Sum of the Whole

by Brenda Murphy

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Jaya Pomroy, security operative and mistress, falls desperately in love with Sarah Kerr while vacationing at Rowan House, Skye’s most exclusive and secretive resort. Unwilling to become Jaya’s possession, yearning for independence, Sarah refuses to leave with her and they part after a bitter fight.

Six years later they meet again. Fighting to leave her past behind, but unable to resist her attraction for Jaya, Sarah agrees to try again. Jaya has to cope with new rules and new roles. When a former client threatens to expose Sarah, Jaya risks everything to protect her.

Can their love survive in the real world filled with vengeful ex-lovers and deadly secrets?

Available in Print from most major retailers.

Book Info

Author: Brenda Murphy

Release Date: June 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-947139-23-7

Format: ePub, Mobi, PDF

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Category: Romance

Genre: Contemporary

Theme: BDSM

Word Count: 50000

Pages: 143

Sex Content: Explicit

Pairing: FF

Orientation: Lesbian

Identity: Cisgender

Warning: Mentions of past familial abuse, past abuse within a D/s relationship, scenes of violence and attempted rape.

Excerpt

Sum of the Whole
Brenda Murphy © 2017
All Rights Reserved

 

Jaya scrolled through the messages on her phone, rereading the instructions from the owner of the house. Her palms were sweaty in spite of the air conditioning. She shifted her hips, trying to find a comfortable spot on the broad leather seats.

“Do you wish to stop, Mistress? It’ll be at least an hour before we reach the house.” The driver’s husky voice matched her stocky build and ruddy face. Jaya appraised the thick hands wrapped around the wheel and the way the chauffeur’s livery draped her broad shoulders and considered it. The woman made eye contact with Jaya in the rearview mirror, one eyebrow raised and lips in a closed-mouth smile. Jaya imagined saying, “Yes, let us stop somewhere and I’ll flog you until we’re both satisfied,” but the instructions from Rowan House were explicit and interactions with the staff were not permitted outside the house.

“No.” Jaya kept her voice soft and let her gaze rest on the woman’s face in the mirror. “I’m tired of people staring at me.”

“You’re a sight, Ma’am, if you don’t mind me saying so.”

“You’d think they’d never seen a woman in a suit before.” Jaya left out the word “dark-skinned.”

“It’s your height, Ma’am. And you’re fetching in that suit. I imagine out of it as well.”

Jaya looked down. She had not flirted like this in years and it was wonderful, even if she knew it was not going to lead to anything more.

“Do you always flirt with your guests?” She relaxed her shoulders and sat back in the seat.

“Only the ones I find—” The driver looked at Jaya in the mirror. “Stunning.” She turned on the radio and went back to piloting the long, black town car through roundabouts as they left Armadale. As they traveled farther from the city, she was occupied dodging rough spots and the occasional mud-splattered sheep wandering along the edge of the single-track road.

Jaya sank into the soft leather seats, grateful for the distraction of the driver’s banter and the tinted windows, dark enough to hide her face from anyone who might try to catch a glimpse of the car’s passengers. On the ferry to Skye, she had caught more than one mother reminding her children not to stare. The curious faces of the children were better than the hard looks she got from the men on the ship. Half of them looked like they wanted to fuck her; the other half looked like they wanted to kill her. Some probably wanted to do both.

She had not anticipated how angry she would feel under the gaze of the other passengers. She had almost wished one of the rude men would start something so she could finish it. She had worn this suit to her father’s funeral, to her brother’s dismay. An orphan again at thirty-five. The high from the banter with the driver wore off and she slumped in her seat. She sifted through her memories of the last two years. Her father’s illness and slow death, her brother’s anger, and Deidre’s departure blended into an oppressing melancholy. What the hell was I thinking? Why am I looking for comfort here?

She could have chosen another venue for her adventure, but Jaya wanted to experience this house. The house Deidre spoke of as her home. She lied to herself, telling herself she chose this house because it was highly recommended as a discreet, old-school establishment dedicated to unique and personalized experiences.

Deidre. The woman of sorrows. Never was a woman more truly named. Jaya scrolled through the photos of Deidre on her phone. Brutal memories of their life together filled the emptiness of the ride. As they traveled farther into the country, the battery on her phone quietly expired. Jaya tucked it into her bag and let the rocking of the car soothe her as they drove past rough stone walls and rocky pastures.

