Master Me – The Verdict

So I took the phone off the hook, settled down with a nice glass of vino and worked my way through the stories in Total-e-bound’s Master Me anthology. And boy, was that time well spent!

Lisabet Sarai’s tale of dark, decadent passion set against the performances of a summer stock theatre company, The Understudy, kicks off the collection in fine style. Charismatic Broadway star Geoffrey Hart arrives at the Berks Hills Playhouse to swell audience numbers and set the hearts of the female cast members fluttering. In chorus player Sarah Gladstone he instinctively recognises a woman whose submissive side is waiting to be explored, and soon he’s introducing her to the delights of spanking, bondage and rough play. She can’t help falling for him and the delicious feelings of being owned he arouses in her, but is Geoffrey looking for any more than a summer fling, and can Sarah ever compete with the attractions of his long-time lover and slave, Anne Merrill?

Lisabet has long been adept at describing the psychological side of a D/s relationship, as well as the physical side, and The Understudy is no exception. It’s easy to see why Sarah would respond so readily to Geoff’s commands, and why she finds it so hard to entertain the possibility that their relationship might not mean as much to him as it does to her. And as you’d expect, the punishment scenes, featuring crops, butt-plugs and nipple clamps among other toy box staples, are sizzling hot.

Trina Lane’s Paradise Of Pleasure introduces us to Elaina, who has a fantasy about being told what to do by a dominant man. When she broaches the idea with boyfriend Mike, he knows he can’t make it happen. In search of someone who can, she books into an exclusive island resort that caters for couples into the BDSM lifestyle. Elaina has no master, while resort owner Derrick has no sub. Drawn to her beauty and her quiet demeanour, he presents Elaina with an ultimatum – leave immediately for breaking the rules by arriving here alone, or submit to him for the duration of her stay…

Paradise Of Pleasure is a slice of pure escapist romance, set against a lush tropical background and spiced up with deliciously described scenes of exhibitionism and shibari bondage. Derrick is probably the most conventional ‘alpha male’ type in the whole collection, but that doesn’t make his fears of what might happen if Elaina chooses to return to her normal life when her holiday is over any the less convincing.

In contrast, Charlotte Stein’s Ever Unknown takes place in a humdrum office setting, but what happens there is anything but ordinary. When Molly starts receiving e-mails from someone who signs himself ‘Ever Unknown’, she begins a cheeky correspondence that gradually reveals her interest in discipline and punishment games. Her anonymous would-be master. is only too happy to push her along a path that begins with her turning up in the office without underwear and gradually submitting to his increasingly kinky demands. Molly thinks she knows his identity, despite his efforts to keep it concealed, but is she right, and as the stakes are raised, how far is she prepared to go along the path to total submission?

Charlotte Stein’s fresh, distinctive writing style breathes saucy life into what, in other hands, might otherwise be a fairly straightforward tale of erotic mind games. There are some twists along the way, but the ending is as sweet and uplifting as you could wish for.

Helen, in Jane Davitt’s Fresh Start, is the one heroine in the collection who is already in a long-term BDSM relationship when the story begins. However, six months down the line, she still isn’t fully in tune with her master’s desires, even though she’s pretty happy with what she’s getting out of the arrangement. When Connor has to go away on business, it’s a chance for him to tell her what he really needs – and that involves Helen taking her submission seriously, rather than just picking and choosing when she wants to obey him. Will this signal the end of their relationship – or will Helen accede to his requests and learn the true meaning of submission?

Exploring the difference between playing at BDSM and immersing yourself in it fully, Fresh Start is probably the most thought-provoking story in the anthology and one that offers plenty of insight into why a couple might choose, if circumstances permitted, to live a lifestyle where one partner truly becomes a 24/7 submissive.

Rounding off Master Me is Justine Elyot’s A Very Personal Trainer. Lara’s life is a mess. She’s so disorganised her flat looks like a tip, she never meets a deadline and she’s always late paying her bills. On a friend’s recommendation, she hires life coach Dexter to sort her out. Dexter’s methods are far from orthodox, and Lara finds herself falling for her icily controlled personal trainer and his promises of punishment. But Lara’s determination to mix business with pleasure sees her crossing a line, as the one thing guaranteed to drive Dexter away is any intrusion into his private life…

Justine wrings plenty of humour from Lara’s attempts at self-improvement, and while the truth about Dexter’s tangled circumstances and his need to keep his distance may seem a little improbable, by that time you’re so wrapped up in the story and Lara’s quest for a happy ending you really don’t care.

As for my own story in the collection, Neil And Obey, I’ll leave that for you to discover. But if you love stories about women learning to submit to a stern but loving dominant, whether just for now or for a lifetime, Master Me is bound to tap into a few favourite fantasies – and maybe leave you with some new ones, too…

Check it out at Total-e-bound.

Master Me Is Out!

Master Me is released by Total-e-bound today, and once I’ve read, marked, learned and inwardly digested the stories from the other talented writers in this delicious collection of tales about male domination and female submission, I’ll be giving my verdict. But to whet your appetite, here are the teasers for each story:

‘The Understudy’ by Lisabet Sarai

Is there a future in playing stand-in to a slave?

Sarah Gladstone was thrilled to be offered her first real acting job at the Berks Summer Playhouse. She never expected to be working with theatre legend Geoffrey Hart. The charismatic actor quickly brings her under his spell, not to mention his control, as he initiates her into the dark delights of BDSM. He offers her far more than physical pleasure; they share a level of intimacy and trust beyond anything Sarah could have imagined.

