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After the last fiasco, Sally gives up. She’ll never find a Dom of her own. Instead the computer whizz is job hunting in between bending the law—just a bit—to unearth the bastards who’d enslaved her friends. The clueless cops and Feds obviously need help.

FBI special agents, Galen and Vance, have waited to play with Sally for a long time. When the mischievous submissive returns to the exclusive Shadowlands BDSM club after an ugly relationship, the experienced co-tops are pleased. Realizing she’s suppressing her emotions, the powerful Doms push her—only to find that her sassiness conceals a scarred and vulnerable heart.

Shaken by the unexpected emotional exposure, Sally flees the demanding Masters and the Shadowlands.

Both Galen and Vance have reasons not to seek a long-term submissive, but when a brutal attack by her ex-Dom sends Sally into their home, the two agents are driven to protect her. To help her. To take her under command. Falling in love isn’t in the plans.

But as the little imp brings light into their lives, they begin to want more…until they discover she’s hacked into an organization that delights in burning people alive.

Word Count = 135,576

432 pages, ebook

First published November 5, 2013

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About the author

Cherise Sinclair

61 books7,935 followers
A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, she’s renowned for writing heart-wrenching romances with laugh-out-loud dialogue, alpha males, and absolutely sizzling sex.

I met my dearheart when vacationing in the Caribbean. Now I won’t say it was love at first sight. Actually since he stood over me, enjoying the view down my swimsuit top, I might have been a tad peeved—as well as attracted. But although we were together less than two days and lived on opposite sides of the country, love can’t be corralled by time or space.

We’ve now been married for many, many years. (And he still looks down my swimsuit tops.)

Nowadays, I live in the west with this obnoxious, beloved husband and a seventy-pound lap-puppy. I’m a gardener, and I love nurturing small plants until they’re big and healthy and productive…and ripping defenseless weeds out by the roots when I’m angry. I enjoy thunderstorms, collecting eggs from the chickens, and visiting the local brewery for the darkest, maltiest beer on tap. My favorite way to spend an evening is curled up on a couch next to the master of my heart, watching the fire, reading, and…well…if you’re reading my books, you obviously know what else happens in front of fires.

Search out Cherise in the following places:




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5 stars
5,277 (55%)
4 stars
2,845 (30%)
3 stars
1,032 (10%)
2 stars
223 (2%)
1 star
51 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 626 reviews
Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,600 followers
November 14, 2013

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4 "Please, Sir! Spank me 'til I can't sit down" stars!!

Cherise Sinclair's BDSM themed Masters of the Shadowlands series is an auto-buy for me. I love the bossy, demanding Masters and their subbies, and all the trouble the little imps get into, even though they know the rules! Or maybe because they know what the punishments will be!

In this installment we see Sally finally get her happily ever after with those crazy sexy FBI agents, Galen and Vance. Talk about yummy! I'd love to be the filling in a Feeb sandwich if those two Doms are the bread!

To be honest I didn't much care for Sally in the earlier books because she kind of got on my nerves with her constant mischief making. But, even though it took awhile, by the end of If Only, I really enjoyed this sweet, sassy-ass sub.

It was nice to see the Harvest Association taken down, once and for all. Just a heads up - some of the scenes were pretty gruesome - heartbreaking, in my opinion - but yeah, I'm glad the people behind the human trafficking organization got their comeuppance - straight to hell.

And Master Z's got some new plans for the Shadowlands! It was interesting to hear him talking with the other Masters about future changes to the Club! Should make for some intriguing stories and keep the series fresh! I was really excited by the number of new people introduced, and it sounds like maybe we'll get a M-M D/s relationship one day!

For me, one of the high-points was, as always, revisiting the other Masters and their subs. This time, though, we get a heartwarming, inspiring glimpse into Master Dan and Kari's marriage, and I loved every minute of it!

So why then, when I enjoyed this so much, is If Only getting 4 stars instead of 5? A couple reasons - it was slow to start and took awhile to draw me in. Also, I have a hard time believing that Sally, the intelligent woman that she is, would have allowed herself to get into an abusive relationship. There might have been some very good reasons for it, but I didn't see them. And are we really supposed to believe that Master Z, who can read a Dom or a sub from a mile away, and who protects his subbies and trainees like a mama bear protects her cubs wouldn't have had a face-to-face, come to Jesus with the guy?? It just doesn't add up.

Still, overall... another wonderful addition to the series!

A few things you need to know! This story contains...

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...and this...

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...and even this ...

Back Door OPEN photo BackdoorOpen_zpse47351d0.jpeg

...and while Mistress Anne did make an appearance, there was none of this...

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And one last thing before you go, remember...

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Profile Image for Jo ★The Book Sloth★.
485 reviews428 followers
September 28, 2014
Please tell me that she'll get both agents!!!!!

***********Finished 17/11/2013***********

Will review it at some point...Maybe!

**********1st re-read 13/08/2014**********

Still too bored to write a review but damn... what a book! I seriously want these 2 guys as a gift this year.

Profile Image for Penny.
741 reviews209 followers
July 1, 2018
I have always have problems with the rating of this series. I am having even more difficulties with this book, I think I have changed the numbers of stars I gave it a couple of times now. It is definitely between 3 and 4. Maybe 3.5, I don’t know!

All the books of this series are very similar, but they are very addictive. In my opinion, they show BDSM relationships in a very clear, honest and healthy way. They are also very instructive. Furthermore, they make a discernible and effective distinction between an abusive relationship and what BDSM is factually about.

