Review: Caged (Mastered #4) by Lorelei James


Title:  Caged
Author: Lorelei James
Publisher/Year: Penguin Publishing 7/14/15
Length: 379 pages
Series:  Mastered #4


In order to survive a life of tragedy, Deacon McConnell embraced his roughest edges and learned to fight on the streets. Then a life-changing jujitsu seminar led by Sensei Ronin Black led Deacon to become a professional fighter. With his muscular physique and his body covered in tattoos and scars, the MMA fighter defines mean, both on and off the mat.

But everything changes when innocent Molly Calloway signs up for his kickboxing class. Molly is Deacon’s opposite in every way: She’s kind, sweet, thoughtful, and educated. After a heated argument between them turns into a passionate encounter, Deacon realizes Molly is eager to experience more, and she looks to him to take her to the darker edge of lust….

The last thing either of them expects is how deeply their lives will be thrown upside down by the passion they find together.

My Thoughts

I love this series – i think that we were all sucked into the story between Ronin and Amery that all the supplemental characters were just gravy.  Then as we learned more about Knox and Shiori – well you just knew that there were all the others that we have to get deeper into .

So in this next installment, we see Deacon and Molly trying to sort out what they are and could be to one another.  It’s no surprsie that they’ve been drawn to one another – we saw that throughout the series so far, and because of Deacon’s need to be the best, well, his interest in Molly’s been a bit challenging.  the other piece too is that his past is so dark and troubled that he’s put up all these walls that makes it really hard to get close to someone.

Then we have Molly a girl who’s had a rough start as well, yet she’s come out on top.  I think that what we should hopefully get to see from her is that she’s even tougher and stronger than we expected and that’s exactly what Deacon needs when his secrets are revealed.

The journey that we go on with these 2 is intense.  their passion is very hot and very combustive – they can’t help but touch each other ALL the time and when they are near each other, it’s hot.  Different from what we know of the others in the series, Deacon’s just powerful and Alpha, he’s not necessarily into all the same stuff that Ronin and Knox are into – and that’s a nice change in this series.  I think that while it’s always hot and GREAT to see the bondage and BDSM bits of things, here it’s just pure erotica.

The question that we keep reminding ourselves of throughout this story is whether the secrets that Deacon’s been hiding will come out and when they do, what will that mean for his relationship with Molly.  Will she be willing to gloss over the fact that everything she knew about his may not be the truth and if she’s willing to move past that, what does it mean for her and their life together.  The other thing too is that we know that Deacon’d really ambitious with his fighting career and his relationship with his family is contentious.  Will that be too much for them as well or is it something that they can some how get past. There are interesting twists as well with his family that come up that while i wasn’t expecting it, i’m not surprised.

All in all, a great 4th installment to the series and i’m not quite sure which of our secondary characters will get the next story but i can’t wait to see. it.  I’m putting my money on Maddox but who knows.  So on that note, enjoy your Monday’s everyone and hopefully i’ll get another book read quickly since i’m very far behind pace these days.


Review: Played by the Master (Mastered By #1) by Opal Carew


Title:  Played by the Master
Author: Opal Carew
Publisher/Year: Smashwords 6/2/15
Length: 56 pages
Series:  Mastered By #1


From New York Times Bestselling Author Opal Carew comes the first story in her new Mastered By erotic romance series. A story of Domination and submission, where breaking the rules of the game is where the fun begins, when Jacqueline crashes a billionaire’s exclusive poker game in order to seduce him into granting a favor to save her sister, but instead finds herself Played by the Master.

Jacqueline Bell desperately wants to help her sister out of a jam. But to do that, she has to find a way to talk to billionaire entrepreneur Race Danner, and have him drop the charges against her brother-in-law. She discovers he holds an exclusive poker game once a week and finds a way in.

Race Danner is bored with his life, despite his wealth and extreme hobbies. He doesn’t know exactly what he’s looking for, but he’ll know it when he sees it. When Jacqueline Bell walks into his life, he knows she’s it. She wants something from him. And he wants her. A combination made in heaven. In a delicious game of cat and mouse, he will leverage his advantage to lure her into his game. And he fully intends to win.

My Thoughts

This was a rather short little novella but i think that sometimes that’s exactly what i need.  especially when i get home from work late and just need a little something to help me fall asleep.  (don’t take that comment to mean that i found the book to be boring, juts that sometimes it’s really helpful to read if i want to go to sleep).

