Saturday, March 3, 2012

Rescue Me: A Full Series Review

When I first read new-to-me author, Kallypso Masters, I was skeptical of this newcomer to the BDSM genre. After all, there are so many authors trying to pull these stories off and failing miserably so I began reading because I agreed to review it. It took just a few pages before I was so glad I'd given it a chance. Kally is now an author I follow. And if there's a part of you who likes this genre, then I would bet on you following her as well. 


Now, let me tell you about the whole series...

BOOK ONE
Masters at Arms begins the journey of three men whom this series will revolve around. Each amazing in their own right - honorable, strong, brave – that readers will fall easily for them. Their paths cross in one of the most terrifying and darkest places in their lives with writing so vivid, readers feel present in the story. As the men come to terms with the aftermath, they form a friendship that will get them through anything. Their stories are beautiful and amazing. But know that this book is just the beginning, the back-story, so do not be disappointed that there is no HEA. Just be ready to grab the next book and read all night!
The men - or shall we call them “the masters” - provides brief looks into the men’s pasts. First we’re introduced to Adam Montague, a Marine who just buried his wife. Alone in a bus station, he rescues a young runaway who turns around and saves him right back. Next we meet Damian Orlando, a bus boy who is just trying to get by after serving two years in juvie for defending his little sister. Though he keeps a low profile normally, he finds himself rescuing a woman being abused. It costs him his job so he turns to the military to rescue himself. Then we meet Marc D’Alesso who recently lost his brother to the war. He returned home to help rescue the family business but after nearly two years, he can’t do it anymore. He wants more from his life so after a regrettable night with an ex, he enlists in the Navy as a medic. 
Setting the stage for all that will happen in this series, this book is descriptive with compelling stories about courageous characters. Bouncing between tears and laughter, I was immersed in their lives, their grief, and their struggles. But I was left just wanting more.

RATING: 5 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries


IMPORTANT: If you haven’t yet read Masters at Arms, you must read it first. This is book 2 in the series and cannot be read before book 1 where readers first meet each Dom before reading their individual stories.

BOOK TWO
I absolutely l-o-v-e Nobody's Angel. Ms. Masters shows such complete understanding and respect for the bdsm community. In fact, the storyline runs along the lines of trust which is so heavily factored into bdsm relationships. With a powerful message and a story focused on healing, Nobody’s Angel is an amazing read, both emotional and sensual, definitely one of my favorites.

Nobody’s Angel focuses on Marc & Angelina.  Marc rescues Angelina from an abusive Dom at the club that he co-owns with his two friends, Adam & Damian. He assumes he’ll never see her again until a chance encounter changes that. She doesn’t recognize him but he knows exactly who she is. And now his protector instinct has kicked in when he learns her ex is still bothering her.

Angelina is the traditional girl-next-door type with the over protective brothers and large Italian family. She seeks out men that are perfect in the eyes of her family though they are "boring" and "safe". Hesitant to listen to her own instincts after the mistake with her ex, she doesn’t go after men that could truly satisfy her. Then her attraction to Marc takes her on a journey of discovery into the bdsm community when Marc offers to show her bdsm isn’t about pain but a power exchange with mutual trust. Since Angel has sworn off bdsm, it’s up to Marc to teach her just how satisfying it can be with the right Dom. 

And Marc is the right Dom. Before his time in the Army, Marc essentially lived with the cloud of his brother’s death hanging over him. He lived his life for his family without considering his own needs until he enlisted in the Army. It was then that he discovered his worth as a man. Now a civilian working search and rescue in the mountains, he’s found the perfect balance. Though he’s a rich Italian alpha male, Marc is amazingly down-to-earth – a truly likable character. He embraces Angelina while still trying to hold her at arm’s length.

When Marc's partner Luke confides he believes Angelina is the angel his deceased wife promised to send, Marc is convinced she’s meant for Luke instead. With his memories of allowing a woman to put distance between he and his brother, Marc refuses to do that again. He believes Luke can provide Angelina with love and stability while he can satisfy only her submissive needs. I know, here’s where I thought we might see a m√©nage – nope – it’s a one-on-one love story. And it takes Angelina and his friends to help him realize that he must commit emotionally to find his happiness.

Their connection came over just a few days but the revelations they both went through made the evolution of their relationship honest and realistic. Nobody’s Angel is both highly emotional and incredibly sensual. I have not been so taken by Doms in a romance book since Cherise Sinclair who I declare the Master of BDSM romance books. Book well written, Ms. Masters, bravo!

RATING: 5 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries


BOOK THREE

At the center of Nobody’s Hero, the third book in Kallypso Master’s Rescue Me series, is the very simple truth of two damaged souls healing one another. In the end, this is absolutely beautiful even if the journey was a frustrating one. The book will make you shiver, cry, and squirm.

The focus returns to Adam – the first Marine we met in the series – as his relationship develops with Karla who is twenty-five years his junior.  In denial over his feelings for her and still viewing her as the sixteen year old he’d met nine years earlier in the first book, he’s completely disgusted with himself for being attracted to her now.  Compound that with the skeletons in his closet and Adam can’t get away from her fast enough.
Quite poetically, retired Master Sergeant Adam Montague has been through four war zones and lives as a Dom with his own club but its sweet Karla who takes him to his knees when she declares war on his heart. Karla’s strength was fabulous – the author creates easy-to-like characters – as she serves as his caretaker in the beginning of Nobody’s Hero.  In so m any ways, Karla is the true hero in this book. She’s so in love with Adam – has been for so many years – that she is willing to sacrifice her independence to give him what he needs.

In an attempt to push Karla away, Adam suggests they enter a 24/7 M/s agreement even though this isn’t his kink. He knew this wasn’t for her either and he hoped it would push them apart. He was so tormented by his attraction to this woman who he couldn’t help but see as the child he’d once rescued. And he saw himself as undeserving of love – incapable of it even – that this honorable man used this wall to keep her from getting too close. But it was Adam who actually “safe worded” out of the agreement (though without explanation) leaving Karla hurt and insecure enough to return home.

Though this couple could help each other through their separate tribulations and clearly have so much love for each other, Adam's skeletons - and the insecurities that came with them - got in the way over and over and over. So much is shown into Adam’s past with unpredictable secondary characters having great impact on the outcome. When finally Adam decides to lay his skeletons to rest, it was incredibly moving. Such a unique twisting of storylines keeps readers flipping pages faster and faster until the satisfying conclusion.
Kallypso Masters’ true skill lies in creating characters that become like family to readers – so realistic with human vulnerabilities, emotional baggage, scars and an immense capacity for love. 

RATING: 5 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries, please, sir.


The Romance Review
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