Masters At Arms is a collection of prequels that will give you a small glimpse into the Rescue Me world created by the talented Kallypso Masters. Having never heard of her work before, I recently discovered her through a blog and was immediately hooked by her post.
Even though this is the introduction to a BDSM series there wasn't a lot of it in this particular installment. See this book is basically setting up past events that will lead the characters to their own stories. I thought this was done very cleverly. So let me tell you about these amazing, even though quite a bit tortured, couples.
Adam and Karla
We start off with this story and it's truly heartbreaking. Adam has just gone through losing his wife to cancer and is on his way back to Camp to train another set of recruits and head back for another tour with the Marines. Karla crosses his path as a runaway teen at a bus station who looks lost and in need of a protector and he steps up to the plate. The connection between them is palpable even while she's still a teenager, he's 25 years her senior and he's in no way interested or looking for romance. But that night they rescued each other and turned their lives around. Maybe for some people that age difference might be a problem, but I think it worked well in the story and I can't wait to see how their story develops throughout the series and see them becoming a couple.
Damian and Savi
Savannah's story brought tears to my eyes. Coming from a wealthy family you would expect her life to have been roses but in fact the hell she's experienced just cannot be put into words. She was raped by her father who has then been pimping her out not for sex but for pain. Until one night at her fathers' hotel, and while she was with "clients", a young, hot, latino bus boy comes to her rescue after hearing her screams. She feels like she reached the end of the road and at least she can have one night of being cared for and loved before she contemplates ending her own life. And Damian is just a gentleman, kind-hearted and just what she needed. Of course Damian goes through his own hell after he enlists in the Marines. I think these two will need to go through a lot of healing before they can be together but it will definitely be rewarding to see them get their HEA.
We don't get to meet his intended HEA in this book. Thank God for that because he starts off with an ex-girlfriend who apparently cheated on him with his own brother and I was a bit concerned that he would end up getting back with her. However, in the hopes of running away from her and to honor the memory of his brother, who died while in the military, he enlists as well. War can definitely change a person, show you what life can be about, what people around you are worth. Even though he was not able to say goodbye to his brother on his own terms, I feel he might be the less emotionally damaged of the bunch. His story will be next in the series so I'm excited to see what's in store with Master Marc, who is the one we get to see more in action in this book.
Be warned some of the things described in this book might be difficult to read for some as it does touch on emotional subjects such as war, the death, physical and emotional injuries it leaves behind. There is also the mention of rape and some abuse. However, all these topics are only talked about briefly and you could say superficially so you don't have to go through the actual events.
Adam, Damian and Marc decided to open a fetish club after retiring from the military and so Masters at Arms will be opening its doors. I can't wait. I am very excited to continue this series as it promises to be raw, emotional and very hot!