According to the rumours, though, Geoff’s heart is taken. Renowned actress Anne Merrill, his long time partner and submissive lover, has severed their relationship and Hart has escaped to the Berkshires to lick his emotional wounds. With her youth, inexperience, and girl-next-door persona, Sarah knows that she can’t compete with the glamorous theatre veteran. She fears that she’s just a substitute for the real object of Geoff’s affections. As he draws her deeper into his intoxicating games of dominance and submission, Sarah wonders if she’s willing to settle for the role of understudy in this perverse passion play.

‘Paradise of Pleasure’ by Trina Lane

Elaina Roman is at a crossroad. She’s split with her boyfriend after his refusal to try something new in the bedroom. For some time Elaina has wondered if there could be more to sex than pleasantness. She thinks she’s found the answer, but where’s a girl to find the experience?

Derrick Collins owns a resort catering to couples in the BDSM scene on a private island in the heart of the Florida Keys. When Elaina steps off the boat onto his island, he finds himself longing for the opportunity to dominate the stunning woman. Her wide grey eyes and quiet demeanour call to a part of his soul long thought dead. Circumstances work in his favour when a little misunderstanding has deposited Elaina right at his feet and not in the arms of another Dom.

When a week of exploration and discovery turns into love the pair must make a choice. To stay and experience a lifetime of pleasure in paradise or return to their former existences.

‘Neil and Obey’ by Elizabeth Coldwell

Neil will be Liz’s perfect date – as long as she does exactly as he tells her…

When Liz Webster receives an invitation to her ex-boyfriend’s wedding, she needs a date to take with her. Neil Stafford seems to fit the bill. He’s handsome, intelligent – and very dominant. He agrees to accompany her, as long as she obeys his every instruction for the whole weekend. Liz is soon plunged into a scenario where underwear is forbidden and sex in public is a distinct possibility.

Introduced to bondage and an unexpected threesome, Liz gives full rein to the submissive side of her personality. But playing these games for a weekend is one thing. What would it mean to become Neil’s full-time slave?

‘Ever Unknown’ by Charlotte Stein

He’s everything she didn’t know she wanted, and more…

Molly Hunt has spent most of her life playing it safe, and never expected anything more from her humdrum existence. Until she starts getting mysterious and very suggestive anonymous emails, from someone in her office.

He calls himself Ever Unknown, and he has some naughty and commanding demands he’d like her to obey. Molly’s not sure if she can meet his expectations, but as the stakes get higher, she discovers the submissive in her can’t resist him.<
But will he turn out to be all she expects?

‘Fresh Start’ by Jane Davitt

When you’re already living with the man of your dreams, what do you do when it isn’t enough?

Helen’s found the man of her dreams and she’s living with Connor and discovering how fulfilling it is to be his sub. When Connor leaves on a business trip, that happiness is shattered by a letter he gives her. Connor wants more from Helen, but can she give it to him?

‘A Very Personal Trainer’ by Justine Elyot

Lara lacks self-discipline but Dexter knows how to give it to her.

Lara’s life is in a mess, and she needs help to sort it out. But when she hires a personal organiser, she has no idea just how personal his service is going to be. Together, Lara and Dexter work out that she needs that little bit of extra motivation to keep her on track, and the way that motivation is delivered introduces Lara to a world of painful pleasure she has only previously dreamed of.

And if that’s not enough, here’s an extract from Neil And Obey, to give you a flavour of what to expect:

“So, Tina tells me you’re looking for a guest to take to a wedding,” Neil said once they were seated. “How does a beautiful woman like you find herself in a position where she’s on her own?”

The compliment could have been corny, but Neil made it sound utterly sincere. Liz felt a swift rush of lust pass through her body to settle low in her belly, and she squirmed in her seat. “The man who’s getting married is my ex,” she explained, “and since we split up—well, I guess I just haven’t been in the mood to meet someone else. And it’s very important that I find the right man now, because obviously I don’t want people to realise we’re not actually a couple.”

“You know there are escort services, which could provide this kind of thing?”

Liz couldn’t work out whether or not Neil was joking. She settled for saying, “I dread to think what they’d charge for an overnight stay. And I’d prefer to go with someone who was there because they actually liked me, rather than because I was paying for their company.”

Neil took a thoughtful sip from his bottle. “That makes sense. And I’d be more than happy to accompany you. But on one condition.”

“And that is?” Liz knew this was the moment when the whole plan could fall apart.

“You do exactly as I tell you, from the moment we get on the train at St. Pancras to the moment we arrive back there.”

Liz twirled the straw in her cocktail, mulling the idea over. She was sure there were plenty of women who would turn such a bizarre request down flat, but she had already been doing everything he’d asked since she’d replied to his e-mail. Though she couldn’t admit it to herself—not just yet, at any rate—something deep within her was responding to the idea of being subtly controlled and made to follow Neil’s orders.

“I think I can cope with that,” she said. “As long as you don’t ask me to stand in the middle of a busy road, or throw the wedding cake at my ex.”

Neil smiled, those dark eyes seeming to burn into her. “Don’t worry, Elizabeth, there’ll be nothing like that. But you need to know what you’re letting yourself in for, so let’s see just how good you are at following my instructions.”

“Okay,” Liz replied. “I’m game if you are.”

“Very well, I’d like you to undo a button on your blouse.”

She had already left the top two buttons unfastened. Opening another button would give him a hint of her creamy cleavage, nothing more. It didn’t seem like too much to ask, so she obeyed.

“Very good,” Neil said. “And another.”

Doing as she was told would open the blouse as far as the front catch on her bra. Still, it could have been worse. Her breasts were small enough that some days she went without a bra, depending on what she was wearing. She was suddenly glad today wasn’t one of those days.

Master Me is available from Total-e-bound. How can you resist?