Whenever someone wants a recommendation on a fantastic BDSM Romance, Lexi Blake is the first author I think of. All of my friends always come back to me and say they want more Lexi Blake and more of the Masters and Mercenaries. The characters in this series jump off the page and in to your hearts, and when the story ends you become sad because you don’t want to leave their world. Lexi creates such strong, well-developed characters that convey such depth and such emotion that you are feeling the same things that they do, which makes the stories and characters so real, and so hard to pull away from.
Unconditional is a Masters and Mercenaries novella, but it packs the same punch as a regular full length novel. I loved how one of the first interactions in Unconditional involved one of my favorite Doms of all time, Mr. Ian Taggert. That man has absolutely no filter, and says whatever the hell he wants no matter who you are. It is fucking hilarious. If you have kept up with the series you know how beautiful it is to have him back, and happy now that his better half has come back to him. He says marriages and babies make him want to vomit, but I bet Lexi will throw some of those obstacles his way in future stories, and I CAN’T WAIT to see Master Ian Taggert handle a baby.
“How would he do it?”
“Teach me I’m worthy when I’m so damn sure I’m not.”
Unconditional shines the spotlight on two newer characters Keith and Ashley. Keith is a gorgeous, wealthy experienced Dom who is just looking to join Sanctum and blow off some steam with a sub. He wants nothing more, no relationship, no contact outside of the club. Ashley is an employee at the club who doesn’t believe in orgasms. She thinks they are a myth, and she never thought of herself as a submissive. When the contract is signed, and the first scene ends, both perspectives are shattered and all that is left is WANT.
There were so many amazing scenes in this book, I don’t even know where to start. There were times when there was no sex involved, but the scene was still so beautiful. Keith is such a gentle Dom. I think the book stated he was a “service Dom,” which meant that he was out for her pleasure, he got off by servicing her first, that was his main priority. I would characterize Keith as gentle but tough, if that makes sense. Ashley was so adorable as a first time submissive. She was so open and responsive to everything he had to give her. They were a perfect match, even if Keith fought it the whole way, but you knew he wouldn’t stand a chance. No amount of excuses would keep him away from her for too long.
Just like in any good romance, the characters are trying to carry on despite their horrible pasts. There was build up and anticipation on what Keith’s past was like. We get little hints here and there and you can try to guess but once you find out what it is, it hits you like a ton of bricks. A lot of major turning points happen in Unconditional: the moment he thought he was actually good for her, the moment where Ashley stood up for herself and her Dom, and the moment when you find out why Keith is holding back so much of his heart.
When I was almost finished with the book, and I only had a couple of chapters left, I thought to myself, am I actually going to get through a Lexi Blake book without crying my eyes out……NOT A CHANCE IN HELL! During the last chapter, there was a showdown, of a sort, and there was a statement from Keith, and it was so incredibly hard to read. There was so much heart, so much emotion that it just felt like a slap in the face, and I, my friends had myself a good ugly cry all through that chapter.
“Do you know how beautiful you are to me?”
“I know how beautiful I feel when you’re with me.”
Unconditional is a prime example of why this series, as well as the rest of Lexi’s books are instant auto-buys for me. There is a sense of familiarity and comfort in these characters and you just don’t want to let go. As long as she keeps writing these amazing stories, and bringing us on these amazing journeys, I will be right there, first in line to sing her praises.
*ARC provided by the author*