*****

The car stopped in front of a towering white stone house. Jaya waited for the driver to open her door. The house was perfectly landscaped, with a circular drive. Two rows of women stood on either side of the steps.

“Welcome to Rowan House,” a large woman almost as tall as Jaya called from the top step. Jaya walked forward. As she passed, each of the women curtseyed, their greeting perfectly timed and executed with an effortless grace. Their starched and pressed black-and-white uniforms crackled with their movements as the women on either side of Jaya moved as one, each mirroring the other.

“I’m Martha. Please come in and leave the world behind.” The woman smiled and took Jaya’s arm as she escorted her into the house. Heavy oak doors, the wood black with age, lined the hallway on both sides. Dark blue velvet curtains covered the windows, shutting out what little light remained of the day. The soft glow of gas lamps lit the hallway. The driver followed with Jaya’s bags.

“Millie will unpack for you while you change, Mistress.” Martha tugged a tapestry bell pull before she opened one of the hallway doors and ushered Jaya into a large room. A partially filled claw-foot tub rested in the center of the room. Steam hung above the water and the soft scent of lavender filled the air. To the left of the tub was a silk changing screen. A blood-red dragon and dark blue phoenix battled on the silk, and the gold threads of the intricate embroidery glittered in the gaslight.

Martha turned to look into Jaya’s eyes. “You’ve read the contract?”

“Yes.” Jaya held out the briefcase containing her cell phone and her laptop.

“No cameras? No other recording devices?” Martha’s voice was stern; her eyes flinty.

Jaya chewed her lip. She slept with her phone under her pillow. You signed up for this. Don’t give up now.

“No. That’s everything.”

“They will be returned to you when you arrive at the ferry after your adventure is over.” Martha smiled as she took the bag from Jaya. “You’ll find your experience so much more enjoyable without the distractions of the outside world.”

Right. Because it is so great to feel alone and not be able to contact anyone. Jaya lifted her shoulders and let them fall, straightening her posture. No one to call anyway.

Martha patted her arm and smiled at Jaya. “I’ll leave you to your transition. Anyone you see is yours to command. They’re all well trained in the arts. A formal salon will commence after dinner so you may choose your submissive—one, or more as you wish. If you find you do not care for your choice, you may choose another at any time. I’m in charge of the house, but feel free to punish any infractions you encounter. Your room is equipped as you requested. If you find you require anything more, we will secure it for you.”

She left, and Jaya watched as her connection to the outside world disappeared with Martha through the heavy door they had entered.

She let out the breath she had been holding. With a hard click, another door opened and seven women entered, each wearing a red leather collar and nothing else. They carried steaming pitchers of water which they emptied into the tub. Jaya admired their forms, letting her gaze settle on each of the women for as long as it took for them to empty their pitcher.

“Let’s get you out of those things, Mistress. If it pleases you.” The honeyed voice at her elbow flowed over Jaya. She turned to look at the speaker. The soothing voice belonged to a small woman who had not been one of those bearing the pitchers. A dusting of freckles across her nose and cheeks set off her delicate features. She was naked except for a white collar gracing her neck. The number zero was etched on a small brass tag dangling from her collar, centered above sublime breasts with pert nipples. She stood with her chin tipped up at Jaya, her hands resting on her full hips. Her lips were pulled into an easy smile that reached her eyes. Jaya could not stop herself from noticing the neatly trimmed triangle of red-gold hair lower down and her well-shaped, thick thighs.

“It pleases me.” Jaya let the woman guide her behind the silk screen. She undressed Jaya expertly, her small hands working fast and skimming Jaya’s skin as she removed her clothing. Her touch was light, and Jaya heard a soft gasp as the woman slid her shirt from her shoulders and her stunning back tattoo came into view. Devi, goddess of life and death, eyes fierce. The tattoo had taken six months to complete and Jaya loved every second of the pain that had come with the beauty that marked her forever. It hid most of the scars from her childhood—at least the ones on the outside. It was the first gift she had given herself after Deidre left. Rowan House was the second.

“I’ll see your shirt is cleaned and pressed, Mistress.”

“Do you have a name?”

“Sarah, Mistress.”

“Extra starch in my shirt, Sarah.”

“Yes, Mistress.”

