Broadway darling Nicky Avery is a shooting star by night, but by day he bounces from one heartless one-night stand to the next. A quick flogging, a rough lay, a new whip-hand to manipulate—yet still he yearns for something he cannot even name.
He finds his first true hint of satisfaction in Devon Turner, a self-possessed film star and expert Dom. Devon knows what he wants the moment he sees it, and what he wants is Nicky Avery. Nicky’s never learned to trust and has a nasty habit of topping from the bottom, but he learns fast that in the bedroom, Devon won’t tolerate his actor’s masks.
Nicky's a broken boy, but Devon knows exactly how to put his new sub back together. With patience, care, and all the punishments his little pain slut can handle, Devon breaks Nicky down one scene at a time, revealing a mind that yearns to trust and a heart that hungers for the ecstasy of true submission.
M/M erotic romance author, freelance writer and editor, sadist with a pesky conscience, shamelessly silly, proudly pervish. I'm a twitter addict (@rachelhaimowitz), and I blog every M/W/F at Fantasy Unbound. To learn all about my current and upcoming projects, please stop by my website. I love to hear from folks, so feel free to drop me a line anytime at metarachel (at) gmail (dot) com.
Rachel Hamowitz has written a terrific short novel, we are introduced to Nicky and Devon; Sub and Dom. Rachel’s writing is good and the scenes were hot, I never stopped reading till I reached the last page. The book has a few hot scenes and it is a page turner, I cannot wait to read SUBlime: Collected Shorts (Master Class, #2).
Nicky is an actor and a handsome one at that, he seems to have everything going for him, but Nicky knows deep down his desire to submit is the only way he will ever feel satisfied. One night out with friends Nicky meets Devon; a strong, powerful looking man, literally Nicky cannot take his eyes of him he can feel the dominance pouring off of Devon. Nicky escapes to the washroom to get himself under control and when he looks up who is standing there but Devon. Devon cannot take his eyes off Nicky either and see’s the desires and knows what Nicky needs. The force of attraction and desires between these two is off the page hot.
This is a story of two men coming together and letting go, can Nicky be the sub Devon deserves and can Nicky learn to trust and give control over completely to his Dom?
I was a bit disheartened at first reading this book as I don’t agree with violence and I thought some of it was a bit too much but Devon the Dom knew he had to break down Nicky’s control to give him what he really needed and knowing Nicky always had the choice to stop what was happening did make it a bit better.
Overall I have rated Master Class a 4 star rating and heat level 4. I would recommend this to any of my friends who enjoy m/m bdsm romance. ( note: there is some rough sex scenes)
Let me start by saying there are some elements of Nicky & Devon's play that were a wee bit too much for me. I feel like some of it bordered on abuse. BUT, it worked for Nicky so *hands in the air* no judgment. I'm just not a huge fan of humiliation but if it works for them, it works. Plus, I was still holding a tiny little grudge against Devon for some Ass-tacular advice he gave Jonathan in Power Play: Resistance. Then he went & threw down some shibari skills. Dammit! Can't hold a grudge against a Dom who knows his shibari. THEN he went & said this:
"I will always treat you like the priceless treasure you are."
So, I built a bridge. We hugged it out.
Master Class seemingly starts in the middle; I couldn't really tell if they had met prior to their initial encounter or just knew of one another. That first encounter... *whew* makes quite the impression. These two play HARD. Nicky has mastered the art of topping from the bottom & Devon is having none of it; he breaks Nicky down thoroughly. Of course, Nicky is thrown by this yet at the same time responds to Devon in a way he's never done before. The problem is then it just ends. Just when it was getting good! What the what what???? AND there's apparently no follow up. Boooo!
Naughty Nicky is taking to task by the Dominant Devon. I just love alliteration, don't you? I'm glad I bought this book. There is some rough sex in here. I was a little confused and pissed off at first because I didn't understand what Devon was doing. Once it was revealed, I loved him more for it. Nicky needs to be punished! Topping from the bottom is a big no-no. I'm hesitant to write too much more about the story because it would be all spoiler. Suffice to say, the rough m/m sex was hot. This story was more S/m than D/s. There as a good dose of BD which always trips my trigger. Who doesn't want to be tied up?
