Sunday, March 15, 2015

Novel Review: Becoming His Master (Neighborly Affection, #4) by M.Q. Barber

Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Genre: Erotica/Adult Contemporary Romance; MMF/MM
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Spoilers?: No.
Buy it here: Amazon. Barnes and Noble.

Goodreads Synopsis:

 From rescue to romance…

Teach a wounded submissive the value of his service. The task ought to be an easy one for an experienced dominant like Henry Webb.

But novice Jay Kress challenges his teacher like no other. Still bearing the bruises of an encounter outside the bounds of safe consensual play, Jay is desperate to submit to the man who saved him—and shamed by his desires.

Henry recognizes the dangers of a relationship built on hero worship. He’ll teach Jay how to stay safe, that’s all. He won’t take advantage of the younger man’s trust. He won’t share his fantasies about his dark-haired, athletic student. He’ll never claim this submissive for his own...

The Cover:

I actually really like this cover. Sometimes these ebook covers are so bad, but I think this one's kind of pretty. The way it's drawn just makes it look artistic and pretty to look at, plus I think that the position of the guy works well for the characters. This could have very easily shown two males half-naked on the cover, and I'm glad that it went this route instead.


I have read the previous books in this series and absolutely loved them. When I heard this was up on Natgalley, I immediately went to request it. I didn’t actually think I would be approved, but started it immediately when I was.
I started this series a while ago, just came upon it on Goodreads I think. It sounded good, the writing seemed nice. I read the first one. And then proceeded to gobble up the next two in days; I couldn’t put my phone down, they were so good.
When I first heard of this one, I thought it was going to be a continuation with Alice, not a prequel for Henry and Jay. I was even a little hesitant, though interested of course. I should have just jumped on it, because this book was amazing.
This book is all in Henry’s point of view, and that helps worlds to understanding him. He’s always seemed a bit too god-like, too restrained and unemotional, even when making mistakes. But there’s so much more to him. Now I understand that he likes resisting, prolonging what he wants. Now I see how Jay really does affect him, and how good of a Dom and a person he is. I immediately re-read the previous books when finishing this one, and I saw him better than I did before.
The relationship between Jay and Henry is complicated at first. Henry doesn’t want to commit, doesn’t want Jay to hero-worship him or fall back into his harmful patterns. He just wants Jay to be better.
And Jay is so wounded. So hurt from past relationships, from his family; needy and wanting and afraid. I ache for him. There were some moments in this book where I just wanted to hug Jay so hard, and I think that Henry does a good job helping him and taking care of him. Building him up to be healthy and safe and smart.
The love between them is beautiful. It makes me so happy and giggly, I just love it. I will probably be re-reading this book, and the others in the series, over and over again.
The sex is very nice, and while there is quite a bit of it, there’s a lot of reason and taking it slow, slow progress at a perfect pace for them.
The writing is gorgeous. The descriptions, the words that Barber uses, just flow and sound so pretty. I just found myself noticing several times, her variety and smart choices with words. 
I absolutely loved this book. I will be re-reading it often, I’m sure. And I will definitely be reading everything she releases from now on. 

A review copy was provided by the publisher, Kensington, through Netgalley. Thank you!

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