I must confess however, that there were some things in If Only that due to my personal preferences I didn't particularly enjoy; like some of the types of punishments here, they weren't really about sex or pleasure, they were about the pain and actual punishment. The characters said that they wanted a BDSM relationship only in the sexual aspect of their lives, not in all aspects. Well to me, some of those punishments weren't in the realm of a sexual relationship, they were in the ambit of their personal relationship, thus it didn't seem right to me, so no, I didn't like that. But this is not a new viewpoint for me, I have always have trouble with the punishment/discipline aspects of BDSM relationships in general; it just doesn't sit well with me.

As always I loved all the Masters, their care, attention and appreciation for women.
I enjoyed the storyline in general, the sex, the characters’ relationship and their personal growths.
I liked the feeling of the characters belonging to a group, of them having people to count on; thanks to the inclusion of the other submissives and masters’ presence and stories throughout the book.
I felt like it was a long book, in a good way, complete.

I will continue devouring every single book that comes out from this series. As I said before, I am addicted.

Club Shadowlands (Masters of the Shadowlands #1) - 2.5 stars
Servicing the Target (Masters of the Shadowlands #10) - 3 stars
Profile Image for Eda**.
699 reviews444 followers
July 12, 2015

** 3-3,5 STARS **

“You get only what we give you, pet. And you take everything we give you.”


Holy hell...

I've missed Cherise Sinclair's crazy, sexy, rough world!

I can't say I've been a big fan of Sally, hence my incredibly late joining into the party (The book has been out for almost 2 years...yikes!), but I have to say both Galen and Vance were damn PERFECT.

I just wish

OVERALL: My favorite thing about the book was catching up with my beloved Doms and subs of this series! If you like hawt MFM menage, this book might be perfect for you. Unfortunately, it didn't feel as special as the previous books for me. But Cherise Sinclair is, and will always be, the Queen of Kink in my world! ;)

“Pretty Sally,” Galen murmured, “can’t move, can’t yell.” His lips curved slightly . “Can’t come.” His hand still rested ever so gently on her throat in an unstated threat.

Profile Image for Steph.
1,911 reviews272 followers
November 14, 2013
"'If onlys' will drive you mad."

If Only tells the story of sassy sub Sally and Co-Doms Galen and Vance, both FBI agents and new Shadowland Masters.
For months, they'd watched the little sprite. Never silent, never modest. She didn't submit gracefully. Both he and Vance had wanted to take her on. Nothing serious - they didn't do serious - but just for the challenge.
The first thing they noticed when Sally returned to the club after a month-long absence was that her bubbling enthusiasm and perkiness were gone - "... a subdued Sally was like a bird with a damaged wing."

The hunt for the remaining members of the Harvest Association continues. Sally, in school to become a computer forensics specialist, seizes an opportunity to become a silent hero in the hunt. She knows that "unhappy Doms weren't good for a submissive's health", so she tries to avoid the two Feds in an attempt to keep her actions stealthy.

That all changes when she's caught doing the one thing a Shadowkitten should never do - fake it. Z decides her punishment is to be handled by none other than the Co-Doms.

I loved these three together! It was great getting a deeper look at both Galen and Vance, who have been seen throughout the previous books. Sally and the Feds each have their own qualities that, when brought together, help mend the wounds of the others.

There was one irritant for me. While "imp", by definition, fits Sally's sneaky, mischievous personality perfectly, I didn't care for the endearment. Other than that, If Only is another fantastic addition to the Masters of Shadowlands series. And, I was thrilled to discover Cherise will be doing writing another MotS book! :D
I’ll admit it–I got my arm twisted and I’ll be doing another Masters of the Shadowlands. I’m going to see what happens when Rainie takes on Master Jake. That should come out in late summer, around August.


Pre-release date blog stalking discoveries:
9/5/2013: We've got a new name "If Only". That's it exactly! If only ... the book was out now. If only ... Sally could snag herself TWO masters (don't want to see Galen or Vance sub-less). If only ... the series was never-ending. If only ...

5/14/2013: Another update ~
I’m waiting on the cover for This Is Who I Am. I’ll post it here when Loose Id has it ready. I’m so anxious to see what it looks like!

Meantime, I’m working on Masters of the Shadowlands 8 which will be Sally & the Feds’ story. Poor Sally. Right now, the Feds are winning–but I know she’s going to get her composure back and give them hell.

More updates from Cherise's website:
I’m finishing up revisions on This Is Who I Am (Masters #7) for Loose Id.

And, woohoo!, I have a contract for the next Shadowlands (Sally & the Feds’ story), which I’m writing now.

From author's website:
And to wind up the year, Galen and Vance, the FBI agents in the Shadowlands series, asked that they be in on the final takedown of the slave trafficking organization. They also mentioned how much they like Sally… However, I made them no promises. Everything depends on how a story unfolds. After all, at one time I thought Sally would be perfect for Master Raoul, but when they got together, there was simply no chemistry.

Who knows, maybe Sally is perfect for a couple of FBI agents who are experts at interrogation. We’ll see.

