Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
Autonomy and agency are the big takeaways of Lexi Blake’s The Man From Sanctum, her newest Masters and Mercenaries: Reloaded story. This book follows Deke, everyone’s favorite “uncle” around McKay-Taggart. Deke’s former high school love and the one who “got away,” Madeline “Maddie” Hill shows up on his doorstep with the proposition to pose as her Dom. Decades before, Deke made the decision to walk away from Maddie so that she would go to Yale and realize her dreams. Broken-hearted, they spend years away from each other. Now, Maddie is concerned that her boss, Nolan Byrne, is intent on using their company’s technology for no-good, and she needs Deke to pose as her Dom so she can gain access to Nolan’s private office. If they act like a couple in the BDSM lifestyle, they can help grant Nolan access to the private, yet storied The Reef, a BDSM club that Nolan wants to join. The problem, though? Can Maddie work through her hurt from the past to trust Deke as her Dom, or are they fated to be “found out” and Maddie and Deke’s life put into jeopardy?
As is the case with Blake’s Masters and Mercenaries series, The Man From Sanctum is equal parts community, suspense, and eroticism. Blake packs so much punch with her stories that you find yourself enveloped into the fold of her McKay-Taggart flock. With so many characters and so much action, you find yourself maniacally turning each page to get to the end, where, in this case, Deke and Maddie, find their happy ending BUT she keeps additional threads open for future stories.
The meat of The Man From Sanctum is Maddie’s agency. In this story, Maddie is intelligent and independent. However, Deke, due to his insecurity and immaturity, takes her authority from her in decision-making. In doing so, it catapults them onto a different trajectory which impacts their future. When granted this opportunity to reconcile and see if a future is possible, Deke finds himself falling into old patterns, denying Maddie a voice for their future. Blake peppers ideas about women and choice throughout this story, and it adds depth to this action-packed romantic suspense.
Look, if you love suspense, espionage, eroticism, and charm with a side of BDSM, then you have to jump into Lexi Blake’s Masters and Mercenaries series. There are multiple iterations of it, which means a universe of characters with a deep bench of stories. Honestly, I can’t help myself from reading Blake’s stories. Her newest story, The Man From Sanctum, is simply more of what I love about Lexi Blake’s storytelling.
In love and romance,