Wednesday, March 5, 2014

YES, MASTER by Margaret McHeyzer

by Margaret McHeyzer
ARC Review
Published: February 19, 2014

My rating: 4 of 5 ⭐️

Tormented by recurring images of horrific childhood sexual abuse by an uncle, Sergeant Major Ryan Jenkins manages as a functioning member of society and a good father. Barely. Having tried marriage at a young age, he couldn't find what he needed and it ended in an amicable divorce. Now single, Ryan has few close personal connections, except to his lifelong friend Mason, but even he knows nothing of the demons that continue to haunt Ryan.

When Ryan joins Mason at a social event and meets his date Stella, she has an immediate impact on him. His already conflicting emotions become even more clouded when he finds himself both attracted to his friend and inexplicibly drawn to his friend's date. But what completely stuns him is Mason's response to Stella.

Ryan realizes the darkness from his past is threatening to overtake him, when Stella, who seems able to see right through him, offers to help him find relief from his mental anguish. Under her guidance he feel safe enough for the first time, to let go of the secrets that have haunted him.


Intensely provocative!!

Margaret McHeyzer tackles some heavy material and dares to walk some fine lines in this novel. Although not the first book I've read where BDSM has been the catalyst for the release of years of torment and psychological damage by childhood trauma, it certainly is the most detailed and singularly focused one. 

Ryan has never disclosed his devastating sexual abuse experiences as a child and therefore relives not just the memories, but the emotions at the slightest trigger. Already feeling damaged, he is further conflicted when he finds himself physically attracted and responding to his best friend. He is at a complete loss and barely knows himself, when Stella offers to guide him through discovery to clarity, in return for trust and submission. 

Although the story was heart-wrenching and very compelling, I found myself very much a clinical observer, never quite fully engaged. Part of me was missing a fuller context for each of the three main characters, even Ryan, who other than his very damaged side, seemed to have very little to give him shape. Mason, his friend, obviously has issues of his own that are alluded to but never quite explored - and Stella, other than her role as Master, appears to have no background. 
It's like watching a movie against a blank setting..... The acting is phenomenal, the story fabulous, but you can't help but wonder - where are they? WHO are they?

I have to caution; this book contains very disturbing descriptions of childhood abuse that could be shocking and painful to read. The strong theme of BDSM also needs to be considered, although it has a 'healing' effect in this story, the extent of sexual boundaries crossed may not be comfortable for everyone, and be prepared to cross a boundary or two....three...or more.

✨A haunting, lustful and impassioned surrendering of trust.✨

**ARC provided in return for an honest review.**  Amazon.aus


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