In any event, what we have here is a nice intro to a new series, where we have a masterful billionaire who clearly knows what he wants in bed and what he wants in a woman, and we have a leading lady who is willing to do whatever she can to help out her family.  In this instance, it’s trying to convince Race to drop charges against her brother in law so that her sister doesn’t have to raise their kids alone.

Suffice it to say, it’s all quite expected – the progression of this story – and the only real issue that i have is that since it’s so short, we just right into things and there’s no build-up of the will they won’t they.  you know that it’s going to happen, and when Race intros things as being erotic and kinky, you know that’s exactly what you’re going to get.  The experience of a lifetime for a girl that’s never really experienced much.

All that in mind, it was enjoyable and i think that there are great things to come in this series – assuming that we get to the crux of what makes each of them tick.  In the meantime, we’ll get some great scening, we’ll get to play in Race’s playroom a bit more i’m sure – and if nothing else happens, we’ll have some chemistry and steam that makes you want to take a cold shower.  On that note – Happy Tuesday all and have a great day!

Review: Mastered: Over the Line (Mastered #3) by Sierra Cartwright


Title:  Mastered:  Over the Line
Author: Sierra Cartwright
Publisher/Year: Totally Bound Publishing 6/21/13
Length: 156 pages
Series: Mastered #3


He can’t say he wasn’t warned…

From the moment he’s cautioned to avoid the submissive who snares his attention, Dom Michael Dayton is intrigued. With her tight dress, flowing hair and honest dialogue, what could be more perfect than a few hours together?

Sydney Wallace fears only one thing—being tied down. She lives for adventure and fun, including the occasional BDSM party. By always scening with different Doms, she avoids emotional entanglements that might complicate her life. A man who owns a ranch and has roots deep into the soil is definitely not the kind of Dom she wants to play with.

Sydney has never met anyone as complex as Master Michael Dayton. From the moment he issues his first command, she knows he’s different. He watches her reactions, sees what she wants, and unselfishly gives her what she needs. Getting involved with a man like him would be the biggest risk of her life, crossing over all of lines she’s drawn to protect her way of life.

After the first night together, Michael realises he should have heeded the warning. But it may already be too late

My Thoughts

The journey continues with yet another Dom from ‘The Den’, and i have to say that i think that i may need to take a pause from this series since it’s just not doing it for me.  What we have here is a great role play between to strong leads, but i feel like it’s just not intriguing enough for me – there’s something missing.

We meet Master Michael at the Den one night – a man who’s divorced and who has decided that he doesn’t want anything serious just yet with anyone.  That same night, he spies Sydney walking across the room, and although he’s been warned that she likes to ‘top from the bottom’ and play games, he’s still decided to go for it.  The story of these 2 really just supports the dynamic that she’s not willing to give up control, and yet that’s everything that’s in his nature – to control.

This story takes us through the course of their first night together – where Master Michael figures out what makes Sydney tick and why she’s gotten away with what she has with other Doms and pushes her past those limits.  Sydney in return turns into a brat, doesn’t adhere to his requests and orders and gets punished – which is exactly what she wants.

The story only gets interesting when we start to see their lives outside of one another – when we learn why they are each the way that they are.  The challenge is that we only got a glimpse of that – we didn’t really get to dig in.  And the resolution and closure aspect comes very quickly without too much of a struggle.

The one constant though that’s in all of Ms. Cartwright’s books is that we get heated passionate scening.  There’s a naughty-ness to everything that she writes and you really do get a strong sense that she knows what she’s talking about in the BDSM world.  That gives the story a strong authenticity and you wonder which limits will be reached.  As a result of this as well, there’s hot sex and chemistry that at times really does come off the page, but maybe in this story just not enough.

To sum it all up, it’s average – there were redeeming qualities for sure – but i think that i’m going to take a break from the remaining installments of the series and pick it back up in a few weeks.  so…Enjoy!

Reviewed: Mastered: On His Terms (Mastered #2) by Sierra Cartwright


Title:  Mastered:  On His Terms
Author: Sierra Cartwright
Publisher/Year: Totally Bound Publishing 4/22/13
Length: 167 pages
Series: Mastered #2


It was business only… Chelsea Barton is terrible at the whole submission thing, and she wants to snare the Dom of her dreams. She seeks out the renowned trainer Master Alexander. Alex has his hands full with Chelsea, especially when he realises he doesn’t want to turn her over to another man…

Damn, damn, and double damn. This was so not supposed to happen.