Ooooh! I'd LOVE it if Galen and/or Vance get a SEA (Subbie ever after) story! :D
Profile Image for La-Lionne.
482 reviews781 followers
December 30, 2013
DNF at 70%

I realized this just now that it's nobodies fault, but mine. I can't be mad at the author, she's just doing her thing and I'm passed that anyway, or at the girl that send me very lovely PM and convinced me not to give up on Shadowlands just yet, saying that this installment is different from C. S. previous Shadowlands books, that I will love it. But here I am, giving two stars to yet another of Shadowlands submissives and Doms.
I know I've said that in my review for #7, but I will say it again, and this time I really mean it: no more Shadowlands! Adiós, bye bye, dasvidaniya, la revedere, 再见, ha det bra, auf wiedersehen.

I'm going to pass in my own comment that I wrote under another goodreader's review:

After I finished #7 I swore to my self to never ever pick up another book by C. S. I said bye bye to Shadowlands because I felt like the author was writing in fucking circles for the last 4 or 5 books. The same beat-down sub, with daddy, mommy, ex boyfriend issues (you name it, she has it) who can't make a coherent sentence, so week, so fragile, and there only a shadowlands Dom who can flog/fuck her back to mental health.
Then I got PM from a friend that said that #8 will be different, that I shouldn't give up on shadowlands just yet. So I decided to give it another go. Fuck me if I ever listen to a fangirl again.
I keep reading those glowing reviews where readers are thanking C. S. for doing such justice to bdsm community, for fairly and accurately describing kinksters. And every time I want to bang my head agains a wall. Every single of her heroines, in the last 5 books, have had emotional issues, and some of them needed serious clinical help (like the one that was kidnapped and raped). Author made them look like they were emotionally unstable. How is that doing justice?! I don't get it.
I'm only at 30%, but this book is no different. "In order for us to help you you have to do as we say. Now strip and kneel".. I'm sick of it.

As for the overweight women, I get it, authors wants to appeal to "every woman", but even that got old couple of book ago. Not only are they emotionally unstable, they are overweight too. From the way the heroine describes herself makes her sound like she is not your average size 38 to 42 woman. I'm yet to read a book where a sub in shadowlands doesn't have either emotional of physical health issues.

I understand that there are men that prefer soft curves, which is nice that not everybody likes to chew on a bone, but here you get Doms that are fucking ripped, with not a single fat cell in their bodies. How does that suppose to make an average man feel? There are plenty of men that look mighty fine, who aren't wrestler look-likes. I dare you to show me a Dom from Shadowlands that doesn't have a six pack. Muscular men do look yummy, but are we women are all that superficial, that we wouldn't read a book with a man that doesn't have a six pack???

Here are some of the quotes, from this very book, that sums up not only this book, but the last 5 Shadowlands installments.
We have yet another depressed heroine who believes she will never find a Dom, who will want her.
“Sally felt the prickle of tears in her eyes. Face it, she’d only returned to the Shadowlands because she’d missed her buddies.
Not to find a Dom.”

Does it sound familiar?
“The BDSM club hadn’t changed. The sounds were familiar—the music, the slapping of whips, floggers, and hands against tender flesh, the crying and moaning punctuated by occasional sharp cries.”
“The little sub was like a cornered feral kitten,”

I couldn't have put it better myself!
“I’d like to know why she’s so unhappy.”
“Yeah.” Galen rubbed his hands over his face. “Be a change to have something we could actually fix.”
Yet another Dom/Doms trying to fix another emotionally broken woman. Are we that weak that we can't do it without a man? Later on, when they called her strong and independent, I laughed my ass off, because she would have never been able to do it without their c@cks or their floggers. I'm not making it up, that's what they said later (direct quote):
“Talk, punishment, talk, sex. I think that’s how it’ll go.”

Don't even get me started on the confrontation between her father and her Doms. They act like they are the shit and that they know what is what, but they don't realize that those sort of "conversations" shouldn't happen in from of the kids. The timing was right, but not the place. Afterward, they were all 'I'm sorry', but f@ck your 'I'm sorry', the damage is already done!
Then, those know-it-all Doms, find themselves in a pickle. It made me go 'Well, f@ck me sideways, how about you two practice what you preach!?' 400 pages later I saw that those know-it-all Doms knew shit about being emotionally available for your significant other. As it turned out, they themselves were hiding quite a bit. Ha!

Then you have people stammering. I can deal with a little (like when people are crying), but C.S. takes to a whole new level. It happened every single time someone was mad, angry, aroused, sad or surprised.
Here is one scene that topped it all. All of this happened on one f-ing page. It proved that not only sub is damsel in distress, but even those all mighty Doms themselves knew nothing about the importance of communication in the relationship when it came down to it.
“You have no—”
Vance had rounded the bed and now dragged him back even as he said, “Sally, the Harvest Association isn’t”—Vance’s voice was gravel-rough and shaken—“isn’t safe. You could be—”
“By God, you are not—”
“We need to talk—”
“Later we’ll sit down and—”
“I’m fucking not going—”
I swear this is my last review for Shadowlands. Fool me once and all that.
The book is five and a half hundred pages long! I think I reached four hundred before I felt like I've had it and decided to give up. This book is not a profound love story, or a psychological thriller, where there is a need of so much details. It's not different or unique, or something you haven't read before. It's a simple story of a hamster running on wheel, same old thing.
I think Cherise Sinclair is loved for the same reasons as Abbi Glines and Kristen Ashley - it's old and familiar, like a comfort food, like coming back home to your mama. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. It's nice to have an author to fall back on, when you are in a reading slump.
Sadly, it's not enough for me. I want something new, something different and unique, I want a story that pushes boundaries, that competes to be different and stands out.
The only thing that C. S. has still going for her is safe and consensual. Which is a must in erotica. Other than that, she needs to take a long vacation and get inspired, because even a long time fans of hers will get bored of the same old thing after a while (unless they are close friends or family members). After a year, max two. What then?