The scent of lavender was stronger now and Jaya heard water splashing as the other submissives worked to fill the tub. She stepped out from behind the screen. Unlike some of her friends who always kept their clothes on with submissives, Jaya reveled in her naked form. Thick-framed, and just over six one in her bare feet, arms and legs hard with muscle from years of physical training, she did not need clothes to be imposing. She drew her power from the greater and lesser scars that marked her, and from the tattoos covering her body. Intricate script circled her arms and incised charms of protection topped both of her shoulders. The Devi tattoo on her back completed her look. She was powerful, dangerously beautiful, and she owned it.

Seven women knelt along the wall, awaiting her orders. She dipped her fingers in the tub, swirling them through the scented water. Stepping into the tub, she motioned for the first submissive to step forward. She was a dark-haired woman wearing a faded red leather collar. Her tag had a blue-green patina and the engraving was illegible. Head high, she approached the tub with sure steps, her hips swaying.

She stood in front of Jaya and lowered her head before she clasped her hands behind her back. Jaya grabbed the woman’s chin, loving the way the skin blanched under her grip. She forced the woman to look up. Jaya reached down and pulled the submissive’s nipples into hard points, watching the effect in the woman’s eyes. She noted the way her pupils dilated as her nipples responded to her touch.

“Wash me.” Jaya lowered her body into the tub. The woman set about her work silently, starting with Jaya’s shoulders. She lingered at her task, her soap-slicked fingers soothing as she washed Jaya’s skin. Anger and tension from the trip drained out of Jaya as the woman soaped and scrubbed her body. She worked her fingers over Jaya’s shoulders, massaging away hard knots of tension, pushing her fingers in and kneading the muscles.

Jaya closed her eyes and leaned back in the tub. She let out a soft moan as the woman’s soft hands traveled over her breasts and worked their way down. She relaxed under her hands and the nearness of the woman washing her, opening herself to her touch. The woman stopped short of touching her in the way Jaya had hoped she would. She opened her eyes. The woman stood waiting for Jaya to command her. No initiative. She waved the woman away.

She surveyed the others, kneeling with their hands palms up resting on their thighs, waiting for her orders. She snapped her fingers and the next woman in the line stepped forward with a towel. Jaya stood, water cascading from her skin. She stepped from the tub. This one was younger. Her collar still had some shine; the number eight on her tag distinct. She was dark-haired and dark-skinned with blue-green eyes. Her arms were thickly muscled. Tattooed vines dripped and twined around her body. As she knelt to dry Jaya’s feet, Jaya gripped her hair and tugged it back and turning her face up. Her full lips pulled back in a challenging smile. Jaya studied her eyes, looking for fear and recognition. Seeing none she released her, letting her finish her task. She called the others one at a time—this one to oil her skin, that one to help her dress. She searched each face, looking for the spark she sought, but in the end she dismissed them all.

*****

Jaya stretched. The bath had soothed her travel-weary body but did nothing to relieve her desire, nor her restless urge to cause pain. She ached with a bone-deep want and need to have a woman under her. She unpinned her hair, letting the weight of it fall. She ran her hand over her breasts and down her stomach. The late-summer heat had faded and she lingered by the window, enjoying the sensation of the cool evening breeze blowing across her skin. Her nipples hardened and she turned to watch herself in the dressing table mirror. She spread her legs, exposing herself. She dipped her fingers inside and slowly smeared the wetness over her clit.

Jaya had wearied of the shallow attempts of the submissives to impress her at the salon. They had all been too practiced, too whorish for her tastes. Even if she was in a whorehouse she liked to pretend otherwise. She had decided on Sarah after watching her as she served the evening meal. Her nearness combined with the scent of her fear had Jaya squirming through most of dinner. A soft tap at the door made her reach for her robe. “Come in.”

“Oh.” Sarah looked down. A blush spread across her cheeks. She was dressed simply, in a white blouse open at the neck to display her collar and delicate cleavage. The short black skirt she wore accentuated her hips exquisitely. The silver tray trembled in her hands, rattling the brandy snifter and splashing a bit over the side of the glass as she stepped into the room.

“Close the door.” Jaya finished slipping the silk robe over her shoulders and pulled it closed.

“I didn’t expect you to be, um, so—” She dropped her voice to a whisper. “Naked.” Sarah’s blush deepened, as her skin reddened from her collarbones to her hairline.

Exquisite. Endearing. Enticing. Jaya gave no quarter, pinning Sarah with her eyes.