Chelsea Barton always gets what she wants, and she wants the up and coming rocker Evan C to accept her as his sub. But her performance always disappoints him.

Determined to have her way, she begs Master Alexander Monahan to train her.

Alex has given up training submissives, and no matter what, he would not work with someone as bold, headstrong, and stubborn as Chelsea.

But there’s something about her that intrigues and impresses him, an enthusiasm that is missing from his too-dull life. Under very strict guidelines he agrees. She has to try her best. She has to submit uncomplainingly to his punishments. And there’s a two week obligation, after which they will part ways. Being a trainer is a very different relationship than a D/s, and despite his intentions to remain aloof, he starts to care deeply for the headstrong Chelsea.

Chelsea unhesitatingly agrees to Master Alexander’s rules, after all, he’s going to give her the skills she needs to get what she wants. But, damn it, the longer she trains with him, the more she is attracted to his rugged good look as well as to his firm, but relentless ways. She reminds herself of her goals, but that becomes more difficult every day.

For Alex, falling for a sub who will belong to another man was never part of the deal.

My Thoughts

As much as i love Sierra and what she’s written that i’ve read, i have to say that this one took me a little bit to get through.  The idea behind the story line is a good one, the characters seem to have the depth and dynamic that would make for a GREAT read, but it took me much longer to get through this 2nd installment than it should and i’m not sure why.

While this 2nd installment gives us a female lead that’s already familiar somewhat with the BDSM lifestyle, she’s really not in it for the right reasons – meaning that she’s after the attention of one man, who won’t give her the time of day.  It’s because of this that we get to see our leading duo grown and blossom.  Chelsea reaches out to Master Alexander in the hopes that he’ll train her and make her into the kind of sub that Evan C will be interested in, and this is the tale of how Master Alex works to break her.

The scening here is great – we get a different perspective on all things sub training related.  The means that Alex goes to in order to make Chelsea realize what the lifestyle is all about, and maybe that’s what’s so off putting to me.  His style isn’t necessarily what i’d warm up to and even in other series that we’ve seen a sub trainer in, his approach is a bit more rough so to speak.

The other piece that throws me is that i think that Chelsea could be a great lead – she’s got a successful business to fall back on, she’s really not reliant on a man to make her happy – she’s just crushing on one, yet the seriousness or lack there of that she gives the lifestyle is what makes it a bit painful for me to read.

The redeeming quality here though is that even though the mid-section of this shorter installment sagged and dragged a bit, we didn’t go more than a few pages without something hot and naughty.  that’s something that Ms Cartwright surely knows how to do well.  The nature of these scenes is hot – we get a lot of pain and bondage together, and a lot of manners training which of course makes for a great denied experience.  I admit that i did skim from time to time just to get to those scenes since they managed to resonate well for me.

So all that being said, i’m still invested in this series and i’m going in for book 3 now, in the hopes that we’ll get picked up again into the heat and passion with these D/s relationships.  Hopefully you won’t take my lack of love for this book to mean that it’s not worth it – i’m sure it works for some folks….so with that – Happy New Year and try to enjoy!

Review: Mastered: With this Collar (Mastered #1) by Sierra Cartwright


Title:  Mastered:  With this collar
Author: Sierra Cartwright
Publisher/Year: Totally Bound Publishing 2/18/13
Length: 167 pages
Series: Mastered #1


Julia Lyle will have nothing to do with domineering men, no matter how tall, dark, and sexy. But Dom Marcus Cavendish will be satisfied with nothing less than collaring the fiercely independent Julia.

Nothing could have shocked her more…

Julia Lyle is invited to her best friend’s wedding and is stunned when Lana kneels to accept her husband’s collar. When Julia starts to object, firm, relentless hands land on her shoulders. The man behind her threatens to turn her over his knee if she interrupts. She’s outraged, but there’s no doubt he’s serious.

After the ceremony, he offers her a glimpse into her friend’s lifestyle, if she’s brave enough to accept.

Master Marcus Cavendish is everything she doesn’t want in a man—dominant, self-assured and arrogant. So why can’t she resist him?

Telling herself that learning about the lifestyle will make her a better friend, Julia agrees to submit to Master Marcus, but only for the evening. Firm and unrelenting in his handling of her, he introduces her to his tawse and the pleasure/pain of a spanking delivered by a competent Dom. The experience unnerves her, making her question everything she thought she knew about relationships, and his forced orgasms leave her shattered.

No doubt the scene seduced her, and that makes her doubly determined to avoid him. She has fought hard for her freedom and vowed only to date nice men, and Master Marcus is anything but safe.

