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.
Length: 12hrs 59mins
Narrated By: Michael Ferraiuolo
I have this book on paperback (stick with me here…) that I purchased and had signed by the awesome L.A. Witt at GRL last year, but I never read it, even though I REALLY wanted to. The reason was simply because for some reason the size of the book (Amazon estimates at 447 pages) intimidated me. So when the Audible version came out, I jumped at the chance to listen to it.
And as usual, L.A. Witt rarely disappoints. This author writes across genres (she has several pen names), across age, race, religion, political issues, as well as across sexual orientation. That is one of the things that I love most about this author. She does not write the same group of 20 something gay, white males, living in San Francisco (as an example) for each book. While I enjoy those books, I also very much appreciate that this author realizes that this is a very diverse country, and world, and her writing reflects that.
In the case of The Master Will Appear, Witt takes on a Russian college professor and fencing. I’d imagine that took some serious research. Misha, the Russian college professor, and a Dom, meets and clashes instantly with Ryan, a college student at a different university at a fencing club, and Ryan asks Misha to teach him more about fencing. As they take on a teacher/student relationship, they also quickly learn that not only are they attracted to each other, but Ryan wants to learn more about being a submissive. I love that this didn’t turn into a story about Ryan becoming the best fencer, and winning-or losing-a huge match (a la Karate Kid), while falling in love with his teacher. It really was a story about not just the relationship that developed between Misha and Ryan, both romantic and D/s, but also about the relationships that these men had with their families and friends.
All that helped the story flow from a realistic perspective, and explained so much about Ryan’s outlook on love and life. With Misha clearly being a romantic (he’s being married and divorced three times) and Ryan being as anti-romance as possible, it left room for Ryan to learn what love was, when he had not seen any examples of it in his life before Misha. It took time for Ryan to transition to that point, but Misha was patient, even as Ryan didn’t realize he was falling in love. He realized he loved being a sub, and the sex, but missed the part where he fell in love. I do enjoy it when characters are clueless about their own feelings. J
Witt took her time showing us all the levels of these men, just as it would take time in a real relationship. We learned new things about their pasts, how they became the men they were, winding it all together to allow the reader to learn who they were slowly.
The narrator, new to me as an audiobook listener, was engaging to listen to, and was able to perfect the Russian accent (at least to this untrained ear) so that the listener didn’t always need to know by the words who was speaking. Yet, he didn’t overdo the accent. It was only apparent while Misha spoke, not in his thoughts while it was in his POV, and it wasn’t so thick to make it difficult to understand. I tend to listen to my audiobooks at 1.25X, and had absolutely no problems dicephering the words.
All in all, a book I would definitely read and listen to again.
Story: 4.5 pieces of eye candy
Narration: 4 pieces of eye candy
August 1 – Dog-Eared Daydreams, Mainely Stories, Gay Book Reviews, August 6 – Gay Media Reviews, August 8 – Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter, Love Unchained Book Reviews, August 10 – Lillian Francis, Momma Says To Read Or Not To Read, Bayou Book Junkie, Xtreme Delusions, Two Chicks Obsessed, Wicked Reads, United Indie Book Blog, BFD Book Blog, We Three Queens
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…