Essential MasterTitle: Essential Master
Author: Dakota Trace
Genre: BDSM
Content: MMF
Stand Alone: YES
Series: Doms of Napa Valley , Book 2
Re-issued /Re-edited: NO
Date published: May 31st 2013
Publisher: Excessica Publishing
Purchase links:
ISBN: 9781609827281
Length: Novel
Page count: 162 pages


synopsisSubmissive Zebadiah Pellegrino maybe down, but he’s not out yet. He knows there is a Dom or Domme for him – it’s just a matter of finding him or her. But after an attack by a brutal Mistress, the owners of New Beginnings have been hovering like a pair of over protective hens. It’s been over a year and he’s ready to move on, but now he just has to convince them or leave New Beginnings.

New members, Dom Nicholaus Tarquinio and switch Stephanie McKeown have a unique D/s relationship and have been searching for some time for a third member, a submissive to complete their triad. But the trick is to find a man who not only appeals to Nicholaus’s domination but isn’t above allowing Stephanie to have her fun too.

When Zebadiah catches Stephanie’s eye, she and Nicholaus approach the wounded sub, wondering if he’s truly ready take what they have to offer him, or is Ethan right about Zebadiah not being ready? Only time will tell.

This story contains elements of BDSM, menage a trois, male on male practices, anal sex, bondage and violence.


review2Yay and totally sucks.

Yay because I loved this story. Blah because Dakota Trace wrote many books but not much of ménage mmf or mfm. And that sucks! But Dakota Trace is forgiven because Her Wolfen Claiming is in process, a mmf werewolves, a yet to be confirmed to be BDSM and date of release. This will be interesting to read another werewolves story since I am honestly in the process to have a little overdose right now but I will probably make an exception for Dakota Trace.

BDSM ménage. One of my favorite genre. Favorite when it is well written and always push my level of emotions over the top. I said it but will say it again, it shows when an author either is living the lifestyle and/or she masters the reality of this life. An author cannot fake it. I could not read anything on her blog to confirm and I respect her private reserve if it is the case versus some other authors i will not name that shout on the top of their lungs that they have a Sir or loooooooooooooove to be spanked because they are naughty-naughty sub that loooooooooooooooove to dare/tease/provoke their Dom (in my world it means disrespect but what do I know right? :P) and details that should remain, in my opinion, very private. But do I care if Dakota Trace live or not the lifestyle? no. I just care that she knows what she is writing about. Anyway, I am off-message here which is: I loved Essential Master!

I never read Dakota Trace and once I read the first chapter, I knew I would enjoy this story very much. It is not the typical D/s menage relationship with two Doms. Normally, I would not read this kind of D/s menage. One, because I am not attracted to Mistresses. Two, I am not fond of the third joining a couple many years after their established relationship. Three, lets say that I am just reticent to read any D/s with switch female.

But the blurb intrigued me and I can hardly refuse to read a BDSM (mmf or mfm) menage. I am attracted like honey and bees. I. need. to. read. them.

Before I explain what did Essential Master make it so special to me, you will have to excuse me if I drop a couple of information I find important to remember… because 1/ not everyone know what it is to live the lifestyle and 2/ I am passionate about it and 3/ it is never enough to remind readers that BDSM in romance is probably not what they think it is in real life or what they may think they are living… and no, not everyone is adult enough to know the difference between romance and reality, no matter the age of the reader. And before I am lunched with online tomatoes or anything alike: nope, I am far from being a BDSM specialist and I do not claim to know anything but my own lifestyle experience. Said it already, say it again here. ha!

Being a submissive has many flavors, from pet that is ready to give all control on the body, mind and life to submissive in the bedroom. The panel is huge. I said it already in one of my review Two Doms for Angel by Holly S. Roberts, there is no right or wrong but a partnership with rules and respect and most of all a Safe, Sane and Consensual philosophy.

