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Mountain Masters & Dark Haven #3

My Liege of Dark Haven

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Threatened by university cutbacks, Professor Abigail Bern’s only hope is to publish a provocative research paper--soon. Planning to covertly observe behavior in the notorious Dark Haven BDSM club, she takes a receptionist job. When the owner calls upon her to assist in a demonstration, she’s appalled. Then fascinated. Under the unyielding hands of the master known as my Liege, she discovers a need to be more than an observer.

His late wife had been the center of his life, and Xavier Leduc wants no other. But when his new receptionist does her utmost to keep an emotional distance from him, he’s intrigued and digs deeper. She’s adorable. Intriguingly intelligent, beautifully submissive, sweetly vulnerable. He soon realizes her defenses are keeping her on the fringe of her sexuality--and her life. As he draws her into fuller participation, she unconsciously does the same for him. She begins to fill his world.

Ever since the night she met my Liege Xavier, Abby has questioned everything she believes about herself. She’s falling for the stern owner of Dark Haven and thinks he’s beginning to care for her...until the day he learns why she’s in his club.

328 pages, ebook

First published August 28, 2012

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About the author

Cherise Sinclair

47 books7,899 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.

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5 stars
5,032 (54%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 561 reviews
Profile Image for ~ Becs ~.
709 reviews2,107 followers
August 28, 2012
5 deliciously erotic stars

OK, so I know that it’s only release day and I’m already writing a review but you should know that I’m several lines of longitude ahead of you American reviewers so I started this book while you were all still sleeping. I spent all day reading it – in fact, I practically DEVOURED it. Who needs to eat anyway?

Cherise Sinclair is absolutely the Queen of the glitterkink BDSM romance novel and this is no exception. She’s my favourite author in this genre, her releases are eagerly awaited and I’m happy to say that I totally LOVED this!! She never disappoints.

After waking up this morning, the first thing I did was dash to my laptop and buy this book and with that beautiful cover, that sexy back and that gorgeous hair firmly in place as my visual for My Liege, in I went.

Abby is a professor whose job is on the line and in a ‘publish or die’ situation, she decides to write a paper on the BDSM society and takes a job as a receptionist at Dark Haven to further her research. She has had some limited experience in the Lifestyle with her loathsome ex Nathan who has slithered away after belittling her lack of submission. Xavier, My Liege, the owner of the club finds his interest piqued by his new member of staff. He is a widower and, even though he has played with subs and slaves since his wife’s death, he’s managed to maintain an emotional detachment. Abby threatens this detachment as he realises he is starting to really care for her until he finds out why she is in his club.

I loved this all so very much. Every scene is now permanently etched on my memory – Cherise Sinclair does an amazing job of bringing the club vividly to life off the page. We have a Fourth of July party up with the Mountain Masters and we get the chance to catch up with Logan, Jake and Virgil with a deliciously wicked game which is kind of like The Hunger Games done D/s style when the Doms get to pursue their subs and ‘kill’ them with paint. As the subs set off I was almost yelling…….


This is such a beautiful romance too – both Abby and Xavier have emotional barriers but these are slowly broken down by their growing feelings for one another. Abby is a big-hearted submissive and Xavier is a dom to die for – he’s caring, nurturing, strict, gorgeous and I especially loved the scenes where Abby undid the plait in his hair and he let it drape all over her. It’s a fairly rocky journey for them both and I was captivated by their story – we got to hear both POV’s and so were able to understand fully what was going on in their heads. I loved every second. Photobucket

OK, so I know that these Doms are just a little bit too perfect and far from reality but if I wanted flawed and real, I would just take a walk in the city I live in! This is fiction and I want the fantasy!

Now Master Xavier is right up there as a favourite Cherise Sinclair Dom with Master Raoul and Alex from The Dom's Dungeon - a deliciously wicked triumvirate!! Oh God, I'm a puddle just writing that!!

Of course this is BDSM so there’s a lot here that some people might find too much so be warned but if you’ve read and loved Cherise Sinclair before, you won’t be disappointed by this one.

This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play, BDSM theme and elements.

For more of my reviews, please visit my Sinfully Sexy Book Blog
Profile Image for Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**.
1,379 reviews648 followers
March 7, 2016

***3.25 stars***

Unfortunately this one falls into the "it must be me" category. High ratings and great reviews, but I found myself reading more to just get to the end rather than feeling invested in the story.

Abby's fear of yelling and making other's upset just didn't connect with me. I found myself more annoyed than sympathetic.

Also, her interactions with Xavier didn't feel organic. Throughout the book Abby has body issues and low self esteem, yet she whips off her clothes and participates in scenes just because Xavier "commands" it. The connection between them didn't feel deep enough for me to understand her compulsive compliance. Again, everyone else got the memo but I must have missed the mail that day.

And on a side note, who wants to be called "little fluff?" What the hell does that mean?? Doesn't sound like a compliment to me.

Regardless of this blip in my Cherise Sinclair radar, I will definitely keep going with the series and continue reading her other work.

And there you have it.

Profile Image for Syndi.
2,833 reviews623 followers
January 15, 2020
I found this book is my least favorite of all the series. I have a problem with the character. Abby. See she wants to experience BDSM. When she assigned to Xander, she plays hard to get in the most annoying way. Her inner dialog always tell her to say no, but yet her body wants it. I do like damsel in distress in romance book, what is sad is that the story nor the plot making me sympathetic with Abby.

