n this erotic romance set in a dystopian future, healer Gabriel's attempt to convince slavegirl Mariah to trust him goes too far, endangering his life, his freedom, and his sanity. Mariah can save him from the despair that envelopes him only if she can find the strength to trust herself.
Gabriel, on a mission of mercy, is horrified by what he finds when he arrives in Riviera, a land far from his home. So-called “humans,” bored and decadent, amuse themselves with the senseless torture of their slaves. Yet Gabriel finds unexpected friends. An artist named Animal, who notices everything except Rose, his slavegirl. And Mariah, a slave foisted on Gabriel when he unwittingly prevents her from escaping.
Mariah knows that Master Gabriel’s talk of a different way of life, in which slavery does not exist, is merely the latest and cruelest of the mindgames that humans have inflicted on her for her entire life. She must play along, but actually believing in it would bring disaster to her and to everyone she cares about.
Mindgames is about love, and friendship, and the potential for redemption. It is about how one person can change the world, or be destroyed by it.
Reviewers online call Mindgames “absolutely amazing. The perfect balance of substance and sex and never a dull moment.” “Simply magnificent.” “The writing is spare, clean and sprightly.” The writer “proves that writing is an art form that possesses the ability to transfix and transform the reader to faraway lands.” “I LOVE this story, and I think about it all the time.”
Rose had fallen asleep with her back against Master Animal’s front. When he turned over she woke up. She felt an excitement in the pit of her stomach and groggily tried to remember why. The events of a few hours earlier came back to her in flashes. She remembered Master Animal touching her, and inside her, and the pleasure that had gone on and on.
And then she remembered what he had said. Did he really want to keep her forever? Mariah would say it was a mindgame. She would say Master Animal had raped her.
Had he? He knew she hated buttfucking. She replayed all that he had said, all that he had done, and all that she, her body, more than her body, had done in response. Would he have stopped as he said he would, if she had asked him to? Rose believed he would have. But she doubted that she would have found the courage. She was a slave. How could she refuse any master anything?
Master Animal wasn’t any master, though. She remembered the first time she saw him. He had been standing in front of a canvass, holding a paintbrush, staring out a window. She had been struck by an overwhelming sense of his loneliness. He hadn’t noticed her then, but from the moment he had first spoken to her he had been kind.
She looked over to him. He was so determinedly shaggy. His ragged beard, his untrimmed hair, the paint splatters in unexpected places -- how did he get paint on his stomach? She smiled tenderly. None of it hid from her the sensuous curve of his mouth, the length of his fingers or, now she thought of it, how his fingernails were neatly trimmed, the one part of him that was meticulously groomed. So he wouldn’t scratch me, Rose suddenly understood.
Master Animal turned in his sleep again, now lying on his stomach.
As if of its own accord Rose’s hand reached out and touched his back. He sighed heavily. Rose sat up and gently massaged him, her hands moving slowly lower until they were rubbing his buttocks. The jar of gel he had used on her was still on the bed; she opened it and rubbed some between his ass cheeks. When his breathing didn’t change Rose gently spread his thighs.
She waited. Master Animal’s back rose and fell with his breath. She couldn’t help herself. It was like the first time she had snuck a look at the portrait Master Animal had been painting of her old master and his family. Her heart pounded, but she had to go on.
She dipped her forefinger into the gel. She put her hand on Master Animal’s ass, and pushed her finger in, slowly, slowly, like he had done to her the night before. And pulled it out just as slowly. In her whole life she had never done anything like this. She had never imagined that taking the lead could reawaken her own desire so quickly.
Master Animal turned his head. Rose froze, shocked at what she was doing. But Master Animal looked at her with languid eyes. “If you want, you can keep doing that,” he said casually. He added, “But give me a kiss first.”
Rose lay down next to him, but hesitated. Master Animal parted his lips and Rose gently licked the inside of his mouth, tasting him. She remembered how he had kissed her in the courtyard the night before, and what had come next, and suddenly she was not shy. She felt once more like the girl he had drawn on the horse, strong, powerful.