Sum Of The Whole by Brenda MurphySum Of The Whole by Brenda Murphy is the first book in The Rowan House Series. It is also a story about embracing and accepting yourself and your deepest desires as well.

Jaya Pomroy owns a lucrative security company and she is also a highly sought-after mistress. She decides to treat herself to a well-earned vacation at Rowan House even though her last relationship crashed and burned and her life was left in shambles. Jaya’s world is shrouded in darkness and despair until she meets and falls hopelessly in love with Sarah Kerr.

Sarah doesn’t want to become Jaya’s plaything and prized possession. She wants her freedom and she wants to belong to herself first and foremost before she can give herself to anyone else. Sarah refuses to leave Rowan House to live with Jaya and they go their separate ways after an awful argument.

Six years have passed and they meet again. The spark between them still burns brightly but Sarah wants to leave her past behind her. She is still attracted to Jaya so she agrees to start over without the old rules and the power dynamics that Jaya is accustomed to. Even though Jaya is having a hard time with coming to terms with the new rules and roles, she will do everything in her power to protect Sarah from harm. When a former client tries to blackmail Sarah, Jaya puts everything on the line to ensure that Sarah’s reputation remains untarnished.

Will their love be able to thrive in the face of jealous ex-lovers and lethal secrets?

The Characters

Jaya Pomroy runs her own security firm and she is a mistress in her own right. So far, her life has been going from bad to worse because she only has painful memories and endless regrets to keep her company until she meets Sarah. I really wished Jaya was a real woman because she is the kind of mistress I would gladly serve (Sarah is a lucky woman!) Jaya is a force to be reckoned with when she wields her whip but she has a heart of gold because she is always concerned about the well-being of the submissives who serve her.

Sarah Kerr works at Rowan House, one of Skye’s highly rated and first class resorts. Sarah wants more out of life than just serving others so she decides to pour all of her free time and energy into studying because she wants to earn a degree in mathematics. I couldn’t believe how fast Sarah got under my skin! She is so easy to love but she can be infuriating as well because she wants to be independent in every sense of the word. Sarah doesn’t want to lower the walls around her heart and accept help from anyone (I still want to shower her with a lot of hugs!)

The Writing Style

I don’t know how Brenda Murphy does it but she always manages to give me sizzling romance/BDSM stories that would have me rushing to the bathroom to enjoy several cold showers whenever I read one of her tantalizing sex scenes. I loved the way the author structured and described the sensual and elite world of Rowan House because I really felt as though I was seeing and experiencing everything firsthand.

The Pros

Romantic BDSM novels will always own my heart and have my undivided attention (I’m pleased to say that this story certainly claimed both!) Did I forget to mention the fact that I was seriously distracted at work while I was reading this book? I just couldn’t stop thinking about these beguiling women!

The Cons

This story was way too short because I wanted to spend more time in Jaya and Sarah’s world.

aprils favourite booksThe Conclusion

What could be better than reading about two gorgeous, headstrong women who are not ashamed to own their kinky desires? For me, nothing in this world could top that! Even though BDSM is a major theme in this story, it is so much more than that because I got to peek into the hearts and minds of Jaya and Sarah. These awesome women have a lot of emotional baggage coupled with a few heartbreaking situations that have dominated their lives for years. I know that this story will definitely take you on a poignant and erotic rollercoaster ride because I am still feeling the after-effects!

Excerpt from Sum Of The Whole by Brenda Murphy

“Close the door.” Jaya finished slipping the silk robe over her shoulders and pulled it closed.

“I didn’t expect you to be, um, so—” She dropped her voice to a whisper. “Naked.” Sarah’s blush deepened, as her skin reddened from her collarbones to her hairline.

Exquisite. Endearing. Enticing. Jaya gave no quarter, pinning Sarah with her eyes.

“Come here.” Jaya stood in the center of the room. Sarah placed the tray on the nightstand and approached her. She stopped a step away from Jaya with her hands clasped in front of her waist, and lowered her head. Jaya let the robe fall open and stepped closer to her. Clearly forgetting her role, Sarah looked up at Jaya. She slid her hand under Sarah’s hair and cupped the back of her neck.

“You spilled my brandy.” Jaya traced a finger over Sarah’s lips.

“Mistress. Please.” She lowered her head as tears slipped down her cheeks. “I’ve never…”

Jaya trembled, basking in Sarah’s apprehension and desire. She gripped her chin and forced Sarah to look up. She stared into Sarah’s eyes. Ah, there it is, the passion, the want. Jaya held Sarah’s gaze as she quivered under Jaya’s touch. The delicate features that defined Sarah’s face were contorted in a delicious blend of passion and fear.

“You’ve never what? Never carried a tray? You wear a collar. I know you serve. What is it you haven’t done?”

“I’ve trained in the arts, Mistress, but I’ve not been requested to serve anyone before tonight.”

“Is that why your collar tag is zero?” Jaya flicked the tag with her finger.

“No, Mistress. We choose our numbers. I choose zero because it is the nothing that is.”


“I exist as I am because you exist. I exist for you to empty yourself into me. I exist for your desires and your pleasure. I am the nothing that is.” Sarah’s voice was steady.

“A philosopher.” She held Sarah’s gaze. “Do you wish to serve me, Sarah?”

Sarah met Jaya’s gaze, the fear in her eyes replaced by boldness and want. “Yes.”

The earnest tone of her voice sent tendrils of desire curling through Jaya. “Strip.”

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The Rowan House Series

Sum Of The Whole

Both Ends Of The Whip

Knotted Legacy

Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781947139237
  • Publisher: NineStar Press
  • Brenda Murphy Online 

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Note: I received a free review copy of Sum Of The Whole by Brenda Murphy. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site

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.”