Marcus is undeterred. Julia is a natural sub. The way she responded to his touch, his voice, his punishment proved it. Now he has to convince her to yield to him, submitting to his tawse as she kneels to accept his collar

My Thoughts

I’m a sucker for a story about an established Dom – someone who knows exactly what it is that they want and who can take the time to train a sub who doesn’t even know that she IS one and someone who’s actually kind of against the lifestyle in general.

That’s what we get in this introduction to the series.  As the summary above says, Julia only becomes aware of the BDSM lifestyle because she’s been invited to her best friend Lana’s wedding, which turns out to be a combination wedding and collaring ceremony.  Lana feels that Julia is the least likely to have issue with her choices, and while that should be true, it’s not since Julia is about to contest it during the celebration.  Lucky for her, Marcus – MASTER Marcus is there to put a stop to her complaints when it could become problematic, and from there, we get to see exactly what it is that he’s capable of.

What was meant to be just one night for Julia we all know will have to be more.  If there’s nothing more to expect from our author – Ms. Cartwright delivers the pull of BDSM in a way that few authors are able to successfully do for us.  We see that he’s in control, on a variety of toys and tools, and that’s something that everyone know will have to last for more than a night.  Marcus has a way of showing us that Spanking, be it in whatever form is required is intense, and Julia – someone who’s never even imagined experiencing it learns that it’s a great thing for her.  The other piece is that we also see the varying levels of comfort among the characters which is something that i’ve really come to appreciate from our author.

While we don’t get the back story on any of our mains, we come to appreciate how they have come to the place that they are in.  Be it the controlling relationship that Julia was in that makes her avoid all things domineering of men, or the fact that Marcus had collared someone in the past to learn that she wasn’t what he needed.  That’s what makes the story great.

It’s a battle of wits, pride, and inner strength in the sense that while we know what the outcome will be, we don’t necessarily know what path it’ll take to get there.  I for one would love to see more of Ben and Lana – i’d love to hear about how their story really began.  I’d also love to see more of Gregorio and even Damien since we only got a glimpse into them in this introduction to the series.  So , here’s to hoping for more great heat, passions, sex, and lessons in all things BDSM, and i’m going to continue on with the series to see who’s next on deck.  enjoy!

Review: Unwound (Mastered #2) by Lorelei James


Title: Unwound
Author:  Lorelei James
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group USA  3/25/14
Length:  384 Pages
Series: Mastered #2


In this conclusion to the Mastered series by New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James, a man’s need for control is tested by the one woman he’ll risk everything for…

When sensei Ronin Black first encounters Amery Hardwick, the fire in her eyes ignites a sexual spark a thousand times better than the primal rush he used to get from mixed martial arts matches. She accepts his darker edges and admits to him that her desires aren’t as wholesome as he believed. And before long Ronin is grappling with emotions he’s never felt before….

Yet despite demanding Amery bare her body and soul to him, Ronin holds a part of himself back. When she learns Ronin’s secret and walks out, his life begins to unravel.  To regain her trust he must let go of his pride and prove to her that it’s more than passion binding them together.

My Thoughts

I always love when i’m expecting a trilogy and it turns out that it’s just a 2 book series.  Very nice – since it means that i don’t have to wonder how much more pain a couple is going to put themselves through until they get to where they are finally at peace.

In this 2nd and final installment, we come upon this couple while they are still broken up.  If you’ll remember, Amery had left Ronin after she met with his sister unknowingly about the Okada job, and learned about who he really is.  Since he kept that part of him away from, she’s left questioning everything and ends up running home to North Dakota just to get away.

Of course since we know that Ronin is intense,things have to go miserably wrong for him right?  During the weeks that they are apart, he has gotten into fighting as a way to deal with the pain and control a pain that he can….and this leads to some pretty serious beat downs – some of which he actually lets happen, just so he can feel more pain.

It’s 6 weeks after they’ve ‘broken up’ that the final knock out happens that lands him on Amery’s doorstep and brings them back together.  Because the extent of his injuries, Amery is forced to take him to the hospital, and this reingnites a bunch of feelings that she’s been trying to tamp down.  She feels the emotion pull again, and finds herself playing nurse maid since she’s actually the only one that can calm Ronin down.

Where this story takes us in now on a new journey of this couple trying to repair what may be irrevocably broken, while trying to figure out what life can be now as a result of medical limitations.