The BDSM sex is also repetitive. I got bored and skip the audio book. Miss Sinclair is my go to author if I want something steamy on my reading list. And I am disappointed with this book. It has some promise on the story, but poor execution.

2 stars
Profile Image for Dee.
1,475 reviews157 followers
September 10, 2014
Re-read September 2014 and loved it just as much this time.

January 2013 - 5 Stars

I have thoroughly enjoyed this whole series and have given them all high star ratings but I thought this was the best of them all and well deserved it's 5 star rating!...I also thoroughly enjoyed the Shadowlands series and Ms Sinclair has become an auto-buy author and I look forward to any future releases.
Profile Image for Cyn Mistress Kitty.
1,495 reviews164 followers
May 12, 2014
5 +++++

I have been waiting a Long time for Xavier's story and I was NOT disappointed.
My favorite book of CS is Make Me, Sir and after her last book which was a little too dark for me, I was wary. I frickin' LOVED this book and could hardly put it down and am now sad that it is over. I am in love with Xavier who reminds me of Master Z of the Shadowlands btw. I thought it was interesting that both men have first names that have a "z" sound. Xavier is so many things. Sexy, sweet, caring, a little sadistic, fucked up, flawed and all MAN. God, I loved him.
I also loved Abby and her conversations with herself were so funny that many times I was rolling on the floor. Abby was just so quirky and down on herself that you just couldn't help but love her and at times smack her head to say, HEY, GET WITH IT.
There were so many scenes in this book that had me fanning myself (pirate scene), laughing (war scene), or cringing (punishment scene) just to name a few.
So many times just the heroine is fucked up and has to under go a lot of change and growth. Not so in this book. Xavier has a lot to come to grips with also and I loved that he had to accept that at times he was wrong. Not an easy thing for a big, bad Dom.
Cherise, you have outdone yourself. Thanks.

Just did re-read number 2 and fell in love with Xavier again. **sigh**
Profile Image for BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme.
6,640 reviews1,264 followers
October 13, 2012
The Romance Review

My Liege finally meets up with the submissive woman he wants to keep!

Xavier is the owner of Dark Haven BDSM club. Like any sexy experienced dominant, submissives are throwing themselves at him. Xavier tends to keep his women in separate categories. There are ones for him to take to public functions, ones he trains with at home and ones he uses at the BDSM club only.

Abigail is new to Dark Haven. She's there with a dual purpose. She hopes to learn more about BDSM for a personal as well as a professional reason. Abby's boyfriend, Nathan, dumps her because she won't let him dominate her. As a professor, Abby needs to publish or die. Her paper will be on the BDSM lifestyle so joining Dark Haven will be the answers to her problems.

This set up really aggravates me. As someone in the lifestyle, I would find it very offensive to have someone observing me and writing a paper mentioning me without my consent. This behaviour is completely anathema to the BDSM subculture. First, without consent is bad enough. Second, to reveal to those outside of BDSM the inner workings in this manner is no different than outing a person. For many in the BDSM lifestyle, it is private because our jobs and family can be placed into jeopardy. Even as BDSM is becoming more mainstream, it is still not acceptable. As recent as the late ‘80s, people outed had to fight to keep their children. Courts would move to break up families, with social services stealing the children from the accused deviant dangerous parents. This is how serious it can be, which is why Abby's covert research pissed me off extensively.

It could be Ms. Sinclair purposely created Abby and positioned her in this manner, which made her unpalatable. In the beginning, Abby is irreverent to Xavier. For a person who is studying BDSM to potentially get back together with Nathan, she is paying attention to all the wrong things. Abby is too focused on the interpersonal relationships and hierarchy of the BDSM lifestylers to learn how to be a good submissive. It shows. Xavier picks up on it but since he doesn't know the true reason behind Abby's desire to join his club, he's at a disadvantage.

The conflict in this story is all too realistic. Abby is sucked into the lifestyle and now she wrestles with the ethics of her subterfuge. She became friends with people who will see her action as an act of betrayal. The inevitable occurs and Ms. Sinclair resolves it in a manner that is fantastic. It even turned my opinion around about Abby.

The BDSM in this tale is hot. The games Ms. Sinclair devises are ones that trip my trigger. It's because they involve a pursuit and capture theme with a fun kinky twist. This specific scene at the picnic helped to turn this story around for me into a positive manner. The scenes in the dungeon are tantalizing glimpses of what happens in a real BDSM club. The punishment scene is a favourite even if I felt it was too easy on Abby. Perhaps I'm more vengeful than others and more obsessive about my privacy being violated.

The relationship development between Abby and Xavier started out rocky. It never fails to confuse me why Xavier, who is this hot strong man, would want someone like Abby. Abby is insecure and rather annoying, and her lack of confidence is a big turn off. Fortunately, in this tale, she grows and comes into her own. She just needed a bit of reassurance from family, friends and a man who believes in her. Xavier also does some growing with the help of Abby. This helps enhance the character development. Neither main character is flawless yet they are a good match.

Between the erotic journey and personal issues resolved, this story ends in a trademark Ms. Sinclair happily ever after. This BDSM story is recommended to kinky readers who want a realistic portrayal of BDSM dynamics woven into a lovely romance.
Profile Image for ᴥ Irena ᴥ.
1,649 reviews213 followers
November 15, 2015
I have no idea why I haven't marked this as read. I liked the first two books more than this one.
The heroine was annoying. Her insecurities make the most annoying trope in any romance. There is even an unavoidable big misunderstanding: he did something, she thought something else and such. This time and in this book I was not in the mood. As for her being 'intriguingly intelligent', think again. She is intelligent only because we are told she is. And that ending at a party was ridiculous. I think the most annoying thing for me was the way 'this book's villain' is depicted as cartoonishly bad.