“Come here.” Jaya stood in the center of the room. Sarah placed the tray on the nightstand and approached her. She stopped a step away from Jaya with her hands clasped in front of her waist, and lowered her head. Jaya let the robe fall open and stepped closer to her. Clearly forgetting her role, Sarah looked up at Jaya. She slid her hand under Sarah’s hair and cupped the back of her neck.

“You spilled my brandy.” Jaya traced a finger over Sarah’s lips.

“Mistress. Please.” She lowered her head as tears slipped down her cheeks. “I’ve never…”

Jaya trembled, basking in Sarah’s apprehension and desire. She gripped her chin and forced Sarah to look up. She stared into Sarah’s eyes. Ah, there it is, the passion, the want. Jaya held Sarah’s gaze as she quivered under Jaya’s touch. The delicate features that defined Sarah’s face were contorted in a delicious blend of passion and fear.

“You’ve never what? Never carried a tray? You wear a collar. I know you serve. What is it you haven’t done?”

“I’ve trained in the arts, Mistress, but I’ve not been requested to serve anyone before tonight.”

“Is that why your collar tag is zero?” Jaya flicked the tag with her finger.

“No, Mistress. We choose our numbers. I choose zero because it is the nothing that is.”

“Explain.”

“I exist as I am because you exist. I exist for you to empty yourself into me. I exist for your desires and your pleasure. I am the nothing that is.” Sarah’s voice was steady.

“A philosopher.” She held Sarah’s gaze. “Do you wish to serve me, Sarah?”

Sarah met Jaya’s gaze, the fear in her eyes replaced by boldness and want. “Yes.”

The earnest tone of her voice sent tendrils of desire curling through Jaya. “Strip.”

Jaya stepped back to watch as Sarah’s fingers flew to unbutton her blouse. Once she had removed it, she folded it carefully and then slipped out of her skirt. She toed off her shoes. Grabbing the hem, she pulled her camisole over her head before stepping out of the matching underwear. She made a neat pile of her clothes on the chair, placing her shoes underneath. She stood before Jaya naked, her body trembling, her eyes wide. The scent of her excitement filled the space between them. She wants. She needs.

“We shall see if you meant your pretty speech or if it is all for naught before we’re through. When you attend me from now on, I prefer you to be naked when we are alone.”

“Yes, Mistress.” Shoulders square, she presented herself, no longer blushing, and a calm expression on her face. Lips parted, her breath steady, she waited, eyes down.

Jaya bent her head to Sarah’s neck. She wrapped her hand in her hair, pulling her head back and arching her neck in a delicate bow. She trailed kisses along her throat. Sarah groaned, the sound soft and small as she relaxed into Jaya’s arms. Releasing Sarah’s hair, Jaya melded her length along the smaller woman’s body. She gripped Sarah’s arms as she scattered nips among the kisses, savoring the feel of flesh between her teeth. Little gasps escaped Sarah as Jaya dug her sharp nails into the flesh of her arms. Sarah pushed into Jaya, jutting her hips forward. She let her head fall back, exposing more of her neck to Jaya’s hungry mouth. Bound by Jaya’s embrace, unbound by desire, Sarah softened, opening her mouth when Jaya pressed a kiss to her lips.

Jaya’s fierce teeth bit down and the coppery taste of Sarah’s blood tinged their kisses. Searing pain shot through Jaya as Sarah’s teeth pulled at her shoulders. She dug her hard thumbs deeper into the flesh of Sarah’s arms, pinning her in a harsh embrace. Pain for pain, pleasure for pleasure. She knows how to push back. Sarah swayed on her feet. Jaya was wet with need, her clit hard. She thrust her hand into the wet heat between Sarah’s legs. Moaning into Jaya’s mouth, Sarah ran her hands over Jaya’s full breasts and pulled at her nipples. Jaya caught Sarah’s wrists and twisted them behind her back, denying her touch.

Jaya broke their kiss. “Greedy.” She wrenched her arms higher, letting menace fill her voice. Sarah trembled. “You’ve not earned the right to touch me yet.” Releasing her grip, she pushed Sarah down to her knees and stepped back. “End of the bed. Hands on the foot rail.”

Sarah rushed to obey. Jaya slowed her breathing to regain her control. She opened the armoire. Pegs held a variety of floggers, whips, and canes. It had been years since Jaya had used a cane on anyone. She ran her fingers along her favorite instrument of pain. It’s been too long. Don’t want to damage her. At least not permanently. She settled on a well-used riding crop. Lovely. The braided leather of the crop was dark brown with age, and it was stiff with a small amount of flex. Perfect for Jaya’s intentions, the crop had a wide keeper to prevent her from breaking Sarah’s skin.

