Review : This is Who I Am (Masters of the Shadowlands #7) by Cherise Sinclair

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Title:  This is Who I Am
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Publisher/Year:  Loose Id LLC 5/28/12
Length:  298 pages
Series: Masters of the Shadowlands #7

Overview

When trying to save a woman from slavers, Sam screwed up. Royally. Now Linda wants nothing to do with him. Or with BDSM. She won’t even admit she’s a masochist. As a dominant and sadist, he can give her what she needs, and when an opportunity arises, he slips into her life, intending to make amends. She’s everything he knew she would be…except for her bullheaded determination to be ‘normal’.

Now the horrible time is past, Linda just wants to return to her small conservative town, pick up her quiet life, and be normal. But how can someone who likes pain be ‘normal’? To her dismay, when someone spray-paints her home with obscenities, Sam shows up to rescue her. Again. Doesn’t he understand that the last thing she needs in her life is a sadist? He’s amused by her objections. But his dry sense of humor doesn’t disguise that he’s tough as nails and dominant and stubborn. He’s not going to let her drive him off this time. All too soon, she realizes she wants him to stay.

When he takes her to the Shadowlands, she finds a new home…until she hears a voice from out of her nightmares.

My Thoughts

It seemed like a pretty long wait for me to finally be able to get my hands on this next installment in the series, and it almost made me forget about where things were left off.  So, as a refresher,  in the last story, we encountered the Harvest Association which is an organization that kidnaps women who are involved in the BDSM lifestyle and enslaves them to be tortured and sold.   A few of the women that we’ve come to love in past books (Kim especially) was kidnapped and Jessica and Beth were being scoped out by the association to be kidnapped as well.

We met Linda back in the previous story when Sam came in to help the FBI arrest the Overseer and slavers, and Kim had gotten Sam to protect her and free her.  At the beginning of this book 7, Linda is testifying against the overseer and the organization in the hopes that it’ll stop what’s going on.  She’s somewhat successful since the overseer is put into jail and the organization is shut down in the South Florida area.

Where that takes us next?  Linda is trying to get back to life, however the rumors of her interests in the BDSM lifestyle and what hse’s into comes to the forefront because her small town isn’t so accepting and one of the guys that she had dated who was too ‘vanilla’ for her doesn’t take rejection well and happens to be a reporter for the local newspaper and wants to paint her in a horrible light.

This is when Sam comes in to try to help.  I acknowledges that there’s a strong connection between them and wants to protect her.  This is how their relationship grows – Sam who’s a Sadist shows Linda that her need for pain isn’t wrong and that he can show her how ‘Right’ it is! they get hot and steamy in a way that the other masters stories never did.

This is where i have to commend Cherise Sinclair.  I don’t know how she does it, but each time we read a new master’s story, we get a completely different POV on the lifestyle and what their kink is.  it’s never dull and it’s never the same and i can say that i have an even deeper appreciation for all things BDSM.  We not only get some incredibly hot scenes here, we get a strong emotional connection which is something that doesn’t always appear to be the case in books like this.  We’re rooting for things to work out between Sam and Linda and know that it can’t be easy.

The other great thing here is that throughout the story, there’s an underlying threat that the association may not be gone completely and there’s a Spotter in the club that recognizes Linda and wants to figure out a way to get his hands on her again, while trying to satiate his ugly need for raping and killing women in the lifestyle (or if not submissive, then prostitutes).  So while we’re holding our breath to see how long it’ll take for Sam and Linda to come to terms with their needs, we also worry about what’s going to happen to Linda, and who the Spotter is and what will happen there.

So, all in all, quite enjoyable and a good read.  I can’t wait until the next installment comes out since i think that we’ll get the stories of the FBI agents (which should be hot since they are a duo and seems like they like to do things together).  i would also love to get a sense of Master Anne’s story too so i’m looking forward to that one too.

Review: Doms of Dark Haven 2 – Western Night

Similar to the first short story compilation, this set brings us to Dark Haven on another themed night – this time it’s Western night.  3 authors bring us back into the BDSM world within the club where we are introduced to yet another group of Doms.

