To Command and Collar is a brave book. With so much potential of turning into a dark story of human slavery, Cherise proved herself again as the masteTo Command and Collar is a brave book. With so much potential of turning into a dark story of human slavery, Cherise proved herself again as the master of BDSM romance by filtering the story with such a strong sense of healing and love that it is yet another romantic masterpiece in her Shadowlands series.
I read a lot… those of you who follow my blog (http://guiltyindulgencebookclub.blogs...) know this already but I preface this review with my statementI read a lot… those of you who follow my blog (http://guiltyindulgencebookclub.blogs...) know this already but I preface this review with my statement because it matters that I read a lot when I say that Cherise Sinclair is a master of the erotica/ BDSM genre. I have found no other author in this genre whose every book I have loved. Oh, there are some I like most of what they’ve written, some of what they’ve written but never all of what they’ve written. So when I took the step to read another series after the fabulous Masters of the Shadowlands, it was with some hesitancy. I didn’t want her to let me down – I was afraid – until I “opened” the book.
This book, as do each of her stories, powerfully depicts the wonders of new love, trust and romance of a different nature. This is where my warning comes in that if you aren't interested in BDSM, Master of the Mountain may not be for you. With that being said, I would rate this as a moderate (certainly not hard core) BDSM erotica with a primary focus on the developing romantic relationship between the main characters. If you’ve never read something like this, Master of the Mountain would be a good first. (Heck, it was for the main character, Becca!)
The heroine, Becca, is attending her first swinger’s weekend with her boyfriend. She is apprehensive and insecure but she has agreed to attend for the sake of their bland sex life in hopes that this will spice up their relationship. But it takes only a few hours for her to be certain the swinger lifestyle is not for her. Even though several of the group members make her feel wanted, she just doesn’t want to participate so when her boyfriend entertains in their small cabin and she doesn’t want to join in, Becca finds herself without a place to stay. A city girl, this is Becca’s first time out in the wilderness and she feels completely out of her element. Certain her relationship is history, she wants only to return to the city but is stuck with no transportation. Then along comes Logan.
Mmm… mmm… Logan. Mysterious, dark and hunky Logan owns the lodge with his brother Jake (read the next book for his story). Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from the war, he is plagued with terrible nightmares from which he has trouble waking. Once hurting his brother during one particularly horrible episode, he is afraid to have a woman in his bed concerned he may harm her. And so he is afraid to fall in love because he has convinced himself he cannot have a relationship.
And so it is that Becca and Logan are perfect for one another. Seeing Becca so lost sets off Logan’s protective instinct. He finds her plus-size curves sexy but she doubts that a man as handsome as Logan could be interested in a curvy woman like her. He is determined to teach her otherwise. Noticing signs of a true submissive inside Becca, Logan gives an introduction to his dominant lifestyle. Logan is sweet but firm, teaching her to embrace her submissive desires as he guides her to a pleasure she has never known. With Logan, Becca learns to love her body, overcome some of her fears and discover that she’s not so frigid after all.
It would just be wrong if I didn’t mention the amazing hot sex, especially in the great outdoors when Logan pushes Becca to the point where her sounds of pleasure can be heard across the mountain to where the swinger group is picnicking (absolutely adorable when the group brings it up at dinner only to discover it was Becca). I bet her ex-boyfriend was kicking himself then. And when Logan carries her through the room filled with swingers, straight to his apartment and announcing that she belonged to him, I wanted to cheer in victory for Becca!
As much as Logan heals Becca and brings her to self-fulfillment, Becca begins to heal Logan. She is exactly what this war-scarred Dom needs to move into a committed relationship. And just when I think Logan is convinced to do just that and the HEA is only a page turn away, Logan rejects Becca. Not understanding his motivation (stubborn Dom for insisting she be honest but not doing it himself!), she falls back on her insecurities. She doesn’t know that Logan is scared because he’s falling in love with her and is still convinced he may harm her during his nightmares.