It's not all bad though. It's quite possible I wasn't in the mood for this when I read it.
My favourite in the series is still Master of the Abyss.
Profile Image for Pam Nelson.
3,138 reviews97 followers
September 1, 2018
I enjoyed parts of this book. I felt like Abby was two different people. In her head, she was very insecure but outwardly she is strong. That was a little confusing to me. How can you be both?

The kink was great, all those scenes were fine, I guess I just have read racier things and they kind of felt a little tame.
My favorite part was the war games, that was a nice little twist on everything.

Though not letting her explain herself when they are all about communication kind of peed me off just a little. Like you see this guy who isn’t following the rules and he lashes back and you don’t give the person you have spent all this time with the benefit of the doubt. That was a little farfetched for me.

The ending I found to have a little too much dramalama why did we need the older sister scenes at all. It just didn’t fit with the story at least not for me.

Overall it was an ok book, I don’t know if I would read it again but I might like to check out the next book.

The narration was ok I liked Wen in this one, sometimes I feel like Kai over acts parts and it can be distracting. I like when she is just herself.
Profile Image for Maria Dimitrova.
744 reviews139 followers
May 24, 2018
Goodreads says this is my second time reading this when in reality it's more like the twenty-second. *looks guiltily at all the books sitting on the to-be-read shelf*

Cherise Sinclair's books are a favourite escape for me when the going gets rough because there's always that one scene that will make me cry and purge all the negative thoughts from my mind. And right now I really, really needed that.

However, I made a slight miscalculation when picking MLoDH. You see usually I reach for this specific book because I identify with Abby on so many levels - she's an academic and I'm a PhD student so I understand the struggles of academia to some extend. But this time Abby's anxiety about writing and submitting a paper hit too close to home because the reason why I'm so tense is that I have two papers to polish and resubmit and another paper and thesis to write. And instead I'm in a writing dump, I can't get my brain to focus at all, I feel like a failure and the deadline approaches like a terrifying tornado. What am I to do? To make things worse Ms. Sinclair released a new Shadowlands novel a couple of days ago and I'm itching to dive in. *sighs* I'm so not going to make the deadline.

On the other hand I made the right choice by picking this up as My Liege helped me just as he helped Abby. After 4.5 years under my supervisor I had gotten used to not arguing with him because I didn't want to have him pouting and acting like a spoiled child for months after. But avoiding confrontations doesn't always work and sometimes you have to put your big girl panties on and fight for what is good for you in the long run. Even if it causes you significant difficulties at the time. So, thank you, Xavier! You might not be real but you sure help a real life girl.
Profile Image for Becca.
521 reviews48 followers
September 20, 2012
This story started somewhat slowly for me. For the first half I had the sense I was reading the same story I've read many times before. Overlooked, under appreciated, but warm hearted and intelligent Abby, enters Dark Haven with little to no knowledge of BDSM and is immediately noticed by the Master of Masters, My Liege of Dark Haven. Xavier (My Liege) is sizzling hot, mouth wateringly dominant, and insanely wealthy. It was good, I love this type of story ever since reading Cinderella as a young girl. The magic that Cherise Sinclair brings to her books seemed absent in this one.

Then, by the time I'd read about 50% of the way in (I'm really not sure about the percentage), I simply could not put my Kindle down. The story has an immensely satisfying ending and an HEA that had this romantic sighing in bliss. There was all the magic Cherise Sinclair is known for, along with a revisit from all the characters in the prior Mountain Masters series books. She was even able to get in a rather clever reference to her Shadowlands series. I loved it and happily recommend it to any reader that enjoys BDSM romance that isn't overly heavy on the BDSM.
Profile Image for Nia.
73 reviews39 followers
September 29, 2012
My Liege of Dark Haven is going on my Best of the Best list. 5 well deserved stars! My Liege of Dark Haven is the story of Xavier and Abby. They are both intelligent, witty, and successful but have issues in their past that they need to work out before being able to commit to each other. He is the millionaire owner of the Dark Haven BDSM club. She is a professor doing research for a paper.

HOT! HOT! HOT! The sex was great! One word: FUNISHMENT. Hot scenes, chemical play, orgasm machines, role playing, etc. I felt the chemistry between them from the moment they met. I loved the dialogue, the story and the suspense that kicks in during the second half of the book. I liked that Abby was a little overweight and insecure because it kept her discomfort and hesitation during their scenes very "real". Xavier was the perfect gentleman even when he was wrong. What a dream Dom! I prefer a sexy, classy and elegant Dom and Xavier did not disappoint.

As always, Cherise Sinclair has written an amazing story. She is an expert at making you feel like you're not only looking into a BDSM club but an actual member. She writes a fabulous group of characters that you learn to love. At the end of each story you can already envision the next story of the series. I loved My Liege of Dark Haven.

Profile Image for Annie .
2,428 reviews808 followers
September 2, 2012
Posted on Under the Covers

Professor Abigail Berns is under quite a lot of pressure. As the threat of losing her job is upon her, Abby jumps headfirst into her last ditch attempt to save her position. She wants to publish a paper on BDSM, but first, she must find people who live the lifestyle that are willing to let her observe them while they engage in their kink. Though Abigail had a boyfriend who is a Dom, she and him have recently broken up. Left with no other option, Abigail goes to the BDSM club, Dark Haven to finds others who can open her eyes to the BDSM lifestyle a bit more.

