Title: Becoming His Master
Author: M.Q. Barber
My Rating: B-
Genre: Erotic Romance (m/m)
Series: Neighborly Affection #4
Main Characters: Henry and Jay
Release Date: March 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic
Teach a wounded submissive the value of his service. The task ought to be an easy one for an experienced dominant like Henry Webb.
But novice Jay Kress challenges his teacher like no other. Still bearing the bruises of an encounter outside the bounds of safe consensual play, Jay is desperate to submit to the man who saved him—and shamed by his desires.
Henry recognizes the dangers of a relationship built on hero worship. He’ll teach Jay how to stay safe, that’s all. He won’t take advantage of the younger man’s trust. He won’t share his fantasies about his dark-haired, athletic student. He’ll never claim this submissive for his own...
I'll be honest, I had no clue this was the 4th book in this series until I sat down to write this review. So it absolutely works as a stand-alone book. And it's an interesting book.
In this book we meet Jay, who wants to be a submissive so badly that he's allowed himself to be desperately hurt. Henry is a master Dom who takes Jay under his wing for re-training. Henry wants to give Jay the proper tools so that he can go out and find a master who suits him better than he's had in the past. It's very much a older, wiser teacher and child kind of dichotomy and that didn't work for me in the end. While the book was interesting, something about the two men's relationship just never worked for me. And I've given it a great deal of thought since I finished the book trying to pinpoint why exactly.
The book moves very slowly because Henry is slowly trying to build Jay's skills. But even by the end I never felt like Jay ever came into his own. He was still too eager to please and completely devoted to Henry over everything else. I can't ever see that the two of them would ever have a true partnership in that they both had equal say in how things were between them. Henry would always have the power because Jay would give it to him. And I know that this is a D/s relationship, but there is another D/s relationship in the book between Emma and Victor which did show a healthy D/s relationship where the two people were equal partners despite their sexual kinks. And ultimately, that's why this book didn't work quite so well for me. I don't feel like Henry and Jay ever reached that point. Even at the end, Jay had a desperate air about him because he needed Henry's love above all else...and that made me sad for him. It also made it so I couldn't believe in their HEA.
But the book is very sexy and shows so much about the safety concerns in BDSM and how to be safe within those parameters. The scenes between the two men are fairly sexy, although pretty tame considering the subject matter for the book. It was an interesting book. I just wanted to see more ultimately in Jay's growth.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.