"Even sadists had to hurt sometimes."Sam is a dominant and a sadist:Linda is a submissive and a masochist:Match made in heaven, right? But the way these two met was less than perfect. Sam helps to rescue Linda from a slavers ship, but in order to do that he had to act like a buyer. In essence, he had to gain her trust in the middle of one of the most degrading and terrifying experiences of Linda's life. And in doing so, he forced her to see her masochistic side while tied up and vulnerable to the other slavers and slaves around her. This was not conducive to a great relationship starter.When this book opens, Linda is on the witness stand testifying against the slaver who whipped her young friend to death on that same sex slave ship. And Sam has come to show his support to the little redhead that he hasn't been able to forget about.Linda knows that Sam likely saved her life, and the lives of all of the other women. But she can't deal with the pressure from her experiences. Nor can she accept the fact that pain is a release for her...she craves it's oblivion, and she craves Master Sam. "...this man read her as accurately as if he had an instruction manual titled "How to Understand Linda."So this book is all about the dance between these two, but also about Linda's mental aftermath of a horrifying experience, and the sadist who is also quite the gentle spirit. That's right...the Master Sam that we met and were terrified of in previous Shadowlands books has a soft spot for this middle aged redhead subbie. These two keep gravitating toward each other, fulfilling a need though they both fight it pretty hard."Submissives do not get what they want. They get what they need."Now, I do agree with other reviews that say that Sam the sadist is a little fluffier than one would expect. To be honest, it was just right for me. Not too much to make me want to close my eyes (which is not conducive to reading) but just enough to make me squeeze my butt cheeks and flinch a lot. Masochist, I am not!!! This part of the story was not titillating for me, but it is fascinating. If there were one thing I wish this author did better here, it would be to get me inside the heads of not Linda and Sam, but a masochist and a sadist. I don't understand the mindset...is it just a fun and games thing? Or is this some deeper seated psychological thing, like the M/s scenario in the last book? I may have to read another book like this to gather more info, but even after this book, I'm a little scared.In all, we get quite a bit of the other Masters and subs and the Shadowlands. I love the friendships made, and I love how all the girls are just a little bit scared of the Masters..."I'm Nolan Saw you at the club." He stood with Sam's quiet patience. His face even held the same "panic if you need to, I'll wait" expression..."I was quite satisfied with Sam and Linda's story, and it seems as if they might actually lead the most vanilla lifestyle of all of the Shadowlands couples...church on Sundays, family dinners with their kids, working at the ranch, canings at night, clamps (of all varieties) in the morning...Can't beat that!