There she volunteers to be a receptionist, just so she can get immediate access to the club since the fees are too damn costly. With Abigail’s charm and intelligence, she is able to get this job easily. However, it’s the other part of this job that starts to irk her. When the owner of Dark Haven asks her to assist him in a demonstration, no one is more taken aback than Abby. Though her eyes grow wide in fear, behind that is a spark of fascination and excitement...

My Liege aka Xavier Deluc is still grieving over loss of his wife. Since then, he has distracted himself with other slaves and submissives. However, no one catches his eye like Abigail. Cherise Sinclair does a stellar job with Master Xavier. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I should have known that Sinclair would create such a dominating character who simply demands and holds your attention. I loved every single moment of this book! Sinclair is simply the best in the business. I can see why so many authors in the genre look up to her and rush to read her latest releases as readers do.

Not only does she come up with the most unique and erotic sexual experiences in her books, but she also has the emotion to back it up. It simply isn’t about the physical release in Sinclair’s BDSM, there’s also an emotional catharsis to it as well.

For a special Fourth of July retreat, the Doms of Dark Haven set out to the mountains with Logan and Jake for Hunger Games style game, but for kinksters. The Doms are handed these guns with paint in them so that they can “kill” their subs as they run for their lives. Each color of paint stands for a sexual favor (i.e. brown for anal, etc) So, at the end of the game, whatever color ends up on the sub is the “prize” that the Dom gets to claim. Yeah, I know. Cruel, but unbelievably sexy, right? I’m turning into a puddle just explaining it.

But wait! There’s more! Cherise Sinclair explores so much more BDSM in this book. There’s great use of ointment and fucking machines. Of course, toys are a must! But I think Sinclair manages to keep things fresh without having the sex seem over the top.

MY LIEGE OF DARK HAVEN exceeded my expectations. It takes a lot of talent and hard work to maintain such high consistency in a series but Cherise Sinclair seems to hit it right every time. It’s no wonder why she’s at the very top of my auto buy list for this genre! Simply put, Sinclair will thrill and excite you. Master Xavier is so hot, he’ll leave you breathing fire!

*Review Copy provided by publisher
Profile Image for Nikki Sex.
Author 49 books1,675 followers
January 9, 2015
Who wouldn't LOVE a sadist? LOL!
As much as I love a story set in a BDSM club environment, I do like to see people engage in a normal lifestyle outside a club. Our heroine, Lindsey has a secret, and you finally find out what it is in this book. Other Dark Haven characters make an appearance too and it's fun to catch up. As per usual, Cherise Sinclair writes a great book.
Profile Image for Jo * Smut-Dickted *.
2,038 reviews457 followers
September 22, 2012
I'm not going to rehash the blurb or tell you what happens in the story. If you want to find that out go read it yourselves. I'm not going to wax poetic about Xavier or sound out in sympathy for Abby's abusive past. I'm not going to talk about real vs. reality in Sinclair's books. Because, flatly, those are either assumed or a given at this point in my love affair with Cherise. I decided, instead, to focus on why Cherise Sinclair is such a Master at creating fantastic, fabulous, and addictive stories. Or my version of why anyway.

The first thing is characters - her books have them in spades. From the main couple to all the extras - you cannot help wanting to know more about them. Every exploration leads down a different path - and when you finish the books there will ALWAYS be another couple or person you cannot wait to read about in the future. Cherise is clever - building interest in and addiction to the future story as well as the one you're clicking on at the time.

Secondly is the communication. Again with more than the MC's. It is ALL.ABOUT.THE.COMMUNICATION folks. This is IT for me and reading her books. Nobody's perfect - but it is what they say, how they say it, how they overcome obstacles that engages me so divinely. The way Xavier handles other subs and other Dom's, the way deVries communicates, the way Abby does. It is all there - each one an individual and not a copy of the other. People who really truly write good dialogue are not that common. The pregnant pauses, the little intonations that let you feel what it would be like to be in the scene, the words chosen. Masterful.

Lastly it is all about the Consistency. Her characters start the way they finish - generally no TSTL or uber alpha assholes need apply. Yes it's fiction. Yes it is set in a Club that is, in all likelihood, not represented anywhere in reality. Yes in spite of some flaws the characters are larger than life. However none of that matters. It's not the setting. At least not to me. It is that the voice stays the same, there is no grating, no puzzling, no worry that any she's going to jump ship. Work goes on in her novels - character work of the highest order. People struggle a bit. Things aren't as perfect as they seem. Yet you know, in the end, they'll find the formula that works and you will end with a big smile on your face.

In general by about the time I hit #5 or 6 in an author's books I start to lose interest. I might put the book down after starting, wait for the PB version to arrive, or just put it on the TBR forever. NOT with Sinclair. Everything else goes FULL.STOP. in my life as I hungrily devour the book. Flatly I don't care if Shadowlands or Dark Haven would ever exist in reality - as long as she keeps them alive in my mind through her phenomenal writing I'm a very happy girl.

