Both Ends Of The Whip by Brenda Murphy is a story about accepting who you are, learning the delicate art of giving and receiving love and expressing your sexual desires without shame.

Octavia really wants to be free to explore both sides of her sexual nature—her dominant and submissive sides. She knows she will never be able to fully explore her desires if she remains employed at an elite house of pleasure by the name of Rowan House. Octavia decides to cut ties with her mistress and leave all that she holds dear at Rowan house. She accepts a job opportunity with the hope that she could build a new life in Italy with her lover Bridget.

Vivian is a blast from Octavia’s past and she never thought that she would ever see her again. The passage of time, tragic experiences and heart numbing loss have separated both women. Vivian, Octavia and Bridget bared their souls by sharing the things that would have broken them because they wanted to move on with their lives and enjoy the sizzling intimacy brewing between them. Their budding relationship and their home is being threatened by an unknown arsonist. Who is behind the vicious arson attacks on Vivian’s property? Will their love be able to survive under the weight of an unknown enemy, jealousy, insecurity and fear for their lives?

The Characters

Octavia was a sex worker and stable manager at Rowan House. She moves on to become a stable manager at Vivian’s estate in Italy. She is not ashamed of who she is or the choices she has made and she does not shy away from expressing her desires. I really admire Octavia’s resilience because she endured a horrific event in her childhood and she will do whatever it takes to keep her past from destroying her present and future happiness. Octavia’s vulnerability endeared her to me because she exudes confidence and control but underneath it all she is so emotional and I just feel like giving her a big hug.

Bridget was a cook at Rowan House and she left her position there to have a fresh start in Italy with Octavia. She holds the title of cook/secretary at Vivian’s home. She is a feisty, fun-loving and affectionate woman. I just love Bridget’s single-minded focus— she knows what she wants and she is not afraid to ask for it or go after the one she desires.

Vivian owns a vineyard and a stable in Italy. She has been scarred by past events and she decides to keep everyone at arm’s length. Vivian is the epitome of a dominance and sensuality (I swooned many times while I was reading this story!)

The Writing Style

I just loved the way the author portrayed these complex and amazing women. The BDSM scenes were realistic, passionate and well written coupled with heartwarming aftercare moments. I also enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the Scottish and Italian landscapes.

The Pros

Who could say no to loving a book with gorgeous women who create delicious culinary delights and the lovely women who enjoy these hearty meals? (I happen to love enthralling women and delicious food in equal measure!)

The Cons

I have no complaints because I loved every word of this story.

aprils favourite booksThe Conclusion

This story transported me to a world of exquisite and seductive delights! Don’t try to read this book in a public place because you are going to end up sporting flushed cheeks. Trust me, you’ll want to clear your calendar and set aside a day or a two so that you will have hours upon hours to devour this captivating story. I just love the way these beguiling women portrayed their strengths and weaknesses and I could definitely relate to some of their insecurities. If you enjoy erotic BDSM romances coupled with a few devious characters lurking in the background, then this is certainly the story for you!

Excerpt from Both Ends Of The Whip by Brenda Murphy

“Vivian Abiola—” Martha inclined her head toward Octavia. “This is Octavia Vargas. She’s been my stable manager for the last eight years. I can’t say enough about her skills with horses. I think she would meet your needs.”

Octavia’s face grew warm at Martha’s praise.

“A pleasure to meet you.” Her voice was boarding schools and high tea, underlaid with old family money. She was as tall as Martha, and Octavia had to look up to make eye contact. She shook hands with her. Vivian’s skin was soft, but Octavia appreciated the firm way she took control, her grip confident. The subservient side of her quivered at her touch.

A hint of memory tugged at Octavia. Vivian’s face was familiar. Octavia searched her memories, trying to place her. A former guest? No. Where do I know her from? The circuit? No. Where?

“And this is Bridget Murray. She’s worked as assistant head chef here and comes with Cook’s recommendation.”

Vivian shook hands with Bridget, and Octavia glanced at Bridget, noting the way she lowered her gaze beneath Vivian’s cool appraising gaze. She feels it too.

“Martha has spoken highly of you both. I’m in need of a stable manager and a cook. I will match your salaries here and provide living quarters on the property. I will arrange for the proper work visa and any other immigration paperwork necessary and pay for your relocation expenses and travel to Franciacorta. I don’t expect an answer today but I need one by the end of the week.”

“Why come all the way here to hire us?” Bridget raised her eyebrow. “I’m sure there are stable managers and cooks in Italy.”

“I need staff I can trust.” Vivian looked between them, meeting their gazes in turn.

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Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781948608596
  • Publisher: NineStar Press

Brenda Murphy Online

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About the author

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My name is April Adams and I am an accountant at a civil service office. Even though I read a wide variety of lesbian fiction, I enjoy mystery and thriller books the most because I love the state of suspense the stories have me in until the end and I find out “who’s done it.”