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...
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Becoming His Master
By M.Q. Barber
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2015 M.Q. Barber
All rights reserved.
As a boisterous crowd climbed the winding grand staircase to the adult playrooms above, Henry Webb took a quieter stroll down the narrow hall behind the front desk.
After last week's utter debacle, he'd intended to spend the evening relaxing upstairs. A request from Victor, however, carried the weight of a summons.
A few of his own pieces graced the walls thick with three decades of club history. Victor's office awaited him behind an intricately carved door of well-polished black walnut. His knock skimmed the falling whorls of Persephone's hair.
He stepped inside.
Victor dropped his pen into its holder. "The boy is back."
Clicking the door shut behind him, Henry traced the cool, sinuous antiqued brass handle. If Victor intended to shock him with the announcement, he'd failed. Henry had expected the boy's return. Anyone who'd spent more than five minutes in the novice submissive's company would have predicted it.
"Is that why Emma sent me straight back to your office like an errant schoolboy?" Unbuttoning his suit coat, he claimed a wing chair across the desk from Victor. Firm with a hint of cushioning, the chair, as with every piece in the room, conveyed a power and authority commensurate with Victor's role as president of their little social club.
"My wife hasn't thought of you as an errant schoolboy in a decade." Wolfish amusement lurked in Victor's smile. "Did you tell her how exquisite she looks this evening?"
"Of course." To do otherwise would have offended a beautiful woman and been a lie to boot. The corset shaped Em's body into a feast for the eyes, a centerpiece at a front desk staffed by a handful of beauties of both sexes. "Is the blue a new piece?"
"Mm-hmm." Victor delivered the distant nod of a man chasing fantasies and returned bearing a frown. "She wanted it laced tighter, but it's her first night in it."
Henry favored the cautious approach. Breaking in a new corset demanded time and patience, much like a marathon runner shaping a new set of sneakers.
Pale brown eyes gleaming, creases gathering at the corners, Victor confessed, "She begged so prettily I had to turn her over my knee and deny her satisfaction."
Henry settled back in the cozy leather with a chuckle. Given Emma's masochistic needs, she'd undoubtedly reveled in the attention. "Thus the glowing smile she's wearing while greeting the players tonight."
Victor grunted. "She loves the denial almost more than the completion." He stretched his jaw, sharp and shadowed by his short-trimmed beard. "I have plans to take her this evening, but I've yet to decide whether she'd enjoy it more if I leave her unsatisfied. A bit of time basking in her arousal out front might convince her to climax sweetly for me when the time comes." Flaring his nostrils, he savored a slow breath. "She makes the loveliest sounds."
A truth Henry had witnessed often enough, and one requiring no response. He'd learned from Victor in much the same way, as the older man verbalized his thought process for a scene before directing it. The tutelage had granted Henry deeper insights into the how and why of the choices made — and, perhaps more importantly, the opportunity to see them change on the fly when a sub's needs dictated something different from the anticipated performance.
Victor waved, a dismissal of the subject though likely not of his attention to Emma's upcoming satisfaction. "But that's not why I wanted to speak with you upon your arrival."
The bloodied back. The wrenching cries. The snap of the bolt cutters bringing freedom. Henry forced the wash of images aside. "The boy."
Jay Kress, the latest victim of Calvin Gardner's sadistic pleasures.
"He signed the papers. Consensual, inadvertent error." Victor's flat tone struck with all the joy of an untuned piano.
Another missed opportunity to eject a bully from their ranks. A dues-paying dominant couldn't be tossed on his backside without cause, and Cal was clever enough to choose fresh-faced submissives unlikely to make a formal complaint.
Submissives like Jay Kress. "And now he's seeking a new dominant."
"Or the same one."
"Cal is a problem." They'd never be rid of him so long as the subs held their tongues and Cal's father sat on the governing board.
Victor splayed his hands, palms up. "One that time and training might fix."
"He preys on the new faces." He struggled to keep the anger from his tone and didn't quite manage. "He delights in their pain, humiliation, and degradation."
"Some of them want that, Henry." Victor waved off the objection already forming on his lips. "A small percentage, yes, but some do. Most of them young men like our Mr. Kress. Would you tell them their desires are in error?"
"I'd tell them if they're among the vast majority of submissives who want to feel cherished and secure, they'd do well to stay away from Cal." His grip on the chair arms left impressions in the leather. He smoothed them with strict attention for each dark ripple in the surface. "A man or woman who violates a safeword has no honor and deserves no trust."