A Good Sub Would… By Sierra Cartwright is the first short story in the series.  She introduces us to Masters David and Trevor while they are at Dark Haven for a charity poker game.  The dynamic between these 2 is very tense- they have a short history of Master Trevor stealing David’s subs….although i’m not quite sure how one can ‘steal’ a sub.  So this evening, Master David has Shelby with him, his ‘sometimes sub’ – as she is a long time friend and sometimes sub when she’s in town.  Their relationship is a relatively casual one but it works for them.  The challenge between these 2 is that Shelby sometimes tops from the bottom (a phrase that i’ve learned reading these types of stories) – she may be the sub, but she usually gives the direction to Master David in scenes.  Master Trevor on the other side though is one of the most domineering Doms that Dark Haven has known.  He’s got a reputation of expecting perfection from his subs, he dominates completely and punishes strongly when he’s not obeyed to the letter.

During the Poker game, some how Shelby is put up as a prize if the hand is lost by Master David, and some how that happens…..meaning that Shelby is in for the shock of her life.  She’s going from the safety of a dom that she’s known and knows what to expect to that of Master Trevor – 100% the unexpected yet that’s highly arousing

I enjoyed this story by Sierra much more than i did her story from Doms of Dark Haven (1) – i feel like there was much better development of the relationship between Shelby and the doms.  what i also REALLY ENJOYED was that Destiny was brought into this story as more than just a receptionist type character.  We see that she’s strong, caring and clearly very aware of everything that goes on in the club and around her.  i hope that one of the next stories that we read has her as a main character.

Hunting Holly by Belinda McBride is the 2nd story that we check into in the compilation and true to what we saw in Doms of Dark Haven 1, we’re revisiting the wolf pack.  Instead of meeting up with Harte’s pack, we’re back with the wolves from Chase’s crew – as they are summoned to Dark Haven by Master Xavier.  There seems to be something amiss that the Xavier seems to think that the wolves can help with and upon arrival, they find another young boy – similar to the one that we encountered in Doms of DH1 – and the wolves claim him since they know that he was ‘delivered’ by the Abraxas.  backing up a bit – once the wolves get to the club and learn that they are there for ‘someone’ – 2 wonder if it’s one of their own – a female (holly) that had run away from the pack a year ago.  Xavier confirms that it’s not a female and both Hunter and Tex seem a bit deflated since they were both hoping that they’d find her.

After claiming the boy, the wolves turn to leave when they get the sense that another one of their own species is in the club and while 2 leave with the boy, Hunter and Tex tune into the scent to figure out who it is.  That’s when they discover that in fact it IS Holly and that she’s there – and they go on the hunt to find her, and then stake their claim.

What i found in this story though, is that even though they are in a BDSM club, there really isn’t much of that at the forefront of the story.  Hunter is clueless in anything sexual since he’s quite the virigin, and although Tex has been at the club before and is comfortable with the environment (he has his own bag of toys) – he’s really not a commanding dom.  at least not compared to all those other doms that we’ve met at Dark Haven.  The little love triangle that kind of develops is really anti-climactic since it seems very PG to me.

what i did like though is that Destiny again takes a role in this story – she’s always watching out for what’s going on and Holly even gets a little sense from her that something’s up but she can’t put her finger on it and doesn’t give it another thought.  I hope that sometime soon we get to see more of a story about her.

Welcome to the Darkside  by Cherise Sinclair again reminds me of the reason to keep her as a fav and to read any collection that includes her since she truly is a good author.  This story is written in the same tone as all others, and ocntinues along with characters that we’ve met and enjoyed in previous books.  In this story, we re-meet Virgil who is Kallie’s cousin (from Master of the Abyss- Mountain Masters series). …and he’s not quite sure if BDSM is for him since he know how much he didn’t care for the lifestyle in the series.  He never looked favorably upon the reputation that it had from Logan/Jake in the series.  So here we are, finding Virgil at Dark Haven one night because he’s trying to determine if he’s a ‘pervert’ as he likes to call himself or if he’s just into a bit of kink and can put it on the back burner.

That same night we are re-introduced to Summer whom we met in Doms of Dark Haven 1 – when Rona was first involved with Simon and discovers Summer with a BAD DOM (Dirk) who isn’t respecting the use of a safe word.  So, because of that, Summer’s a bit gun shy around doms, yet she knows that she’s a submissive through and through.  Simon knows what Summer needs, and also knows a bit about Virgil, so it’s an easy pairing in his mind to put the two of them together.

So this story continues on that path, developing that relationship so much better than the other authors in the collection did with their pairings and that make the story so much richer and deeper.  Cherise doesn’t shy away from kink or dirty/rough sex scenes which is also nice compared to some of the more vanilla tones that we saw in the previous stories.

the question just becomes – what will Virgil decide about the BDSM lifestyle and how it works or doens’t work with his life as a cop in a small town.  Will Summer be ok in another relationship or has Dirk ruined her forever?  I have to give this story a 4 out of 5 stars because it was great – just not long enough to get any of that anticipation and anxiety that i do so love.

