Josh is a young man with a powerful submissive urge. He yearns to please a master and be loved and cherished in return, but so far he’s been unable to find a master that he clicks with. His latest master wanted a robot that would do only exactly what he was told and didn’t expect any praise. Josh was never good enough for him and the master has just terminated their trial contract. For someone who lives to please, Josh’s self esteem is at an all-time low.
Wade is what you might call a “late bloomer”. He only realized he was gay, and a Dom, in his mid-thirties. He cast aside the false life his parents had planned for him in the city and moved to the big skies of Montana to run a ranch. The only problem is that he, too, has been unable to find a submissive that he clicked with. Most guys seem to be in it for a quick thrill and aren’t true submissives that live to please.
A mutual friend introduces the two, and after some correspondence Josh agrees to fly out to meet Wade. His new master seems to be everything he’s always wanted, but Josh has had so many disappointments he tries not to get his hopes up. Their first meeting doesn’t exactly go off as planned, but it soon does become apparent that the two are well matched. The only question then is, can city-boy Josh fit in on the big sky ranch?
It’s definitely a (sadly rare) pleasure reading a short novella that feels complete. As I’ve ranted on about before, so many of these stories, which would be under 100 pages if printed and are so popular in ebooks these days, seem incomplete, with under-developed characters or plots that really demanded a much longer work. While “Mastering the Ride” definitely leaves you wanting to know more about how the relationship between Josh and Wade develops, especially how Josh manages to fit in, that’s only because the story does such a good job of getting you involved in their lives.
The author spends half the book introducing us to Josh and Wade separately. We learn about Josh’s many disappointments and the kind of master he fantasizes about. We also get to witness Wade’s epiphany, when he realizes both that he’s gay and a Dom. By the time the two men meet, you’re almost certainly rooting for both of them.
This is the first book by J.P. Barnaby - an author who has been on my ‘must read’ list forever - that I’ve read, but it definitely won’t be the last. She mentioned that a sequel to this book is in the works, and so I’m looking forward to it.
Find out more about J.P. Barnaby at her web site.