Assumed Master

Lila Munro
Assumed Master
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Rebel Ink Press
Release Date
May 2012
Book 4 of Identity Series
BDSM, Erotic Romance

We may be born to the lifestyle...

Julie Stevens and Dante Larson always knew their tastes were a bit more eccentric than those of the average person, but acknowledgement of their chosen paths came at different times. While their lives have run parallel for the last twenty years, destiny always came knocking at the wrong time. Julie was a closeted edge player and before Dante could pull her free of her fears, Mason came along and dragged her kicking and screaming from her self-inflicted darkness, leaving Dante wanting. Although Dante's been in love with Julie since the day he first laid eyes on her, he's happily married to Blake. But the tides are turning.

But Lady Fate dictates how it should be lived…

Still mourning the death of the only Master she's ever known, Julie finds herself forced to live with the one man she's been terrified of for years, Dante. While she has to admit something between them feels right, just as many things feel very, very wrong, starting with the fact he's married to her gay best friend. Before she even has time to sort out her current predicament, another man catches Julie's attention. But after losing her mother, her sister, and her husband, can Julie come to grips with the fact that Keegan D'Amate jumps out of perfectly good helicopters for a living, rescue diving for the Coast Guard? And where exactly does that leave Dante, who knows for sure he needs a woman to complete his unconventional marriage? Quite frankly, he's tired of waiting.

Book Review by Rebecca
Jun 23, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
245 people found the following review helpful
Ten tissues in ten pages – readers will not be able to stop themselves from feeling the heroine's pain, especially if you have read the full series. Ms Munro eloquently depicts the tragic loss Julie Stevens experiences. Then she takes readers along for Julie's journey to healing, so admirably honoring a lost love while gaining readers' trust in Julie's future HEA.

Still mourning the death of the only Master she has ever known, Julie finds herself left in the care of Dante, the one man she has been both terrified of and once drawn to years ago. Dante is married to Blake, Julie's gay BFF, and living happily in an M/s relationship much like the one Julie lived with Mason. Over fifteen years have passed since the previous book and in this time, both couples have lived happily. Much has evolved – Ms Munro introduces readers to Dante and Blake's adopted sons who add a wonderful element to the story, Julie's full immersion into the lifestyle since we last saw her merely exploring as well as her personal attempt at motherhood.

While their lives have run parallel for years, Dante and Julie now have this chance to be together. Julie is torn—admitting some things between them feel right while so many others feel wrong, but mostly struggling leaving behind her deceased husband and only Master she has known. Julie's new life with Dante, while seeming so similar to what she has lived before, is different enough to cause problems with her adjustment into Dante's home. But Dante has been in love with Julie since the first day he laid eyes on her and he is determined to keep her this time – creating an unconventional marriage between himself, Blake and Julie. Readers will not be able to stop themselves from cheering them on.

Nothing is as easy as it seems but readers will be struck by how much desire the characters have to create a relationship that works for them despite the opinions of others. Glitches make their work more difficult – troubles mostly surrounding Julie's level of submission that may not be enough for Dante or even for herself anymore. While readers will feel the love the characters share, Ms Munro also does a near perfect delivery of the emotions involved in any new relationship dynamic. Though I admit, the BDSM elements turn the story up a level on the heat factor.

One unnecessary addition is Keegan, a Master we meet at a play party who catches Julie's attention. Written in so subtle a context during a scene where readers' attention will justifiably be on Dante and Julie, Keegan never appears to be the competition that should lead him to play any role in Julie's decision about staying with Dante. Perhaps he is only meant as a cameo appearance to set him up for a future book.

ASSUMED MASTER engages readers, holding us captive until the last page, as we wait to see if Julie can find her HEA after such a tragic loss. Readers will cheer her on and find strength in knowing there can be such a love after such a loss.
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