The only thing that separates this story from the others from Shadowlands, is that there are two Doms instead of one. Unfortunately, they have the same MO.

One other (very important) thing - that should have been named in the blurb, but haven't been - is ménage à trois, and . C. S. Herself preaches about submissive's hard limits in her books. How about warning her readers about it, too? I understand her books are rated 18+, but I don't think that absolutely everybody who reads her books enjoys reading about and . Heads up would have been nice.

Profile Image for Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**.
1,390 reviews652 followers
August 24, 2017

***2 Stars***

This is the book that doesn't end. Yes, it goes on and on my friend...

Sing along if you know the song.

I'd been looking forward to this book featuring bratty trainee, Sally, and the two mysterious FBI Doms, Vance and Galen, for a couple of books now. Unfortunately, this book fell completely flat for me.

Most of this 400+ page book is the same repeated conversations. Sally needs to share her feelings, neither guy is looking for a long-term relationship, hmmm maybe they do want a long-term relationship and they should talk to each other about it, Sally pulling pranks and tricks on the guys (I have to admit some of them were funny...especially when she messed with Galen's toys), Sally's low self-esteem.....rinse and repeat and repeat and repeat.

With the history of each character individually, when they all came together it should have been explosive and evocative...but it pains me to say this, I felt NOTHING between the three. No chemistry, no butterflies, no connection...NOTHING. Not even a little sizzle. It just felt flat.

And then to add on top of all of that...so, you know when you're already disappointed with something everything starts to bother you? Yeah, that happened to me here. Sally's little "Christ" sayings drove me absolutely batty..

Christ on a crutch...

Christ in a cave...

Christ on a slippery slope...

Christ in gatorland...

Christ on a pogo stick...

Christ in pigtails...

Christ with a leather crop...

Christ in never-never land...

Christ in a swamp...

Christ in the flowers...

That's just a sampling.

One big plus for the book is that the Harvest Association human trafficking plot line has finally been resolved. So, two thumbs up for that. Oh..and the epilogue. Everyone's announcements, and the snowball that Vance started, left me with a big smile on my face.

But, overall, I'm really disappointed with a book that had some great potential.
Profile Image for Praj.
314 reviews799 followers
August 23, 2016
The tuneful vivacity of Beth Ditto pushed me into the sinister yet widely familiar interiors of Shadowlands , once again for the eight time; wondering if I needed another round of the sultry Lana Del Rey before the Shadowkittens make way for ménage à trois . The odour of moist leather clobbering my senses as I saw Galen detouring a delusional Sally. Fucking hell, the brat was back! I did not care a rat’s ass for her bloody story. Vance and Galen desired for Sally regardless Master Raoul ire and I didn't care about the spanking benches or those St. Andrew’s crosses. All I craved was a drink, maybe a swig or two and leisurely walked up to the bar, one mellow swig and I’ll be on my way out. The lanky bartender staring into my apprehensions, grinned, “What can I get for you? Perhaps, the new Orgasm drink? Two is the limit”. Are you fucking kidding me, I thought, trying to be mouthy to the bartender. Is that a bottle of Kahlua? He snorted in a dismissive way and smirked at Sally. Gulping her drink, Sally turned her prankster face to me and winked, “What kind of a limp-dick loser tells his girl, only two orgasms?” . I laughed and thumped in front of the bartender, “Two Screaming Orgasms, please!!” Oh! Finally, I was glad to be back in Shadowlands. Is Master Z reading my mind?
Profile Image for Sylvia.
175 reviews3 followers
February 19, 2016
Notes prior to book release:
I have to say, I am pretty excited about Sally's book. It is about time that a club's Sub has a story. It frequently seems that many BDSM books revolve around introducing a BDSM virgin to the D/s lifestyle, but rarely is there a story of a HEA for a career sub. Don't they deserve to find someone too?

Throughout the series, Sally always seems like she is having such a good time and appears to not be riddled with insecurities and past horror stories which have made her turn to the BDSM lifestyle for therapy. Can't someone just like the lifestyle without having been abused in the past? I hope to see her character remain cheerful and happy, while looking for love in all the right places. I hope her character depth and strength comes from a positive background story.

I would also love to see an update/scene with the original characters from book one. They just seem a little too private!! Perhaps another play party scene? Book one was just so short, I feel I need a bit more.

Update post release:
I enjoyed this one. I was pleased to see an outstanding sub plot resolved. I was happy to see Sally and learn more about her. Her character grew well. The sex was hot, the kink high. Well done and much better than #7.
Profile Image for Annie .
2,442 reviews814 followers
November 8, 2013

I feel like I’ve waited years for Sally and the Feds’ book but trust me when I say the wait is worth it! There was a lot of anticipation, nervousness and excitement as I jumped headlong into this book. Writing a long series and having all the characters interact with one another makes readers very, very eager. The author has built a family and readers have come to expect certain things from the characters. But as I read the opening scene of this book, a sense of familiarity and comfort returned as I remembered why I adore this series so much.