It is extremely rare to find the right symbioses between lifestyle partners. It takes time. Sometimes it takes years to find the perfect partner for you… if you are lucky of course. Trust is the base of the lifestyle: bondage and domination (B&D, B/D, or BD), bondage and submission (D&s, D/s, or Ds) and sadomasochism or sadism and masochism (S&M, S/M, or SM). I am sorry here if I have to copy and paste the wikipedia definition but I think it is essential to understand the three characters but most of all I want to pinpoint how much Dakota Trace nailed all her characters because for me they totally personified the following definition:

Dom Nicholaus. One very important word to remember here: control.

Participants who exert sexual control over their partners are known as dominants or tops

Zebadiah. Two very important words to remember here: passive and obedient.

Participants who take the passive, receiving, or obedient role are known as submissives or bottoms.

Stephanie. One very important word to remember here: alternate.

Individuals who alternate between top/dominant and bottom/submissive roles – whether from relationship to relationship or within a given relationship – are known as switches, though the term is occasionally seen as derogatory and is rejected by many who might simplistically fit the definition.

But the thing to remember is really this:

Unlike the usual “power neutral” relationships and play styles commonly followed by couples, activities and relationships within a BDSM context are often characterized by the participants’ taking on complementary, but unequal roles; thus, the idea of informed consent of both the partners becomes essential. (…)

(…) Precise definition of roles and self-identification is a common subject of debate, reflection, and discussion within the community.

So everything is permitted ONLY and IF all parties know, understand and apply the rules of Safe, Sane and Consensual.

Enough lecturing or teaching or whatever you call it.

Essential Master will show you a face of BDSM that everyone should be aware: the line between abuse and sharing mutual satisfaction. Sadism is a touchy subject and I am no specialist to talk about it. All I know is that Essensial Master is the journey of Zebadiah from abuse and hurt to happiness. I loved that the journey was taken step by step, not rushed from one paragraph to the next but chapter after chapter. It was very intense. The love and need of the impact games is dangerous if a safeword is not respected. The endurance when someone is in subspace is very very dangerous if the Dom(me) in control is not experienced and does not understand the body language, the signs, the words and does not respect the safeword. Zebadiah had little limit and his obedience almost destroyed him physically and emotionally.


Man flogged

Dom Nicholaus was the easiest character to understand. He knew his place and he knew that he had the responsibility to listen and just understand Zebadiah’s need. He was human. He was insecure at time because he had no control if Zebadiah will ever trust him or another woman Domme again, like Stephanie. But he was next to Stephanie, every step of the way and never change his mind that patience and unity were keys. He loved Stephanie for years and without her, he would never have compromise his relationship with her. I loved that Dakota Trace showed that a Dom is not only one side of the coin.

Stephanie was more complex. She knew her limits and even if she was a real brat, it was always with the permission of her Dom that she could be herself. The fine line I talked about earlier was definitely there but she knew her limits and when she bypassed them, it was another learning curve in their relationship. Stephanie needed to protect and be protected. It was her nature. She needed a true bi-sexual submissive to complete her but also to complete her Dom. I was not 100% convinced about her Domme experience but since her dominance was relatively soft, it was okay to accept her role and character. Being a submissive is to please and lucky for her, her Dom and herself wanted the same person in a permanent relationship: Zebadiah.

The villain is a Domme. Just saying this and read what I said about abuse, you will understand why I am talking about a journey, why it was not easy, why the patience etc.

I loved the story.

I honestly believe it is a BDSM story that everyone interested in the lifestyle should read but it is also an outstanding love story between three individuals. Dakota Trace explored the delicate subject of abuse and kudos for writing such a powerful romance story.

Now you all know what you have to do eh?  READ IT!



Characters:5 ~ Plot:5 ~ Sex Heat:4
Equality Level:5 ~ Credibility:5 ~ Originality:5



4 responses

  1. dakotatrace says:

    Thanks for the wonderful review Mary. I’ll be sure to let you know when Her Wolfen Claiming comes available 😀


  2. hollysroberts says:

    The last thing I need is another book on my TBR pile but how can I resist. I swear Mary, you are one of the best if not the best reviews on the web! I truly cannot wait to read this so it’s being pushed to the top.