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Publisher's Summary

Dr. Mikhail “Misha” Budnikov takes one look at fellow fencer Ryan O’Connor and instantly knows his type. The undisciplined hothead is all ego with no finesse and even less control. In short, Misha’s pet peeves personified. To put the arrogant kid in check, Misha challenges him to a sparring match, which he predictably wins.

Not so predictably, Ryan asks him to be a mentor and show him how to fence. Startled by the moment of humility, Misha agrees.

What begins as fencing lessons becomes something much hotter, and before they know it, Misha is giving Ryan an entirely different kind of education. Dominance, submission, pain, pleasure—at the hands of an older, experienced man, a whole new world is opening up for Ryan.

As the trust deepens and their bond strengthens, though, Ryan retreats because that sham called love left him jaded long ago. Cynical beyond his years, he’s not letting his guard down, least of all for a thrice-divorced man twice his age.

Now Misha has to find a way to crack through those defenses…or accept defeat and walk away from the submissive who might just be the love of his life.

©2017 Lori Witt/L.A. Witt (P)2017 Lori Witt/L.A. Witt

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • SassiKassi
  • 01-08-2018

Narration peeve

I loved the story and I really loved Misha and Ryan. It’s a great story and though it ends with a HEA, I would love to continue getting to know them better.
I’ve always liked Michael Ferraiuolo as a narrator and he did a good job with this. The characters voices were all very distinct and he gave Misha a really good Russian accent. My only complaint is that when Misha was “thinking “ his thoughts had no accent. At times, I couldn’t initially tell if a conversation was starting or if he was just in his own head. I’m probably the only one bothered by this. Maybe it’s my OCD. But I think Mischa’s thoughts should have had an accent too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan65
  • 27-05-2018

What an amazing performance

I loved this audio. I simply loved everything and every minute of it. It was hot as sin, it was perfectly performed, it was so enthralling, and I was completely enraptured from the beginning until the end. This is saying A LOT because 1) I usually do not like age-differences, 2) I usually can take or leave BDSM, and 3) this was a new narrator for me. Lesson learned? Take a chance, step outside your bubble and expand your comfort zone, and give a new-to-you narrator a chance. I am so glad I grabbed this audio. It was everything I loved and it was performed masterfully.

Okay, so now that you know that I loved it. Why? Well, for starters, it has so many nooks and crannies where all the goodness inside people could hide. Especially those who originally come across as arrogant. Both Ryan and Misha (Mikhail) have baggage, Ryan much more than Misha, but together they work through those nooks and crannies together. It didn’t start out that way, but once the “relationship” began, it all slowly worked its way to the surface. Ryan needed Misha as much as Misha needed Ryan. But they have to work hard for it and since this audio is 13 hours long, we get there one step (literally) at a time. Worth every minute.

Another thing I enjoyed was the fencing. I think that was what drew me to the story in the first place. I like sports romances, and I tend to go for the footballer, but fencing is classy and it called to me. I learned a bit, and I found myself fully invested in the lessons Ryan was receiving from Mikhail. Fencing is what brought them together, BDSM and love is what kept them together. Seriously, I am not doing this audio review any just, but trust me, Michael Ferraiuolo does a fabulous job with Misha’s Russian accent, and Ryan’s upper crust college boy attitude and personality. These two were performed so well that I had not one issue with the age gap nor the submission; if anything, it made the story that much better, and definitely that much hotter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Aila
  • 19-08-2018

Great narration and story!

I do not listen to many audiobooks, so I do not have many to compare to but I really enjoyed this book and the narrator! The narrator did a great job of channeling both characters and each of their differences. While it is easy to differentiate between the two MCs because Misha has a Russian accent, there are so many personality differences that are perfectly displayed in the narration.