P.S. Lindsay and deVries for the next anthology PLEASE!!
Profile Image for Naomi Ashwood.
70 reviews3 followers
November 15, 2012
Im sorry, there NO way I can give this any better rating. Ive read several BDSM books and I think Im done. The sex scenes are cool but the characters and the general stories are L.A.M.E. "B-b-but its hurts" wahhhhhh. "Its ok to cry, Abby". OVER PUPPIES!!! Jesus H Christ, spare me! All these books are the same. Big tough dom, little meek sub with all these emotional problems. The secret to solving these problems- calling some douche 'master', 'sir', or 'liege' and getting your ass beat interspersed with orgasms. I would laugh my ass off if I was messing around with someone who wanted me to call him "sir" or "master".

The little proposal scene was nice, then she ruined it with being collared. As I sat there reading my mind was saying "wait for it, wait for it......and theres the collar". I wonder if all these authors get together over wine and discuss using the same formula for their books. Why cant they break the mold and write a story about a NORMAL HEALTHY girl bringing a "dom" to his knees with equality.

If you are looking for entertaining sex scenes only, this is the book for you. However, if you are looking for an original story and unforgettable characters, keep on looking because you will be sorely disappointed.
Profile Image for Jen.
1,559 reviews
September 12, 2012
Abby and Xavier

Absolutely loved this book. Sincalir is the master (heh) at writing BDSM.

Full review on Fiction Vixen Book Reviews

My Liege of Dark Haven is about the owner of the Dark Haven club. Previous books have also been written as a compilation with Belinda McBride and Sierra Cartwright. At the beginning of the book Cherise Sinclair has a foreword:

A big thank-you to Belinda McBride and Sierra Cartwright, who started the Dark Haven odyssey with me and generously said that I owned Master Xavier. (I explained that to him- it didn’t go over well.)

Xavier Leduc has shied away from a serious relationship ever since his wife died. She had started as his slave but that quickly developed into love. He has had a hole in his heart ever since and has no deserve to see it filled. Over time, the memory of his wife has become harder and harder to hold on to. To keep himself from become too serious over one person he spreads himself out. He is very well-known for having several women at a time- a slave in training at home, a sub at the club and eye candy to take out to social events. Every sub at the club wants to be topped by Xavier but he never takes one to keep.

Abigail Berns is under the gun to be published. Recent cutbacks at her university have forced her to find a way to get something written and get it written fast. She has an interest in BDSM because her boyfriend, Nathan, has tried it on her several times. Each time they make the attempt she freezes up and he gets angry at her. She thinks that if she learns more about the culture maybe she will be able to provide him with what he needs. He has taken a teacher position elsewhere for the summer so this is her opportunity to write her paper and learn at the same time.

When Abby first arrives at Dark Haven she is dismayed to find she either has to be a member or sponsored by a member to get in to the club. After the current receptionist quits her job, for not being allowed personal time with Xavier, Abby is hired on to replace her. Being a school teacher makes Abby an orginization freak and perfect for the job. Plus it allows her to wave the fees and get entrance to the club immediately. What she doesn’t know is that the receptionist is also used as a fill in for certain scenes and demonstrations.

Xavier is surprised to see a new receptionist and a very appealing one. After running through a demonstration on the proper use of nipple clamps he sits down to talk to her. He quickly learns that he is drawn to her. She is extremely smart but new to the lifestyle. He tells himself to stay away but that doesn’t work as he can’t help but step in when she is around.

First, let me get my fangirl moment out of the way. I LOVE Cherise Sinclair’s writing. With this book, I now have 12 of her books on my kindle. 12 books and with each one I wonder how she comes up with this stuff. Everything is new, fresh and oh so clever. Each time I read a book of hers I feel like it is the first one. Some authors have a pattern that can get to be old when you have read so many books from them. Not with Ms. Sinclair. Each book is different.

Her characters are extremely likable. Xavier is a man who doesn’t want extra emotions but he isn’t tortured or angsty about it. He is very solid, sexy and dominant. He never promises a woman something he is not willing to give. I love the calmness he displayed in this book. When he realized his feelings were very strong for Abby he didn’t fight them or deny them. He was always honest to himself and her.

Abby was a very interesting and appealing character also. She is a total brainiac. She had her doctorate at 22 and has always been smarter than most people. In order to distance herself from scenes she falls back into her own head and keeps her focus there. She treats everything with a clinical-like eye which keeps her from becoming emotionally involved with what is actually happening to her. Xavier is forced to work extra hard to engage her. I really didn’t mind that because Xavier working extra hard is extra yummy.

Abby has difficulty expressing her emotions because of childhood trauma. It wasn’t anything to brutal but it left a lasting impression on her. Also Abby has a step-sister that is a total bitch. She has slept with many of Abby’s boyfriends and never loses the opportunity to make a comment about Abby’s weight.

There are two major conflicts in the book one being that Abby is in the club under the pretense of learning BDSM but she is really studying everyone for her paper. When that information is revealed everyone is angry and betrayed. In order to make amends Abby must take two separate punishments from everyone in the club. The punishments are brutal and a bit painful to read. What I liked about them was that it wasn’t just hard for Abby, Xavier was equally punished by watching what she had to endure. It was at that point where we knew Xavier was fully involved with Abby it she wasn’t just one of his many women. The betrayal is made less by the fact that Abby was only studying their family like dynamics in order to portray the culture in a better light.

The second conflict involves Abby’s sister and is very painful to read. Abby is hurt very badly and Xavier is left to make some serious amends.

My review wouldn’t be complete without talking about the sex. The best. The hottest. The most creative. That is all.

