Happy Bookaholic's Reviews > Club Shadowlands

Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair
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Feb 02, 2012

bookshelves: could-not-finish-maybe-before-i-di, dnf-meh

I lost what little interest I had after the Dom, who is portrayed as a protective empath, contradictorily "punished" the female MC for not comprehending the rules of BDSM or the club. He tells her that he knows she did not understand and does not consent, but will beat her anyway because she won't do anything about it. He further manipulates her into feeling guilty for hurting him by forcing him to inflict pain on her. The scene did not represent healthy BDSM practices, it rationalized rape and abuse — it wasn't really bad if the victim was aroused, and easily mind-fucked, right? Club Shawdowlands, along with Sinclair's other works are highly rated so I'll try to complete this or another of the author's works, but my hopes have already been dashed.

Quotes & Notes:

Zachary tilted his head, his eyes on the sobbing woman, letting her feelings slide into him. He haz a superpower. He just knows things—like spidey sense. Glad he uses it for good. But wait. . .

“I’m sorry. . . that you will be punished for what you thought was a good deed.” . . . “Listen, I apologized, and I’ll leave now.” . . . No, woman. Your sensible attitude will not avail you of the punishment we shall inflict on you.

“Stop it,” she hissed, squirming in his unyielding grasp. Her heart pounded with fear, yet she was all too aware of his hands on her, of how his larger body held her in place so easily. It was Sir who had her in his arms, Sir who made her feel safe, only there was no safety here. She's suffering and pleading yet Sir the Protective Empath is publicly beating and molesting her because...?

“You bastard,” she jerked out. “You let me up, or I’ll sue you so bad. I --” . . . “Kitten,” he said, stroking her heated cheek. “No one ever does. Lawsuits make headlines, and no one wants to admit they’ve been here.” . . . The author disclosed this to test us. I think I passed. The appropriate reaction is: wtf? He plead guilty, convinced he would not be punished for the crime.

A cry escaped her this time. Wham! Wham! It hurt so bad, and she sobbed. . . . “In front of people… It hurt… Nobody ever…” Her barriers fell, and she sobbed, shaking as hard as when she’d been chilled from the rain. Sensitive little one, a sheltered little pet. It only made him want her the more. I hear that's what all the sadists say.

She felt so lost.

And then Sir bent and effortlessly lifted her into his arms. Head spinning like a tilt-o-whirl ride, she clutched his jacket.

“Shhh, kitten, you’re all right,” he murmured, and something inside her relaxed. She felt his lips in her hair and knew she was safe.
A stranger engineered her pain and humiliation and a few seconds later she feels safe in his arms. That's Stockholm Syndrome on speed.

“I want to leave now,” she said in a hard voice. Woman, where do you think you're going? He's Master Z, a master manipulator and he's not done with you yet. Watch this. . . .

To have to perform a scene, a punishment scene like that, was extremely unpleasant. It bothered me to hurt you, Jessica,” he growled. “You will let me hold you, and offer me some comfort in return.”

Her eyes widened. Earlier, she had understood the damage her heedless actions had created with Master Smith and his sub. Could she grasp the discomfort she had caused him?

He could almost hear that clever mind turning over the events. This was a very smart woman.
Hahaha. Indeed. A woman who would not blame herself for her abuser's actions would be a stupid git.

[S]he whispered, “I’m sorry” into his shirt.

“As am I,” he returned evenly, not granting her the grace of forgiveness. Not just yet.
It's funny because it's awful—straight out of a domestic violence handbook. . . .

“Just sit with me, little one,” he sighed. “Until we both recover a bit. You are a comforting armful of woman, and my body likes having you against it.” [Medieval much?] . . .

“I want a kiss, and then I’ll take you to the entryway.”

“That’s all?” she asked suspiciously.
And just like that, a reader knows he broke her. Like sister, like sister.
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