Sally has always had that spitfire attitude, that spark that a lot of the other submissive don’t show off much. Her book has that spark. There are pranks thrown at the Mistress Anne and the Feds, there are the snarky comebacks, there is her wit, and the overall sense of vibrancy that Sally’s character brings to the story. Because of that, I think this book is one of my favorites in the series. I laughed out loud, I grinned like a fool, I cursed and I teared up as well. Sinclair strikes the perfect balance of vulnerability/insecurity and sassiness in Sally’s character that it just made me love her more.

Furthermore, the sex slavery theme isn’t new in this series. But what is interesting is the way Sinclair puts Sally in the action. As a smart hacker, Sally has all the tools right at her fingertips and she uses it to her advantage when she obtains information that can save several women from being kidnapped. I have to give a hand to Sinclair for coming up with that. It’s a smart, effective tactic that makes Sally’s character shine.

The Feds are two of the toughest and the scariest Doms in the Shadowlands. Just reading about them made me nervous, but honest to God, I didn’t expect them to be so sweet either! As Sinclair builds this romance from the ground up, she has a very hard task on her hands. Two men – Doms, I may add (That’s not very common) and a sassy submissive. That doesn’t always work, but Sinclair makes it so that readers are invested in the story and the characters.

Both Vance and Galen have their own issues to overcome. It makes this book long, but one of the things I love about Sinclair’s writing is that she gives her characters wonderful internal conflict and WORKS IT OUT. She doesn’t rush that process and in the end, you can definitely feel that the character has worked out their problems, as well as fallen deeply in love. As a result, IF ONLY is a beautifully written story of overcoming guilt.

But wait! There’s more! Sinclair brings in the whole crew and some MAJOR advancements are detailed in this book. Loyal fans have A LOT to be happy about. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to get there. Sinclair showcases some of the ups and downs of past characters. Some of their stories broke my heart, but I feel like it’s worth it in the end.

If you’re a fan, then you already know this, but Sinclair can come up with some crazy interesting ways to have sex! She’ll push you in this one, as you’ll find out and some little tricks are just plain hilarious (the music make-up sex scene comes to mind).

IF ONLY surpassed my expectations with blinding colors. It’s uncommon to find an author so consistently good at what she writes. Whenever a reader asks for a BDSM recommendation, I respond with only one name: Cherise Sinclair. In her books, you will find devastatingly alluring characters, raw emotion, intense suspense and a story that will keep you locked in its sinful embrace. IF ONLY is one of my favourite reads this year.

*Review copy provided by publisher
Profile Image for Pam.
1,093 reviews1,015 followers
August 10, 2016
3.5 stars
“You get only what we give you, pet. And you take everything we give you.”

Oh Sally, who knew it would take two men to tame you.

Sally finds herself in trouble yet again and the only ones who can keep her safe are the two men who scared her away. Her anger is her best defense and as much as she fights it, she really has no choice but to accept their offer; after all, why can’t she have a little fun, knowing the Feds are all about a good time and against anything permanent.
“Pretty Sally,” Galen murmured, “can’t move, can’t yell.” His lips curved slightly . “Can’t come.” His hand still rested ever so gently on her throat in an unstated threat.

Sally is so much more than the bratty submissive she wants everyone to see, she's smart, like techie smart and she uses her skill to anonymously help out the feds without fully understanding the danger she is putting herself or everyone else in. Never one to ask for help, she is used to accepting what is thrown at her and keeping her feelings to herself. She feels lost with these two Doms, she isn’t used to not being able to manipulate the outcome of each situation.
“Haven’t you ever wanted a Dom at home to worry about you?” Vance asked. “To spank you for not carrying your cell phone? To push you to try harder? To force you to share what’s bothering you?”

Being the sole focus of these two Doms was eye opening, there were so many things that they taught her about her desires and herself. She was quickly falling for these two men, who are both completely opposite of each other yet completely complimentary. The bond between the two men was so strong, working together seamlessly in every aspect of their life. The two men knew Sally was the one that they have been waiting for to complete them, she is everything they wanted and more.
“We live together. Top together. Co-Dom when there’s a sub in the house. Always figured we’d co-husband together if we found someone.”

…but nothing is ever that easy, and the mess they find themselves in is set to tear their perfect little world apart.

If Only was a HOT delicious read, but I couldn’t help feel a little thrown off in the begining, I always had this version of Sally in my head that was different than the Sally I got in the book same with the feds. I guess that is what I get, eight books into the series, I think I have formed an opinion about most of the people in the club, I just need to remind myself that the characters in my head are not the real characters, lol. Not sure whose book is up next but I’m curious to see what is in store for us, now that so much has changed in the Shadowlands.

*** Reviewed on 12.26.2013 :)
Profile Image for P.A. Lupton.
Author 2 books401 followers
November 9, 2013

Sadly, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed in this novel. I love the Shadowlands books and was really looking forward to Sally and the Feds, but it fell it a little flat for me.

I think one of things that initially bothered me was the relationship Sally had gotten herself into. It didn’t fit anything about her personality. Last time we saw Sally the Feds had given their ominous warning and I was prepared to dive into that. Instead, Sally has taken a month away from the Shadowlands to be in an abusive relationship with some random guy we’ve never seen. And why are all Doms who aren’t Shadowlands Doms abusive? Where did she meet this Dom who wasn’t from the Shaowlands? Personally, I thought this story would have been better without any of that. Sally had enough to deal with concerning her father.