Preaching to the choir, but Victor hadn't seen the novice after. Hadn't wiped the blood from his back or bundled him into a robe.
"Yes, as Emma told the other board members, to no avail." Victor tapped the desk, his fingers reflecting in the glass atop the mahogany wood. A match for the shade of Emma's hair. "She spoke to the boy in private after his testimony and gently suggested he consider not playing again until he'd listed boundaries for himself and his future partners."
"He couldn't articulate a single one, could he?" An all-too-common problem among new players. Seeking acceptance, they neglected safety. Those with specific fantasies found negotiating easier. Confused submissives lacking self-awareness, however, required careful handling.
"After Cal stalked out in a fit — he left the boy tied, Victor, with no guarantee I'd clean up his scene for him, for God's sake — and I unbound the boy, he was a sobbing, bloodied wreck."
"An outcome that can be the result of a good scene as much as a bad one." Victor wore his lecture face, one eyebrow raised above a chilly gaze. "Would you have me outlaw whipping? My Em loves the sting on her back. Blood and tears can be a component of satisfaction."
"Not for this boy." The cries had pierced him. Not a shred of pleasure in them, and no reason for the young man to have endured the pain. "You didn't hear him calling pitifully for Cal to return. Apologizing for using his safeword, saying he knew he wasn't to do it and it wouldn't happen again."
The blatant betrayal of consensual play strung him tight with rage. "You know as well as I do a dominant can create a vivid mental picture to satisfy a sub's need for pain and swap out the dangerous threat with a safe toy that fulfills the purpose without causing harm."
If Jay Kress wanted to be tortured and violated, the fantasy could have been accomplished without the potential danger of perforating his colon with a whip handle. "The boy didn't want any part of it, Victor. He only wanted to please his master."
Victor's soft tone and expectant stare thrummed awareness of the gap between his spine and the chair. Henry eased back and resettled his shoulders. He ought not allow emotion so much control. Less so in the club and least of all in a situation whose principal players had ceded none to him.
Ever the teacher, Victor nodded. "Which is why my darling Emma is even now putting a bug in the ear of every dominant who enters. She'll encourage them to stay away from the beautiful dark-haired boy in the tight leather shorts with the vivid welts across his back. Unless they want to find themselves in my office explaining their actions."
"He'll beg until he finds someone." Back a week after such an intense, devastating session? The lack of self-control blared alarms. "He's a danger to himself." Denying him access would be a wiser course.
"He is, that's true." Victor frowned, pulling his features into craggy canyons. "If I ban him from the club, he'll find a more dangerous playground."
"The boy needs a teacher." Solution found, he crossed his leg over his knee. Victor would recommend a good one, and all would resolve itself. His own conflicted emotions would subside in time. "A caring dominant to help him find his boundaries and learn to assert himself in negotiation."
"Such was my thought as well." Victor's accompanying stare clarified with nary a waver.
"Me?" No and no again. "He'll associate me with his torture." Better to leave him to someone else. Healthier for all concerned. "Possibly even resent me for stopping the scene and costing him Cal's dubious affection."
"Emma says the boy called you his savior." The return of the wolfish smile didn't bode well. Victor only let the look out to play when he meant to win. "Asked incessant questions. Had she met you, how well did she know you, did you play with boys or girls, didn't you have just the dreamiest green eyes...."
The chair's embrace suffocated. Henry launched himself free. "Hero worship, then." Condensation slipped down the carafe of ice water on the sideboard and joined its fellows in a spreading patch on the robin's egg blue linen beneath. "It'll fade."
"Until it does, why not take advantage of it?"
He tucked his face toward the bookcase. Disgust and fear suffused him. Victor knew where to twist the knife.
"Positive advantage, Henry. The boy needs a guide, and you'd be an excellent one. You've a light touch with wounded souls, and he deserves it, doesn't he? If nothing else, the psychological challenge ought to appeal to you."
Shoulders tight, Henry tipped his head back as if he might shake off the suggestion and the problem with it. He whispered his confession to the silent row of unaccusing spines, the pages within full of their own secrets. "I'm attracted to him, Victor."
He'd stood and watched because of the boy's beauty. The lines of his back in sharp relief as Cal had wielded the whip. And then the blood. The shouting. The urgent need to stop Cal without provoking more harm. "He deserves delicate handling, not yet another dominant who might confuse their own desires for his."
