review redux: “Lord and Master” by Kait Jagger

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Official Synopsis
Luna Gregory has everything she needs. A dream job as personal assistant to the Marchioness of Lionsbridge, and a home on the 500-year-old Arborage Estate. But her encounter with Swedish entrepreneur Stefan Lundgren, charismatic, devastatingly attractive-and third in line to inherit the estate-leaves her irresistibly captivated. What Stefan doesn’t know is that he and Luna have met before, that he is drawn by more than just her English reserve and quiet beauty. Luna has her reasons for concealing the truth from him-she’s built an entire life for herself based on keeping the past in the past.

Stefan initiates Luna into a world of sexual exploration where they push the boundaries of pleasure and control, the ties that bind them,literally, in desire. Not content with possessing Luna physically, Stefan wants all of her. But he is keeping his own secrets, secrets that could drive them apart.

Review (again…)
I’ve already reviewed this book, but I couldn’t resist another go around. This is mainly a ramble, you’ve been warned.

You see, I had the flu this week. The Noro Virus to be exact. Don’t get it. Seriously, just don’t. It’s so horrendous that all I wanted was ginger ale, water, a bed, sleep and eventually – when I felt less like I was dying – a book that I loved.

Enter Lord and Master, easily my favourite romance book that I’ve read this year. I honestly am shocked every time I visit its GoodReads.com page and there aren’t a million five star reviews. The fact that this gem is so underread when books like Fifty Shades flourish is a crime against literature and romance, in particular. Why, you ask? Let me tell you.

  1. Luna.
  2. Luna
  3. Luna

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Seriously though. I love her so much.

Get this, Luna Gregory is competent, intelligent, reserved, loving, stubborn and she can bike across gravel roads in Ferragamo heels because she’s a boss. She doesn’t simper. She’s capable of taking two steps without tripping over her own two feet (like, sooo adorable, right Bella Swan?). She rides a motorcycle. She has raw, electrifying, push-pull sex without feeling like she has to apologize. Her friends are bomb dot com.

In short, she’s my literary girlfriend.

Particularly, I adore that even though she clearly can’t see straight because Stefan’s charming the dress right off of her (and who wouldn’t take their dress off for Stefan, let’s be serious), she has other things on her mind. She’s damn amazing at her job, she cares about her friends, she has relationships with anterior characters that never feel forced or untrue, she is committed to her boss and she has deep reserves and deep rivers in her mind that many never see. She’s not just a shell that needs a male character to bring her into glowing light. She already is.

I picture Luna as looking like Jacquelyn Jablonski. Impossibly beautiful, with a quiet elegance and sexiness that scorches. Blue eyes, naturally (the colder on the surface the better… she should be able to stare down a King and win).

4) Stefan.

He’s that quintessential hero, and yet he isn’t…. which makes him all the more enticing. Yes, he’s rich, but he’s worked for his money, and worked hard too – he doesn’t always have time to fuck Luna up against a wall or whisper sweet nothings. Sometimes, he’s traveling. Often he’s up at dawn, working. He isn’t an asshole for the sake of it, like so many NA “heroes”. He may be tough to deal with sometimes, but he’s also funny, and romantic and kind. Of course there’s an edge to him (delicious) but he genuinely cares about Luna – about what she’s feeling and thinking, even if he can’t quite articulate it to himself.

Not to mention, he’s intelligent, driven and absolute ready to take Luna on the ride of her life. Her pleasure is HIS pleasure, and oh my, does he love to get her off. Sorry to compare again to Christian Grey and Fifty Shades, but let’s do that, shall we?

As far as I can recall from my read of the latter, the first time they have sex, Ana is a virgin and he deflowers her and she comes – hello insta orgasm – solely from penetration in what is her first time ever having sex ever, and there is nary a hint of him, y’know, interested in getting her off. The whole thing is a crock, of course, and it’s always the barometer I measure other sex scenes against, because I can’t for the life of me figure out why that story is so damn popular. People I respect actually loved it.

And yet here, we have Stefan, who just wants to give Luna pleasure … it’s part of what interests him in sex, which of course, it should be for all men. Thank goodness for Kait Jagger reminding the romance genre that women require a little more than just a guy saying “Come for me” and a penis-in-vagina moment (I am describing WAY too many sex scenes I’ve read recently, by the way, this isn’t an invention. This is real talk.)

Not to mention, he’s clearly a dish, and from the way he’s described by Luna?

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5) Stefan and Luna. Together, they just ignite. They not only have scorching chemistry that burns right off the pages, but they also have a deeply sexy, adult connection that feels raw, and intimate, and smart.

6) The sense of place is strong with Kait Jagger. Her attention to detail is breathtaking. It’s evident in everything from the way she describes Arborage and its chilly, exquisite, rainy exteriors, to the smells of beeswax and roses inside, the marble floors. Then she’ll flip you and have you in Miami in a heartbeat, with the searing salt smell and the suntan lotion, the creaming blue waves and the pinks and yellows and greens of the Keys, with the scent of fish and batter heavy in the air. It’s absolutely astounding to read, really, and I enjoyed feeling like I was there almost as much as I enjoyed spending time with the characters.

7) Luna’s commitment to her work. Remember in Devil Wears Prada when Andie’s friends all act like complete assholes because she’s good at her job and can’t hang around with them 24/7? REMEMBER?

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How refreshing is it that in this book, Luna is fantastic at her job and no one – not a single person that she cares about, of course – makes her feel guilty about it, or shames her about it? How lovely that she gets to go to work and love what she does, and be good at it?

How perfect that she actually has to work and can’t just spend all of her time mooning over Stefan and drawing their names in heart bubbles on her daily diary?

Because I think it’s pretty perfect.

8) Actually, I think this book is pretty perfect.

9) Go get it go get it go get it

10) Seriously. Now.

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