Again, these collections have something for everyone who’s into BDSM, Erotica, paranormal, and fantasy.  check it out!

Review: Doms of Dark Haven

Since I love all things Cherise Sinclair i felt that i owed it to myself to read this supplement to the Mountain Masters series.  This one comes with the good and the less good (can’t quite make myself say bad at least).

so…The Doms of Dark Haven is a series of 3 short stories that surround a few of the doms of the illustrious Dark Haven BDSM club on Victorian Night.  Each of these 3 stories are written by another author yet, they all seem to be occurring at the same time.  (meaning that there are small references to the other stories in each of the subsequent ones

The first story is by Sierra Cartwright  called Met Her Match where we are introduced to Torin Carter – a special agent (i guess) who works for Hawkeye which is a private body guard type firm.  Since we’re meeting him as he’s storming into the club, NOT in Victorian attire, we can guess that something’s bothering him quite significantly and my guess would be a woman.  which….leads us to Mira who is strapped to a spanking bench being ‘played with’ by another dom.  i should note that she is his Partner – at Hawkeye, and is the same woman that crawled naked into his bed last night in the hopes of enticing some reaction that would lead to sex.  didn’t work…but that’s not where their story ends.

So Torin finds Mira, manages to ‘convince’ her admit to Xavier (the club owner) that she’s ‘with’ Torin, and the night’s entertainment ensues.  As we’ve come to expect in stories like this, especially with doms that we’ve been introduced to at Dark Haven is that they are very experienced and skilled and are quite able to get women to do what they want.  Torin though, as much as he wants to go down that path, he also doesn’t want it to compromise their working relationship. The night continues with Mira being ‘educated’ by Torin in all things BDSM, and as a result, they have to figure out the boundaries of what they are doing.  The story goes thorugh a few ups and downs, and then of course the last 1/3 of the books has the expected bit of anxiety and excitement which leads to some unexpected places.

The next story Educating Evangeline is by Belinda McBride takes us back to the club although it takes on a slightly different twist.  i feel like it’s a bit BDSM and a bit TWILIGHT, but that’s not me judging (since i actually like twilight).  we meet Eva as she’s trying to blend into the crowd and make her way into Dark Haven in the hopes of escaping a few guys that are following her.  This is where we meet Harte, who comes to her rescue in a sense.  he steadies her when she’s frightened in the club, and takes her away from some of the craziness to understand what’s going with her.  this is where she finds out that she’s got more in common with him than either expected – they are both of the super-natural.  Harte knows who is after Eva and he and his friends take it upon themselves to help protect her all the while, he gets to entertain himself with Eva – whom he finds incredibly attractive.  He’s so drawn to her that he’s pleased that he gets to introduce her to all things BDSM.  The path that this story takes is one that brings us further into the supernatural, which i’m not quite sure why it was needed, but it happens, and then there’s power struggles, and anxiety.  you really don’t know how things will end on this one…

The third and final story is Simon Say: Mine by Cherise Sinclair and was the story that i was waiting for since she really is one of my favorites.  Cherise reintroduces us to Simon who is a master that we’ve met before and whom exudes power and sensuality on a night where he’s giving a demonstration that Rona is able to catch a piece of.  She’s one of the more mature females that we’ve met and we get a deeper insight into her than we’ve seen from a lot of other subs.  Rona has her apprehensions about men and that’s because she was in an unfulfilling marriage.  So Simon comes in and he’s kind of had a taste of that in his life and knows what he wants – someone that’s more able to keep up with him.  In any event, What Simon offers, Rona’s heart wants to accept and her head DOES NOT, yet often her body wins…so that takes us on a bit of a roller coaster with these 2.

In this story, we are reintroduced to a few of the Mountain Masters folks, Logan, Rebecca and Jake which is really pleasing.  I missed those guys.  We also get to see Rona taken from the comforts of Dark Haven to a house party and even out and around a bit.  The relationship development here is a bit deeper than we’ve seen from a few other short stories, and i think that if you’re accustomed to all things Cherise Sinclair, you’re enjoy this as well.

all in all, i’d say this collection is a 3 out of 5 stars, or 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Review: The Dom’s Dungeon by Cherise Sinclair

Cherise Sinclair has become one of my favorite writers over the past few weeks. She has 2 series, Masters of the Shadowlands and Mountain Masters that i really enjoy so it was a natural progression for me to search out other stories by her. The Dom’s Dungeon certainly didn’t fall short of my expectations.