Sinclair’s balance of descriptive detail to build understanding and descriptive dialogue to build relationships is perfection. There are never slow moments in this book – each page, each scene has you hanging on for more, desiring more (hmm... sounds like a good master to me). It comes down to the very end when Logan finally comes to his senses and has to work to win Becca back. (I only wish she’d made him suffer a bit more.) With the powerful message of trust at the crux of the story, once again all the rest just builds on that theme. Master of the Mountain is my newest favorite Cherise Sinclair story. ...more
Impactful. Deep. Emotional. I need a few days to let the story sink in and then I'll be reviewing it.
One week later...
The Reluctant Dom will foreverImpactful. Deep. Emotional. I need a few days to let the story sink in and then I'll be reviewing it.
One week later...
The Reluctant Dom will forever be one of those books that you carry in your heart, having taught you something and changed you in the course of your reading. The reader is immersed in the lives of all three main characters from page one. At its core, The Reluctant Dom is a beautiful love story and the emotional wrenching is extraordinary. (But break out the tissues because you will need them.)
As the voice of this story, the author takes us deep inside this unconventional relationship through Seth’s eyes. Seth and Kaden have been close friends since childhood and, in most ways, they are closer than brothers. It’s no surprise then that Kaden chooses Seth to confide in when he finds out he’s dying of pancreatic cancer. The surprise is in what exactly he asks of Seth. So overwhelmed with the knowledge that Kaden is dying that he can barely breathe * Kaden’s dying * much less accept all the other strange things that Kade shares with him. The one thing that he is certain of – the very thing that propels him forward – is that he will do whatever Kaden needs of him.
Kaden is a brave man whose only concern is for his wife Leah, a strong woman with a dark need that only Kade has been able to provide for. Leah was sexually abused as a child by both her biological father and in the foster homes in which she lived. As a means to deal with Leah’s subsequent need to feel pain and to help her express her emotions appropriately, Leah and Kaden discover the D/s lifestyle. While some readers may feel objection to this choice, the author does preface the book by explaining that their lifestyle may be outside the norm. And that their lifestyle differed from my own did not diminish the compelling story of undying love.
When Kaden explains their lifestyle to Seth, including the reasons for why they first got involved in the D/s lifestyle, Seth accepts them but is confused by his role. Seth is shocked * Kaden's dying * but agrees to move in with them during Kaden’s final months. And then comes another shock for Seth when Kaden explains his desire to prepare Seth to take over the care for Leah when he's gone * Kaden’s dying *. Kaden wants Seth to take over being Leah's Master. Seth doesn't think he will be able to ever understand their lifestyle but he is willing to accept it because he loves them both unconditionally. And as the author creates a sense of normalcy for Seth, the reader grows to consider the feelings that Leah, Seth, and Kaden share as normal.
This author does something special that many authors fail at as she uses the sex scenes to further the story. As Seth becomes more accepting of his role of master and deepens his confidence in the lifestyle, the interchanges between the three characters shift. Each sex scene, whether D/s or vanilla, depicts the emotional journey of the characters. When the characters interact intimately, the reader can sense the love, compassion and friendship resonating in the scene. The reader will also feel the grief at times overpowering Seth. It was genius of the author to remind the reader, much as Seth was constantly reminded, that * Kaden's dying * throughout the book. The way in which Seth grieved for Kaden before, during, and after was so real, intense and heartbreaking. While he is discovering feelings he’s always had for Leah, Seth still prays for the miracle.
The Reluctant Dom is an unconventional love story of a wounded woman who is loved unconditionally by two men. The fact that they live a D/s lifestyle does not change the fact that these men will do everything in their power to care for her. Kade’s preparations for his death speak eloquently to his love. Leah’s need to be strong for Kaden shouts of her love. And Seth’s willingness to embrace the love of two people most important to him is simply an amazing testament of love. Beautifully written with a powerful message, The Reluctant Dom is going on my “favorites” shelf....more
Here’s my recommendation. Listen closely. This is important. Download all four Masters of the Shadowlands books. Pour yDominant Males… Sizzling Tales…
Here’s my recommendation. Listen closely. This is important. Download all four Masters of the Shadowlands books. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Keep the bottle close. Slip into some comfy jammies. Light a candle. Read in an uninterrupted location. Be prepared for heavy breathing.