There is a lot of character growth from Ryan from the first time we meet him until the end of the book. His arrogance that we first see from him really does not ring true at all to his personality. Little by little, we learn about Ryan's background and where he gets his insecurities from and then we see those unfold throughout the book. I loved sassy Misha and once him and Ryan get together more, we see his sweet side which I also really liked. There is obviously a big age gap between these two main characters and I think Ryan really needed someone like Misha, who was older and more mature. Misha was the perfect person to help Ryan change his mind about love and relationships.

This book was really well paced and for the most part, this was a pretty relaxed book. There is no insta-love and not much angst but this book had so much depth. There are many aspects to Ryan and Misha's relationship from the fencing to the D/s that are covered well in this book. Overall, this was a solid story that ended perfectly for me!

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  • Jovan
  • 18-08-2018

Great contemporary BDSM romance.

4.5

"The Master Will Appear" is a prime example of LA Witt’s skill at writing well-developed and engaging characters in a contemporary BDSM romance. When forty-five-year-old Mikhail “Misha” Budnikov sees twenty-six-year-old Ryan O’Connor fencing, he thinks he knows everything he needs to about the type of person Ryan is. To Misha, Ryan is the worst kind of fencer: an overly confident, aggressor with no real skill, just brute force. After watching his cocksure display, Misha decides to show Ryan what real fencing looks like and bring him down a peg or two. After being soundly trounced, Ryan’s cockiness melts away, and Misha is intrigued enough to say yes when a humbled Ryan asks for lessons. Although willing to admit to his deficiencies, Ryan needs to prove to himself (and his father) that he can be a great fencer, which makes him impatient with Misha’s focus on the basics. Ryan’s frustration and stubbornness annoys Misha, causing them to lock horns at every lesson. However, underneath the annoyance is a simmering awareness that grows as the weeks go by and, eventually, ends with Ryan on his knees in the locker room.

While they agree to a sexual relationship where Misha and Ryan explore Ryan’s submissive side, eventually the “moments in between” and the time they spend together begin to bond them in unexpected and, in Ryan’s case, unwanted ways. Not only does Misha get to see beyond Ryan’s brash facade, he learns more about Ryan’s emotionally draining and dysfunctional family. Misha is “the first person who’d ever come along and cared that [Ryan] was safe [or] comfortable,” and it’s refreshing for Ryan to be with someone who doesn’t treat him as if he is “stupid or useless”. Instead of being the arrogant, spoiled jerk that Ryan’s privileged upbringing would suggest, and was Misha’s first impression, he’s just a guy struggling to figure out who he is outside of being the “unwanted” outcast and emotional pawn his family has labeled him.

Hearing Ryan’s thoughts or discussions of his family is heartbreaking for Mikhail. The more Mikhail learns, the more comfort, security and love he wants to offer to the young, talented man whose self-doubt and negative views on relationships has been cultivated by his family’s vitriolic and emotionally abusive behaviors. However, while Ryan is fearless on the piste, he’s terrified of the idea of Misha being in love with him. To Ryan, love doesn’t exist and is, at best, a delusion which leads people into relationships that only end in misery and, at worst, is a tool to manipulate people. Thus, Ryan constantly questions Misha’s motives and offers of anything beyond mutual sexual/BDSM satisfaction, and he can’t seem to stop himself from viewing everything as a transaction on an open tab he will have to make good on.

Part of the enjoyment of the story comes from the juxtaposition between Ryan’s trust in Misha as a coach and a Dom, but his hesitancy to do so on an emotional level and his blindness to it when he does. Even as he admits to himself how safe he feels with Misha, how well Misha treats him and how much Ryan shares of himself in ways he never has with anyone else, Ryan cannot comprehend or recognize his trust in Misha as a romantic partner. Additionally, and one of the things I love most about Witt’s BDSM books, is how well she portrays and builds the trust necessary for BDSM. Instead of just making it “kinky sex”, she highlights that, like in any kind of intimate exchange/relationship, an element of trust is a necessity. The only thing keeping this book from being amazing is that it exhibits one of my personal nitpicks with Witt’s work—repetition of certain character ideas/beliefs—in this case, how incompatible they should be because of their age differences and dissension on the piste. To me, it crops up frequently enough from both characters that it slows the pacing since you can’t skim and skip while listening as you can when reading.