As for Galen and Vance, I thought we’d see more about why they share a woman. I figured there’d be some reason in their past that would explain it, but there wasn’t. It was just like they woke up one day decided to share—and for two extremely dominant and possessive men that didn’t make sense to me. Why would they be jealous of other men but not each other? I just felt unsatisfied with that.

What I did like was to see a resolution to the Harvest Association story line. That has been dragging on for four books now and I’m glad that it was done and that Sally played a big part in that. Although, it really pissed me off that she didn’t get any recognition for her role in that. The other thing I liked about this story was how playful Sally is. I loved the water gun fight and all of her pranks. Those are what saved this book for me.
Profile Image for  Rosebud.
1,052 reviews196 followers
November 8, 2013
Book #8 in the "Masters Of The Shadowlands" series by Cherise Sinclair featuring Doms Galen & Vance and bratty sub Sally.

First and foremost I don't think I ever have or ever will read a book by this author that I won't love so that goes without saying. As to my personal summation of the actual story that I usually do. I'm so very sure it will be done by many and in many different ways so I'm not doing that myself. If you're a fan of this author you'll read this one regardless. As to standalone status. The series builds off the previous ones so it's not suggested to read this without having read previous installments(not all of course but for sure the first one).

This book is going to be up for discussion in one of my groups so I'm not going to point out the pros/cons of this story because of that. What I will say that I did have issues with the story line and certain facts and scenarios as presented which totally surprised even me. So many of those thoughts are potential spoilers so I can't even be vague here about some of them.

Any fan of this author is gonna love this installment. I had been waiting for Sally's story and do have to say that it did live up to my expectations. Vance and Galen were perfect foils for her and I'm so very happy they were Dom enough to handle her without breaking her. I never ever want this series to end.
Profile Image for BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme.
6,668 reviews1,283 followers
December 2, 2013
Finally Sally receives her story! Sally is the bratty sub who taunts and plays practical jokes on the Dom and Dommes in Shadowlands. Sally doesn't think she will ever find a Dom to keep her. She struck out with her last Dom, Frank. She kicked his abusive ass out and is debating if she should even stay in the lifestyle. The problem with Sally is that she needs two Doms, not one. Fortunately, FBI agents Galen and Vance have their sights set on Sally. They do a good job of penning her in and taking her into their "protective" custody.

This story is so good. The BDSM scenes are sexy with the hawt ménage between alpha males and a feisty female. From a BDSM play perspective, these are all dead on and delightful. This is to be expected when Ms. Sinclair is writing the story. It shows that she researches and is a least a little bit in the lifestyle. While one shouldn't use her books a BDSM 101 guides, the scenes can be used as guides to build one's own scenes in real life. The fisting scene in this story is a nice surprise and oh so very hawt. Who doesn't like fisting? Another delightful scene is Sally's punishment. To demonstrate the difference between a faked and real orgasm is clever. Many people abhor physical punishment and think that all punishment is dealt through spanking or some kind of physical reprimand. Ms. Sinclair does an excellent job of showing how a punishment can fit the crime and have nothing to do with a "beating". Makes a bratty submissive more wary of behaving badly in hopes of a caning, spanking or flogging session.

The reason why I really enjoyed this story is the character building. Ms. Sinclair has been teasing the readers with Sally's flippant behaviour over several books in this series. When Sally's past is finally revealed, it's unexpected and sad. Sally isn't physically abused as a child. However she is abused through neglect. It's admirable how Sally is able to be so positive despite the lack of familial love in her life. Watching Galen and Vance break through her defenses and peel back each painful memory moves a reader. It helps the reader bond better with Sally. She's not a disrespectful submissive. She's a complicated person because of her emotional barriers. Galen and Vance's character development are not skipped over. Ms. Sinclair shows us their past which explains why they behave the way they do. They aren't perfect dominants, that's for sure. Demonstrating how they can make mistakes and then recover is a nice touch. It adds more realism.

This story does conclude a multi-book arc with the nefarious slaver group - Harvest Association. This is the suspense part of the story and helps bring the characters and plot all together. It's a fitting ending and nicely tied up. It enriches the plot of this book and makes it more than just a kinky romance. This story is recommended for kinky readers who love ménages where the female is the focal point.

*provided by BDSM Book Reviews
Profile Image for The BookChick .
1,453 reviews430 followers
November 9, 2013
My Rating: ★★★½
GOOD: The characteristics of a 3 star book include: interesting characters, a decent storyline, and unique story elements; there was something about the story that I didn’t completely connect with; the book is a solid read. I would recommend it to a friend.
My Thoughts:
Let me just preface my review by saying that I love Cherise Sinclair's writing. Her stories are vivid and detailed and draw the reader into the story by pulling on their emotions in some way. The Shadowlands series is a favorite of mine and I have read several of the books more than once, because they are just that good.

*Sigh*...now on to my review.

I waited so long for Sally's story. She was always one of my favorite subs with her sassiness and wit. And, when the Feds came into the picture, I just knew her story would blow the others out of the water. Helllllooooo, two gorgeous alpha male FBI agents. I could not wait for this story to come out. Welp, my anticipation did not match my enjoyment of the story. Sure, it was a solid story and well written like only Cherise can. However, I did not enjoy this story overall. There were moments where I laughed (like when the Doms referred to the subs as "The Shadowkittens") and sighed when Dan and Kari were able to rekindle the magic of their relationship. But beyond that, my enjoyment of the complete story was neutral--definitely NOT the norm for me with Cherise's books.

So the "why" of it all?