"At least talk to him. You enjoy denial almost as well as my darling wife does."
The impropriety of lengthy silence forced him to turn and attend to Victor's words. Their shared gaze acknowledged truth. But the words wouldn't come.
Folding his hands on the desk, Victor leaned forward. "Wouldn't you enjoy the opportunity to sit across from the boy knowing you could have him with a word and forcing yourself to strict control instead?"
Breath flooded his lungs. "You know me too well."
"Age and experience, Henry." Victor relaxed into his seat and straightened his tie. "Talk to the boy. My runners say he's been wandering the third floor as a green-ribbon in search of a partner. Why not give him one?"
Wearing a green ribbon. Attention-seeking behavior. Meat for the lions, tender flesh and a heart more tender still. Henry paced. He'd already lost this battle. The conclusion foregone.
"A talk, then. Tonight only." He'd help Mr. Kress see the need for balance and turn him loose. Perhaps the damage had been superficial, easily remedied with a stern reminder to take care for his own safety.
"Cal's been banned for two months." Victor's blandness only ever disguised spear points beneath. "The boy could explore his desires more freely with your assistance."
"Non-sexual, Victor." Henry bent his back and gripped the top of the wing chair. Smooth, supple leather. The submissive's skin would be even softer. More supple. Twenty-four, twenty-five at the most, youth clinging to smooth cheeks. A crime not to paint him.
"I won't touch him when his need is so raw and untrained." He'd cross any number of ethical lines by becoming involved with the younger man, even if the lines were of his own making and meant nothing to others at the club. No, Victor would understand. William would understand.
"A hands-off approach, certainly, if you like." Victor ran a finger along the edge of his desk. "So long as you don't mind Emma and myself wagering on the outcome."
Henry forced his hands from the chair. "Two months of instruction, and I'll turn him over to an ethical dominant who suits his desires."
Two months ought to be enough. It would have to be, if he meant to keep this innocent from playing with Cal once more. Even an abusive dominant could prove more alluring than loneliness for a submissive desperate for a place to belong.
Victor's casual grunt betrayed his disbelief. "My lovely wife thinks you'll like this boy, and she has a sixth sense about these things. I wouldn't bet against her."
"And her wager is?"
"That you'll put a leash on him and take him home. Not tonight, of course. But eventually."
"I don't collect strays, Victor."
He left his play partners better off than he'd found them and took pride in doing so, but their games stayed at the club. The married straight boys who wanted more punishment than their wives delivered. The sweet-faced girls seeking validation for desires that shamed them.
Short-term or long-term, impact play or sexual possession, it made no difference. None of them had enticed his senses or inspired his passion enough to bring them home. When he found his muse, he would know. He was in his early thirties yet, and the post-college set still found him attractive enough. He had time.
Victor shrugged, an elegant gesture rippling the fabric of his dress shirt. "Then there's no harm in spending the evening with the boy and offering him some friendly advice."
"No harm at all." Henry straightened and buttoned his suit. "If you'll excuse me, I need to track down young Mr. Kress and inform him he may stop searching for a new dominant. For tonight, at least, he has found one."
Victor had sliced deep into the heart of the problem, into the dreams he'd been unable to banish in the last week. The ones where he'd kissed the sweet submissive's wounds closed and fucked him senseless. Where the boy had called out not his safeword but Henry's name, worship etched in his throat.
The narrow hall gave way to the main lobby. He passed the front desk without slowing. Allowing Emma to prod the cut Victor had opened would be unwise.
Only a predator would chase a brutalized, victimized submissive so uncertain of his own wants and needs. Victor's approval mitigated but failed to banish the concern. His wife's approval raised a fearful hope. She'd sat and talked with the young man.
He threaded his way up the staircase, nodding to familiar faces but not engaging in conversation. He kept his amusements within the club's walls, except on those now-rare occasions when he partook in events at Emma and Victor's home or Will's cabin retreat. His home served as his private sanctuary and his studio. He took no one home.
Emma knew those things. In their nearly fifteen-year friendship, she and Victor hadn't set foot inside his apartment. Yet Emma thought he'd take this boy there. Young Mr. Kress must have been quite convincing in more than looks. Or he himself had given away more than he'd realized. In the time he'd spent learning to read Emma's cues, she'd learned to read his as well.
