Samhain Publishing, $4.50, ISBN 978-1-61923-186-3
Historical Romance, 2015
Matthias Forrester, Barong Kingsley, has been a very bad boy – gambling, boozing, womanizing, and all that – and his BFF Simon Manchester, Viscount Thatcher, decides that the only way to stop Matthias from ruining his life entirely is by providing that man an outlet to direct all of Matthias’s restless energies. His solution: Mistress Felice Grey, who is infamous for being a discipline expert that makes all men drool and beg for mercy. If Matthias will spend an entire night under Felice’s not-that-tender ministrations, Simon will clear Matthias’s debts. Provided that Simon can watch, of course. You see, Simon always has had a thing for his BFF, but Matthias has never reciprocated his interest. Perhaps Felice can bring them together? Or, maybe, all of them can have a nice cozy happy ending together?
That’s basically what The Mistress and Her Men is, and I have to say, the story certainly delivers the naughty moments – so deliciously wicked. Not that those scenes are that hardcore – some whack-whack-whack, some candle action, but nothing too far out, so there is no need to take that much of a deep breath if you are not too much into discipline stories. It’s nice to read about a lady in charge for once, and Felice definitely has that act down pat.
The romance drags the story down considerably though. Everything happens too fast. I can suspend my disbelief when it comes to Matthias’s rather quick and seamless transformation into an eager submissive, but it’s harder to accept that all three can fall in love with one another and hook up just like that. If the author is going to introduce the subject of love, I will expect some kind of emotional development in the characters’ parts. Here, however, the characters jump from Point A to Point Z pretty quickly, and I end up scratching my head. I’d have preferred that these three end up being fond of one another rather than in love, for example, or just embark on a cozy arrangement that, perhaps one day, may develop into love. The happy ending here is too accelerated and absolute to be believable.
Still, this one fits the bill if one likes the hot stuff, and it’s not that much of a hardship to gloss over the icky love bits.