Title: Master Class
Author: Rachel Haimowitz
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages: 57 (.PDF)
Characters: Nicky Avery, Devon Turner
POV: 3rd Person
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 at last.
Master Class is a provocative and scintillating exploration of the complex inner-workings of the Dom/sub relationship. The story examines the direct connection between pain and pleasure, and the distinct difference between what is torture and what is an affirmation of one man’s physical, emotional, and innate need to submit, though the underlying current of that need remains buried beneath layers of undefined guilt.
Nicky Avery is very good at hiding who he truly is. Escaping within different personas is how he makes his living, after all, and he’s become an expert at it, both on stage and privately. Nicky was essentially born to do what he does, the product of a mother and father both in the show business industry; his career was practically mapped out for him from birth, then handed to him on the proverbial silver platter, his connections gaining him access to roles he might not have had, otherwise. In essence, Nicky has never known what it means to be denied anything in his life. For a man who longs to give up control, to be dominated, to be denied by his master for the sake of giving himself, completely, to another, that carte blanche access to success has caused him to build walls and conceal his true feelings, even from himself.
Until he meets Devon Turner, that is; the man, the Dom, the Master who can see behind those walls and becomes determined to mercilessly deconstruct Nicky, layer by excruciating layer, then rebuild him for the role of a lifetime—the one and only part Nicky has ever been denied—that of the perfect submissive. Devon is a harsh and unrelenting teacher, something the manipulative Nicky is unaccustomed to but something he longs for in order to become the man he is meant to be. There is little doubt that this is a relationship based in mutual need and is fulfilled only when Nicky becomes willing to explore that need and relinquish himself to the man who knows precisely how to take what Nicky has to offer.
Rachel Haimowitz has written a gritty and seductive story of lust and power, of the need to control and the need to be controlled, of the exchange of trust between two men who are drawn to each other through the intangible bond of Master and submissive. Master Class delves deeply into the most complex aspects of BDSM, drawing a contrast between what is cruelty and what is crucial to the Dom/sub relationship. Though Devon’s methods were undoubtedly extreme, they were the ideal illustration of his conviction to teach Nicky what it means to offer the gift of his obedience to a man who will not only respect that gift but will continue to build upon it as Nicky evolves.
For an author to draw a connection between the reader, the characters, and their conflict in the short story format is an accomplishment. The narrative of this piece flows effortlessly, beginning to end, providing the audience with just enough plot and character development to become involved in the resolution without becoming bogged down in superfluous details. This one left me with nothing less than the hope we’ll hear more from Devon and Nicky sometime in the very near future.
Reviewed By: Lisa