Ok, let me start with Sally. Her character was so strong and sassy whenever she appeared in the other books. She was always mouthing off and giving the Doms grief. I totally loved her attitude. Conversely, although she had moments of sassiness and strength in If Only, I found the Sally in this book to be a complete dichotomy of the Sally in other stories. For one, she met and stayed with a Dom (not a Shadowlands Dom) who was a drunk abuser. She experienced the ultimate care by the Doms at Shadowlands so it seemed odd that she would subject herself to a stranger who is abusive. Also, we never hear where she met this Dom. He just shows up out of the blue, topping Sally. I would have appreciated a bit of background on where he came from. Sally was a trainee at Shadowlands but did she visit another club or find him on a forum? Even a brief mention would have sufficed. There just wasn't enough about "Frank" in the story. But the fact that she allowed him to cheat on her (she mentioned he was not monogamous) and abuse her (only getting fed up with him at that point) just didn't seem at all like something MY Sally would do. I didn't care for that particular story thread at all.

And then there were the men. . .

Ok, I absolutely loooooooved Galan and Vance in the books that followed the story thread with the slavers. It was just something about them that just made you want to know more. So it shocked me when I got to 50% and felt kind of "meh" about both of them. There was nothing that really shouted "LOVE THIS MAN!!" to me about them. Master Raoul...yes. Master Dan...definitely. Master Z...abso-frickin-lutely. But Galan and Vance felt a bit vanilla to me compared to the aforementioned Doms. Honestly, they just didn't feel very "dom-y." Sure, they issued commands to Sally but I just never felt as if they commanded her. Their interaction with her felt rote opposed to exciting or thrilling.

And finally, their triad...

I never felt as if the three connected as a triad. The passion between them was hot and the men definitely had Sally's back when it came to dealing with her father, but there was a missing link between them for me. I didn't feel that constant undercurrent of connection between them. It was told but I never felt it. I was expected to feel more between them after waiting so long for Sally's story to unfold.

In closing...

I'm glad that the story like with the Harvest Association seems to have come to a compelling end. I was growing a bit weary of that story thread because it seemed to take the focus off of and outside of the club for several books.

Cherise Sinclair will still be one of my go-to authors when I'm looking for a steamy and passionate story. Books 1-7 were on point for me and although book 8 was a one-off, I will still follow the series and look forward to seeing what she does with Jake (the new Dom) and Raine. But gotta wait until August 2014 for that one. *Sigh*...patience is not my virtue :).

Ratings Detail:
Rating for female protagonist: 3★
Rating for male protagonist: 3★
Rating for secondary characters: 4★ <--Any book with Master Z is a good book!
Steam Level: 4★
Plot Viability: 3★
General Storyline: 3★
Story Ending: 3★
Ease of Reading: 4★
Book editing: 4★
Cliffhanger: No

Overall rating: 3½★

Would I recommend this series: Yes.
Would I continue the series: Yes.
Would I read other books by this author: Yes.

For more of my reviews visit The BookChick Blog
Profile Image for Ale Rivero.
1,202 reviews103 followers
September 23, 2018
Al fin llegó, ¡desde que terminé el anterior libro la primera vez quería leerme este!
Debo confesar que no tengo una buena imagen preestablecida de los agentes del FBI en general, pero en este caso no me importaría tener a un par como Galen y Vance tras de mí, así que considero que Sally es una gran suertuda.
A mi parecer este es uno de los libros más dramáticos dentro de la saga, seguramente sea por el hecho de que toma importancia el caso de la Asociación Harvest. Sin embargo, a pesar de todos los líos queda lugar para ver pequeñas escenas que nos muestran cómo va avanzando la vida de las otras parejas que hemos conocido con anterioridad y cómo se va desarrollando la historia de idas y vueltas del trío protagonista.
Galen, Vance y Sally tienen sus traumas y también sus personalidades, que hacen que cada uno sea muy especial, por lo que a lo largo de la historia muchas son las trabas que ellos mismos se ponen, aunque al fin y al cabo no sirven de nada, porque el amor está dispuesto a triunfar y con menor y mayor esfuerzo derrumba los obstáculos y logra su cometido.
Esta es una historia más que recomendable.

Pensando en esta historia me he dado cuenta que la esperé mucho y la leí con grandes ansias la primera vez, sin embargo, eso no ha hecho que quedara entre mis favoritas de la saga. Un punto a favor aquí, al igual que pasa en el libro de Sam, es mostrarnos otra cara de las relaciones, y realmente ver la conformación y desarrollo de un trío resulta más que interesante.
Profile Image for Kitten ~♥️ MM series ~.
104 reviews43 followers
December 1, 2013
3.5 'If Only It Was Better' Stars

You never forget your first especially when it introduces you to things you Never knew existed. Made FSoG look like the teddy bear from the Snuggles commercial. The Masters of Shadowlands series is the handbook for BDSM for me. The men in this series are Masters.

You know the book your reading has a true Master/Alpha when:
-you feel like you have to lower your head
-your screaming at the submissive for her bravado moves
-you never question your Master commands.

I was feigning for this book. I mean getting this book on day of release. CS teased me with Sally antics and how the FBI boys made her nervous every time they interacted.

I felt for the first Menage book in the series it was solid. It was great to know there was more to Sally then the attractive young submissive. The dynamic duo Doms Galen and Vance was new to me. They worked together fluidly in scenes. The bound and learning more about their background was intriguing. Best part of course for me is catching up w/the crew.

