24/01/2013 by Basia Rose
In a world not unlike our own, Jerna Setiq has a perfect life, a beloved wife and two adored children, with his past desires and needs firmly put behind him. But when he’s falsely accused of child abuse and imprisoned, he’s cast into hell, with no apparent means of redemption, or regaining all that he’s lost. In the most unlikely of places, in the most unpromising of circumstances, fate offers Jerna his second chance and a path to freedom. With the cruelly fascinating Tolomy, a dominant in need of education and a patient submissive, Jerna dares to satisfy the long denied passions of his dual nature – but will he risk losing what has become so dear to him, all over again? Remastering Jerna is a complex, erotic story of redemption, love, and the contract of trust in a relationship of control and submission.
This is a story I’d been planning to read for some time, but for whatever reason hadn’t done so yet. So when the author offered me a review copy I was more than happy to accept it.
I finished Remastering Jerna a few days ago and have been trying to figure out my thoughts. The only explanation I can come up with to describe the way I feel about this book is to say that – in every way – it was so much more than I hoped it would be.
From the anger the story evokes at the beginning, to the interesting explorations of sexuality, to the excellent BDSM, to the surprisingly touching relationship later in the book, there was a lot to take in.
You can always tell a book is good if you’ve bookmarked sections to go back to as soon as you’ve finished. I stayed up reading Remastering Jerna until the early hours of the morning, and then got up the next day and reread my favourite parts.
I’ve heard people call this book heartbreaking, emotional, moving, and many other things to that effect, and I found all those descriptions to be correct. The injustices done to the narrator – Jerna – at various times in the book are horrific, and you’ll find yourself turning the pages fast to see how justice will be done. The society the story is set in is both refined and awful, and very well thought-out. The world within the world – what is essentially a high end brothel where Jerna finds himself stationed – was a place I could have read a lot more about.
There’s a point where Jerna makes his one true mistake, which sets into motion both a breakdown and also the groundwork for an unlikely relationship. The raw emotion through this part was something not many authors are able to capture. I wanted to reach into the book, get hold of Jerna myself, and hug him or something. It is a part of the book I have found myself going back to more than once.
The BDSM is just one part of the story, and yet I really liked the way it was handled. Things weren’t miraculous and perfect from the start, and the author took the time to show us how a person with good intentions can get their motives mixed up and cross the line from power play into abuse. Watching someone learn how and why things went so wrong, and then put everything into changing their ways, was a side of BDSM you don’t come across often in books.
The cast of characters in Remastering Jerna is large, and yet I came to like, loathe or respect them for their individuality. There’re too many to mention, but the secondary characters in this story are as much a reason to like the book as the more prominent characters are.
Unlike many M/M stories, the author shows respect to women, and a character’s gender in this one is definitely not the deciding factor for their goodness or lack thereof. There’re strong, influential characters of every gender and orientation here.
Recommended for fans of M/M, BDSM, erotica, erotic romance… most people, when it comes down to it!