As with all other Cherise Sinclair books I absolutely loved this one. If you are looking for classy BDSM author there is no one better than Ms. Sinclair. She writes about as true to the lifestyle as what I can tell and she is extremely knowledgable. I highly recommend this book and any of her other books to everyone looking for good erotic romance stories.

Favorite Quote:

When he was deep inside her, joined in the most intimate way possible, he reached up and cupped her cheek. Even as she realized his gaze hadn’t once moved from her face, he softly said, “I see you , Abby. Never think otherwise.”

Profile Image for Simply Love Book Reviews.
6,916 reviews820 followers
September 2, 2012
Shadow's review posted on Guilty Pleasures

How do you define a great book? Is it one that makes you want to read it again as soon as you are finished? One that makes you think and makes you feel? Or one that makes you want to know the characters personally? Could it be one with a great plot, hot sex, and that keeps you turning the pages until you are done? For Cherise Sinclair, all of her books fit this definition and My Liege of Dark Haven, her latest entry in the Dark Haven/ Master of the Mountain series, is a prime example.

The characters are sympathetic-people you would really like to know. Abby, a college sociology professor has just broken up with her boyfriend because he wants to do more BDSM with her and she cannot bring herself to submit to him. She is also under fire at work because of cutbacks and needs to have a paper published. She decides to do the paper on BDSM and goes to Dark Haven to begin her observations. Dismayed by the lengthy process to become a member, she volunteers to be a receptionist for the club.

What she doesn’t realize is that staff members are expected to take part in demonstrations-a fact she learns when Dark Haven’s owner, Xavier Leduc takes her under his wing to explore her submissive nature. While she couldn’t submit to her boyfriend, Xavier’s power and sense of responsibility overwhelm her and she finds herself doing scenes with him.

Master Xavier, the Dom all subs want, has not committed to any one woman since his wife’s death four years before. He keeps his women in compartments-staff at the club, slaves at home to train for other masters, and social dates. It is his personal power and strength that have led him to be addressed as My Liege. With Abby, he quickly finds himself blurring the lines of the compartments and she moves in with him. But can their relationship survive the discovery that she came to the club to write a paper?

I adored Xavier. He is strong, yet vulnerable, adheres to a strict code of conduct for Doms and subs, but is still compassionate. He helps Abby raise a litter of orphaned pups from the shelter, his business involves finding jobs for women who have been victims of domestic violence, and he was a devoted husband to his late wife.

Abby is also a compassionate, caring woman, with a number of vulnerabilities from her past as well as a poor self image about her body. She is incredibly smart, loves to help others, and is someone you would really like to become your friend.

The author introduces chemical play in this book, as Xavier takes Abby beyond her normal boundaries. There is also role-playing (My Liege is a great pirate), and we visit some of the characters from the previous books in the series.

This was an awesome read, one I can recommend without hesitation to anyone who is willing to read about BDSM. It will be hard to wait for Ms. Sinclair’s next book!
Profile Image for Aly is so frigging bored.
1,625 reviews275 followers
August 5, 2013
2nd read August 4 to 5, 2013

1st read: March 15 to 17, 2013
Before staring to say something about the book I want to thank Maru for suggesting we buddy-read this series and for getting me out of my reading and emotional funk :D

This is me after finishing this series and especially this book
Oh my goodness! I loved this book! It's just.... I am speechless! Ms Sinclair surpassed herself! Besides gushing like a crazy woman I don't know if I have anything intelligent to say...

Xavier Leduc is the hero of this book, and when I say hero I really mean it! He's my favorite male character this year! He's compassionate, hot, understanding, intelligent, sexy, strong and the list goes on. He is one of the best doms I've read about, even if he makes a stupid male mistake, though he apologizes and then makes everything better *sigh*

Abby is a teacher who is in a time crises to find a great article inspiration and as you have guessed she chooses the BDSM community. She's sweet, an animal lover, caring and wants to solve everyone's problems, at the risk of her well-being. This would all have been good if she weren't revealed as an observer of the club who wants to write about them. Everything goes up in the air after that... I'll let you guys imagine and read what happens next.

All in all this was a perfect book and I know I will re-read it often.
Profile Image for The Sassy Bookworm.
3,308 reviews2,281 followers
December 13, 2015
I really liked this one, but I took a star off because of the one incident that took place in the book. I'm not big on public humiliation, the spanking with the paddle where everyone in the club got a chance to smack her ass I could have went with, but If I had been her, I would have told them all to go to hell and been done with it...
Profile Image for Classegal.
6 reviews2 followers
September 8, 2012
Cherise Sinclair is by far one of my favorites. I've already been stalking amazon for an automatic download to my kindle.
Profile Image for Anna's Herding Cats.
1,274 reviews307 followers
February 27, 2016

Reviewed for herding cats & burning soup.

No matter how many times you read it, My Liege of Dark Haven is sure to delight with sensual romance, humor, electric explorations and scorching heat that'll deliver shivers of the most delicious variety.

The quick of it is that Abby has kind of infiltrated the club in an effort to research BDSM for a paper she's doing and, well, she gets herself way more than she bargained for when she catches the eye of the club's owner and gets an up close and personal lesson of the dos and don'ts of the lifestyle. Lots of sexy goodness ensue!

Just like the first time, I loved these two. My Liege is seriously lickable with his alpha male Dom ways. He'll totally make you catch your breath and hold you in his spell. And Abby...total sweet and lovable. I loved her open reactions and the humor in her. They were fabulous together. Bringing out the best qualities and soothing the damaged ones.

