This has been a long awaited book for me after I discovered the Rescue Me Series back in May. I don’t know why I wasn’t drawn to the series sooner and I actually had a hard time reading Masters at Arms when all I wanted was to dive into each ones stories. But this series isn’t meant to be read as a stand alone series. Each book builds on each other and I recommend you read them in order.
In Masters at Arms we meet Damián as he is trying to turn his life around while on parole for hitting his brother-in-law. He saves Savannah from a particularly brutal sadist scene where she is being abused for the mens pleasure. The two enjoy a carefree day together not thinking of tomorrow, cumulating in them making sweet love in a cave off the beach. The two part ways not knowing how to reach one another afterwards. Savannah goes back to an sexually abusive father and his partner, planning to commit suicide only to find out she is pregnant with Damián’s child. Damián loses his job and ends up joining the marines. During service he loses his foot and has to rebuild his life with the help of Adam and Marc. He turns to BDSM as a way to have control over his life when things feel so out of control.
Now years later, we saw Damián and Savi (she changed her name when she escaped her father) meet in Adam and Kayla’s book, Nobody’s Hero, they have changed a lot and moved on with their lives. Savi is now a therapist helping other sexually abused patients. Damián sees Savi has a kid and assumes she is married. They may no plays for each other. Now Savi’s father and his partner have found her and her daughter, forcing her to go on the run, straight into Damián’s arms. Now the two have to heal each other, raise a child and keep Savi’s father from finding her again.
The one key thing I feel I have to say is this isn’t a traditional erotic romance. Savi is so repressed and broken, she can’t imagine nor needs to have sex. So don’t go into this book expecting it to be a sexfest. It isn’t. It is a character driven story. The soul deep hurt and abuse Savi has endured has made her harden up and become numb. To the point she can’t even feel her own daughter’s hugs. It is brutally hard to read just how damaged she is. She can’t cry or feel. But through it all, she is a wonderful mom who does everything to protect and nurture her daughter.
Damián still has PTSD from losing his foot. He is ecstatic when he finds out he has a daughter. Damian isn’t rich, but he is a hard worker who uses BDSM to allow him to retain his control when at times he feels no control. He is a sadist, not a gentle Dom. We see him in action helping another sub release her control and cry through pain. The pain focused her and allowed her to let down her walls to accept the love of her husband, Vincent (who can’t give her the pain she needs). Savi sees this and is drawn to what it could do for her.
Through this all, Damián knows he loves her. He knows he wants a lifetime with her. And he is fine if she can’t ever make love t him the way he wants. His heart breaks for her, but he takes her healing seriously and uses BDSM to break down some deep seeded walls she has erected to protect herself.
I am trying to be vague about the actual scenes in this book because I feel you need to experience them without me describing them. But one thing that kind of bothered me was Damián coming across as if he totally knew what he was doing. I just couldn’t buy that part in its total package.
Through everything, my heart broke for both characters. They both have their own demons in various degrees that need to be healed. They both are running from their pasts, but not in the same ways. While I adored this story, I still have to say Master Adam and Kayla are my favorites *ducks*.
While this is a romance, I would not call it erotica. Just because there were erotic elements, it wasn’t meant to turn you on or even to show they were in love. Love comes in many forms and grows in its own way. This is just slightly different from what I call erotica. Recommended for anyone who has read the series, but know this is a dark look into BDSM and its effects on both sides of the coin.