Cherise Sinclair hits the nail on the head with this series that, at times, seems so real that it could be non-fiction. The striking imagery of the BDSM world with its erotic submission and intense passion explodes from the pages of each of Sinclair’s Masters of the Shadowlands books.
Now on the fourth book, Lean On Me, the series continues to get more intense. Andrea wants to submit but can’t find what she’s looking for in just any so-called Dom. Just as she gives up finding a true Dom, her friend pulls a favor and gets her a position as a trainee in an exclusive BDSM club where Andrea meets the powerful Shadowlands Masters. Andrea is both thrilled and terrified to finally get what she thought she wanted.
After Master Cullen agrees to this favor for a friend, he has second thoughts when he discovers that she is new to BDSM and not your typical submissive. As he initiates her into their world, his role as Dom also gives him glimpses of her emotional armor and allows him to discover her ability to fully surrender under the perfect Dom. He’s drawn to her strength though having declared himself the consummate bachelor, Cullen denies his developing feelings. The characters are multi-dimensional and their interaction is genuine, so authentic that the reader has a sense of actually seeing, touching and even hearing the characters moan (if only, right?!).
With a difficult upbringing and past record with the law, Andrea is shocked when she discovers Cullen is a police investigator. But then things get worse when another trainee accuses her of stealing money and Andrea believes she’s lost her Master. Her inner struggle is so interconnected with her introduction to the BDSM lifestyle that the reader cannot believe one without the other. At its core, this is a story about one woman's struggle to accept who she is and allow herself to know the love of a good man. Trusting Cullen will mean her dream of a happily ever after can come true but she has to have the strength to submit.
With so much eroticism and emotion, a reader can only hope there will be another installment of the Masters of the Shadowlands soon. Bring it on....more
Her books keep getting better - and more intense - as they go along. JR Ward is an author who doesn't seem to lose her edge as the series goes along.Her books keep getting better - and more intense - as they go along. JR Ward is an author who doesn't seem to lose her edge as the series goes along. Loved it....more
Hunting Human is now sitting on my favorite books shelf. As Amanda Alvarez’s debut book, Hunting Human places her among some of the best paranormal wrHunting Human is now sitting on my favorite books shelf. As Amanda Alvarez’s debut book, Hunting Human places her among some of the best paranormal writers. Her writing style is smooth, the story flowing easily from suspense to romance. It is an emotional and compelling story, tainted with horrific scenes, that I just couldn’t stop reading.
** audiobook ** I love the Falke brothers. This second book in the series is just as rich in detail with a compelling story line and solid characters.** audiobook ** I love the Falke brothers. This second book in the series is just as rich in detail with a compelling story line and solid characters. Especially fun on audiobook....more
The Darkest Hour has made my top books list for 2010. I was already tickled when we chose Maya Banks as our book club’s first author but then add to tThe Darkest Hour has made my top books list for 2010. I was already tickled when we chose Maya Banks as our book club’s first author but then add to that it was the first book in her new romantic suspense series. I had been craving a series just like this one since I’d finished Leigh’s Elite Ops series; and Maya didn’t disappoint. I can’t help myself; I judge a book first by the hero. And Ethan was the perfect hero for me. He felt genuine, an alpha male that had emotions and wasn’t too much a man to show them. (yum!) I could see why Rachel fell in love with him – heck, I nearly fell in love with him. Watching Ethan deal with his guilt over how he treated Rachel before she disappeared, his joy at finding her, and his fear of losing her again gave depth to his character. I connected immediately with Ethan as the book opens with him mourning the death of his wife. He is overwhelmed by his guilt and does his best to shut out the world. When Ethan receives proof his wife is alive, he turns to his brothers who run KGI, an intelligence agency, for help rescuing Rachel. I fell into the fast paced, action packed scene when the brothers raid the jungle camp in search of her. They find Rachel drugged and without her memory. I can’t help myself; I need to feel the love to love the book. When they returned home and began weaning Rachel off the drugs, her memory comes back slowly. Maya knows how to develop a strong character, and instead of appearing weak, Rachel’s struggles give her a soul. Rachel and Ethan reconnect, and Rachel begins