The heat. Good Lord. Total make-you-pant-and-beg-for-more goodness. It's nicely kinked out for those that love the genre and enjoy exploring new kinks or equipment (chemical play, fucking machines, or sex war games). But it's also totally works for those who are new to the genre and curious. It's hot and intense but not overwhelming I don't think and is all handled in an amazing way. Definitely one of the best BDSM reads out there. Many bits are in a club or group setting but scenes are so wonderfully intimate too.

The secondary characters are amazing too! The whole atmosphere and family they've created with the kink club gives me the warm fuzzies. I would totally be friends with this group and get a little giddy getting to spend time with them.

My only real complaint, once again, is that there's an issue with her hateful sister and when the final showdown happened I wanted more of a smack down and a come to Jesus moment for the tart.

All in all, a deliciously sexy treat from Sinclair! Sexy, sensual and romantic--it'll make you swoon!
Profile Image for Kym Grosso.
Author 28 books1,680 followers
August 31, 2012
This is a terrific book! The story begins with Abigail, a college professor, who needs to "publish or perish". As part of her research, she decides to apply for a receptionist job at Dark Haven BDSM club, where her boss, Xavier informs her that part of her duties are to "assist" him in demonstrations. As part of her research, she observes but is also forced to participate as that is a condition of her employment. While Abigail believes she is a dominant, Xavier has her submitting to him within minutes of meeting him. And Abigail starts to realize that she enjoys some of the sweet torture that the lifestyle can provide her.

Xavier is very dominant but in a caring way and demonstrates and articulates that he is interested in pleasuring his subs, which made him a very likable Dom. For me, as a reader, I find it hard to read about Doms that are sadists, and Xavier is not this way.

Abigail was also a very likable character in that she wasn't submissive outside the bedroom. Sure she had issues expressing her feelings and let her step sister push her around, but she was very intelligent and a caring person. I also loved the puppies as well as her witty conversations with Xavier. I really dislike reading books where the woman is a total pushover or decides to be a slave. I know some people may be into that, but for me, it's a turnoff..so I like strong female protagonists in books that I read. And this did not disappoint.

What I also liked was the strong chemistry and romance between the two characters. It was hard to read how he treated her at times, given that his wife died, the progression of their relationship was completely believable. Now that punishment scene was a little intense...not sure about that at all..yikes! I liked the funishment part of it though. Can honestly say that I have never read about that before! Readers should know that yes, oh, yes...this book is erotic. And in a very good way! :-)

I have to say that Cherise Sinclair's books are all just so very well written. And whether you like the Doms or subs, punishments, sex scenes, she always promises an incredible journey. This book is an awesome erotic BDSM romance.
Profile Image for Gitte TotallyBookedBlog.
1,946 reviews938 followers
September 6, 2012
This Author is my absolute go to when I have that urge for a bit of sparkly indulgent kink! Cherise NEVER disappoints and with the third instalment of the series ‘Mountain Masters’ she proved yet again why she truly rocks BDSM kink as well as her gorgeous emotionally tortured heroes and heroines!

Her writing is brilliantly flawless in this genre, bringing to life her story with such intensity and making the journey so very vivid that you get under the skin of her characters.

The story of Xavier and Abby is ultimately a beautiful romance. Both characters have not only got a troubled past but present too. Each of them feeling lonely and lost yet not necessarily consciously admitting to this. They have erected walls around themselves in order to live day to day suppressing their ultimate needs and wants.

Abby is an intelligent, sweet and very insecure woman. Under pressure to keep her position as a Professor she decides to do a research paper on BDSM at Dark Haven. Unbeknownst to Abby she enters a world she was meant to be in but with little to no knowledge of BDSM she is immediately noticed by the Liege of Dark Haven; Xavier who is not only a gorgeous dominant but the owner. Their journey begins from a simple misunderstanding and ends up changing their lives.

This story has romance, passion, true emotional moments, amazing characters and it has the trademark Cherise humour!

We also get to revisit old characters which I loved and there’s even a tie in with Shadowlands (another great series!)

Warning: This is BDSM so yeah, you know what that means…A LOT of naughty “wink wink; nudge nudge” but if you’ve read and love Cherise Sinclair like I do then you want to read this series ;0)
Profile Image for Lady Gabriella of Awesomeness (SLOW).
518 reviews759 followers
March 5, 2015
“You don’t speak again, unless to use your safe word or yellow to indicate you’re frightened.”
“I was at yellow the minute I walked in the door.”

unlike 50 shades, crossfire and the rest My Liege of Dark Haven stands out to be very,very,different when it comes to the aspects of the plot and its leads as well...

The story kicks off with professor Abigail Bern joining the local BDSM club, DARK HAVEN, in hopes of learning more abt the tightly-knitted community to pen down a thesis that could possibly save her job and maybe save her broken relationship with her ex,who happens to be a member of the exclusive club as well.

since the romance come in only AFTER 70% of the book,i think its safe to say that this ones more of an erotica read that a romance like the ususal. BDSM techniques and punishments are approached quiet clinically and painfully by the reader,giving us a taste on how exactly the relationship works...(nope its not pretty women)

WARNING: if your one of the fainted hearted romantic readers with lots of love for christian grey and Gideon cross ? well this book IS DEFIANTLY NOT for you...but other wise if ur searching for a pure erotica read with a lot of mushy-mushy romance right at the VERY end like 85%ish then,yes pick this one ! =)

anyway rock-on reading loves & happy march ! LOL ;)
Profile Image for Heather .
450 reviews134 followers
March 10, 2013
Oh My Liege, What you do to me....
Wow, this was a hot one!