As he reached the third floor, he forced himself to stop. He stood aside from the flowing crowd and locked away the inappropriate attraction. Jay Kress was in pain. He needed a neutral guide and a friend, and he would have one.
No matter how appealing he proved to be. No matter how he attempted to express his hero worship, his little crush. He'd formed an attachment in a moment with emotions running high. He'd come to his senses. Until he did, Henry would tighten the reins on himself and avoid taking advantage of his innocent charm at all costs.
"All right, my dear boy." He pushed off the wall. "Let's see where you wander, how you conduct yourself, and whom you approach." Burying himself in the crowd, he went in search of a shock of black hair atop a wounded boy.
His wounded boy.
Henry edged as close as he dared in the next hour, catching snatches of conversation from each encounter. The younger man's athletic grace and bowed head, his silent persistence, granted him introduction after introduction with male and female dominants alike, though none approached him first.
Excerpted from Becoming His Master by M.Q. Barber. Copyright © 2015 M.Q. Barber. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Totally enjoyed this book
I have never read anything by M.Q. Barber, but saw a review for this book. It sounded intriguing and as it was a prequel to the series, I snatched it up. Master Henry never gets involved with submissives. He enjoys them at the club or on certain weekends at his friend Will’s cabin, but he never collars one. A week before the story begins, he rescues a male sub whose safeword was ignored by a sadistic top. This book starts with the owner of the BDSM club he attends, asks him to take the boy on until they can get him to act safely.Jay Kness wants to submit, aches to submit. But he had a hard, fast, and cruel introduction to BDSM and doesn’t even understand what his rights are as a sub. And as he has an innate need to please, it makes saying the word “no” virtually impossible. In the world of BDSM, he’s a danger to himself. He already has a bit of a crush on Master Henry since he rescued him the week before and when Henry takes him on as a sub at the club, he’s thrilled. I loved this story – for several reasons. 1: Master Henry was a good dominant in my opinion. He put Jay’s needs above his own. His sole focus was to get his sub to protect himself. Always paying attention to Jay’s needs, he quickly realized that the play Jay had engaged in was the exact antithesis of everything he wanted. 2: Jay was the perfect newbie sub. New submissives truly don’t understand their power or the fact that it is NOT all about the dom’s wishes. Not until you find one you can trust and then give over that control, anyway. 3: The secondary characters were well written and I’d love to read a story about the owner of the club and his sub. While I won’t be reading the rest of the series as M/M/F trios aren’t my thing and that’s what the rest of the series is, I will be keeping my eye out for more MQ Barber books.The reason I gave it four stars instead of five is one thing: The ending was too abrupt. Jay was suddenly a completely different person, unlike the unsure sub we’d seen through 99% of the book. That part felt contrived and not natural, but overall, I did love this book. Reviewed by a-nony-mouse for Crystal’s Many Reviewers *Copy BOUGHT for review*
As with the others in this series I could not seem to get enough! I think it is because the stories just spell out what is going on rather than my imagination taking over for subjects I have no personal experience with so my curiosity is being satisfied and admittedly l am turned on and l am not exactly that means but at any rate l am looking forward to MORE Great job
With the fourth book in the series, Becoming His Master, Barber turns back the pages of the Neighborly Affection calendar, back to a time before Alice, when Henry is perhaps a bit more impatient and Jay a lot less confident. This prequel encompasses the meeting of the two men, disclosed in flashbacks, but even for all that distance, the first moments still ring as pain-filled and horrific. As with life, events won't allow a pause for healing and rest, and Henry and Jay tentatively begin their journey forward, drawn together one night a week, sequestered within the now-dubious safety of the club walls. This dance the two characters embark upon attempts to erase that awfulness, successfully filling their lives with a measured cadence of healthy, loving joy, but only at a pace Henry will allow. Cameo appearances by supporting characters provide depth and contrast for the two men, allowing them to show sides of their personalities that will take your breath with the raw honesty and truth. Can Henry set aside his own needs for Jay’s, and more to the point, should he? Well, I’ll answer with another question: Would I recommend this book? My answer, as with all Barber's books, is a resounding 'Yes!'
