Shannon (Giraffe Days)'s Reviews > Club Shadowlands

Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair
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Aug 28, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: e-book, erotic-romance, 2012, bdsm
Read in September, 2012

Jessica Randall is an accountant with several disappointing and unsatisfying relationships in her past. Returning home from a trip to Tampa for a date with a man she'll never see again, her car hits an armadillo in the rain and goes into the ditch. Alone on the dark country road, the only signs of life is a house she passed further down the road. It's a mansion with a formidable giant of a man at the door, who seems reluctant to assist when she asks for help. Returning with the handsome Master Z, the door guard, Ben, lets her in.

But this is a private club, and before she can be allowed any further than the entrance she has to read and sign the rules. Tired, freezing and dripping, Jessica can barely make out the words, but how bad can it be? It's just a rich person's club in the country. So she signs without understanding just what kind of club it is.

Her introduction to Club Shadowlands, a very private and select club for those who enjoy practicing BDSM, is a bit of a shock to gentle Jessica's system. But Master Z takes her under his wing to show her around and teach her the rules - and hopes for something more from her. After a night of opening her senses to a new world, and the desires she's always had but never realised, will Jessica ever return? Would Master Z want more than a brief D/s relationship?

This short introductory novel into the world of Club Shadowlands, the first in a series, is fun in a distinctly titillating way. It doesn't waste time with filler or too much dithering introspection, which I could really appreciate. It is romantically inclined - the Dominant men we're introduced to don't want just another sub, but something more long-lasting and meaningful: love, and whatever comes with it.

That said, we don't really get to know Jessica or Master Z - Zach - in depth, but we do get a good sense of their characters, and come to like them, from their interactions. The Doms aren't sadists, they're more romantically inclined, patient and follow the idea that bondage and whipping etc. is for the sub, not the Dom. Pleasure in pain, that kind of thing. Jessica's not into the pain, but she learns that she enjoys being dominated and tied up. In her tour of the club, she sees that there are many different ways of exploring BDSM, and learns that the subs, whether they're women or men, are willing participants. Doms who go from giving what the subs need to actually being abusive or violent with them, are quickly kicked out and banned from the club. For readers curious about the lifestyle, this is a good guide, though for readers like me who've read plenty of BDSM stories already, it's a bit too familiar.

There is an added element to the series: some of the characters have paranormal abilities. Master Z can read people's emotions, which puts him in an excellent position of running a club like this - and being a popular Dom. This gives him an edge and is what enables things to move quite fast between him and Jessica. Especially considering Jessica is almost as naive as Anastasia Steele from Fifty Shades. Almost, but thankfully not that bad.

Being short, the novel does lack a deeper level of emotional involvement and tensity, leaving it almost a bit too cute and simplistic. But I did enjoy it, and wouldn't mind reading more in the series.
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