showed quarter to eight as he mounted the stairs toting carryout meals for
himself and his submissive. The hour found the second floor a modest hive of
activity as players donned their preferred personas and headed upstairs to the
sandbox. Eventually, he too would join the procession, with Jay in tow. For
now, he turned right and stepped through the wide double doors into the salon.
for himself and young Mr. Kress showed Emma’s unmistakable influence. Tucked
into the farthest corner of the room, a three-panel screen of wood and fabric
created a private dining nook. Best pray the younger man didn’t recognize the
scenes depicted, though the intent shouted for all and sundry to pay heed.
yellow-ribboned women cast admiring glances his way. Muting his growl, he
stepped past them with a curt headshake. Won’t
interfere, my ass.
mythology and literature graced each panel. Achilles and Patroclus circled each
other with shields and spears, their sandaled feet the only flesh not on view.
Apollo strummed his lyre while a boy—Hyacinth, given the field of flowers—lay at
his feet. Beautiful Ganymede proffered a cup beneath the sheltering wings of
the room, he considered the ready excuses sure to be on Emma’s lips. A shield
to keep the boy from prying eyes, lest his table manners prove less than
impeccable. Hadn’t he himself insisted on protecting Jay from possible
criticism? No, of course the scenes hadn’t been deliberate. Convenience had
dictated the choice. In no way had she meant to imply Jay Kress was his eromenos.
His to mentor and protect. His sweet lips to kiss, his beautiful thighs to
his fly, he swore in silence. Was there no mercy to be found?
claim, his student wore a suit as well as he wore leather shorts. Temptation
beat at him, an unrelenting pressure, the image of his submissive on his knees
with the same earnest delight on his face.
to turn and deposit the bag on the table. Slow and easy.
lovely table.” He told himself navy wasn’t Jay’s color, despite the good sense
he’d shown to pair his suit with a solid white shirt and a pale blue tie with a
diagonal thin-stripe in white. “I trust your wait has been a pleasant one?”
Henry.” Jay stood straight and tall, a slender vision of grace. “Mistress Emma
showed me what to do.”
my boy. No title. She’s a submissive here, as you are.” He unpacked the tote.
Salads first, the light containers atop the others.
charge of things.” Jay tilted his head. He started to roll his shoulders before
container deposited on the table, Henry paused in his work to study his
submissive with more care. “Yes, she handles some functions at the club.” The
neat half-Windsor had to be Emma’s doing. “She also submits to her husband.”
Likewise, the white rose boutonniere pinned with Jay’s red ribbon, the symbol
of his ownership. The younger man’s purity and innocence bound under his protection
pins did it take until Emma was satisfied with the drape of your jacket?”
Master Henry.” Jay half-smiled, his eyes shining. “She made me stand still for
a long time, though. Do you like it?”
enticing invitation, he smoothed the fabric from the lapel to the right
breath and rocked his hips.
he murmured. Such promising responses his pupil gave, eager physicality
impossible to miss. “But you cannot relax, can you? Afraid you’ll disrupt her
handiwork if you so much as breathe too deeply.”
Master Henry.” If you like it, he
didn’t say, though the worship in his gaze made the words unnecessary.
the edge of the lapel downward and unfastened the button holding the jacket
closed. “I mind.” Hanging the jacket on the chair back wouldn’t do any harm.
“Your comfort is my responsibility during our time together.”
from the boy’s shoulders. He’d remove his own to ensure his dinner partner felt
Jay clutched at the fabric, fighting the motion, his voice rising. “Master
my ribbon, I’m your good boy, I’m yours—”
instant their lips touched he ought not have done it.
the younger man opened his mouth with a throaty little whimper.
possessive haze descended, snarling heat pushing out from his center. He ground
his cock against his submissive and claimed his mouth.
**ARC Provided by NetGalley for honest review**
I honestly chose this book partially for the cover, it caught my eye but the story line intrigued me. An unknown author to me, I took the leap. It was worth it. What an amazingly deep story. One that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was introduced to deep BDSM after reading Fifty Shades, found an author who excelled at writing BDSM and through her, I learned the ins and outs of BDSM play so my previous knowledge helped with this story.
After reading this story, I investigated the author and found this is book four in the Neighborly Affection Series. Obviously this is a stand alone, otherwise I would be lost, but I am now eager to go back to book one and begin this series and learn more about Jay and Henry.
Jay, a young man abused by an egotistical bully of a dominant. Henry, a Dominant, a Master, who respects the rights of the submissive and dominant relationship. Victor, the club owner who sees the need to pair the two men together, not just to help Jay heal but to help Henry as well. Henry finds Jay in his greatest time of need, more than once. How many times will Henry save Jay though?
This story is deep. The more I read the deeper I went into the story with Ms. Barber. The deeper I fell for Henry and Jay. Ms. Barber describes the relationship of the dom/sub in a marvelous way, laying out the importance of the submissive to protect themselves. Henry teaches Jay to be safe and negotiate in a way that he has final say in the scene. One might think of a dom/sub scene as dominant controlled when really, as Henry teaches us, the submissive gives him or herself to the dominant and the submissive controls the scene. I really enjoyed Henry reaching Jay to be safe and protect himself, before the healing from the trauma began.
The struggle in Henry’s heart was a fascinating one, I truly wasn’t sure how this struggle would play out. I hoped for the happy ending, but that could have gone in two different directions depending on the “happy” I was hoping for. Henry tried so very hard to keep his feelings aside, knowing that Jay’s safety was his focus. I admired the way he was able to do that. Not easy separating oneself when you are so close, physically, to them as Henry was. Henry obviously is a strong character, and while I though Jay was the weaker of the two, I was pleasantly surprised when Jay found his voice and shared his feelings, finally.
This book was a pleasant surprise for me. I have already ordered book one to start from the beginning. I do not mind BDSM or M/M books and this was written very well. Another new favorite author for sure!