Monday, August 27, 2018

Book Review: Master No by Lexi Blake

 Master No by Lexi Blake
Author: Lexi Blake
Series: Masters and Mercenaries #9
Audience: +18
Genre: Erotic Romance, BDSM, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: DLZ Entertainment LLC
Release Date: August 4th 2015
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: Author
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Disavowed by those he swore to protect…

Tennessee Smith is a wanted man. Betrayed by his government and hunted by his former employer, he’s been stripped of everything he holds dear. If the CIA finds him, they’re sure to take his life as well. His only shot at getting it all back is taking down the man who burned him. He knows just how to get to Senator Hank McDonald and that’s through his daughter, Faith. In order to seduce her, he must become something he never thought he’d be—a Dom.

Overcome by isolation and duty…

All her life, Dr. Faith “Mac” McDonald has felt alone, even among her family. Dedicating herself to helping others and making a difference in the world has brought her some peace, but a year spent fighting the Ebola virus in West Africa has taken a toll. She’s come home for two months of relaxation before she goes back into the field. After holding so many lives in her hands, nothing restores her like the act of submission. Returning to her favorite club, Mac is drawn to the mysterious new Dom all the subs are talking about, Master No. In the safety of his arms, she finds herself falling head over heels in love.

Forced to choose between love and revenge…

On an exclusive Caribbean island, Ten and Mac explore their mutual attraction, but her father’s plots run deeper than Ten could possibly have imagined. With McKay-Taggart by his side, Ten searches for a way to stop the senator, even as his feelings for Mac become too strong to deny. In the end, he must choose between love and revenge—a choice that will change his life forever.

A Masters and Mercenaries Novel by Lexi Blake
*Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

**Disclaimer: This book contains mature content. As a result, my review may contain references to content intended for mature audiences only. 

I've been intrigued by the elusive Tennessee Smith ever since we first caught a few glimpses of him in the earlier books and I kind of fell in love with him. Then Phoebe's book came around and I wanted to hug Ten and never let him go.

Master No is one of those turning points in a series. It's one of those stories that set the rest of the books on a new, really dark path. Ten is on the mission of his life: he's trying to get back the life and job he lost when a corrupt senator made the CIA disavow him, turning him into a fugitive. For that, Ten will stop at nothing to prove the senator is dirty, even pretend to be the perfect Dom for the senator's younger daughter, Faith. I loved seeing Ten, a guy who rarely shows emotion, begin to get little cracks in his armor. Not big enough to make him botch the mission, but enough to see past the superhero mask he has on and see the man that he truly is. Ten is definitely not an easy guy to be around. He can be cold, detached, moody as hell, but considering the way his life started, it’s pretty easy to understand him. We also get to experience his brother's death from his point of view. We previously saw only how it affected Phoebe, which is great and it was to be expected, but seeing how it affected Ten made me understand him more. I think it's safe to say that after Ian, he's my favorite.

Faith was a surprise for me. It’s not that I expected her to be bad, but I certainly wasn’t expecting her to be this good. Faith is definitely not like her father or her sister. She’s good, she’s kind, she does her charity work not because she wants some kind of fame, but because she wants to help people. In a way, she reminded me of Stephanie, another Lexi Blake heroine we meet later on in the series. The thing I loved about Faith is that she challenges Ten in ways he’s never been challenged before. Having been exposed to the worst of the worst, Ten doesn’t know how to act around someone as innocent and as nice as she is. Her being good and nice doesn’t mean she’s spineless. She’s definitely opinionated enough to stand up to Ten when she feels she needs to. She's also not as naive as I initially thought. Sure, even I couldn't believe at first her sister turns out to be the evil scientist behind a lot of ugly, terrifying experiments, but Faith doesn't let sisterly love, or even daughterly love, blind her and make her think her father and sister are two innocents and Ten and his friends are the bad guys. So she surprised me with that.

As I said this before, and if you've been following me for a while now, you already know this, I'm reading this series kind of in a peculiar way, out of order. So as I was reading this book, there were a lot of things from later books that started to make sense, and a lot of warning bells were going off in my head. Because some scenes, some details, were familiar to me, yet I didn't want to acknowledge that fact. I think for the better part of the last... 90 or so pages I kept thinking "no way, this isn't that scene" or "nah, it won't happen now" and when I got to the scene that I was dreading, I just burst into tears. I know what happens, I know everything turns out okay and things get better, but for about 10 or 15 minutes I was heartbroken. I wasn't ready for that death scene, because now I know what a particular character was like before this scene, and it makes me very sad. But like I said, it also pushed the series on a darker path, so I eventually got my feelings in check.

I loved this book, with all the wild, crazy things that happened, with all the laughs and tears it brought me. It gave me a better understanding of later events, as it should, while it also made me wonder about a few things. I'm curious to see what happens next, and when I finally get to the books I've read, I'm definitely going to reread them, because I'm sure I'll have a different experience. All in all, another Lexi Blake gold story if you ask me, and if you love erotic romances with some mystery and adrenaline to them, this is definitely a series you don't want to miss.

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