and it’s definitely a chemistry that you feel the spark from – just by reading. There’s clearly a lot of research that’s gone into the subject since i continue to learn more and more about martial arts skill and rope work – and that’s what makes this series even better to read.
So…i guess we’ll have to wait a few more months for book 3 in the series to come out – although i don’t know that it’s focused on these 2 anymore – i feel like it will be on the others that we’ve met on the journey – with a bit of sub-text towards this pair. Enjoy!