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.