A self-reliant Westerner chances to meet an intriguing stranger whom she perceives as radiating an aura of danger. Seduced into becoming the mistress of Julian Rakoczy, Mercedes discovers that he intuitively divines her need for the added stimulation which pain inflicted by an expert master confers. Sensing that her lover understands her as no one ever has, cognizant that this sometimes cruel partner reaches depths in her nature hitherto never plumbed, this natural hedonist learns to place an astonishing degree of trust in a man who relentlessly increases the demands he makes while raising her to unprecedented heights of pleasure.
Caught in a dilemma, Julian succumbs to an irresistible urge to bring Mercedes as his guest when he attends the yearly gathering of fellow members of the Order of the Black Lily. Well aware that his cherished companion lacks the training which he knows he ought to have conducted during a rigorous initiation period, he gambles that Mercedes' craving for the pain he inflicts, combined with his conducting an abbreviated introduction to the erotic arts practiced by members of the Order, will suffice to prevent his suffering the disgrace that would ensue should she rebel in the presence of his peers.
Exposed to a culture radically different from her own, Mercedes adapts with remarkable readiness, even as she battles fears arising from her ignorance of Julian's past. As the week progresses, the woman voluntarily offering herself more and more fully to the master handling a sturdily independent-minded novice with delicate care and surpassing skill, achieves a relationship with her lover that proves to be unique in the annals of the Order.
This report prepared by Alexandra Adams