As for the narration, Michael Ferraiuolo is a good narrator and, overall, does well with the book. Accent work is always tricky, but he does Misha’s voice satisfactorily. Although the accent is not as subtle as indicated by the text, it is not OTT or cartoonish either, and Ferraiuolo manages to keep the accent consistent while conveying the required emotions. On the other hand, Ferraiuolo does not do so well when it comes to the voice work for Ryan’s mom. While she doesn’t have a large amount of dialogue in this twelve hour story, her appearances are very important in imparting the toxicity that Ryan is fighting against and running from, and to me, Ferraiuolo falls short when expressing the sarcasm, irritation, needling, etc. that so strongly affects Ryan’s mood and behavior when indicated by the narrative. Thus, Ryan’s responses to his mother, particularly early on, sometimes come across as brattier and more petulant than emotionally distressing. However, Ferraiuolo does a good job portraying the varied emotional scenes of the story, from frustration on the piste to hot sex and floggings to the peace and comfort in simply being together, transforming the compelling beauty of Ryan’s oblivious fall into love and Misha’s quiet, pure and generous love for Ryan into an enjoyable listen.

Reviewed for The Novel Approach Reviews

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Christina Wade
  • 12-08-2018

Surprisingly good story and vocal performance.

I must admit, this story surprised me. The characters were so different not only because of their age difference but because of their backgrounds and their personalities…but they honestly just worked together. There were a couple of times Ryan’s age was obvious due to immaturity but overall, he wasn’t as bratty as I expected, and Misha was very patient with him which may be why we never saw much immaturity. They absolutely have serious sexual chemistry and their D/s relationship really worked for me. The angst of the story wasn’t unexpected and it was emotional but didn’t last long in comparison to the rest of the story.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a story about fencing. The author either did her research, has participated in the sport or is a fan of the sport because there is a lot of detail about it in this book…maybe a little more than necessary but not so much that it bothered me.

The vocal performance is good. This is the first time I’ve heard one of his performances and was impressed with his Russian accent. He had distinct voices for each character and performed the emotions beautifully. My only minor issue was him losing the Russian accent when in Misha’s head. That was a bit odd and confusing…Misha’s accent wouldn’t be lost when his dialog is internal so I’m not sure why it was performed that way.

I would definitely recommend this story and can honestly say I would pick listening to it over reading it which is usually not the case for me.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Angela S Goodrich
  • 10-08-2018

Ferraiuolo’s narrative performance was spectacular

I received a free audiobook copy of this book to listen to and review for Wicked Reads.

I cannot do The Master Will Appear justice in a review. This is probably going to become one of my top re-listens because I’ve already listened to in four times this week. Witt did an amazing job with this story – I hated the characters I was supposed to hate, loved the ones I was supposed to love, and felt an unexpected level of sympathy for Ryan, just as I suspect the author intended. Ryan is the poor little rich boy you’re supposed to feel bad for, but many authors fail at making that character sympathetic. Ryan’s self-awareness of how he appears to the world as "the boy who has it all" is refreshing. He knows that no one on the outside looking in is going to see any more than they expect and rather than whining about how no one understands him, he sallies forth, doing the best he can with what he has, including trying to protect himself from the viper’s nest that is his dysfunctional family.

As much as I love Ryan, Misha is who makes the story for me. Witt managed to create a character who is a mentor and a teacher, without him feeling the least bit paternal toward Ryan. I’ve really got to start a “Seductive Character” shelf on my Goodreads account because I’ve found a handful of characters who are so well written that they seduce me into their story and Misha is one of them. There is such a perfect balance between Misha and Ryan that I had no problem believing in their relationship. Neither man is perfect, but they are perfect for one another. And the BDSM scenes are not only hot, they’re beautiful. The way the two complement one another, despite their age difference, despite their financial difference, and despite what should be a power imbalance but isn’t, is absolutely beautiful. The angst surrounding the conflict was, for me, just the right amount. I knew what was going to happen and the author made her characters suffer just enough emotionally and then allowed them to resolve the issue so that they could get back to suffering the right way physically. The epilogue was everything I needed it to be. I was so glad to learn how things worked out for Ryan and his family and for Ryan and Misha. Even though I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the characters (which explains the repeated listens), it was the ending I wanted for them.

