WHAT was that ending, though? This pattern of cliff hanging is starting to get on my last nerve. Anyway to sum up The Mistress: it was glaringly obvious. 98%of the events were glaringly obvious plot developments. I also felt a big part of it was a message for the haters. There is a lot of dialogue given through the tool of storytelling within the story (rehashing the past), but I really just felt like I was being given a lecture on kink, consent, and Sadomasochism. It was like Ms. Reisz wanted to prove a point, and force people by telling them w/character dialogue to accept that the difficult and unconventional things happening between her characters, and within their world, are totally not scary, and is what they want/need. I'm not arguing that fact in relation to the characters and their choices regarding sex and their kinky lifestyle. I just feel like the book suffered because of the lack of subtlety in trying to deliver those messages of consent and how their kinky lifestyles work through revisiting the past by telling a story. In fact, that is one of my biggest criticisms across the board: The Mistress lacks any subtlety. So much so, it came across forced and often felt a bit contrived, to me. Besides being centered around the utter disappointment in what could have been an intriguing and disturbing, but turned out instead to be a flat and one-dimensional, villain, the book was also one giant orgy and a melting pot of love. I need a flow chart to keep a track of the polyamourous connections happening this round. I like poly love, I just appreciate mine in smaller doses. The world I'm being exposed to more and more as new books in the series come out is beginning to become a bit too much for me. There is no fidelity to be found in this world, it seems. Which is fine, it's just not really what I'm into when it's presented to me on this wide a scale.For me, this was better than The Prince, but not better than The Angel, nor The Siren. I have a lot of notes that should help me to write a more coherent review. The question, however, is whether or not I feel like exerting the effort to do so. I just feel like the writing has been going stale. Speaking of writing, I'm seeing a pattern in TR's for this series: each book has some sort of overused phrase or idea. In this effort, the most overused phrase is "My God!" Every character says it, and repeatedly, although they've never said it at all, or as much, in previous books. It also takes away, I think, from them having their own individuality as characters. I mean it's not like they are all from the same place. Why should they all sound the same? Second, the overused idea is Nora's bitterness and resentment at having to water a dead stick for months way back when Soren first started training her. I feel like I was beat over the head with this dead stick of an idea for as many times as it was bought up in the book. Jeebus, WHO CARES?!In the end, this is what my critique of the Mistress encompasses: poor and faulty plot structure, excessive obviousness and repetition, one-dimensional antagonists, lack of character identity, and the most offensive of all issues: character assassination. The out-of-character occurrences and behaviors for the main cast was ire inducing. A good friend reflected that TR turned just about everyone into Nora. I don't think she's wrong drawing that conclusion. While there were a few interesting moments of story development and humor (like three), it was far to few to make up for the poorly executed parts of the book. My opinion of course is not a popular one, so if you're willing to look beyond what I've said in this review, more power to you. This is exactly what you want to read.