Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Master Will Appear by L.A. Witt

Dr. Mikhail “Misha” Budnikov takes one look at fellow fencer Ryan O’Connor and instantly knows his type. The undisciplined hothead is all ego with no finesse and even less control. In short, Misha’s pet peeves personified. To put the arrogant kid in check, Misha challenges him to a sparring match, which he predictably wins.

Not so predictably, Ryan asks him to be a mentor and show him how to fence. Startled by the moment of humility, Misha agrees.

What begins as fencing lessons becomes something much hotter, and before they know it, Misha is giving Ryan an entirely different kind of education. Dominance, submission, pain, pleasure—at the hands of an older, experienced man, a whole new world is opening up for Ryan.

As the trust deepens and their bond strengthens, though, Ryan retreats because that sham called love left him jaded long ago. Cynical beyond his years, he’s not letting his guard down, least of all for a thrice-divorced man twice his age.

Now Misha has to find a way to crack through those defenses…or accept defeat and walk away from the submissive who might just be the love of his life.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

4.5 stars

I loved this! From the fencing to the romance to the sexiest orgy I can remember – this is such an amazing story.

Teacher and student, dominant and submissive – Mischa and Ryan are magical together. I loved Ryan’s slow introduction to fencing as much as I loved his introduction to BDSM. I love how his initial arrogance masks his underlying insecurities. And I love Mischa, his patient, considered, and thoughtful teacher. Ryan is far too jaded for someone so young and Mischa is far too optimistic for someone with so many failed relationships behind them. They complement each other perfectly and I loved watching them develop as men and as a couple.

The chemistry between these two is hot from the very start. The age gap should have been off-putting, but it works between these two. This relationship is emotional, physical, sexual, and cerebral and the slow burn from flirtation to relationship is wonderful. And I have to mention it again – that orgy scene! Wow. Just – wow. The combination of sex and emotion in this book is pretty perfect.

My one slight reservation is the angst following the miscommunication near the end. It felt a little overblown in a relationship that had always seemed as thoughtful as it was emotional. But this is a pretty tiny blip in a story I very much enjoyed.

4.5 Stars.

For those unfamiliar with L.A. Witt's writing style... expect an easy flow to the story, a medium-pace, and copious amounts of between-the-sheets action. In this novel, it features D/s and a ménage scene, a nineteen-year age gap, and a hurt/comfort feel to the romance.

I enjoyed the fresh approach to The Master Will Appear. I'd never read a book about fencers before, and that was what the draw was when I read the synopsis.

Mikhail (Misha to his friends) is a professor, a champion fencer, a dominant, and a romantic. The bisexual man has been married three times, yet still loves and respects his past spouses. Their breakups were due to the fact they no longer 'fit' in each other's lives as they grew. Misha is a sensible man, with a huge giving heart, and a mentor and teacher who is fair yet unrelenting.

Ryan is an older student at another college, who dabbles in fencing and art. The boy has a bad family history, and the silver spoon he was born with in his mouth doesn't help when it comes to making friends. He has a stilted view on love and relationships. Already jaded and cynical at 26.

Mikhail and Ryan meshed well, and I truly enjoyed their fully fleshed out characterizations. The age-gap didn't create a parent-child relationship, because Mikhail had things to teach Ryan, but Ryan also had things to add to the relationship. The struggle in the story is their coming together with the help of D/s to cut through the baggage Ryan drags through life thanks to his family.

I thought the D/s angle was explored in a slow unveiling, with a good understanding of the facets of the relationship between dominant and submissive, written in a way that doesn't come off as textbook preaching. It felt natural and right, instead of forced.

Why couldn't I pass out 5 stars? Even though this is something that is usual for L.A. Witt's writing (I'm not penalizing her for it), there was a bit too much redundancy of between-the-sheets action, to the point I had to skim about 5 scenes to stay entertained. The rest of the scenes were original and innovative, but I felt the abundance and redundancy of the others lessened these scenes' impact. But the real reason I didn't give 5 stars is because some things were glossed over. Ryan's family was a large portion of the conflict (actually it was the entirety of the conflict). In the epilogue, it was 'told' not 'shown' and I would have enjoyed a scene or two with Mikhail and Ryan with his family, instead of repeat sex scenes taking up wordcount. Something to continue the emotional healing flow of the storyline. That would be the why of it.

To be honest. Witt's books are generally a hit or miss with me. A small portion I DNF, most I rate 3 to 4 stars, and a few I can't put down. The Master Will Appear is one of those I couldn't put down, was thoroughly entertained, and keeps me clicking on this author's work. I look forward to whatever L.A. Witt publishes next.

I enjoyed this story for the most part. I'll admit I skimmed though all the fencing stuff because it didn't hold my attention. I did enjoy Misha and Ryan. You could feel their connection to each other and I felt a connection to them as characters. Their story was touching and I felt my heart break for each of them at times. My only complaint was the issues with Ryan's family. He finally grew some balls and told them off, but we never saw what happened after that. We learned about it in the epilogue, but I still wanted to know more specifics and I also wanted to know if anything ever happened with Ryan's artwork and if he ever told his dad he was the one who painted the picture he paid $12K for.

4.5 stars of hotness both en garde and on his knees!

This book combined three of my favourite genres, sport, D/s, and MM. Add in the terribly painfully dysfunctional family suffered by Ryan, and the wonderfully romantically optimistic Misha, and there is no doubt that this is a great book. I have done little else today but read, and ignore everything else that I should have been doing.

I really enjoyed the fencing sections, as we saw that Ryan had many lessons to learn, but that Mikhail was giving him a solid foundation. That then translated even further when they explore discipline in the bedroom, and Ryan grew to trust him. I felt that the D/s elements were beautifully done, as there was always calm, care and respect in their scenes. As they developed into friends as well, it becomes glaringly obvious that Ryan's past has affected him deeply. In fact, when his full story comes out, there is a most unexpected twist, which can't fail to move.

Thank you, Ms. Witt, for a very satisfying read.

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn't lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don't tell Lauren. And definitely don't tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut...

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Master Will Appear by L.A. Witt to read and review.

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