Michael Ferraiuolo’s narrative performance was spectacular. When reading a book, I find it quite jarring when the author writes a character’s inner thoughts in a different voice than their speaking voice. Although Witt does not do that here, Ferraiuolo utilized a non-accented voice for Misha’s inner thoughts versus the Russian accented voice for his speech. Had I been warned about it ahead of time, I would have been skeptical at its success, but as Misha has much to contemplate when dealing with Ryan, it proves to be quite vital in conveying to the listener what is said versus what is thought. This became even more obvious when I stumbled through a couple of scenes when Ryan’s thoughts differed from what he said, and it took me a moment to parse out we were going back and forth because as the American student, Ryan’s inner voice and speech voice didn’t differ as much as Misha’s did. The voices for the entire cast of characters were great, but I love, love, love that Ferraiuolo crafted a voice for Misha that was as seductive as the words the author penned. Absolutely fabulous performance. Witt has a talent for choosing the perfect narrators for her stories and The Master Will Appear is no exception.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Katie Korent
  • 09-08-2018

A Wonderful Book and Narration

Mikhail ‘Misha’ and Ryan are two opposites. Misha is an older professor at the private university and Ryan is still-kinda-lost 26-year-old student at the other university in the city. They meet in a fencing club, in a less than nice way. Ryan, cocky novice who acts like he knows all about fencing, and a man that knows more than enough about fencing to beat that cocky kid.

I really liked both characters. Misha was my favorite though. I like a foreigner in a book, especially if they are of Slavic origins (also why I like Misha from Scoring Chances series). A nice, middle-aged professor who is also a very good fencer. I know nothing about fencing to be honest, although I wanted to start it once or twice, but have never found the time. I mention this because it was one of the things that pulled me into the book.

Ryan, on the other hand, is a lost child of a rich man, who has a trust fund and no real connections in the world. His dysfunctional family dynamics prevent him from believing in love and accepting things without expecting to be asked to do something in return.

I feel like I have to say that before I read this book, I have read exactly one book that contained BDSM themes (and definitely not to this extent), so I was a bit worried how it would turn out. It was also my first book by the author so I did not have any experience with other books. But it turned out I loved it. Yes, Misha is a Dom and Ryan seems to be a perfect sub. But Misha always cares about Ryan, how he feels, and always asks for his consent as well as reminding Ryan to use safeword if he needs it. He is also determined to make Ryan’s fantasies come true and wow did I love the scene.

And the ending? I LOVED IT!

I absolutely loved the book. But this is an audiobook review so…Yes the story was awesome, but audiobooks are tricky things. It has already happened to me that I loved a book but hated the audiobook.

But this one was amazing. I have already listened to some other audiobooks narrated by this narrator and have loved them. I liked the differences between Misha and Ryan and especially liked Misha’s accent (although there’s the one sentence where Ryan says that Misha has some accent but not too much? I don’t know to what extent it goes but Misha sounds pretty Russian/Slavic. Then again, I study English so I may be a bit, shall we say, demanding 🙂 ).
But, as I said, I loved the book and I am really grateful to have gotten the chance to listen to it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Momma Becky
  • 09-08-2018

Emotional, engaging, and sexy

I read this one when it released and thoroughly enjoyed it. Given its length, I was impressed with how truly compelling the whole story is in addition to being absolutely scorching hot. I also love age-gap romance, so that was a huge plus for me. Misha and Ryan are both likable and they have great chemistry even with the difference in their ages. It is an emotional read, and I was interested to see if that emotion came across as well with the audio and if it would be as engaging as I remembered. Happily, those elements were all still present and I quite enjoyed the listen. The only drawback on the audio was the way Misha was read. The chapters go back and forth between Misha and Ryan, and while Ryan sounded the same throughout his chapters, Misha's were a bit disconcerting for me. He speaks with a Russian accent, but that accent is missing from his chapters other than when he actually says something. It kind of felt like he spoke with one accent and thought in another. It did take some getting used to, but other than that, this one is a thoroughly entertaining read with lots of emotion and boatloads of steam.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Trio
  • 08-08-2018

Ferraiuolo's Russian accent is so sexy!

