This could turn into a fangirl squeefest. Please bear with me.
The CliffsNotes version: READ IT!
If you’ve not read the first two books in this series… hurry up! Sheesh. Seriously, though, this could be kind of spoilery.
Title: Master of the Game (Demons of Elysium #3)
Author: Jane Kindred
Rating: 5.0 of 5 Stars
Love is the ultimate game changer…and this time it’s winner take all.
Demons of Elysium, Book 3
Now that his lover is back in his arms, Belphagor is taking his own sweet time to say the words Vasily longs to hear: “You’re my boy.” And savoring the sweet torture of driving the firespirit into a frenzy of unfulfilled need.
As the undisputed master of Heaven’s gaming tables, Belphagor never plays unless he’s certain of winning. But this time, political machinations send the game—and Vasily—tumbling to the brink of even his formidable control.
Vasily can’t deny enjoying their delightfully edgy play—until the airspirit auctions him off for a night to the one demon with a gift for taking things too far. Seductive Silk, tight-lipped about the end of his relationship with the sweet submissive Phaleg, may also be involved with a new faction threatening the pregnant queen of Heaven.
Belphagor couldn’t be less interested in the games angels play, but when angelic and demonic intrigues overlap, he’s drawn in against his will. And forced to break his one inviolable rule: Never gamble what you can’t afford to lose.
Warning: Contains more than a mouthful of m/m ménage, with intense D/s situations featuring intricate rope work, balaklavas, and a flurry of snow.
Prince of Tricks – 3 Stars
King of Thieves – 4 Stars
Master of the Game – ALL THE STARS!!! Or 5, whichever comes first.
This entire story arch has been weaving its way to this climax. The relationship between Beli and Vasya is at the heart of the series, but we’ve also got the child slavery plotline as well as the lovely Phaleg and the headstrong Silk relationship. Are they perfect for one another or is Phaleg pining away for Beli? Ms. Kindred ties all these threads together with panache. I loved it! I thought there was a little too much sex in the first one. I felt the action storyline overtook the romance in the second one. They are in perfect symmetry in the third.
Master of the Game is provocative and fast paced with realistic conclusions and smart writing. There seemed to be more levity in this one than I recall from the previous installments which helped the characters seem less
Russian dour. The only thing I could maybe, possibly fault here is a lack of background information on the characters, but namely Beli. I think it adds to his mystique, though. He’ll let you know what you need to know if you need to know it, otherwise fuck off. It’s kind of refreshing to have a character refrain from bemoaning his harsh formative years.
“It’s not your fault, Vasily. Don’t torture yourself.”
“That’s my job,” Belphagor murmured.
Beli and Vasya spend the better part of Master of the Game rebuilding their trust in one another which seems a rather somber task. It wasn’t. It was comedy gold. Vasya wants to officially be Beli’s malchik (boy) again and in order to do that he must (a) be more honest about his limitations and use his safeword appropriately; and (b) take the punishments. Really, I’m laughing as I type this. You know that saying, ‘what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine’? THAT’S exactly how the punishments go. Beli punishes Vasya for both their mistakes! And Vasya loves it. L.O.V.E.S.I.T. I did too.
Vasily was moaning with slight discomfort now, but eagerly taking him as he always did. It made Belphagor feel wild and thrilled knowing what a pounding Vasily could take- would take- just to make him happy. Vasily was like a drug.
None of these characters are perfect. Well, maybe Phaleg is… I could be biased. They all make mistakes, bungle trying to correct the mistakes, botch trying to apologize for the mistakes and can jump to the wrong conclusions faster than a fox in a forest fire. Silk and Phaleg are the biggest culprits there. Luckily, they all help each other through their missteps. Words cannot express how much I liked all these wacky characters who, at the end of the day, are crazy about each other.
The world building is better in this installment. Entwining the Russian aspects into the world building makes this series special, in my opinion. The four main characters are the centerpiece, make no mistake. When I interviewed Ms. Kindred back in March she said this would be the last in this series. I would humbly like to request a spin off with Silk and Phaleg. I’ll beg if need be.
Now, let’s talk about the sex. YEEEE! Actually, I’ve read hotter sex, but the D/s is exquisite. These demons are polyamorous and possessive as all get out. Beli and Vasya hit one of my sweet spots with the inverse size difference. Vasya is a 6’5″ monster of a firespirit with a fiery personality. Befitting, huh? Yet he loves nothing more than kneeling before Beli. Phaleg is a masochistic angel with a humiliation fetish and I suspect is a bit of an exhibitionist with the sweetest disposition. I’ve made room for him in my pocket. Silk fulfills his needs and then some. The bound sub servicing his dom sweet spot also got pounded. <—see what I did there?
I’m on a roll lately with the kinky reads. Yay me!
He would be used by a demon. Silk owned him. He was an angel who had voluntarily given himself over to a demon to be defiled in every possible way, and he’d never been so happy in his entire life.
I’d highly recommend Master of the Game. You could probably skip Prince of Tricks if you wanted to, though I think it sets the stage for Beli and Vasya’s conflict and it does have some fuckhot sexy times.
Kudos, Ms. Kindred!
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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