I must admit that I didn’t read past Neighborly Affection and M.Q. Barber before snagging this book. As such, I began it expecting to continue on the journey with my favorite ménage trio – Henry, Jay, and Alice. However, in Becoming His Master, Ms. Barber takes us back in time to show fans how Jay and Henry came to be. Was Alice’s presence missed? Yes, because I was looking forward to seeing how their relationship dynamic continued to progress. Was I disappointed in Becoming His Master? Absofreakinglutely not! With each book I have read of the series, I wanted to know more about Jay and Henry’s relationship, but never did I expect that Ms. Barber would backtrack within the series to tell their tale. Yet she did and delivered an absolutely wonderful book. I didn’t know it was possible, but with each page that I read of Becoming His Master, I fell even more in love with Henry. As always, the beautiful dominant is ever present in his interactions with Jay. I loved how, from the very beginning, Henry set aside his own desires in order to give Jay the care and guidance he needed. From the previous books, we knew that Jay had suffered at the hands of a sadistic Dom and that Henry had interrupted the scene when it became apparent that Jay’s safeword had been ignored. What we learn over the course of this book is that Jay’s desire and eagerness to serve a Master had exposed him to mistreatment after mistreatment for months – sometimes actual physical abuse, but almost always emotional abuse as Jay was unable to express his needs as a submissive. Because of Jay’s history, Henry had to walk a fine line so that he could teach Jay to identify his wants and limits, to learn to communicate them, and to learn that above all else, his own safety was paramount, all while not abusing his position of authority over Jay. Having spent three books with Henry, I was not the least bit surprised that he accomplished it. After all, we know that the two are together. But what is mesmerizing is how Henry does it and how he helps nurse the wounded Jay into the wriggly puppy we all know and love. My only complaint with Becoming His Master is that I reached the final page far too soon, but that has happened with every book in the series. Now the countdown begins for the next book in the Neighborly Affection series and as much as I LOVED finally learning Jay and Henry’s history, I do so hope that we return to present day to see how life fares for my favorite trio. I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!
This is about Master Henry and his Sub Jay. Jay was abused by another Dom and a week later is back. The owner of the club, Victor has asked Master Henry to guide Jay before he can be taken advantage again. In talking to Jay, Henry finds Jay is a complete sub but hasn’t had any sort of training or guidance and everyone has taken advantage of his over wiliness to please. Henry has given himself two months to train Jay and find him a more permit Dom before the Dom that abused him comes back. But will he be able to let him go? I’ve read my fair share of D/s books and what I truly loved about this book was it focused on the sub. Not so much what makes a sub a sub, but what caused this sub to be broken and how to fix him with words first and then small sexually actions. This was not full of huge D/s bondage type acts you normally associate with these type books. Master Henry really wanted to know about his Jay and how to fix him and not through sex but through praise. I really liked that we got the two months of courtship between the two MC’s before any major declaration of love or future. The only thing that really left me confused was the female side for both Henry and Jay, so not sure to class this as a MM book or MMF or bi-sexual or what? I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Crystals Many reviews
Becoming His Master (Neighborly Affection Series-Book 4) by M.Q. Barber Experienced dominant Henry Webb has a new task of teaching a wounded submissive what his value is and this should be easy. Jay Kress is new to the world of servicing his master but he is challenging his very experienced teacher. Jay is still fragile after his horrible experience outside of the safe submissive play so Henry has his hands full. Henry won't take advantage of Jay's trust or claim him as his own that is what he is thinking at least. Jay wants nothing more than to be a submissive that he allowed himself to be hurt outside of the safe consensual play. Henry is an experienced Master Dom and wants to train Jay to find the perfect master opposed to the bad experience he already had. Henry is the perfect Dom, kind and thoughtful and very respectful of his submissive's limits and desires. These two men spend a lot of time together and the hero-worshiping comes into play and is not always a good thing. Henry discovers this when he starts to fall in love with Jay. Henry has never kept a submissive for himself but as he gets closer to the more and more, confident Jay he realizes that he's everything he's ever wanted. Henry knows that this is a fragile relationship and he wants to make sure that Jay doesn't feel obligated. Everyone who sees them together can instantly tell how much Jay is in love with Henry. I quite enjoyed the story and I haven't read too many BDSM novels but this one really reached out to me. I love the connection these guys had for each other and how fragile their connection was. Jay was so damaged by an earlier experience and Henry never falls for his submissive so when they both let down their guard is when the love was released. I love how Henry and Jay help each other in such different ways was so special to read. This is a great BDSM novel for someone just getting into the world of master/slave. You won't be disappointed in Becoming His Master by M.Q. Barber!!! "Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review." Reviewed by Paul at Gay Media Reviews