The Plot: We meet our leading lady MacKensie (or Mac as she often refers to herself when she’s trying to internalize) as she’s making her way to her vacation home exchange in Seattle. she’s from a small town in Iowa (of course she’s a small towner) and she’s trying to make a fresh start of things in Seattle. Mac finds herself at quite the upper crust example of a home – the man she’s exchanged homes with is wealthy and is among Seattle’s elite, and she was fortunate enough to come upon this trade because she’s a vet and the home owner wanted to make sure that the person who was in his home would care for his dog Butler just as he would.

That takes us to the home owner – Alex who is our typical Dom which to be honest, even thought Cherise’s doms are predictable i really enjoy them. He’s what we expect – handsome, wealthy, warm heart -not quite in the mindset to have a lasting romantic relationship but really enjoys a stable dom/sub one if he can find it.

So the way that these 2 actually meet in person is completely unexpected. of course with a home exchange, they aren’t really supposed to cross paths, but due to an array of unfortunate circumstances for Alex, he finds himself missing his flight to Iowa, and returns home, to find Mac having gotten into his locked dungeon and checking out what’s going on there.

So of course, we know that Mac is a small towner and can assume that she’s quite the innocent and naive of all things BDSM. Suffice it to say, as much as that appears to be the case somewhat – she’s had a troubled past and that’s kind of shaped her experiences and lifestyle both in her personality as well as her perception of men and how she chooses to interact with them. Basically, she’s a bit gun shy with them these days.

This is where it’s a great opportunity for a dom to come in and take over and that’s what Alex strives to do. He finds that there’s quite a bit of digging that he needs to do to figure out the back story on Mac while she’s trying to get her fresh start and then to see if there’s value in pursuing her and possibility there.

All in all, i’d give this story 4 of 5 stars. It was good – a nice and easy read – decent character development, however you don’t get too into Alex’s background to understand how he is why he is. we learn more about Mac, but it didn’t take away from the story too much. The downfall that i saw in this story that’s a-typical from other Cherise Sinclair books is that there wasn’t quite as much anxiety in the back third of the book – but i guess not EVERY story can have that right?

Poll: Next Cherise Sinclair book to read….

Poll: Masters of the Shadowlands Series

While I’m finishing up another book (in the hopes of completion tonight), i wanted to get your thoughts on who your favorites were from the Masters of the Shadowlands series.  I know who mine is (Z) but what about you guys?

My Liege of Dark Haven (Mountain Masters #3) by Cherise Sinclair

This third installment in the series brings together some of those very things that we love in a romance – passion, mis-trust, mis-guided confidences, anxiety, sarcasm/humor and high intelligence.  It’s that balance between passion, intelligence, and sassiness that i have found the author to have really honed the skill at.

Xavier is the owner of Dark Havena BDSM club in San Francisco that we were introduced to in earlier stories in the series.  I don’t believe we’ve met him before so that was a nice twist.  He’s got all the traits that we’ve come to expect from our brooding males – a sexuality that rolls off his body and makes every woman (and some men) cower around him and wish to do his bidding just for some attention.  He’s clearly VERY intelligent which is really nice to see – and his past has onlly shaped him.  Cherise Sinclair even managed to give him a profession outside the club that falls in line with the ‘giving back to community’ that she did with Master Z in the Shadowlands series.

Abby finds herself ag Dark Haven because of a few different circumstances.  Her boyfriend breaks up with her because she’s just too vanilla for him, and he’s been part of the BDSM lifestyle for a while – actually being a member of Dark Haven himself.  She also has concerns about her job as a professor – knowing that they are doing lay-offs and that she needs to get published ASAP in order to try to keep her job.  so all that together puts quite the innocent into the club – into a world that she doesn’t know was made for her.

So we’re drawn into the introduction of Abby to the world of BDSM where she doesn’t know the protocol and doesn’t quite grasp what needs to be done to be proper.  She is more focused on trying to understand what’s going on for the members around her, what makes the lifestyle click and even what the similarities are among other communities and things of that sort.  She’s so interested in trying to write her paper that she almost misses what’s right in front of her face and is quite possibly the best thing that could have happened for her.

we have another main character that isn’t the stick thin model which is a big issue for her.  what we know though from all these series is that our favorite doms tend to prefer a bit of curve to their women so Abby has everything that her ‘liege’ seems to like.  The question is will she ever feel good enough about herself to get comfortable in the lifestyle?

so after many twists and turns in this story, we find ourselves dealing with relationship conflicts, cattiness and lots of ‘funishment’ and repentance.  it’s one of Sinclair’s better stories i have to say that i didn’t even want to put it down to go to sleep.