Master Class delivers what it promises: a gritty tale about a man who wants to be dominated, and even he has no idea how much, or how deep this need really goes. The story focuses on the humiliation and pain he goes through, without, at first, giving any hint as to why he wants this. It made for somewhat disturbing reading, at least for me, but certainly held my attention.
Nicky turns out to be desperate for good reasons, although one could argue as to his methods. I certainly would! The way his character is shown, with that sort of a personality and history, his resulting reactions are plausible. Topping from the bottom is a mechanism that lets him feel in control, and has, so far, ruined his sexual/pseudo-submissive encounters for him. I must admit that I had trouble connecting to him – until the very end, when I got an explanation that enabled me to see the whole picture.
Devon is a Dom who seems cruel and rough, and looks and acts like just what Nicky wants. Luckily for both of them he is also able to look deeper, and he digs out what it is that drives Nicky. The way he handles the situation is, again, debatable, but since his end result (for now) is what Nicky needs, there is a certain amount of closure.
This is not a book for the ‘casual’ BDSM reader. If you are looking for something that is ‘light BDSM’, or touches on kink, this is not the book for you (as clearly stated in the publisher’s warnings). But, if you are looking for something a little grittier, a story that will keep you guessing and somewhat in suspense, and if you don’t mind a look at the darker side of submission, give this one a try.
NOTE: This book was provided by Riptide Publishing for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews
Last year I read the collection of shorts Sublime: Collected Shorts, which contains glimpses and slices of life and discipline of the sub Nicky and his Dom Devon. I really enjoyed them, but I was also left with wanting to know how the two met, how they started that relationship, and this book is what I dreamed of.
Both Nicky and Devon are actors, therefore they are used to mask their true persona, but they are also very good at reading the nuances of other people's behavior. When Nicky and Devon meet at a dinner, they immediately read each other. Their first encounters - seen from Nicky's POV - are brutal and they seem to satisfy only a shallow need on Nicky's part: pain, humiliation, relinquishing control, losing himself. The problem is that Nicky never really got to the bottom of his needs and Devon knows that.
The second half of the story is in Devon's point of view. Nicky enters his apartment and the scene with a bratty attitude that Devon tries to break. He wants Nicky to get deeper inside himself, to understand the value of his submission. What I liked about Devon was seeing the process of the decisions he makes, how he ponders cause and effect, how he tries to anticipates Nicky's behavior, setting him up to win or to fail. While Nicky is almost clueless about what's at the bottom of his heart and probably also about Devon's intentions, it's through Devon's point of view that we begin to understand what's broken in Nicky.
I'd really love to read about what happens next but in a more traditional way than the collection shorts.
This felt more like a crash course than a class...
At just over 2 hours 'Master Class' has a lot of story packed into it...unfortunately for me it felt like just a bit too much and didn't work as well as it would have, if there'd been a bit more story.
Nicky Avery is the darling of Broadway at night but during the day he's a one bad hook-up after another as he looks for something...but not even he knows what it is.
Devon Turner thinks he knows what Nicky's looking for and while he wants to be the one to fill that need, he's determined that Nicky learns who's going to be the master in their relationship...and unlike his past experiences it's not going to be Nicky. Devon doesn't put up with 'topping from the bottom' so if Nicky wants what Devon has to offer and he's fairly certain he does, he'll need to up his game.
Master Class isn't my first time with a BDSM story but I have to admit it's the first time I've read one where the play between the Master and sub at times feels like it's bordering on abuse and also includes humiliation...no judgement here, ok? It's a thing for some people and that's totally cool, I'm just saying it's not my thing, not that it's good or it's bad...it's just not my thing and that's cool because different strokes for different folks, right? So while, I admit I'm not a fan of these two things and had there been something in the blurb that hinted at one or both of these things being in the story, I very probably would have taken a pass on this one and that's only because I would have known that giving it a glowing review wasn't going to happen...it's why I don't read SciFi or Horror or Historical Romance...they're just not my thing.