FiveStars This book has descriptions of an abusive relationship with BDSM. If this bothers you, do not read. Jay and Cal have a somewhat dangerous partnership. I wanted to yell and scream when I read how awful Cal was. Henry was a calm, strong, loving Dom who wanted nothing more than to help Jay find his way in a world that can sometimes harbor posers. Emma and Victor are great friends throughout the story. I would very much like to have read their story. They sound like they have quite the relationship. This was a story of finding your true self - harnessing that power and trusting yourself. Both main characters, Henry and Jay have to find it in themselves to trust their true natures. I love how devious Emma was throughout the story. She made me laugh and I found myself wanting to know what she and Jay would talk about. I really liked how protective she was over all Subs in the club - it didn't matter than she was a sub herself - she was like a mama bear who would rip anyone apart if they mistreated them. While I did like that Henry was patient and methodical in how he taught Jay to negotiate and essentially fend for himself, the book was slow at some times. Overall, this book was very well written. I think it could have gone (or I wish) a little faster in pace, but in the end, it was very enjoyable. I was given this in return for an honest review by Inked Rainbow Reads. AvidReader
This is the first book I have read by this author and it won’t be the last. I absolutely loved it! Jay has been abused by his Doms in the past hand Henry wants to teach him his self-worth and how he should be treated with the right Dom. This story really delves into the emotional connection between a Dom and his sub. The story held me captivated from beginning to end. An all-around excellent read.
I went into my first title from M.Q. Barber expecting a story that was familiar, if intriguing: the transformation of a young man into a submission. What a surprise to find that this story, told almost wholly from the point of Henry, the slightly older and more experienced Dominant. While I’ve read a few titles that provide a Dom’s perspective, this is the first one that has completely captured my imagination: his careful consideration of Jay’s past, his needs and the understanding that every action he takes will have a reaction and potential consequence to their relationship. While Jay is most certainly submissive, his own experiences have been traumatic at the hands of a rather unscrupulous man. But Henry presents him with a safe place, allowing the trust between them to grow and build, while actually keeping the physical elements of their relationship moving at a slower than expected pace. I loved Jay: although I tend to prefer a stronger and more ‘take charge’ man, he is so genuinely sweet and giving, and so wanting a man to claim him heart and soul that he was hard not to appreciate. Henry, on the other hand, is just the right sort of Dom for Jay. Not into pain for pain’s sake, although he has no real issue with those who are, Henry’s experience and willingness to be patient with Jay, forming their bond and connection without pushing. He knows that too much can endanger the trust that is building, and he wants Jay for the long haul. I was completely blown away with the emotional connection and build between the couple, as well as Henry’s ability to predict and allow for reactions from Jay, and make adjustments accordingly. Baring Henry’s thoughts and Jay’s heart, this book is so much more than the naked moments, and all the better for it. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Becoming his Master is an amazing addition to the Neighborly Affections series. Told entirely from Henry's POV you get to see the start of his relationship with Jay as well as gain great insight into how his mind works. By being from Henry's vantage point you learn so much more about why he does the things he does and the depths of feeling that he hides. The book beings after Jay's assault by Cal and Henry taking him under his wing. We follow along as Henry teaches Jay the true meaning of his submission and helps to heal his fragile boy. I especially liked learning little things like the meaning behind Henrys command of "show me".
Becoming His Master, M.Q. Barber Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews. Genre: Erotica, LGBTQIA Well, like lots of readers I’ve been curious about what on earth really happened to poor Jay before he met Henry, and was rescued. Jays such a fabulous character, he always reminds me of an eager, Labrador puppy, always wanting to please, loves praise for getting things right and so so full of boundless energy. Here though we meet a different Jay, where Henry is slowly unravelling the damage done to him, slowly learning what he needs, and teaching him the true meaning of submission and what a Dominant should be doing for his sub. Poor Henry, I love him, he’s such a good man, and always puts his needs last. There are few true gentlemen like him in the world, and he epitomises all that's best about them. He wants Jay fiercely, is attracted to him right from the start, but he wants the best for Jay, what’s right for him more than he wants his own satisfaction. He’s trying to teach him, without falling in love with him ( ha! no chance!), and trying to show Jay that there are other options for him to choose, that he doesn’t have to stay with Henry, and that not all Doms are like the obnoxious Cal. What I enjoy about this series is the way the BDSM element is explained – I only know what I’ve gleaned from novels and it seems to make sense the way its shown in these novels. Safe and consensual being the main criteria, and the stress and obedience to safe words as Henry explains it, and not as poor Jay has been told, that safe wording is a failure. For someone like Jay who just wants to please, that’s incredibly dangerous. I have to say though, that I was really keen to read this book, really wanted to know what had gone before but...I missed Alice. Somehow the three together work in a magical way, giving me a read that’s full of emotion, sensual, fun and allows each of them to shine as individuals. Though I got my questions answered this novel just wasn’t the same for me as books with the three in them, and I just didn’t get the same sense of satisfaction from reading it. Stars: Three and a half, it’s still a good read but I missed Alice ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher.
