Maren Smith has a Castle. And she has packed her Castle full of Doms and subs. And occasionally, other naughty authors. Masters of the Castle: Witness Protection Program is one of those times. There are 8 stories, by 10 authors, including Maren herself. They all happen within the same time frame, all ending with a bang. The set up for this anthology is that the Master Marshall, the owner and Master of Masters of the Castle, a BDSM resort, has a cousin named Grace. Grace witnessed a murder by a creepy-ass mobster. He wants to kill her and she’s refusing to get police protection. So he figures the best way to keep her safe is to bring her to the Castle and protect her there. And now we get 8 stories surrounding the people trying to keep her safe or hunt down Carmen, the creepy-ass mobster.
While there are 8 stories, I only got to read 5 of them early. Gee, I guess that means I’m going to have to go and buy the book so I can read the other stories. Damn, life is hard. Make me read a book. And as I got them as individual ARCs, you’re getting my reviews in the order in which I read them, which may or may not be the order they are in the book.
Golden Angel-Freeing Fawn
Fawn is a cat burglar, and a darn good one, which is good, because she has been doing jobs for the Mob in order to pay off her father’s debt. Now, the Don wants her do to one last job, but it doesn’t involve stealing anything. Unless you call killing someone stealing something. And to do that, she’s going to have to pretend to be a sub.
Dane is a LEO who has been trying to get Carmen for forever. Now he’s at the Castle because he knows that where Grace is, Carmen is going to follow. He’s a Dom, so posing as a Master of the Castle so that he can keep searching shouldn’t be that much of a problem. But then, he gets paired with Fawn.
OK, Fawn is just cute, while she hasn’t tried anything BDSM-ish before, she has at least read some books, looked at some sites, and tried a toy or two. And she and Master D are super hot together. I loved watching them try to do their missions while they were both trying to keep the other safe and from knowing they were sneaking around.
Tabitha Black-Tempting Tasha
All the stories use alliteration in the title, but Tabitha Black has to take a step further, just to add in a little extra alliteration. I bet Tabitha is that one kid at school who always blew the curve too. LOL.
Tasha’s brother owes Carmen a butt-load of money, because her brother likes to gamble and Carmen is a loan shark. So when her brother disappears, she knows that it’s Carmen’s fault. When she sees him getting on a plane, she buys a ticket and follows him across the country, right to the Castle, where she ends up hired as a Little Maid.
Master Eamon is one of the Dungeon Masters. When the dungeon gets trashed, he needs someone from housekeeping to come clean. Instead, he gets Tasha, as a Little Maid. She pings his radar as a little off, but he’s willing to work with it.
It’s one thing to be a total newbie, it’s a completely different thing to walk into the Castle without even knowing what happens there. I felt a little sorry for Tasha because she wasn’t even a babe in the woods. It’s more like she was a bunny in a lion enclosure, but she doesn’t even know what lions are, so she doesn’t know what could happen.
Allysa Hart & Rayanna Jamison-Taming Teri
Teri and Nick have been partners in the police department. Teri is also part of a K-9 team, with Champ. On top of being partners on the bomb squad, Teri and Nate have also been best friends and lovers, although the intimate part of their relationship is currently not happening.
When their captain tells them that they have to go over to the Castle to help find Carmen, Teri, who is very independent and strong, is ready to Nope the fuck out of going to the fuck fortress. Nick, on the other hand, he’s all over this idea. He’s always wanted to go to the Castle, and now going undercover at the Castle with Teri as his sub? That’s pretty much perfect. She doesn’t know that he’s a Dom, or how he feels about her. That’s OK, he doesn’t really know how she feels about him.
OK, I have to admit that I really didn’t like Teri at the beginning. She’s really judgemental and looks down on anyone who has a kinky bone in or on their body. Even when she discovers that she likes it when Nick spanks her or when she submits, she wants to be judgemental about people who like it. It does get better and I do start to like her. But, if you ask me, Champ is the real star of the story. Puppy! Alright, I guess Teri and Nick aren’t all that bad after all. I will say that I was surprised to not get a Little story out of these two because, well, they are who they are. That’s not a complaint though, I’m happy to get any story out of these two because I love reading their work.
Raisa Greywood-Harboring Holly
Holly knows secrets. Two years ago, she saw Carmen kill her best friend, and she’s been holding that secret for two years. The only reason that she can be safe is that Carmen’s minion, Mario, let her go. Then she ran, she ran so far away. She ran both night and day. And ended up in the Castle. She’s been working there for the past 2 years as a Little Maid and scening with whoever wants her. And now, the Master in charge of the Gorean program wants her to work in that program, which is great. The only problem is that she’s pretty sure that she’s not going to be alive much longer because she saw Carmen and Mario, and now Mario has asked for her to be his kajira.
Flint has been undercover as Mario, Carmen’s right hand man, for too many years. Now he’s following Carmen to the Castle where he’s planning on killing Grace, which may be the thing that will finally let Flint arrest Carmen. Then he sees Holly, who he never thought that he would see again. He’s thought about her every day since he last saw her, and now he gets to actually be around her.
I thought that Holly was pretty amazing. She was more accepting about things, like the fact that she’s pretty sure she’s about to die, than I would’ve been. She’s submissive and she loves it. She very much know who she is and she loves it, especially in the Gorean setting. But Flint, he’s so conflicted about what his duty and what he needs to do, about what’s the right thing to do and what’s the moral thing to do, they aren’t always the same thing.
Katherine Deane and Kate Richards-Guarding Grace
And finally, we get to Grace. Grace is blind, but that hasn’t stopped her from being a witness to a murder. As she points out to Master Stephan, there are more senses than vision. When her favorite cousin, Marshall, finds out that she needs somewhere to be safe, he brings her to the Castle. In order to help keep her safe, he sets her up with a “boyfriend” and a bodyguard. Stephen is supposed to be her boyfriend, but she pretty much squashes him totally flat, and does it so lovely too. Chris, Master Nelson, was supposed to be her shadow and bodyguard, but he takes over as her Dom and “boyfriend”.
Chris was in the military and had a bad war. Now he’s back and working as a Dom at the Castle. He’s the perfect person for Master Marshall to appoint to keep his beloved cousin safe. It doesn’t hurt that she’s smart, witty, beautiful, and strong. He feels strongly protective over her and when she tells him that she’s interested in finding out more about the lifestyle and tells him that she wants him to be the one to teach her, he can’t be happier.
I love Grace. There’s just something so elegant and beautiful about her. She’s so strong and confident and she’s very open-minded, which means she’s not judging anyone for what they like. She just wants to try. Of course, she does have some problems, and Chris does get a little over much sometimes, but that’s Doms for you. It’s a perfect story though, and I loved it.
So, there you have the 5 ARCs I got from this book. Hopefully I’ll be able to get to the rest of them soon. It’s just trying to find some space and time in my TBR list. I need to stop sleeping. If I don’t sleep, I would have more time to read. Of course, I would probably end up psychotic and in a padded room with a jacket that makes me hug myself. Oh wait, that might not be too bad! Maybe they’ll let me listen to audiobooks? Go check out the whole anthology and all the rest of the books in the series. I have a couple in my TBR. Happy reading!