Review: Master of the Abyss (Mountain Masters #2) by Cherise Sinclair

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Title:  Master of the Abyss
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Publisher/Year:  Loose id LLC 9/28/11
Length:  314 pages
Series: Mountain Masters #2

Overview

On the mountain, the watcher seeks out evil women. And then they die.

Two years ago, when Jake Hunt uncollared his slave, she committed suicide. Guilt-ridden, he will commit to a woman for one night only, devoting his energy to a mountain lodge that caters to a BDSM crowd.

Kallie Masterson is tough. Unwanted as a child, she worked hard to become a wilderness guide. She’s proud of who she is, and hurt that Jake frowns on her for acting like a man.

After rescuing the macho guide from a bar fight, Jake is stunned that the ugly men’s clothing hides a warm, responsive woman. A submissive woman. When guide business brings her to the lodge on BDSM night, and she is obviously aroused by the play, Jake takes the little sub right into his world of pain and pleasure. He warns her: one night only. But she responds so beautifully — so joyously — under his command, that one night soon becomes two, then three…

Then a missing hiker reminds Jake of his past lover, and he realizes he’s become too involved. He pulls back.

Meanwhile, the watcher on the mountain has rendered his verdict: Kallie Masterson is evil. The sentence: Death.

My Thoughts

Thank goodness the second installment of this series was readily available to me.  i don’t know what i would have done if i couldn’t just download it and read on since i really wanted to know what was going to happen next for the Mountain Masters and for Jake specifically.  This is the trait of a GREAT author – that’s for sure – one that keeps me so engrossed into a series or a set of series that i have to keep on reading.

Without spoiling what happens in the book, i can honestly admit that Cherise Sinclair not only hit the nail on the head with the sex and emotional connections, machismo, and family bonds, but she managed to throw me for a loop with some of the twists that the story took.

We first met Jake in Master of the Mountain, and started to learn more about him and how he’s protective like Logan, but just a bit more gentle.  He’s a great guy but had such a bad thing happen in a past relationship that he’s afraid to open up to anyone new.  He is the kind of BDSM master that wanted a full time slave – or so he thought, and fell in love with that person. When he realized that he likes to be a dom but not a full time 24/7 Dom, he tried to do the right thing and ‘uncollar’ her, and that ended with a bad result.  The girl threw herself from a mountain and died – leaving Jake with all the guilt that surrounds that.
You can’t blame the guy for becoming a player and king of the one night stands can you?

We then meet Kallie (Kalinda – which is a GREAT name i must say) who is a tomboy to the extreme.  I get the sense from her that if she was left to her own devices that she could be quite girlie however given her living situation and how she grew up, i’m not at all surprised that she felt like the best way to be accepted by her family was to be more of a guy.  I love how when we meet her though, it’s at a bar with her friends who are all googlie eyed over Jake, and she even finds herself melting a little to him.  Then a fight ensues, she defends all the girls, he comes to her aid, and even more melting happens – which she’s not sure that she wants.

Fast forward a little bit to the agreement that Kallie’s family has made for their guide company to partner with Serenity Lodge (the Brother’s place), meaning that everyone would be spending a LOT more time together.  Kallie’s cousins with whom she lives know of the reputation of Serenity Lodge and how they cater to a much more diverse crowd are fearful of letting Kallie get into that environment at all, but since she’s so macho and wants to be equal, she manages to get them to give in and let her take her rightful place.  She goes to the Lodge on a night that a BDSM club is there (The brother’s friends from a club in San Fran actually – where thankfully we get to see Simon again – cause i really like him based on how he was with Rebecca in Book 1).  Unwillingly at first, she allows herself to absorb what’s going on in the lodge and even manages to let Jake get his hands on her (literally and figuratively) to participate.  All things go downhill from there for her because she finds that she’s much more attached than she should be or wants to be, and doesn’t know what that means for Jake since he continues to use his mantra of ‘this is just for this night only’

well, Jake manages to break his rule a little by convincing himself that as long as he prefaces every encounter with her as ‘just for this night only’ it makes it ok and he won’t get attached.  We all know how well that works when there’s a lot of hot sex involved.

aside from all the sweating and action that we see between this couple, there’s also a bit of a dark side weaving itself into the plot.  there’s a guy who thinks that he sees ‘demons’ in women and feels that he has the job to exorcise them, and kill the women to make sure that all the evil is gone.  He prays on women in the area, and that’s just a domed thing for sure!  The question is – who is this guy and who is his next target?  all great questions that lead to an even better climactic ending!

