Sunday, February 15, 2015

Review: The Rules of Love (The Hampton Road Club #2) by Morticia Knight

The Rules of Love (The Hampton Road Club #2)
The Rules of Love (The Hampton Road Club #2) by Morticia Knight 
Date Published: February 6th 2015 by Totally Bound

Master Saul is captivated by the beautifully submissive Kenneth and the boy’s love of pain. Unfortunately, Kenneth belongs to Master Preston.
It’s 1926 and 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. 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. 

Review by: multitaskingmomma 
My Rating 4 of 5 Stars

Have you ever stopped to wonder how the rules of BDSM ever came about? I had always wondered, myself, but it was not until I was reading myself did I get curious of the beginnings. True, I had always taken the rules as there, but never stopped to think: what brought about the development of these rules and who developed them? So if you are wondering, this book will introduce us to that development.

We have Kenneth, a masochist submissive who sought the pleasure pain gave him but had never been given the chance to question his limits. His need for pain was satisfied by his previous Dom but when that master died, he sought another and thought he got the love from Master Preston. As time went on, he began to question but just like any other of his time, they never stopped to consider that maybe there is a boundary between gifting of pain and plain abuse.

Saul is a Master and his identity as a Dom he kept secret from society. He is not the only one as this is set in those times when being caught practicing homosexual acts was a death penalty in some countries and his need to inflict pain or dominate a submissive was seen as sick. When he sees Kenneth under the whip of his master, Saul began to question personal limitations. He began to question if what the dominant is doing is abusive. When or how can a submissive call a halt? He found no answers and so sought to discuss the setting of boundaries with his friends, members of their club. He was met with conflicting reactions and Saul finds himself making a decision that will not only affect Kenneth, but the club itself.

I really loved reading this as it brought to light questions I never thought to ask. Kenneth was truly a sorry character and I found frustrations for his predicament increasing as I kept thinking of the boundaries we take for granted today. When the relationship between Kenneth and Saul started to solidify, it made this intense novel romantic.

My one disappointment is in the development of the rules. The author never reached that point. Of course I agonized over this one failure until I realized: there is another book to follow and maybe? the answers to my questions will be finally met? I cannot wait for the next installment of this series, especially as I am very aware of other and more intriguing characters that may just be the focus of their own story.


By reading any further, you are stating that you are 18 years of age, or over. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.
Copyright © Morticia Knight 2015. All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Totally Bound Publishing.