to remember that her marriage had not been as perfect as she first remembered. Rachel’s isolation was heart wrenching and Ethan’s sincerity warmed my heart. Their tender love scenes were sweet. I was praying for their happily ever after. More a romance than a suspense though, The Darkest Hour was centered on the relationships of the characters, something Maya is skilled at and demonstrates in all of her books. The relationships between all the characters felt genuine and immediately drew me in. (I want a family just like theirs!) The Kelly family is terrific. Their interactions felt genuine, and it was like peeking in on a real family. The brothers make jokes, punch each other, and throw each other in lakes. It was nice to see a group of bad ass military-type men doing something other than just plotting and scowling at each other. I can’t help myself; I want drama, mystery and suspense. My major contention with the book is the story line on Rachel’s abduction and the continued attempts on her life which I felt was weak. She is being hunted by this mysterious man and when we finally learn what’s going on, it seemed like just an afterthought. And what about those bad ass, military-type men? Seems to me they would be overprotective to a fault and wouldn’t have let so many mysterious attempts happen on her life. Come on, Kelly men, do your jobs. I am also holding out my opinion on the sub plot with Marlene taking in Rusty, the homeless teenager. It was one of only two things I had an issue with because I didn’t feel it connected to the rest of the story. I wanted more between her and Rachel. I thought a lot more could have been done with her character, but my guess is that Maya was setting up something to happen later in her series so I’ll quietly wait to see. Neither of these two issues bothered me enough to ruin the story because the rest of the book was so strong. I am counting the days until the next book (December, where are you?). The Kelly brothers and their family will have a special place on my favorite books list, no doubt about it.
If I had to choose, I would say that Lora Leigh's Coyote’s Mate is my favorite Breed book. I read all of the Breed books, one immediately after the otIf I had to choose, I would say that Lora Leigh's Coyote’s Mate is my favorite Breed book. I read all of the Breed books, one immediately after the other, over the span of six weeks. I started in order (always recommend you do that with a series!!) with the Ellora's Cave books which were steamy, had a basic premise that held me but the story was woven around sex scenes as opposed to the sex scenes being integrated into the story. Still, yummy reads – I can’t deny I didn’t eat them up. But then came a change in the publishing company and Lora Leigh’s Breed books focused more on the story of the Breeds, their pasts, their struggles, their need to build a community and be accepted. I really liked this shift since it draws the reader more into the characters... and Coyote's Mate became my favorite because it has a unique storyline with strong, real characters including a few hilarious girlfriends to make you laugh.
The story of Del-Ray and Anya gives readers their first look at the Coyote Breeds with their similarities and differences from the other Breed groups. Finally the Coyote Breeds are taking their place beside the Feline & Wolf Breeds at Haven, one of the protected Breed communities. Yummy coyotes!
I can’t help myself; I need a strong Alpha Hero (who knows how to love his woman). While Del-Rey is far from my favorite of Lora Leigh’s heroes, he is a strong alpha male. Though his arrogance is like other Breed males, his disregard for his mate’s needs at times is unprecedented. I was angry with him throughout the book but assumed his struggles with assimilating into a loving relationship are because of his early life in the Council lab. Still, Del-Ray defines “stupid male”.
Del-Ray is the Coyote Alpha who survived Council captivity and now rescues others. When Anya approaches him with information on a Council coyote lab, he works with her to eliminate any traitors and plan a raid while steadily growing attached and possessive of her. But as a typical Alpha Breed, Del-Ray’s arrogance and cluelessness about women leads him to do just about everything wrong. Herein lies the premise of the entire book.
How stupid is he? Let me count the ways… first, he lies to her, then he mates with her so forcefully that she is terrified, injures her father, kidnaps her and steals her virginity. Then he leaves her with his pack only to return and claim her, denounces her as his mate and Coya, but expects her to act as his mate in private. This is the part of the story when I threw the book across the room only to quickly pick it up again because the book has great action and mystery which I love. I can’t help myself; I want action, mystery and suspense. Coyote’s Mate has it all. The story moved fast and every page was a turn in their love story.