Sarah bent over at the foot of the bed, her hands white-knuckled on the rail, feet wide, back flat, full hips jutting out at the perfect angle. Beautiful. Her heavy breasts swung with her breaths. Nipple clamps? Another time. Jaya walked around Sarah to take in the display. Exquisite.

“Do you have a safe word?” She rested her hand on Sarah’s head.

“No, Mistress. They pay us extra if we agree to play without one.” The resigned fear in Sarah’s voice made Jaya frown. Not with me.

Jaya turned Sarah’s head to look in her eyes. “I’ve never played without one and I’m not going to start now. Pick one.” She bent down and brought her lips close to Sarah’s ear. “It will be between us.”

“Zero, Mistress.” Sarah shifted her hands on the bed rail, relaxing her grip.

“Very good.” She pinched Sarah’s nipple hard, drawing a sharp cry from her lips. “I look forward to hearing it.”

Jaya ran her hands over Sarah’s unmarked beauty. Her skin was pale. Small freckles spilled everywhere. She landed the first caress of the short whip with a light touch, warming up to the flex of the crop and delighting in the popping sound of leather on skin and Sarah’s slight intake of breath. She landed five more blows in quick succession, creating red marks evenly spaced over Sarah’s ass. Sarah’s breathing had shifted. Jaya ran her hand between Sarah’s legs, pinching her flesh and gathering the wetness there on her fingers. Lovely. Willing. Pain slut. Pulling Sarah’s head up, she showed her the wetness on her hand. Sarah licked it clean. The sensation of her mouth on her fingers made Jaya gasp. Yes.

“Good girl.” Jaya dragged her nails down Sarah’s back and over the welts, enjoying the moan that escaped from Sarah. “Remember your word.”

Jaya rained down blow after blow. In the quiet of the room, the crop thudded now instead of popped. She listened, gauging Sarah’s reaction to the crop, to the pain, to Jaya’s silence. She heard Sarah’s breathing as it shifted again, as she melted into the pain, letting herself get lost in the haze of endorphins. Sarah’s moans grew throaty and the scent of her desire filled the air. Her thighs glistened in the soft light of the gas lamps. Jaya increased the force of her blows, spreading them over Sarah’s flanks and thighs evenly. In the warmth of the room, sweat trickled down Jaya’s back. Say it. Say it. Let me hear you surrender.

Jaya walked the razor’s edge of desire. Close to the abyss, she focused on controlling her urge to push Sarah over the edge. She basked in reflected pain, longing to hear surrender and desire in a single word. Jaya’s breathing was ragged, her thighs wet with desire, and small cries escaped her lips with some of the blows. Sarah’s skin was dark red with raised welts. Stop. Now. Sarah’s breathing was rough and she sagged as she clutched the bed rail. Her thighs were wet from her core to her knees.

She stepped behind Sarah. She placed the handle of the crop between Sarah’s legs, teasing, shifting it, and bringing Sarah to the edge of pleasure. Sobs now mixed with groans as Jaya entered her with the crop, thrusting and twirling it in one motion. Her body shaking, unable to keep her hips still, Sarah pressed back, trying to take more of the crop.

“Please. Mistress, please,” Sarah whispered. “Please let me come for you.”

“Wait.” She pulled the crop from Sarah and ran her hands over the submissive’s bent form, the heat from the welts on Sarah’s bottom and thighs warming her hands. Reaching under Sarah, she gathered her breasts in her hands before pulling Sarah’s nipples to hard points. Sarah’s breath hitched and she sighed and moaned under Jaya’s caresses. She swept the smaller woman up in her arms and dropped her on the bed. I need. I want. She caressed Sarah’s curves and pushed her fingers through red-gold curling hair, slick and wet, before plunging them deep inside Sarah’s softness.

“Please. Please let me touch you, Mistress.” Sarah’s eyes were wide. She gripped the sheets, her knuckles white.

“Yes.”

Sarah lifted Jaya’s breasts to her mouth and bent her head to lick and suck Jaya’s nipples. Jaya trembled as Sarah pulled them each in turn deep into her mouth, grazing them with her teeth. I need. I want. Jaya moaned, a low rumble from the depths of her longing. Sarah suckled and teased. Jaya thrust into Sarah harder. Sarah lifted her hands and raked Jaya’s back with her nails. Yes. Hurt me. Harder. Push back. I need. I want. Sharp spikes of pain pulsed through Jaya and she dripped her excitement on Sarah’s thigh.