“He’s quite beautiful. Wouldn’t you agree, Saul?”
As one of the founding members of the Hampton Road Club, Saul Liebowitz had seen many stunning submissive men over the years. Sweet, pliant, handsome men who surrendered themselves to capable Dominant men—or if they were very lucky—an adoring Master.
I would adore someone that beautiful. If only he were mine to adore.
Saul turned to his good friend, Aaron Rubenstein. The younger man was attending Hampton Road with his magnificently trained submissive, Sam. It had been a joy to watch their pairing unfold into a glorious permanent union. Aaron had allowed himself to suffer through many dark years of loneliness until he’d rescued the na├»ve little Sam from a disreputable bathhouse. Saul held back a grin. He couldn’t help but take some credit for pushing Aaron in the innocent Sam’s direction.
“Quite. But it’s irrelevant, as he’s Master Preston’s boy.”
An expert at self-control, he’d managed to keep the disgust at the mention of Preston Cornwall out of his voice. At least, for the most part.
Aaron’s mouth quirked as he considered Saul. “Not a fan of Kenneth’s Master, are we?”
Saul let out a small grunt. “He’s of questionable character, old sport, and you already know how I feel about their…relationship.”
They had kept their voices low as they sat in the back of the grand ballroom located on the second floor of the Hampton Road Club mansion. Saul continued to watch with concerned interest as Master Preston used a long single tail whip on Kenneth. The spectacular naked form of the mid-thirties submissive writhed and twisted each time the end of the implement snapped against his visibly abused flesh. He was tall with some definition, his arms and legs well-muscled. Saul surmised he must use them a lot, based on the intricate positions and rough demonstrations he’d witnessed Preston put him through.
His wrists were tied with leather strips, restrained above his head and attached to a chain. A muzzle gag was strapped over Kenneth’s face, the black leather panel completely covering his mouth and chin, then held in place by leather straps and metal rings. Muffled grunts and the occasional cry could be heard as Kenneth reacted to the harsher strikes.
Saul wasn’t sure if the gag was there to quiet Kenneth or to humiliate him. The entire piece had the feel of a horse’s bridle and Preston had bragged that he’d purchased it at an antiquities auction. He’d claimed that it was an authentic device that had once been employed in a medieval dungeon. Saul found Preston’s boast to be rather ridiculous, but knew that some of the newer Dominant men fell for his antics rather easily. That, in and of itself, made Saul question the worthiness of those recent initiates.
As the presentation continued, more concerns nagged at Saul. He couldn’t help but wonder how Kenneth would be able to beg for mercy if he couldn’t speak. There had been no indication at the beginning of Preston’s display that Kenneth had another means of stopping the whipping.
Such irresponsible behavior had recently become a point of contention at the club and that greatly worried Saul. The nineteen twenties had seen America and the rest of the world become freer than ever, but gay men could still be arrested for sodomy and were generally shunned or mistreated. Practicing sadomasochism would get them into even more trouble, were they ever to be discovered. So far, their best defense had been unity. Lately, it had felt as if that camaraderie was crumbling at the San Marino club. It put them all at risk.
He angled his body toward Aaron. “Would you mind coming with me to the smoking room? I’d like to have a word with you.”
Aaron turned to Saul, a slight furrow on his brow. “Of course. Let me get Sam situated first.”
Sam had been resting his head against Aaron’s thigh, having been encouraged to relax by his loving Master. Aaron got Sam’s attention by caressing his head, then carding his fingers through Sam’s hair as he lifted his chin with his other hand. Saul didn’t want to eavesdrop, but he was transfixed by the tender scene before him. He’d personally never experienced such a relationship before. The two men were the envy of more than one member of the club—Dominant and submissive alike.
Aaron placed a soft kiss on Sam’s lips. “Sweet boy, Saul and I are going to go and have a smoke. I’m unclipping your leash. You may go to the submissives’ den and I’ll send for you later.”
Even in the dim lighting, Saul could detect a flicker of disappointment cross Sam’s features. Aaron reached down to grasp the naked Sam’s cock, then gently stroked it until it was hard. Sam’s mouth opened on a sigh and Aaron took it in a deep kiss. When he finally pulled back, Sam’s expression was one of bliss, his eyes hooded, his lips parted with a hint of a smile.
“Yes, Master.”
“That’s my good boy. Now, run along, little Sam.”
Aaron removed the leash from the collar he’d gifted to Sam when they’d first made their commitment to one another. As soon as the lead was off, Sam gracefully rose to his feet. He really was a pretty little thing, just barely nineteen. He wasn’t the type of man Saul typically went for, but he appreciated his allure in general. Overall, what Saul found to be the most alluring attribute to Sam was how eager and heartfelt his submission was to Aaron.
If only…
Oh well. It wasn’t as if he didn’t have a full life. Since he was one of the founding members of the club and a long-time respected Dominant, he had an abundant choice of compliant men willing to do his every bidding—not necessarily any that he would ever consider long term, but sometimes those dreams were not meant to be. His gaze wandered to Kenneth, who glistened from head to toe with a fine sheen of sweat. He locked his eyes on Kenneth’s taut ass as it flexed in time with the snap of his Master’s strikes. Saul plucked a handkerchief from his smoking jacket pocket and swiped at his forehead.
Damnably stuffy in this room tonight.
He turned in time to see Aaron reach his hand behind Sam’s backside. Sam’s eyes rounded, but as a credit to his training and Sam’s self-control, he didn’t cry out, despite whatever it was Aaron had done to him. Judging by how much Sam’s rigid cock leaked, it must have been something quite wonderful.
“No touching, sweet Sam. Remember, the rewards will be much greater when I get you home.”
Aaron winked at him and Sam whimpered.
“Yes, Master.”

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