However, having said all that quite honestly because of the brevity of the story I decided to give it a go anyways and while there was a couple of things that I didn't like there were other aspects of the story that worked for me. Like the fact that in spite of the fact that the play between Nicky and Devon at times felt abusive and the issue of humiliation, Devon's treatment of Nicky also held an underlying expression of care and concern that spoke to Devon's true feelings towards Nicky.
Andrew Navarro is both a new to me narrator and it seems a new to audiobooks narrator as well and I definitely enjoyed this first foray into the medium by this narrator and look forward to hearing what comes next for him and while the book was only a 3 star listen for me. The narration was definitely stronger and I'd have to put that at a solid 4 stars.
'Master Class' for me spoke more to the s/m part of BDSM than stories that I've read previously and had the story been a bit longer with a bit stronger relationship development I may have come away feeling differently than I did about the overall story. So ironically it was the shortness of the story that convinced me to read it while also being one the reasons that I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped to.
An audiobook of "Master Class" was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
I already read both Power Play books and the Sublime Collection by the same author. There is a little of Devon and Nicky in them. But I would have like to have more of them. I read Master Class non-stop, even though at the end it was 3:00 a.m. and I had trouble keeping my head straight and my eyes opened. ;) When I read the last page, I thought "no contract? no training? Am I already dreaming or is there missing pages?". So if there is a second tome of Devon and Nicky story, please! tell me.
Nicky is an actor and a handsome one at that, he seems to have everything going for him, but Nicky knows deep down his desire to submit is the only way he will ever feel satisfied. One night out with friends Nicky meets Devon; a strong, powerful looking man, literally Nicky cannot take his eyes of him he can feel the dominance pouring off of Devon. Nicky escapes to the washroom to get himself under control and when he looks up who is standing there but Devon. Devon cannot take his eyes off Nicky either and see's the desires and knows what Nicky needs. The force of attraction and desires between these two is off the page hot.
This is a story of two men coming together and letting go, can Nicky be the sub Devon deserves and can Nicky learn to trust and give control over completely to his Dom?
Overall I have rated Master Class 4 stars rating and heat level 5. I would recommend this to any of my friends who enjoy m/m bdsm romance.
Ok, I've heard the phrase "topping from the bottom" before, and I had the idea of what it meant. But as I'm reading through this story, I finally truly grokked that concept. It suddenly clicked in a "That. OMG, THAT!" stab-my-finger-at-the-page-(er,-Kindle) sort of epiphany. THAT is how well the whole scene was described, and it was just beautiful to watch Devon wield that knowledge into what Nicky needed, not what he wanted.
So yes, this is must read for those who like BDSM done well. I can't give it any better endorsement than that. =)
Review? That involves thinking, right? I might, at some point, be able to do that again.
ETA: On rereading I'm not much closer to a coherent review. Considering that in real life most of this is NMK, the fantasy blows me away surprisingly hard every time. When I can think again, I might wish it was a little longer, to give itself more time to be more subtle, but that's very much a comment from the stands.
One thought I keep coming back to again and again: If you ever wanted to understand what makes people living the lifestyle tic, what they get out of it? This is the book you should read.
Overall Everything I read with Nicky and Devon makes me want more! Although Nicky plays harder than I'm often comfortable with (even in my fiction), Haimowitz' approach, especially once the reader gets through the initial rough scenes, makes the bond between Devon and Nicky overwhelm any discomfort I have with the beginning.
The first two scenes involve some heavy play, although readers who are familiar with SUBlime will know what they are getting into. For those who haven't read the previous book, I recommend reading Master Class first as it does a better job of showing the beginnings of their relationship, even though it still leaves me wanting more, more, more! Which is good, because then you can enter SUBlime with an appreciation of their standing.
Strengths With material as sensitive and potentially difficult to handle, the writing becomes a crucial piece of the storytelling (not that it isn't important otherwise) and Haimowitz did an excellent job of exploring Nicky, who needs to feel a strong hand who won't be manipulated, and Devon, who enjoys controlling Nicky, but also who wants to help him. The scenes were handled extraordinarily well, balancing the sexual, the psychological, and the emotional so that by the end the reader is feeling what the characters have gone through. Sensual and breathtaking in some of its rawness.