Sarah’s hips bucked and she opened her legs wider, striving to take more. Jaya lowered her head, savaging Sarah’s mouth as she ground herself against Sarah’s thigh. She pulled back to look into Sarah’s face. Pleasure played out over Sarah’s features. I need. I want.

“May I, Mistress? Please. Now. Please. Please let me come for you? Please?” Sarah’s nails dug deeper into Jaya’s skin. I need. I want.

“Come for me.” Jaya covered Sarah’s mouth with her own. Now. Now. Now.

She raked her nails down Jaya’s arms and screamed her climax into her mouth. Jaya ground out her pleasure on Sarah’s thigh. Pain and pleasure melding into one, they shook and clung to each other.

Jaya collapsed next to Sarah, sliding her fingers out gently. Sarah’s head rested against Jaya’s shoulder. She smoothed her hand over Jaya’s brown skin laced with dark tattoos in a language few could read. Saying nothing, she trailed her fingers down Jaya’s sweat-slicked body, stopping above the dark tangle of hair between her legs. Jaya shifted her hips and opened herself, anxious for Sarah to explore her body. More.

“Yes.” Jaya answered Sarah’s silent question. Sarah pressed gentle fingers into Jaya. She grabbed Sarah’s wrist and forced more of her hand hard inside her body. Sarah trembled and raised her eyes to meet Jaya’s gaze.

“Do. Not. Tease.”

A feral smile spread across Sarah’s face. Her eyes locked on Jaya’s face, she thrust harder. Oh yes. Yes. Pain and pleasure rolled through Jaya and she let her head fall back. Her breasts rocked and her body shook with each deep thrust. More. More. All of you. Jaya arched her hips and Sarah lowered her mouth to Jaya’s mound of tight, dark curls. She sucked at the hardness there.

“More.” Jaya shifted, opening her legs wider. Sarah thrust another finger inside and pushed, her strokes fierce and deep, sweeping over Jaya’s sweet spot. She sucked on Jaya’s clit until pain and pleasure fused and Jaya shook as she came again with a low moan. Jaya wrapped her hands in Sarah’s hair, holding her in place as she finished riding out the last of her pleasure on Sarah’s face. Sated, she released her grip on Sarah’s hair. She lay curled on her side with her head on Jaya’s thigh, and Jaya carded her fingers through her hair. Sarah shivered. She moved up and tucked herself into Jaya’s side. Jaya pulled the duvet over her. She rose and poured a glass of water for Sarah.

“Have some water.”

Sarah took a drink and placed the glass on the bedside table. “I can’t stay, Mistress.”

Jaya’s slap came so quickly Sarah’s head snapped with the blow.

“Presumptuous girl. I didn’t ask you to stay. Do not mistake my concern for the well-being of the house’s property for something more.”

Sarah cast her eyes down, her face scarlet. She crawled off the bed and lowered her head to the floor. “Forgive me, Mistress.”

“Go. Now.”

Sarah stopped to collect her clothes before scurrying from the room. Her body sated, the ache within gone, Jaya smiled as she finished her brandy. Yes. She was the right choice.

1 review for Sum of the Whole

  1. Rated 4 out of 5

    Bugs

    Picked up “Sum Of The Whole” to try after reading an enthusiastic recommendation about Brenda Murphy. I’d never known about Murphy before but I’m glad I stumbled upon AC Miller‘s post on the Lesbian Reading Group on FB.

    In “Sum Of The Whole,” I found several things I truly enjoyed. First off, Murphy’s writing style. Not only was her dialogue compellingly honest whilst telling the story, her MC’s internal monologue was written with such candor that the effect was intensely raw, intimate and resonating in an emotional level. Her characters were fascinating because they were complex and layered – just my kind of lesbian characters! 👌 Jaya, very wealthy, used to work in her family’s business – mercenary-for-hire. Yup, total arse-kicking bad-arse past with scars to show for. A Domme. Restless since her “retirement,” she often vacationed at this exclusive BDSM pleasure house called Rowan House, to pass the time. Sarah, on the other hand, worked at Rowan House as a Submissive….to finance her studies!! Two words. MATHS. NERD. 🤓

    I’m not well-versed with the BDSM world in the lesbian community. I’ve only recently just learned about the technicalities of a BDSM relationship, i.e. existence of signed contracts (!), D/s arrangements, proper etiquette of a Domme & a Sub, from a couple of lesfic romance novels involving BDSM. Always a set of rules to follow. Different than a “bog-standard” relationship, so to speak. I thought that was it. I was wrong. So naturally, I didn’t know the existence of BDSM pleasure houses, for one. And the ins & outs of a place like that….until this book. I found truly fascinating!

