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My Control (Inside Out Series) Kindle Edition
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Beginning with "The Master Undone," then continuing on with "My Hunger," and now, "My Control," each Mark Compton novella is slowly leading us on a journey certain to expose the real man--the man who, for years, has been hiding behind the dominant persona that is Mark Compton.
"My Control" is a prelude to Mark's real story... a prelude to the full-length novel, "I Belong To You." It's a story that will (hopefully) reveal the past that Mark's so determined to run from--a past that keeps him in control at all times... that keeps other people at arms' length... that kept him from truly loving Rebecca.
Riddled with guilt over Rebecca's death, and tormented by his mother's illness, Mark is living each day in his own personal hell. It's hard not to feel sympathy towards Mark, since he seems truly repentant over his actions with Rebecca. He doubts himself and his actions. He questions every aspect of their relationship.
With the beach search and new evidence discovered, Mark gives into the pain and allows himself to grieve Rebecca's loss. The realization that Rebecca is lost to him forever--that she died never knowing how he really felt about her... that he'll never have the chance to tell her that he loved her--further fuels Mark's sorrow. The subsequent guilt he feels is all consuming. Rebecca returned to San Francisco because of him. His actions were the catalyst to her death. In the end, when she needed him the most, he wasn't there to protect her.
"I told her love was a façade. I told her it's a cruel destructive monster that will destroy you. And it did. She loved me and I destroyed her. Why the **** did I let her fall in love?"
As "My Control" unfolds, we see Mark confront Ryan, certain that he is somehow involved in Rebecca's death. While Ryan denies any involvement, Mark is resolute in his decision to destroy Ryan. We watch as Mark struggles to push Crystal away, despite his confusing need to keep her close.
Crystal, like Rebecca, sees past Mark's façade. She sees the softer, gentler, caring side of Mark. Despite her own guilt of being with Mark when Rebecca should be the one by his side, Crystal refuses to watch him self-destruct. She's certain that Rebecca wouldn't want Mark to be left alone to drown in a sea of guilt. Rebecca loved him too much to want that for him. The diary entry Crystal inadvertently read was proof of that. Not only did that entry give her insight into Rebecca, but it gave her some much needed insight into Mark. Mark made Rebecca feel vulnerable when HE felt vulnerable. Mark repeatedly pushed Rebecca away in order to maintain distance... and that's exactly what he was doing with her.
By the end of "My Control," Ava has escaped, and Mark is hell-bent on getting Crystal out of town--to keep her safe (like he should have done for Rebecca). But Mark also has a new plan... a new resolve. He's going to take back control and make Crystal an offer that is certain to infuriate her and push her away for good. Knowing Crystal, however, she's sure to push back. Crystal isn't easily intimidated--especially not by Mark Compton!
Throughout the 3 novella's, the reader has been given clues as to Mark's mysterious past, and I, for one, am eager for those answers. I'm anxiously waiting to get my hands on the next installment of Mark's story--to FINALLY discover the truth!! I CAN. NOT. WAIT.
The control that defines the man Mark is continues to elude him, for every step that he takes to regain it news is brought to his attention and he falls backwards finding a strange comfort in the arms of a woman who is no submissive. Rebecca’s love put the cracks in his armor; she awakened something dormant inside of him. Crystal sees into the man hidden beneath and if he doesn’t regain control she is liable to shatter the last of his defenses. The master is deeply tormented by grief and guilt, regret at the things he didn’t do and for those he should have done differently. His failure as a master hurt a woman that he now knows he loved and he can’t make it right. This is a man that needs to come to terms with many things about the life he has led, his epiphanies are just beginning.
Crystal sees in Mark a kindred spirit. She understands at a primal level what he is going through and he questions her on this: “...sometimes what someone is going through speaks to you on a level you can’t ignore. And because of that, people who’re completely wrong for each other are completely right in a certain moment in time. Like us right now.” Her answer leaves us to wonder what lies beneath her armor for to empathize at such a depth you have to have walked a similar path. Crystal allows Mark the freedom to be a man he has not seen in years, not the master who failed at protecting his submissive and that is what he now needs yet he fights it to prevent a repetition of the recent past and keep her out of danger as events continue to unfold, the master will do what needs to be done.
Having both points of view was wonderful, allowing us in to feel the depths of Mark’s pains and to for the first time give us insight as to what drives Crystal to take the risk she is taking with her heart to help this man she sees as broken. I am so looking forward to what happens next for these two and of what is in their pasts to make them the way that they are. Will their connection born of tragedy survive? As always this series does not disappoint me, each sexy suspenseful installment just whets my appetite for more.
ARC supplied by the publisher via NetGalley.
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