There is so much potential for stories like this, that toe the line between purely erotic BDSM and story, to suffer for lack of character development. While I do want more of them and want more exploration into their relationship, I felt the amount the reader delves into Nicky and Devon's head, especially Devon's, helps get a grasp on what is happening with the story and the full depth and meaning of what is taking place. It's not just torture or sexual gratification, in fact, it's very little of either as Devon peels back Nicky's layers and reveals the true man inside.
Weaknesses First a weakness that isn't a weakness: I want more. The ending is satisfying and gives closure, but I still want more, like a spoiled child! The nice thing is I can go back and re-read SUBlime for more Nicky and Devon adventures.
The only real weakness of this novel is that is is NOT for everyone. There is some what is described as "rape fantasy" (although it's not nearly as cruel or rape-ish as other books that have had similar warnings). I wouldn't consider it a rape fantasy, but I think the warning is good, as the first scenes involve force and humiliation and could trigger. Humiliation is a squick for me, but it's not bad enough to really push the off button for me (just to give an idea of it's level of disturbance).
I picked up this short after finding out it was about Nicky and Devon, who I previously read about as secondary characters in the Power Play: Resistance books. This appears to start at their first meeting during a dinner with friends at a restaurant, where the two have a rough encounter in the bathroom. I was a bit confused as to whether these two had known each other before in passing or if they had been just introduced, but it was obviously their first one-on-one encounter.
Devon pursues Nicky over the next couple of days and Nicky cannot stop thinking about Devon. The two play rough and have one final, intense scene, where Devon does his best to break Nicky. I think having read Power Play and knowing more about Devon and Nicky as an established couple was a great benefit in reading Master Class as the story is very short and the two play very hard and move very quickly in their meet ups here. I really enjoy this couple and would love to read more about them.
For those of you that know me... and those that don't this is my little statement about short books.... I do not judge short stories on the rush of their relationships, because they are just that - short stories. So, yes the relationships always could have been drawn out more, yea it seems like they fall in love to fast and of course the story could have been made longer... but it is a short story. So with that said.... here is my review... I was given this book for my honest thoughts... So let's go..
Ms. Rachel is a new to me author. However I will say this, her style is very intriguing. Now... Just in case the cover does not give this away... This is a m/m novel... So, if this is not your cup of flavor... You will not offend me, but just drop by to say Hi! If so... then let's go on!
Now, I will have to say though that this is a rather tad bit harsh bdsm m/m book. So, if being tested to your limits and being put out of your comfort zone... does not interest you... Again, just peek in to say hi, lol. But if I have piqued your interest, you really might want to think about reading this story.
I did find Devon to be a little rough/harsh on Nicky sometimes. But once I got in the story and found out his reasoning, it made sense. Devon knew or was praying he knew what Nicky needed all along. Hard love, stern punishment, and ownership can go a long way. And Devon was hoping that was exactly what Nicky would want... Especially from him!
Being a spoiled brat is not all what its cracked up to be. Especially if you dream of someday finding someone to control... You. Nicky was use to calling all the shots, all the time. In work and in the bedroom. Even though he thought himself to be a sub, he tries to act like a Dom. And the men he had in the past would allow him to do just that... play, act, pretend to be the Dom while acting like the sub. Nicky did not realize what he stirred inside Devon until it was almost to late.... And then his whole world will change but is he ready for that!
I enjoyed the story. I understood the harshness of Devon but I also understood Nicky and his emotions. The roughness is right for this story. Devon is a true Dom - with a capital D! And he is falling for a sub who needs a little more the just the average TLC. Can their relationship work after the acting is done....
Master Class is the newly released (by Riptide) prequel to the Sublime collection of BDSM shorts. It covers the very start of the relationship between the submissive Nicky and his dom Devon. The short-short novella (or longish short story) opens with the first meeting between the two, and it's love, or perhaps lust, at first sight.