    Anyway, Jaya, whilst at Rowan House, fell in love with Sarah and wanted to whisk her away from that life. But, not so fast! Murphy’s Sarah was not this stereotypical submissive. She was feisty, opinionated, strong-willed, goal-oriented and singularly independent. She would never allow another person to bail her out or “save” her. She wanted to be self-sufficient, she wanted to own her own life, on her own terms. Her goal was to pay her way through her studies, without any help. So, Jaya left, heart broken.

    Six years went by. Then, out of the blue, they crossed paths again! Talk about destiny, eh? But it was as if no time had passed at all. Their irresistible chemistry was as strong and alive as ever, flaming with desire, their connection as unyielding, if not more, the second time around! And so began their journey back to each other again. I loved that Jaya’s internal monologue was written so openly that I could really feel her sensitivity, vulnerability and insecurities when she was struggling with her growing feelings for and dependence on Sarah. Jaya’s well-placed internal monologue made her dilemma and struggle acutely realistic, with real-time effect. I felt like I was tapping into Jaya’s most intimate emotions, hidden away in the recesses of her mind.

    Sarah was one feisty, brilliant bad-arse! A formidable partner for Jaya. She was adamant about having an equal relationship with Jaya even though she was a Sub. She was equally steadfast about being able to support herself financially. I loved her passion. I loved how she was determined to assure Jaya her true feelings and love for her whilst at the same time wanted Jaya to know where she was coming from in terms of her outlook with them as lovers and partners. I loved how Jaya and Sarah’s dominant and submissive characteristics were not mutually exclusive but intertwined and entangled with each other, both sharing either characteristics at different times, thus mutually complementary between them.

    I loved that Sarah was not just smart but also keenly philosophical. She was one bad-arse nerd!! 😍😍😍 I absolutely treasured her philosophical mind that was relevant to her professional expertise – MATHS. Case-in-point, me favourite quotes from Sarah…

    ZERO:

    “I choose zero because it is the nothing that is.”

    “I exist as I am because you (Jaya) exist. I exist for you to empty yourself into me. I exist for your desires and your pleasure. I am the nothing that is.”

    I exist not only for you but for myself. I am no longer zero.”

    “I need to be me for me before I am for anyone else. And I need you to understand this about me.”

    SUM OF THE WHOLE:

    “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We two are infinitely entangled.”

    THIS fabulous quote above☝…Hence, the apropos of the book title!! BRILLIANT, innit!! 👏😃

    Simply REMARKABLE.

    I love that Murphy went against stereotype when writing and telling a Domme/Sub romance. Equality is KEY. Doesn’t matter if one is a dominant, the other a submissive. If there’s no equality in a relationship, any relationship for that matter, it wouldn’t work. Period. That’s always my belief. And I’m so happy that Murphy outlined that clearly. Equality CAN be achieved in a loving D/s relationship. Just like any other relationship. Hence, it was utterly enthralling to experience, through Murphy’s profoundly candid and heartfelt storytelling, this complicated dance between Sarah and Jaya as they slowly but surely manoeuvred their way through their romance, falling deeper in love with each other and ultimately committing to each other as ONE. One true love. One shared life. Uncompromisngly equal.

    I love discovering new things, different lifestyles, situations, etc…So what I got out of this story wasn’t just pure enjoyment but also a little more education & an eye-opening experience about BDSM relationships for me. I just wish the book was longer! 😅

    “Sum Of The Whole” is truly a superbly written love story between two individuals from very different backgrounds but shared an incontrovertible affinity with each other. Insightful. Intoxicating. Passionate. Deeply resonating. Intensely erotic. Emotionally satisfying. I will be re-reading Sarah and Jaya’s complex love story, time and again, no doubt about it! 👍

    A bloody fantastic read! 🙌

    Well done & cheers, Ms. Murphy! 👏

    https://bugsownwords.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/sum-of-the-whole/

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