Review: Assumed Master by Lila Munro

Review: Assumed Master by Lila MunroAssumed Master by Lila Munro

Series: Identity Crisis #4
Genres: BDSM Romance, M/M Romance, Menage Romance
on May 2012
Pages: 222
Format: eARC
Source: Book Tour Provided
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three-half-stars  

We may be born to the lifestyle,

Julie Stevens and Dante Larson always knew their tastes were a bit more eccentric than those of the average person, but acknowledgement of their chosen paths came at different times. While their lives have run parallel for the last twenty years, destiny always came knocking at the wrong time. Julie was a closeted edge player and before Dante could pull her free of her fears, Mason came along and dragged her kicking and screaming from her self-inflicted darkness, leaving Dante wanting. Although Dante’s been in love with Julie since the day he first laid eyes on her, he's happily married to Blake. But the tides are turning.

But Lady Fate dictates how it should be lived…

Still mourning the death of the only Master she’s ever known, Julie finds herself forced to live with the one man she’s been terrified of for years, Dante. While she has to admit something between them feels right, just as many things feel very, very wrong, starting with the fact he’s married to her gay best friend. Before she even has time to sort out her current predicament, another man catches Julie's attention. But after losing her mother, her sister, and her husband, can Julie come to grips with the fact that Keegan McKettrick jumps out of perfectly good helicopters for a living, rescue diving for the Coast Guard? And where exactly does that leave Dante, who knows for sure he needs a woman to complete his unconventional marriage? Quite frankly, he's tired of waiting.

Julie Stevens is dealing with the death of her husband and Master, Mason. If grief wasn’t enough, Mason has left Julie in the care of Dante, a fellow Master and friend. Dante Larson is just as surprised as Julie when the will is read. Mason had never mentioned nor asked him to take Julie on at his death.  Dante is in a committed relationship with his husband, Blake, but Dante takes Julie on hoping to have her join their family, including Dante and Blake’s twin sons.

Wow, that is a lot to say about a book, but not enough to convey the entire story and the nuances as you go along. The one downside I had in reading this was it was a the fourth book in the series and I felt like I was an outsider to deep secrets that were revealed in the first three books. Book three in this series is Julie’s story, so I did miss out on some of Dante’s and Julie’s past. Along with fact that Blake is Julie’s gay best friend. It just seemed I was lost through parts.

One problem I had was in Mason’s handling of the entire situation from the grave. While he though he was taking care of Julie in the best way possible, he never consulted Dante. He just gives Julie to Dante. Mason did know once he was gone, there would be a sea of Doms wanting Julie so his way to protect her was to give her to Dante. Dante had start from scratch learning how to deal with Julie while also being the Dom of the house.

Now just because Dante and Blake have a Master/slave relationship doesn’t mean that Blake and Julie ever become more than friends who share the same Master. Blake is gay and he loves Julie but not as a woman. Dante is bi-sexual and loves them both. So this is a relationship of Dante being he Master to two slaves, Blake and Julie. Dante does give Julie time to get used to him. It isn’t an instant “I am your Dom, kneel for me” type of relationship. Julie grieves a lot. She cooks a lot. It takes a few months of living with them before it ever gets into a sexual or BDSM scene type of relationship. Dante does have her sleep with them.

I loved how the author handled that Dante and Blake have children, twin teenage boys. They are quite protective of Julie. Their relationship with Julie blossoms in to a beautiful thing through the book. The children are never exposed to anything inappropriate, but they aren’t dense either and know the type of relationship their parents have.

There is another Dom, Keegan, who gets to know Julie and makes Dante jealous. Allen, a Dom friend, makes appearances and has his own book next.

What I liked most was the unhurried feel to getting to know each other without jumping right into things. They took things in steps, growing and learning. It wasn’t instant love, but a growth of friendship. It felt right even when I felt Julie was being a little over the top bratty. But then again, I couldn’t always fault her on her feelings given the situation.

While I recommend this book to you, I would suggest reading at least book three first, if not all the books in the series first. It isn’t totally necessary, but it might fill in the holes I found in the story from not reading them first.

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!
  • Mary Preston

    I always have to read a series from the beginning. Thank you for your review.