Title: To Command and Collar
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Publisher/Year: Loose Id LLC 11/29/11
Series: Masters of the Shadowlands #6
Determined to find the human traffickers preying on Shadowlands’ submissives, Master Raoul gets himself invited to a small slave auction. Once informed, the FBI orders him to reject the limited choices so the slavers will invite him to the big auction. To Raoul’s shock, one of the slaves is the kidnapped friend of a Shadowlands sub. She has a scarred body…and an unbroken spirit. He can’t leave her behind. Ruining the FBI’s carefully laid plans, he buys her.
Kimberly’s freedom has come at a devastating price: the other women are still slaves. An FBI raid is their only hope for rescue. Desperate to help the Feds locate the big auction, she agrees to pose as Master Raoul’s slave. Wearing a collar again is terrifying, but under the powerful dominant’s care, Kim starts to heal and then to blossom. This is what she’s been drawn to-and fled from-her entire life.
She escaped the slavers who captured her body-can she escape the master who’s captured her heart?
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: anal play, BDSM theme and elements (including/not limited to: bondage, fire play, flogging), violence.
i have to say that i’m THRILLED with where this story started off just because of the sadness that i felt at the end of Make Me, Sir. Although i was really relieved that both Gabi and Jessica were ok, and that Jess/Z were ok, Dan/Kari were in their own happy place and Beth/Nolan were as well, i had hoped that they would get to Kim. I figured that not all things could end on an happy note, but i still hoped.
so when we find ourselves with Master Raoul – and he’s working with the FBI to get into the ring – that’s the best thing that we could hope for.
Let’s back up a second though to talk about something here though. From all the Masters that we’ve spent time with so far, none of them have really been overly sadistic – none like to inflict pain to an excess and none were really interested in much more than a dom/sub relationship in the club and maybe a little bit more. that’s clearly not the school of BDSM that Raoul was from though. his past included multiple relationships where he collared a sub and had a full time slave. it worked for him, and although he not a mean and hurtful master, he’s still the type to have a full time 24/7 slave. I wasn’t sure how i was going to take to this, but i figured that i’d give him the benefit of the doubt.
Being a slave ‘owner’ in the past though was just the in that Raoul needed to get his in with The Harvest Association better known as the kidnapper organization. because of his reputation, he’s working with the FBI to infiltrate and see how he can help bring them down. all the while in the back of his mind he has the picture / image of Kim – Marcus’ sub Gabi’s best friend to think about and hope that maybe he’ll be able to find her or do what he can to ensure that doesn’t happen to others again.
Raoul finds himself at a private sale pre-auction type thing for ‘slightly damaged goods’. this actually made me sick to think that not only did these men kidnap women, but they abused them so badly that they were not considered used and damaged. being sold at a ‘discount’ i think the phrase was a one point. i can’t quite understand how it’s possible for on human to think of another like that but that is certainly intentional so you get the emotional build up that the author is looking for.
Lucky for Kim, Raoul recognizes Kim at the pre-sale and buys her and brings her home with him. This has major implications though to what he’ll be able to do moving forward in the investigation. He may have hurt his chances of getting into the bigger auction to help the ‘feebies’, and has to think about Plan B and C (B being that instead of being a buyer at the big auction he has to do a demonstration, C being that he brings in another guy – Sam who would fit right in with what the FBI’s need of a buyer) He manages to get her to realize that he’s one of the good guys by getting Gabi to his house as soon as he can. We see that Kim has major trust issues as can be expected based on what she’s been through but she’s made of tougher stuff than even anyone can imagine. She learns that in order to bring down the operation and to save her friends (or at least try) she has to ‘submit’ and become a slave to Raoul. I don’t think a better master could have been set for her since he’s incredibly patient, and understanding. He’s damaged from what his past relationships have done to him and his lack of relationship with his family – so he really knows how to treat Kim with kid gloves. We works hard to make her stronger mentally and physically because that’s what she needs to heal and because he just doesn’t know what the future is going to bring.
It’s really great to see how the trust aspect of their relationship is built up through the story and how their dependency is on one another. Raoul spends his time getting Kim stronger while falling for her more and more. Kim realizes that she CAN trust someone again and begins to realize that she can’t live without her ‘master’.
Just as Raoul suspects, things aren’t what they seem, and a wrench is thrown into things. Nothing is ever easy, Kim’s healing is almost derailed because of the Harvest Association, and Raoul finds that his past keeps haunting him. There’s also a bit of sinister-ness popping up in the latter third of the book just to keep us on edge and wonder what WILL happen.
This story also brings us a bit more information around Master Sam which is nice. We’ve seen hints of him through some of the other stories, but we don’t know too much. Here we learn that he’s got a bit of a darker side than the masters that we’ve come to love so much. he actually likes pain and considers himself a sadist. This is perfect for the slave auction but I wonder how that will work out for him…and us. I’m not one for the pain aspect of BDSM. the spanking/flogging stuff doesn’t bother me, but the bull whips and the welts, blood, and ‘stripes’ – that actually does make me cringe.
With this story like all the others, just when you’re comfortable with how things are developing and going, it makes a 180 and things go up in smoke. this story doesn’t fail and really keeps you on edge. Cherise Sinclair reminds us again that all her female characters are incredibly strong and resilient and that the men have redeeming qualities even past their amazingly good looks.
so now…we have to wait. i believe book 7 is in the works and not yet finished so i’m tracking another series to bide my time.