Nicky is a true masochist who seems addicted to punishment, and goes out of his way to provoke it from his doms. For his part, Devon seems to be a true sadist, although we're give some insight into his doubts about how far he can go with Nicky. Devon sees through Nicky's attempts to manipulate him and believes there's a deeper reason the young man seeks out pain and humiliation. A large portion of the book is taken up with Devon's torture of Nicky to get him to break down.
It can be a difficult read. The BDSM action was a bit much for my taste, which is one of the reasons I didn't rate the book higher. I also felt the book was a bit too short, and could have benefited from a bit more character development so we can have a better context for the revelations that come out. Finally, there was some niggling little issues with continuity. The characters occasionally do things that seem physically improbable. For example, Devon sits on a sofa, leaving Nicky standing in front of him. But then the next thing you know, Devon slaps Nicky hard in the head. Either Nicky is very short or Devon has very long arms. I find such things jar me out of the visual scene I've built in my head when reading and really distract from the story. There aren't a lot of such issues in this story but enough to mention.
Darn it though, I still don't really like it that much. It's perfectly good, but I need more of the relationship between these two to love it. I like it more now because I can fill in some more stuff about Nicky and Devon, but it's just not the story for me.
I liked it, and it's a good story. I was misled by another review that said it was harder play than most people would feel comfortable with, including a lot of humiliation. It wasn't. It features psychological play, rather than physical play, so it's different to, say, a Velvet Glove story. But it left me expecting something that this story just isn't. I might go on and read the follow-up anthology: maybe that will make this pairing more satisfying for me.
Master Class was a very interesting book. Follows Nicky , a spoilt rather in my mind bored actor. He has it all , which he got too easily he craves more tho. In comes Devon , a no nonsence Dom, one in which nicky has never encountered. This book delves into how Nicky realizes what he wants and the inner workings of his mind about what it is he is really craving Its a non nonsence BDSM book, Devon pulls no punches when he is in the Sir role. Nicky fights and fidgets all the way through yet its everything he wants and more. I really enjoyed the metal power play that went on in this book. I cant wait to see how they end up in Sublime , a short story like continuation of the master and slave union. Nicky for all purposes is adorable he is naughty, total wickedly funny smartass mouth , much to devons delight,, not telling nicky that tho. Great insight into bdsm , love and trust. If you enjoy MM romance with a decent swish of the paddle you will love this one
“I will always treat you (“slap in the face”) like the priceless (“hit in the head”) treasure (“you are whore”) you are (“you are slut”).
Actions gainsay words. Words oppose deeds.
For me the whole story reads like family violence and abuse. S.L. Armstrong and Brenda Cothern taught me to appreciate RACK but humiliation repulses me.
And to add hurt to humiliation, Devon represents this kind of dom I hate (the epitome is Roman form “Dungeon” series by S.M. Johnson). He knows the sub better than the sub himself, he can read his mind and soul, he answers his unasked question. He neither has to ask questions nor hear the answers. He already knows everything better.
The psychology behind the action is not credible too.
I liked the story but even though I read a lot of books with BDSM in them, I found the cold, calculated treatment of Nicky by Devon when they first met a little much. I realize that it was probably what Nicky wanted, but they had only just met and Devon was literally walking on Nicky.
Later it became a little clearer how things would work with them, but I think that first meeting put me off.
I like Rachel's writing, and was sorry this was a short story. I believe it would have been better as a little longer with more insight into the characters to take the edge off my unease at the start.
Except for my personal feeling regarding some of the characters actions, this was a good read.
TITLE Master Class AUTHOR Rachel Hamowitz PAGE COUNT 55 GENRE/SUB MM romance, BDSM RATING 5 Heat: 5 REVIEW (summary, cassl) Nicky the sub meets Devon the Dom and from the first scene things are destined for greatness. Devon is a superb, controlled, pain loving Dom. Nicky is a needy, beautiful, pain wanting wanting sub. Their first scene was hot for me because I like a little pain and humiliation but for others what Devon made Nicky experience might be too extreme. The other scenes were milder. Devon wanted to train Nicky, to actually own him and he put him through tests. So these were more a look at the mental side of D/s. Great novella. Looking forward to more.