Romantic and passionate and wonderfully erotic, L.A. Witt’s The Master Will Appear has claimed the top spot on my all time favorites list. This story has everything I love: smoking hot BDSM scenes, a bit of angsty drama, and a steamy romance... Oh, and that age gap? Yes please! This book is perfect.

Even if you’ve read this one before, you’ve got to experience the audio edition of The Master Will Appear. Michael Ferraiuolo’s Russian accent is absolutely the sexiest thing I have ever heard. Sensual, seductive, *shivers*, I just can’t get it out of my mind (and believe me, I’m not complaining). His performance adds so much to this intimate and emotional story.

What I enjoy most about Michael Ferraiuolo’s narration is the way he brings the characters to life. He uncovers aspects of their personality, facets I didn’t see, which enhances the whole experience for me. Hearing the way the characters change and grow over the course of the story is amazing. When it’s done as beautifully as this it’s so much better than reading alone.

So, have I tempted you with promises of a sexy Russian accent? There’s a scene at the beginning of the story where Misha is coaxing Ryan to give BDSM a try. He explains what makes a power exchange so erotic for both parties, how it feels to dominate someone, and what it gives him personally. His voice is so soothing, completely seductive and alluring… and when he murmurs, “‘When I’m your coach or your Dom, you’ll still call me Mikhail… but like this, call me Misha.’” (oh damn, that’s hot).

The part of Misha’s story that really resonates with me is the depth of his appreciation of Ryan’s submission. Prior to Ryan his relationships with submissives were all about the challenge, bratty subs testing limits. Misha finds complete fulfillment in giving Ryan what he needs, and the way he describes Ryan’s responses are simply breathtaking.

The alternating points of view work so well in The Master Will Appear and hearing Ryan’s intimate thoughts as he experiences everything as it happens to him is intense. As he grows to understand what submission does for him, how it makes him feel to please Misha; watching him find his center and get some peace in his life. When he calls it “‘cathartic’”, that’s exactly what it is.

Ryan has his share of deliciously erotic narration, and his descriptions of the S&M scenes are incredible. The running commentary when he’s taking the single-tail for the first time are vivid and intense. Not to mention his emotions as he embraces each sensation and seeks to understand what it does for him. I don’t know what was more erotic, Ryan’s account of his fantasy as it’s happening to him, or Michael Ferraiuolo’s sensual voice as he narrates it. All of it is amazing!

The dynamic between these two men is intense and comes across so well in the audiobook. I could feel their connection changing as the story progresses, in both their D/s relationship, and simply as two men who are falling in love. If you’re in the mood for a steamy, toe-curling BDSM romance, listening to The Master Will Appear narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo is the book for you.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jen Valencia
  • 01-08-2018

My favorite audiobook. EVER! 5+ stars!

After reading The Master Will Appear in May of 2017, it quickly became one of my all-time favorite M/M romances and one of the very best BDSM romances considering I actually didn't skim through the kinkier parts. I dare say that this novel is L.A. Witt at her most brilliant. So, you can imagine how much I was looking forward to listening to the audiobook. While I was already familiar with Witt's writing, Michael Ferraiuolo was a new-to-me narrator going into this, but talk about an introduction that left one hell of a lasting impression! Witt was already a favorite go-to author prior to this title, and Ferraiuolo earned himself a spot on my list of favorite go-to narrators, a spot that's been solidified given that I've read quite a few more audiobooks he lent his voice talents to since listening to this.