I can’t help myself; I need to feel the love to love the book. Despite everything they go through, the reader can sense the connection and love between Del-Ray and Anya. Anya is similar to many of Leigh's heroines... young, beautiful, and of course, she’s overwhelmed by the loss of control brought on by the mating heat. But here’s what I loved about her: Anya was the first heroine to stand up to the hero for what she believed in and was willing to walk away to stay true to herself. Her strength was amazing, helping to free the Breeds, stepping into the role of Coya and fighting for her mate while still doing what is right. I found myself wondering if I could’ve been as strong as she was. Anya intrigued me. And I figured if any woman can deal with a man like Del-Ray it would be her.
Hot alpha sex, murder plots, suspense, good secondary characters, quick action, the full emotional spectrum and a happily ever after - it’s all here.
Exciting, riveting, suspenseful and still tender… Cover of Darkness by Kaylea Cross is all of these things and more. I was hooked from the very beginnExciting, riveting, suspenseful and still tender… Cover of Darkness by Kaylea Cross is all of these things and more. I was hooked from the very beginning and am certain any fan of romantic suspense will be just as taken. The biggest question I have is why this author hasn’t gotten more serious PR. Cross is fabulous and readers are going to miss a quality series if they haven’t heard of her. So here is my shout out to a little known but well crafted author! The reader is immediately dropped into the story of Bryn McAllister who has been targeted by a terrorist cell. She survives a bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut while at a function with her father; but is kidnapped and left to die in a desert cellar. Her tenacity during her captivity shows amazing resourcefulness and allows the reader an appreciation for inner strength. In just a few pages, the reader has no doubt that Bryn is a commanding female lead. She demonstrates strong physical endurance along with emotional control which allows her to be measured up against all of the strong alpha males she encounters without being overpowered. When she is rescued by Navy SEAL Lieutenant Declan McCabe and his team, Bryn is weak and has to rely on them to get her and her father to safety. Dec is a dangerously hot alpha male whose authoritative, commanding nature leads him to take charge of any situation. He is genuine, solid and loyal – the perfect hero for such a strong heroine. Though they form a bond during Bryn’s rescue, they part ways when Dec is called back for another op and Bryn is hospitalized for her wounds. Then a family friend, and the legendary CIA operative Luke Hutchinson, recruits her and Dec to work as part of the team tracking down Tezharri, the terrorist mastermind guilty of the attack and kidnapping. Tezharri was a seriously scary psychopath with no redeeming qualities. The excerpts that bring the reader inside his thoughts are startlingly menacing. Having more experience with terrorists like Tezharri, Dec realizes more than Bryn the danger she is placing herself in. Though Dec thinks her joining the mission is a bad idea, Bryn is determined to see the terrorist brought to justice and Dec is determined to protect her. However, bound by the code of the Navy SEALs, Dec fights the attraction between them so that he can focus on his job and keep her safe. While their feelings for one another grow, they maintain a safe distance until spurred on by the fear of loss. But when Bryn is captured again, Dec makes the difficult choice between his duty as a Navy SEAL and the life of the woman he loves. You will never guess what happens. This is my favorite thing about this book. I was on the edge of my seat every second because there was never a part of the story where I could guess what was coming. Cross is an author who really knows the topic she’s writing about, including incorporating her own skills of karate and belly dancing (loved that scene – you go, girl!). It was clear that she’d also done her research on the Navy SEALs or other soldiers in the Special Forces. She created a strong storyline with the military aspect of the plot as strong as their growing romance. Cross really gets what romantic suspense should be about - the romance is crucial to the action, and the action is crucial to the romance and never should one get in the way of the other. That’s the formula Cross uses and it works beautifully. I am so glad I found Kaylea Cross. Now that I have discovered her, I have already downloaded the next in the series (Cover of Darkness is the second book) and am off to read it. ...more