Wow, what an intense book this was. It had a very different feeling than a lot of the BDSM books I read before this one had, but I liked that a lot. The whole story was intense and the feelings, insecurities and all, of both characters were important throughout the book.
I was afraid I wouldn’t like this story because it was a short story, and I prefer novels, but I loved what the author did with it. It was about the beginning of their journey together, nothing more, nothing less. This made me interested the whole story and I never felt like something was missing or that is was too short.
I hope the author is planning to write more about this amazing couple!
Clearly, Ms. Haimowitz knows the genre she's written about. I was in awe of her attention to both the detailed emotional experience of a sub learning the nuances of his new Master and her ability to weave both the incredibly intense experience of submission with love. So often when reading a book about BDSM, authors tend to oversimplify the Dom and downplay or sidestep the sub's need for control. I am happy to say that it is not so with Master Class. The only reason it gets a 4 instead of a 5 is because I wanted more! I would recommend this book if you're looking for an incredibly intense emotional experience and a dive into the world of bondage and submission. Excellent work.
I read this story in one take and didn't even notice how the time flew by! The writing was extremely good and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The change of POV in the middle of the story only helped to see things more fully and I'm grateful the author chose to do it this way. This was a short story, but I felt like I got to really know the characters and I couldn't help but fall for them (I must admit, the story left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling and a strong desire to read more about them! And I want Devon of my own. :D).
So, if you like stories filled with passion and frustration, BDSM with testing ones physical and mental boundaries, you must read this!
I enjoyed this story about Nicky and Devon. Once Devon was able to show and make Nicky understand that he wouldn't have anything to do with him if he continued to be a pushy brat constantly manipulating to get what he thought he wanted. The beginning scenes are a little rough, and while Devon is completely capable of dishing it out, he shows that he is looking for so much more than just that. At the same time, Nicky needs to learn that there can be so much more than what he is currently seeking. I thought they fit well together, but I was disappointed with the somewhat abrupt ending.
Very nice story. Nicky Avery, Broadway star, spoiled brat, sub who tops from the bottom, meets his match in Devon, also an actor, but a very disciplined Dom who decides to take on Nicky's training.
A major portion of the book is devoted to the evening when Devon finally breaks Nicky's disobedience and shows him the true meaning of not only being a sub, but also of being the man who can hold Devon's heart.
I'm never disappointed with this author's work. Definitely recommend this to anyone who reads BDSM. Short story but powerful.
I loved this story. Yes Devon's treatment of Nicky is harsh, and at first quite unforgiving, but once I realised why Devon was behaving like that it sort of made sense, he needed to push Nicky so he could understand his needs and how to put him back together gain. He wouldn't have got to Nicky's needs without treating him the way he did. I really need to get the next book now to see how their relationship developed.
“I mean it, Nicky. I’m not playing. This apartment’s only big enough for one Dom, and until you get that, I’m done with you. Go home.”
WOW I thought I was in for a little PWP, my mistake. It totally pushed my buttons...all in the right way. What a cheeky little bastard! Nicky thinks he rules the world in and out of the bedroom. Devon will prove him wrong and show him WHO the Dom really is.
Although the dialogue was occasionally a little on-the-nose when it came to the psychological stuff, I thought the dynamics and exploration of character were really excellently done. Haimowitz obviously knows her stuff, about BDSM and the people who practice. Loved Nicky as a character, and only wish I could have been inside his POV during crucial moments of the story.
Great interplay between Devon and Nick. Sexy and emotional and intense. A bit gritty in places with some humiliation, but a sub with a backbone who can take it. My main gripe is that this feels like a great beginning to an intensely psychological and physical book that just ends when it is really beginning.
Maybe I'm just greedy, but it felt like the story was incomplete.
A lot of intense play and emotion in a short book. A really good BDSM read, although they got heavy into their first scene before ever really talking . . . good initial communication between dom and sub is just one of my criteria for a good dom.