Le sigh. This audiobook is in a class all its own. The story may have been familiar, but listening to Michael Ferraiuolo breathe life into L.A. Witt's masterpiece took it to a level I didn't even know existed. What do I mean? Well, I'm a hopeless romantic who also happens to be a hopeful cynic--weird and somewhat ironic, I know--so I try to keep any and all my expectations as realistic as possible. However, this dream team of Witt and Ferraiuolo made me see that it was, indeed, quite possible to have the perfect audiobook. Not all BDSM stories click with me, but this one had that wonderfully fine balance of kink and romance that I want and it was headlined by two of the most mesmerizing main characters I've come across in a really long time. I sat back and allowed the narrator's voice and the author's words sweep me into a tale of love and acceptance, oftrust and self-belief. If I could only suggest one audiobook for a newbie to the format to listen to, The Master Will Appear would be it. Five-plus stars. ♥

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dawn Mayhew
  • 05-08-2018

Wonderful audio, will be buying the book now too!!

I haven't read the book, so this reviews is based on the audio book I listened to. I absolutely loved this story, and Michael Ferraiuolo does a wonderful job of narrating this book, I loved the voice he used for Misha, it was so smooth and very sexy too!!

When Misha and Ryan first meet, it is the total opposite of love, I think they both dislike each other immensely. However, Misha agrees to train Ryan, and then the more time they spend together, it is like they both realise that the other is putting up a front for everyone to see.

Once this barrier is down, the two seem to get along well, and then Misha is showing Ryan a different side that not many people know about.... his dominant side. Ryan has never known anything like this, but you could really tell that Ryan really was a submissive, and this seemed to be the only time that he could relax, and just let everything go that was stressing him.

Misha and Ryan grow closer, but there is one thing that Ryan doesn't believe in, and that is love. You soon find out why this is the reason, and boy will you get the feels for Ryan. He really doesn't seem to know what love means, he only has his very dysfuntional family as a guide.

Is there any way that Misha can break through the barriers that Ryan has erected, and can he prove to Ryan that loves does indeed exist, but not how he knows it? If Misha doesn't get through the barriers, then he will undoubtedly lose the submissive who means to much to him.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lily G Blunt
  • 29-07-2018

Superb story and narration

This is an enthralling age-gap romance between a student and a fencing coach with the added benefit of a BDSM dynamic. It’s a slow burn story with Misha and Ryan getting to know each other and working out their relationship on various levels—as student/teacher, lovers, and Dom/sub.

Misha leads Ryan on a journey of discovery. At first Ryan is arrogant, thinking he knows all about fencing. Misha takes him back to square one and teaches him step-by-step how to improve his stance and his technique. He knows how to treat Ryan to draw the best out of him. He also teaches him more about himself and fulfills his personal, sexual, and submission needs as the story progresses. It’s not a one-way relationship. Misha realizes that Ryan could be the perfect submissive for him. And as both men work through various issues and get to know each other they fall in love. It has a wonderfully written storyline with well-developed characters and plenty of steamy scenes, many with kinky or BDSM elements. I’m glad the story is told via both character’s POV as this gives more insight into the two characters.

Michael is one of my favourite narrators and his performance here is outstanding. He perfectly gauges the emotions required for each scene and I love how he creates distinct and consistent voices for each character. I especially enjoyed Misha’s Russian accent.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amy
  • 05-02-2018

So much love!

Where does The Master Will Appear rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I loved every second of this book. I fell in love with the Ryan and Misha and the way their relationship developed and grew. I know it's a book I will go back to again which is a compliment from me because I rarely visit books twice.

Have you listened to any of Michael Ferraiuolo’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Michael Ferraiuolo's portrayal of the characters was really wonderful and brought the book to life. I have listened to books by him before and he is among my favourite narrators!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • morestrings
  • 30-01-2018

Great Narration but book spoilt by too much sex.<br />

Too many sex scenes. They detract from the credibility of the story. Otherwise an interesting story about BDSM.