What we continue to get here though which is different from other BDSM stories is a great education on bondage itself.  I have to admit that all that i knew before about tying was on to a St Andrew’s cross or to a bed or things like that.  In this story though, we know that Ronin is a rope master, and therefore we learn so much more about different knots, ties, suspension holds etc.  it’s passion and heat and very steamy – which is what we need.

There’s also the subplot about why Shiori is staying in Denver when she’s the heir to the Okada fortune as well.  Ronin questions it but never gets an answer and actually is happy to have her around since she’s the next highest belt around and she can help where he can’t physically do it.  It also allows him to repair his family relationships, in a sense…..and we get the nice insight into things in that piece

So the question throughout is what other secrets are lingering and what’s that going to mean for the couple.  I have to say that i was also waiting the entire time for Naomi (Ronin’s psycoh ex) to pop up and when she does, it’s with gusto.  you can’t blame her for how she feels, and i think that i feared for everyone when she finally appeared.

The closure that we get in this story is a nice one, although not a happy ending for everyone.  I think that Ms. James took us on a very nice journey of a couple finding each other and learning how to bend and compromise when that is so far away from the nature of our controlling male lead.  All the while, we get a couple that can’t stay away from each other that leads to some really imaginative scening.  It’s hot, passionate and you can feel the tension rolling off the pages.  Enjoy!

Review: Bound (Mastered#1) by Lorelei James


Title: Bound
Author:  Lorelei James
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group USA  2/4/14
Length:  400 Pages
Series: Mastered #1



In the new Mastered series by New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James, a woman’s desire to shatter her inhibitions leaves her unprepared for where that erotic journey will take her….

Former small-town girl Amery Hardwick is living her dream as a graphic designer in Denver, Colorado. She’s focused on building her business, which leaves little time for dating—not that she needs a romantic entanglement to fulfill her. When her friend signs up for a self-defense class as part of her recovery after an attack, Amery joins her for support. That’s where she meets him.

Ronin Black, owner of the dojo, is so drawn to Amery that he takes over her training—in public and in private. The enigmatic Ronin pushes Amery’s boundaries from the start, and with each new tryst, Amery becomes addicted to the pleasure and to him. But when Amery senses Ronin is hiding something, she questions her total trust in him, despite the undeniable thrill of his possession….

My Thoughts

When this story opens, we meet Amery when she’s trying to help her employee Molly recover from trauma.  This turns out to be a great thing for Amery given that she’s from such a sheltered background that she’s never really put herself into a position where she’s challenged all that she believes in.

What we get in this first installment of the series is the journey that Amery goes in in coming out of her shell sexually, while starting a relationship with someone that is completely different than everything that she knows.  Ronin is dark and mysterious and ‘violent’ in a sense and she’s never been around that before.  His violence is controlled though – so it’s one of those things that doesn’t scare Amery at all, and she knows that 1 he would never hurt her and 2 he will always protect her.

What’s nice about this story is that given the nature of what Ronin does, that he’s Master Black or Sensei in the dojo, we know that he needs and craves control.  this is something that will continue to manifest itself in Amery’s life, culmination in a point of no return in a sense.  It’s only at the urging of one of Ronin’s co-workers Knox that she’s even willing to have the conversation of what it is that drives Ronin.

I have to say that while the story centers around the relationship between these 2, we get a nice mix of the balance of life in here as well.  Not only do we have the struggle of Amery’s business and the fact that things aren’t going in the right direction for her, we also have the peppering in of her friends story lines so there’s a good hum to support the bigger plot.

It’s only the last third of the book that we get into the depth of what’s really going on here.  For the first half or so, we are cruising along, seeing how much Ronin can teach Amery and really getting some hot steam and passion between them.  Ms. James does a great job in really being accurate in how she depicts the scenes between them, and i think that it adds to what the reader is able to imagine and engage in.

But like i said, it’s only towards the end that things get juicy.  By this point we know that there are a LOT of secrets being kept and we don’t know what they are and what it will mean to everyone involved.  we also don’t know who knows about these secrets- so that makes it all the more complicated.  i think that where we are left in this story is a great cliff hanger – given that we are just learning some things that i didn’t quite expect, and it drives a wedge in between some folks.

I can’t wait to see where Unbound takes us, given that we’re starting to see the light, and while i know that the journey won’t be an easy one, i can certainly expect that it will be HOT.  knowing that Ronin and Amery can’t keep their hands off each other, it’s ‘bound’ to be something impressive to see their story continue.