This is a hard core triple XXX story for readers over 18! I have read some BDSM books but this one goes right for the jugular. This is different from others I read in that this one is a teaching story to show how people may start into the life. Jay is young,25, and no one has shown him what's what and how to care for himself. Henry is asked to help him over the abuse he took and how the life works. If you don't like this kind of book skip right over it! But if it's interesting to you try it and find out what happens to Henry and Jay. I have this book for an honest review for NetGalley.
I absolutely loved this book! I was surprised at just how deeply it touched me. I have so missed Henry and Jay (Alice too, but I’ll just have to wait a bit longer to catch up with her), and I had always wondered about the early nuances of their relationship, and how Henry was able to help restore a once broken Jay to the bright, beautiful, and effervescent man that he is now. When Jay comes to Henry, he is so broken and desperate that he doesn't even realize just how broken and desperate he really is. His self-esteem and confidence is shattered, and he truly believes he is not worthy of anything better than being the object of emotional and physical abuse. Henry is beyond attracted to Jay (which hasn't happened in a long while for him... at least not to this extent), yet he will not sacrifice Jay's training or his emotional and physical well being just to satisfy his own selfish urges. Lord knows he wants the boy... more than anything, but how can he have Jay and still respect himself as a dominant and a man? He knows it can’t happen unless and until Jay can see his own worth and embrace his right to say “no” to anything that is not in his best interest. He also needs to know that Jay wants to submit to him because he’s attracted to Henry, the man and the dominant... and not because he’s drawn to him out of some misguided hero worship. Ultimately though, how could these two wonderful men help but fall in love? I fell in love with both of them a long time ago… even more so now. My heart just ached for Jay when I read this. It ached for Henry too. M.Q. Barber has truly given us the most beautiful love story here. These two incredible men… each suffering in their own way… each needing the other to be truly whole. Their journey to that realization and Jay’s road to healing make up some of the most compelling writing I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Kudos Ms. Barber. You have undoubtedly got another huge hit on your hands! * I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
I am that fan who had to know more about Henry and Jay, so this was exactly what I wanted. Their start was not really what I expected, but so many pieces fell into place. I kept going "aha" and "so that's why". Seeing inside Henry's thoughts made me immediately want to go back and reread the other books in this series. I'm sure I will so many things in a different light now that I see how Henry thinks. I can't wait for the next book in this series. When people ask me for a menage series, this is always the first one I suggest. Sweet, sexy, and intelligent. This books does show us a bit more of the impact Jay's abuse and may be a trigger for some.
Becoming His Master by M.Q. Barber is the latest book in the Neighborly Affection Series. It is the story of how Jay Kress and Henry Webb got together. Henry was in the club one night when Calvin Gardner was with submissive Jay Kress. Calvin was ignoring Jay’s safe word and continued to hurt him. Henry saved Jay. Victor, president of the “social” club, asked Henry to take Jay under his wing. Henry agreed to teach Jay the rules and watch out for him for two months (the length of Calvin’s suspension from the club). Henry teaches Jay how to be a submissive (especially on protecting his safety). During the course of the two months Henry bonds with Jay and does not want to give him up (and Jay wants to stay with Henry). Henry ends up changing their relationship from the club to his apartment (where eventually Jay moves in). I give Becoming His Master 4 out of 5. It is well-written, but I did not find it as good as the other books in the series. Alice is not in this book and she adds a wonderful elements to the stories. I also felt that this story has already been told. We have heard of Jay and Henry’s history in the other books. Becoming His Master dives deeper into Henry’s feelings and thoughts, but I was not pulled into the story (as with the previous books in the series). I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.