Masters at Arms & Nobody's Angel - Kallypso Masters [Rescue Me]
Originally Reviewed: January 2, 2015
Thanks, Kallypso – both for a wonderfully written first installment to this saga, and to the warnings you so thoughtfully provide.
With that out of the way, I have just one word for this: HOT! Possibly TOO hot (as you’ll read in my notes below).
Masters at Arms
First, we get introduced to the Masters at Arms – Marc, Adam and Damian. We see what led them together to a fateful day in Fallujah where limbs and lives were lost, leaving all three of them scarred and bonded for life. The writing here is rich, deep, evocative and gripping.
This is where things get just a little sketchy – though still phenomenal. Marc has gradually faded away from the BDSM club he owns with his other 2 military buddies, favoring solitude and time in the mountains as a SAR (search and rescue) to getting up close and personal with women he doesn’t want any kind of relationship with. Understandable, considering what we learn about him in Masters at Arms.
But when he rescues Angelina from being abused on a St. Andrew’s Cross by her abusive boyfriend Allen, his life becomes irrevocably changed. Angelina flees the club as soon as possible and writes off BDSM, choosing to stick with her novels instead, and Marc is left with scalding memories and an inability to track her down. It is by sheer chance that he ends up in her town, 3 hours out of Denver, on a SAR mission with his partner Luke, in the same bar where Angelina decides to go on her first night out on the town since “the incident.”
Let the fireworks begin!
Angelina doesn’t remember Marc, as when Marc rescued her at the club in Denver, he had a mask on and she couldn’t see his face. Marc isn’t the only one who’s been troubled by dreams, however, land something about Marc – the way he handles her, the way he speaks – reminds her more and more of her “dream Dom” – one she has managed to convince herself doesn’t exist.
Now let’s throw in Luke – guilt-ridden Luke, who lost his wife the same day that Angelina lost her father (another SAR man). He is convinced, however, that Angelina was sent to him by his late wife – on account of a dream. What a cluster.
Marc wants to help Angelina move on from her horrid experience at his club. Luke believes his dead wife has sent Angelina to him as a sign to move on – with her. Apparently both men are willing to step away to allow the other to move in, though it’s almost like a tug-of-war in terms of who backs away when.
In the end… I won’t spoil it for you. Pretty much everything comes out in the open and it’s a gigantic cluster…. but it’s a fun one!
On the Characters…
Now, I absolutely love Angelina. Truth be told, I think she’s the most well-rounded, realistic and unique individual of the three. Her psychological and emotional responses to her initial experience with BDSM, her “wolf-angel dream Dom”, Luke, Allen again, and just… everything. Everything about her is wonderful.
We don’t get a lot of genuine screen time with Luke, which is disappointing. I hope we see more of him, because he seemed to kind of fall in the space between “true supporting character” and “crowd character.” I’m honestly not sure what his purpose in the book was, other than the fact that Marc needed a SAR partner, so it was decided he’d get thrown in the middle with Angelina and Marc as well. I really believe the book could have done without him, though.
Marc… the number of times I wanted to smack him across the face and shake him by the shoulders… I lost count. I’m really starting to get a little tired of the “I’m not the man she needs” kind of crap from what are otherwise strong, capable men. I have seen that done a million times – and very, VERY few times has it been done well. This is not one of those times.
This is just what I noted in my Kindle as I was reading…
1. How many times can a guy’s cock harden before it can’t get any harder? I mean seriously. I think we heard about Marc’s cock getting hard a dozen different times in a 12-hour period. Oh, but then we find out it’s just been hard for about 24 hours. Even better!
2. Bad guys in romance novels, especially when the bad guy is a bad guy because he has an obsessive interest in the heroine, need more screen time. Not just “evil plans” screen time, but something to make them a 3d character that, at the very least, we can hate. Allen just annoyed the crap out of me, simply because he was distracting.
3. If you’ve had the unlucky experience to have a “dom” use a BDSM scene to abuse you, you don’t go from total panic to total acceptance in the space of a heartbeat. When Marc used the flogger on Angel and she’s freaking out because that’s what Allen had used on her, she goes from freaked out to “deep breath” mode in less than a heartbeat. I’m sorry, that just doesn’t happen. Especially not your first or second time out with the thing.
4. This goes for any erotica novel with dialogue during the juicy stuff. If you don’t understand the dialogue, you need a better lover. I can imagine soooo well what Angelina’s experiencing, because of that dialogue.
In the end, I think Masters really needs to find a better balance. She goes over the top in some areas and doesn’t flesh out others nearly enough.