Title: Wooing Master Jones
Author: Amber Kell
Cover Artist: Amanda Kelsey
Genre: Contemporary M/M, BDSM lite
Length: short story 15.5K words, 60 PDF pages
Rating: 2.25 stars out of 5
Review Summary: A story that lacked excitement, which wasn’t helped by hokey prose and dialogue and two dimensional protagonists.
Everyone needs a little romance…
When artist Stephen Carter catches a glimpse of Master Jones on the security monitors of his brother’s BDSM club he’s entranced. A hastily drawn sketch manages to capture the Dom’s high cheekbones, square jaw, and hot, hard body. A body the quiet, reclusive Stephen would love to explore.
The subs who fall for Victor Jones always get hurt. He has no desire to enter into a committed relationship and no room in his life for romantic entanglements. But then the seasoned Dom starts to receive intriguing gifts from a secret admirer. When Victor discovers his admirer is Stephen, he decides maybe it’s time to try out something new, someone less experienced.
What will happen when Master Jones discovers that sometimes even he has to do a little wooing?
This book is one of several published by allromanceebooks as part of its Perfect Stranger collection and I bought all of the M/M books in hopes of finding a gem. Wooing Master Jones is an “opposites attract” story of a young man (Stephen) who saw the man of his dreams “the most perfect man in the world” across a crowded room, i.e. his brother’s BDSM club, and decided that if the man was a leather daddy he wanted to know where to sign up for a spanking. Stephen was a virgin at 22 who was going to art school on a scholarship, while staying with his big brother. Victor Jones, aka Master Jones, was the best Dom in town, and he had the reputation of breaking the hearts of all the subs but he had never collared any of them.
Stephen decided to attract Master Jones’s attention by sending him gifts every night that he was at the club, using Ralph, one of bouncers, as his errand boy. Master Jones was intrigued by his secret admirer and tried to find out who he was, to no avail. Every week a new present arrived – the first one was a beautiful charcoal drawing of Victor and each week there was another beautiful present. For eight weeks there was a new present and Victor was increasingly frustrated at not knowing the identity of the sender, until one night Stephen’s brother Greg unknowingly let the cat out of the bag. Master Jones was anxious to meet Stephen as soon as possible but when he didn’t show up on his regular night Ralph told him that Stephen had pneumonia. After demanding his address Victor immediately went there bearing a gift of soup. When he saw Stephen, although he looked terrible with his ratty hair and clammy white complexion how could Victor resist him? After Stephen drank the soup Victor stayed with him for a short while and as he was leaving Greg came home. Of course he wasn’t pleased when he found out why Victor was in his apartment. Three weeks later when Stephen was better he moved in with Victor even though they hadn’t met since the day he showed up at Greg’s place. The story followed the usual pattern of the sophisticated older Dom and his “sub” who wanted to be everything to him, except neither protagonist seemed to have the slightest idea of a what constituted a D/s relationship.
This would have been a nice little tale except the dialogue and prose were repetitious and boring. Throughout the book Stephen was called “the kid”, “the submissive,” “boy,” “the smaller man” “his young man” and on and on as the author tried the make the point that they were opposites, and Stephen was so much less worldly and physically smaller than Victor. It was all tell and no show. The prose was over the top in places with phrases like “fire burned through him like a tsunami of flame,” “he was a loner who went through lovers with frightening speed,” “you were fated to be mine and I’ll never let you go.” I kept hoping for some relief but it was not to be. The writing throughout was really hokey and I wondered whether the story was written in a hurry because I found it lacked any tension, with 2 dimensional protagonists who didn’t grow but just mouthed stereotypical dialogue that I’m accustomed to seeing in a few self published books. For someone who was a Dom, Victor was not very good at the job and it was obvious that the author hadn’t done a lot of research into BDSM relationships because Victor was hopeless at mastering his sub until the end, other than giving him a few token commands. I was amazed that he was such an indulgent Dom. 🙂 On the other side, Stephen was a malleable “sub” who wasn’t very good at serving his master either, but it didn’t seem to matter since he was in love with Victor and did everything he could to please him although he wasn’t always successful. I think they both failed BDSM 101. There were other things I didn’t get such as Stephen being referred to as Victor’s lover before the word ‘love’ had been spoken by either protagonist or they had had sex.
However, the book wasn’t a total loss, as there were a few funny bits when Victor made Stephen join his gym and he didn’t quite get the etiquette of how a sub should behave.
If you’re looking for a short story to pass the time you might want to give Wooing Master Jones a try. I should point out that there are many 5 star reviews for this book on ARe so you should check out other reviews if you have the time.