Real Talk: The story had some inconsistency throughout. In the case of the Doms being referred to as "uber Doms" but the softer sweeter side was mostly seen.
As far as the Menage aspect it was good related to BDSM. I still hope there is more from this series.

Profile Image for Charlie.
799 reviews149 followers
July 17, 2020
I'm so glad I reread this! This has got to be one of my favourites in the series and I'd completely forgotten how amazing it was. I read it last in 2013, don't know why I didn't pick it up again sooner!

Galen and Vance are just perfection. I love them, with ever fibre of my being. They top together so well and everything about them makes me melt.

This has everything you can expect from a Shadowlands book; it's funny, sweet and fantastically kinky.

Cherise Sinclair really does write my all time favourite kinky romance, she is the queen.
Profile Image for Ayalla.
34 reviews9 followers
December 15, 2013
Writing style: 5 Stars
"Story": 1 Star
Everything else: 1 Star

I keep reading the books from Mrs Sinclair because they are so well written. But I think I have to stop now.

To be fair, the setting of the story was nice. The feds and Sally went well together but.... this.. I don't even know how to put it into words.
Maybe I am not the target audience? Mid 20th female, normal weight and not broken. I love my family, there was no abuse and yeh I am not broken.
But the BDSM genre teaches me that I have to be broken to be into it. And this book again and again and again. Was one of Cherise characters not broken? We have several abusive ex-boyfriends, weird families, rape, kidnapping and so on. But here comes super-dom to the rescue! Fixing livelong fears or issues with a spanking. And super dom got a six pack and well defined muscles everywhere, but it is totally okay that you are a chubby or bit more than that. Okayokay for sure there are guys okay with every type of body, but lets be honest. If a guy keeps himself so good in shape, that he is lean at age 50, he puts lot of thoughts into food and exercise. Why wouldn't he want his girlfriend to be "fit"?
I know, I know, this is so more females feel okay with their body. And that is totally okay, but I am pretty sure I read the "genetics" argument in several of her books. Spreading such bullshit in books is really really stupid. Genetics doesn't make you fat.
And I am not fat shaming here or anything, just this constant pointing out in the books, that being fat is okay, is annoying. Why mentioning body size at all? Why making most of the subs chubby?
I start to feel discriminated as a normal weight person by this books. This is the opposite of fat shaming.

And which made me put down the book for a few weeks was, when one of the super doms told Sally that she has to move out. Her reaction was simply W-T-F. Are we females supposed to be like that? And then after finding out WHY, she walks back there. WHY WHY WHY?
I understand the we are females we have to be strong blabla bullshit. But sorry? A 20 something girl knows better than two senior fed agents? Hu? Hu? Hu? And then the author makes it look like it was a good idea. Ahhhh.

So here I am trapped between books for 40+years old housewives and 50shades of grey books addressed to the same but also twilight fans. Great.
Profile Image for Jo * Smut-Dickted *.
2,038 reviews462 followers
November 9, 2013
3.5 stars - I rounded because its one of my favorite MF series. In fact it's just about the only MF I have read lately that isn't noncon/harsh/ageplay/etc.

I liked the plot and the writing, as always, is excellent. Sally seemed to waver for me but I did like the backstory and how this sort of came out and was not an info dump. I love both the guys but their backstory is just not as filled out. I still cannot figure out why they like to do this together - they talk about being bro's and I don't get a MM vibe from them but emotionally I think I still have a hard time connecting them as a duo. I just can't get a real deep read on their emotional relationship such that I felt they could do forever with each other.

Now physically with the sex - heck yes. The sex in this one was absolutely hot and felt plenty fresh - and that's a pretty good feat for #8 in a series. I mean it's really good. The punishment scenes were great and varied and I did love them.

I liked revisiting the couples - but could have actually had a bit less of that. Sounds weird to say but there being a side focus in so many other directions pulled me out of the story. Dan and Kari's situation I think would have made a great short web story - because it was great and so true to life. It just felt too much here. The hacking Sally does I was quite worried about - but Ms. Sinclair handled it very well and in this one we get a lot of "sense" and not a lot of contrived-to-create-tension crap. Bravo on that and very (VERY!) well done.

It seemed very long - which was enjoyable on one hand because I just don't want this series to end but, on the other, it actually dragged a bit. Not sure who else is in the lineup - with the changes Master Z discussed. I will be sad when the series ends!

Profile Image for ᴥ Irena ᴥ.
1,649 reviews213 followers
January 18, 2018
I've read the first seven books a couple of years ago when I was on holiday. They were fun and the characters were pretty balanced and acted (almost) the way I expected considering their age. This one not so much.

I mean, it's not bad bad. The thing that drove me insane is Sally's behaviour. She is in her mid-twenties, but sometimes she acts as if she's a teen. I am not a huge fan of teen protagonists. I get quite enough of that at my job, thanks. Galen is said to be ten or so years older than her, but sometimes I had a feeling he is much older than that. Vance felt even older. I rushed through the sexual scenes. Nothing new there.

What I wanted to see above all else is the fall of the horrible organisation that kidnaps people and sells them to slavery. That part was underwhelming. I won't get into the details, but after all the action and the evens (the slave auction, the murders and so on) from the previous books, I honestly expected more .

As for the untold stories, I was interested in Uzuri's until she attacked a man in this book for a very strange reason. Not so sure any more.
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