Master of the Mountain (Mountain Masters #1) by Cherise Sinclair

Coming off my ‘high’ from the Masters of the Shadowlands series, i knew that i wanted to pick up another series in the same genre, and happily i found one by the same author.

so here we are in the first installment of the Mountain Masters series – which is a very different environment and feel from the other series.

We are introduced to Rebecca who has the life that most women want.  She’s got a great job, one the path to fast promotion, and she’s got this amazing boyfriend that she lives with.  He’s great on paper, but what we all know about real life, is that great on paper sometimes falls flat in life.  So their ‘falling flat’ is sex.  boring, very vanilla sex.  Like most women, Becca wonders if it’s because she’s not super skinny like everyone else or if she’s destined to having boring sex.

Well, turns out the perfect boyfriend isn’t quite so perfect after all.  Matt in essece is your regular guy – has a decent job, wants a good relationship…what girl wouldn’t want that right?  He did what girls love and didn’t really ‘put a ring on it’ but asked Becca to move in with him so things were on the right path.  Then, out of no where, literally, he mentions to Rebecca that he belongs to a club that she doesn’t know about, and not just any club – a swingers club and that there’s a long weekend holiday coming up that he’s planning on attending.  now what gets me here is that he had this vacation planned w/o her knowing about it and without telling her and they live together and that’s just supposed to be ‘ok’?  If it were me, i don’t know how ‘ok’ it would be.  Rebecca though – in her hopes of saving her relationship that’s kind of losing some of the spark decides to try it out and see what it might be like. 

so they head up to Serenity Lodge in the mountains which is a really amazing sounding lodge owned by Logan and Jake.  Apparently swingers groups are just some of the different types that come to the lodge, all of course a result of the interests that Jake and Logan personally have.  Let’s not let that detract though from how amazing it is to be in the mountains.  There are endless opportunities to hike, swim, be outdoors and just get away from the City (which is something that Becca keeps being reminded of – that she’s a city girl).  We will focus on Logan for this story though – he’s the ‘older’ brother, and he’s got this Dom thing down pat.  very in control, watching everything, knowing what others (especially Rebecca) are thinking/doing to make sure that their experience is the best it can be.

From the moment that Logan sets eyes on Rebecca when she and Matt check into the lodge, his ears perk up.  It’s interesting how guys are like that – they can just tell when someone is out of their element yet it’s something that they could really get into given the right teacher.  So as the weekend progresses and Logan’s role is to oversee the group, take them on a hike and show them the mountain so they can all ‘play’, he notices that Rebecca really isn’t into it.  She’s set herself apart and he’s not having any of that.  He sees that she’s really uncomfortable in her own skin (that’s #1 since all the girls are toned and thin) and she doesn’t like seeing Matt with another woman.  She tries to get past it but as the evening comes and everyone gets even more friendly, she’s had enough and decides to go back to her room.  there she finds Matt and the other girl and that just doesn’t work for her either, so she leaves, lands herself outside the main lodge because everyone’s inside having sex there too and just curls up outside and goes to sleep.

Logan the overseer decides that’s not ok, and well, he really likes her physically since she can cushion him and feel all soft and womanly, so he brings her back to his ‘place’.  Debauchery ensues from there, and we see that Rebecca puts on her big girl pants on some level and comes into her own.  It’s never cut and dry though because although i didn’t go into it too much, not only is Logan the older and protective brother, he’s been to war, has come back ‘damaged’ from it, and has a resolution that he’s made to himself never to let anyone get close again because he’s afraid of what he’ll do to them.  (what he did to Jake was bad enough – almost killing him)

The great thing about this first story is that you wonder if she’s coming into her own to take it back to her life in San Fran, or if it’s going to alter her life in San Fran after the weekend.  There’s a lot of potential here, especially since well, she’s got this HOT HOT guy in Logan that’s interested.  Well, like we always know, nothing ever comes easy, and what she had she loses, or gives away, what she wants may be out of arms reach, yet, it walks right into her life….

 

Review: To Command and Collar (Masters of the Shadowlands book 6) by Cherise Sinclair

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Title:  To Command and Collar
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Publisher/Year:  Loose Id LLC 11/29/11
Series: Masters of the Shadowlands #6

Overview

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.

My Thoughts

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.