The Rules of Love

Morticia Knight
The Rules of Love
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Publisher
Totally Bound
Release Date
February 2015
ISBN
9781784303976
Series
Book 2 of The Hampton Road Club
Genre
BDSM, Erotic Romance, Historical Romance, LGBTQ

SUMMARY
Master Saul is captivated by the beautifully submissive Kenneth and the boy's love of pain. Unfortunately, Kenneth belongs to Master Preston.
As one of the founding members of the Hampton Road Club, Master Saul Liebowitz has enjoyed the charms of many willing submissives over the years. One of the newer submissives to the club has captured his attention more than anyone has in a long time. Kenneth is tall, muscular and also seems to have a greater love of pain than most. If only Kenneth didn't already belong to another Master.

After Kenneth's Master died years before, he allowed himself to be taken in by the promises of Master Preston. As time has gone by, Preston has become increasingly crueler to the point where Kenneth fears for his life. They've recently joined a sadomasochism club and Kenneth can't help but yearn for the handsome Master the other boys speak so highly of – Master Saul.

Preston takes things too far one night, and when Saul and his good friend Master Aaron do some investigating, they realize that Kenneth might be in real danger. Amidst turmoil at the club over whether there should be rules to keep the boys safe and Preston's play for power, Saul searches for a way to save Kenneth from what he's sure is a deadly situation.

Both men fight for what they believe to be the right thing. When they find their way to one another, a wonderful new world opens up to them together. But there's one man out there who refuses to let go of the old ways. Kenneth is his property and Master Preston won't give him up.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and dubious consent.

Publisher's Note: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series but can be read as a standalone.

Book Review by BookAddict (reviewer)
Aug 03, 2015   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
122 people found the following review helpful
BDSM in the turn of the century 1900's is dangerous. To be a sodomist, lover of man, it's even more dangerous as this is against the law in Merry old England. This is why Saul Leibowitz treasure the safe haven for dominant and submissive men. Hampton Road Club is a private manor fully stocked with a dungeon, BDSM furniture and tools. Lately, there is a concerning trend where the dominants preen about their tools as well as treating their submissives as less than a human.

Saul is most concerned when he sees submissive Kenneth being whipped and not given a way to let his Master know his safeword. Saul decides to discuss this with a couple of trusted dominants. When the decision to bring all the Club Board's dominants to review limitations of play at the club, it causes a split between the board members. Fortunately for Saul, he pulls out a trump card no one expected. This helps sway the vote to keep the club a safe haven for both dominants and submissive men.

The conflict in this story is well thought out. The resolution seems a bit melodramatic. This is what disappoints me about this story. The men do not come across as lords or as dominant men. They came across as old hens cackling and wringing their hands in worry. From a character perspective, I didn't find any of the males in this story realistic. They may have male names but based on dialog and behaviour, I'd have thought they were a bunch of drama-ridden females.

The BDSM in here is a good balance between the bad and the good. Ms. Knight does a good job of showing the differences between Saul and Kenneth's Master, Preston. Preston's fixation on Kenneth is quite unbalanced. It's a fatal attraction where if Preston can't have Kenneth, than no one can.

The story leads to an unexpected ending and happily ever after. But the ending didn't work well for me and felt too contrived. For those who enjoy m/m romance set in a historical setting, this is the book for you.
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