Title: Mistress’s Release
Author: Anastasia Vitsky
Publication Date: June 16, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Lesbian Romance, GLBT Romance
Heat Rating: 2 flames – light BDSM and spanking elements with sexual scenes
Page Count: 134
Two women. Two pasts. One destiny.
Trinity survived an abusive fundamentalist father, needy siblings, an uncaring mother, and a lifetime of fear that she will go to hell for being a lesbian. Never mind her craving for kink and the intricate dynamics of BDSM.
Graciela, on the other hand, came of age following a picture-perfect childhood complete with 4-H, cornfields, and doting parents. Successful in her chosen field, she’s established a thriving overseas practice as a professional domme.
Now, with Trinity forgiven for cheating a decade ago, the two women are finally happy. But before returning to America, Trinity receives contact from her family: They want a reunion. Gracie hits the roof.
Her lover’s family almost killed her once. Wasn’t that enough? Graciela wants Trinity safe at all costs. She issues an ultimatum: No contact, even if it means cutting ties with her family forever.
But Trinity’s longed for this moment half her life. Family’s family, no matter what they do. She loves Gracie, but no one can replace parents. Why can’t Gracie understand? She has pledged to obey, but she can’t make this sacrifice.
Can Gracie and Trinity’s love for each other overcome this impasse? Or will happily ever after turn into a parting of ways?
Readers should be aware there are some heavy themes, including religiously-based abuse. For anyone capable of reading the material, it’s worth it to dig through the layers until the end. The way Trinity finds healing on her own and the way Trinity and Gracie find it together is stunningly beautiful.
As with many of her works, the author weaves in complex themes of sin, repentance, and forgiveness. Also like many of her stories, this digs underneath the shiny surface of cliched penitence. The end goal is not to forgive and forget but for Trinity and Gracie to achieve true reconciliation.
This story is particularly moving, delving into complex issues of family dynamics, violence, and control. A lot of Trinity’s psychology is revealed here, page by page. As she unravels, the careful structures she and Gracie have built also come undone. Watching them rebuild from a more authentic place is satisfying.
The writing, as always, is superb. There are so many brilliantly crafted passages. Toward the beginning, Trinity’s memory of being a child in her parents’ home comes to life in vivid detail. Having spent enough time among religious fundamentalists, it’s almost painfully real the way Trinity experiences her home life. There’s a lot to unpack there, and many ways in which her parents have irreparably harmed her. Yet ultimately, she’s still able to come to a place of hope. Her resilience is remarkable, like most survivors of such horrors.
Despite the great strides Trinity makes, it’s Gracie who I think grows the most. She’s let the wrong emotions rule her in her relationship with Trinity, and watching the beautiful, compassionate woman emerge from beneath her stern exterior is exciting and plain wonderful.
Overall, this is one I will need to read again and take time processing. While some of the content may be triggering for readers, it may also provide an avenue of comfort and catharsis. I love the way the light BDSM elements are expertly blended with the psychological and emotional healing. This is not a tired, trope-filled “rescue” story. It’s a genuine hurt/comfort narrative told with sincerity and compassion.
For powerful themes, careful handling of sensitive subjects, and an emotionally satisfying conclusion, this gets 10/10 fountain pens.
I check my email. There, at the top of the inbox, sits the same message I’ve pretended to ignore for a week. The subject line is simple, short, and innocuous.
At last, I click to open the email. Will it tell me to get lost, drop dead, or repent? No, none of the above.
We have been praying for you all these years. Praise to God you are safe. Mama cried when I told her about your email. We will have a dinner for you when you return.
May God bless you and keep you safe, dear sister.
I blink, and I blink again. Still, I stare at this incomprehensible message. Has my family forgotten I refused to marry a man? Have they prayed all these years for anything besides the saving of my soul? No talk about sin, repentance, or running away? They’ve gone insane.
Gracie pads into the hallway, worry lines creasing her forehead. “It’s late,” she says, even though she can’t know the truth of her words.
It is, indeed, late. Over a decade late, but it’s not never. “Just checking email,” I say, keeping my tone light. I dispense with the pretense of homework. No one could listen to childish jingles set to the ABC song.
“Can’t it wait until tomorrow?”
It probably should, but that’s not happening. I promised Gracie no secrets. If we’re going to make this relationship work, we have to be on the same page even when I don’t like it.
“I’m going to see my family when we go back.” I try to make my voice clear, loud and certain. Or at least I hope it comes across that way because my chest pounds. It’s my family, right? My decision.
Cookie queen, wooden spoon lady, and champion of carbs, Anastasia Vitsky specializes in F/F fiction. She hates shoes and is allergic to leather. When not writing about women who live spankily ever after, she coordinates reader and author events such as Spank or Treat, Love Spanks, and Sci Spanks. Her favorite event is Ana’s Advent Calendar, a month-long celebration of books, community, and making a difference.
She is too afraid to watch Doctor Who, but she adores The Good Wife and anything with Audrey Hepburn. In her next life, she will learn how to make the perfect pie crust.
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/anastasiavitsky
Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6643486.Anastasia_Vitsky
What if heterosexuality were a crime? Read Becoming Clissine, the first book in the brand-new Bastia series!