Abby and Xavier.

Abby is a professor at a local college who is in danger of loosing her position because she need to get published and quickly! Xavier is the owner of the local BDSM club and a super Dom with enough charisma to light up a major city. Abby decides to go undercover and get the data she needs to write an innocent little paper. What could go wrong?

Abby is a young woman who is extremely intelligent. She graduated high school at 16 and was always the youngest in her group of peers. She has been dating Nathan who is into the BDSM lifestyle and encourages Abby to learn. She is highly reluctant and finds herself not trusting her partner. But she is curious and this is what brings her to Dark Haven.

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Xavier is an intimidating male specimen. He is all brawn and stark beauty. Abby finds herself insanely attracted to him but her insecurities plague her. Xavier has played matchmaker for others but is not in the market for love. His wife died several years prior and he has vowed never to love again. When Abby walks in trying to be brave but shaking on the inside he finds her strangely intriguing.

Profile Image for Sassafrass.
3,066 reviews96 followers
September 2, 2012
Oh, Xavier! How much more yummy could you possibly be?!?! He just melted me in a puddle of goo! Let's just see...could you imagine this big hard dominant man doing this:

While he was deep inside her, joined in the most intimate way possible, he reached up and cupped her cheek. Even as she realized his gaze hadn't once moved from her face, he said softly, "I see you, Abby. Never think otherwise."

right there, I was done. *sigh*

And oh yeah, Abby was ok too. LOL

Cherise Sinclair is a total autobuy for me, and she keeps proving herself time and time again. Now, I'm waiting for my Shadowlands Menage with two hot FBI guys. HINT, HINT, CHERISE!!!!!!
Profile Image for Gigi.
2,156 reviews1,053 followers
March 24, 2017
This was a fun hetro read for me. Hot and steamy BDSM action, heavy on the angst. It was the top pick from BDSM lovers for 2012, which is why I selected it. As much as I enjoyed it, I still much prefer my M/M BDSM. *shrugs*

Recommended if you like hot and heavy M/F BDSM and don't mind public sex. The public sex part is a bit hard for me to take, but the two MCs in this book take it private about half way through the story, thank goodness.
Profile Image for Shari.
871 reviews75 followers
February 13, 2020
I love when I pick up a book and it evokes tons of emotions throughout the entire experience. Being a huge fan of Cherise Sinclair, I expected no different when I started this book. Some of my emotions at the end of the book were hard for me to explain and deal with, but after sometime I think I have then under control and hopefully can explain them to you. This will be a long review, so pull up a chair and let's discuss it!

Professor Abigail Bern, Abby, needs to get published to retain her job at the college she teaches classes at. She is dating a fellow professor, Nathan, who is spending the summer at another university teaching. Abby is a little socially inept. Extremely smart, she graduated early from both high school and college. Her father has passed away, her mother remarried to a man with his own daughter and her mother and stepfather also have a child together. Abby's father's passing has left some scars but I wouldn't say they were deep, but they did cause a few issues. The biggest problem in this arrangement is Abby's stepsister, who steals and sleeps with all of Abby's boyfriends.

So the night before Nathan is supposed to leave, he once again tries to bring Abby into his BDSM world and she immediately freezes up causing Nathan to break up with her while keeping her as a friend. As they are leaving for the airport, Nathan makes this statement that right away set my hackles up to beat him down!

My sweet slut! Oh, no he didn't! Ok, yes I know slut is a word used in BDSM quite frequently. But in the context it was said here, I just could not swallow him calling her a slut when she had never really been his submissive. I am not fond of the word slut. I will be honest. But I do understand that is part of some BDSM world and used right it is a compliment. Here it wasn't in my opinion. And I suspect this is the emotion Cherise was hoping I would have...so while I didn't like this statement, it was what was needed to convey Nathan's personality.

Nathan has hinted there are cutbacks coming and Abby was on the chopping block if she couldn't get published. So Abby decides to do a research for a publication about BDSM. A side benefit she hopes is finding a way to accept the dominance that Nathan needs in the relationship. Off she goes to Dark Haven only to find out you have to be a member and membership fees are out of her budget. Lucky for her the receptionist has quit because she isn't getting any time with My Liege, the owner of Dark Haven. Being a teacher, she whips up the desk in an organized fashion and strikes a deal with My Liege to spend a few hours in reception and a few hours in the club. But really she doesn't understand what she agreed too.

Xavier Leduc, pardon me while I swoon here *swoon*, is the owner of Dark Haven and lovingly called My Liege or Liege Xavier. He has shown up in the anthologies, The Doms of Dark Haven, both book 1 and 2. You don't need to read those books to understand this story, but if you want more Xavier...go get them! Xavier's world revolved around his late wife, who was also his slave. When she dies, he keeps a distance to all other women, protecting his heart. This doesn't mean he is cold or unemotional, he just knows what he wants and it isn't another long term relationship. It isn't uncommon for him to have a slave in training at home, a submissive in training at the club and the beautiful poised model on his arm when he goes out. But none of these women touch his heart and he always hands them off to their new dominant when the time has come without looking back.

Oh Abby...you got yourself caught in this. Xavier later explains that the receptionist job isn't just being a receptionist. She is expected to participate in demonstrations of any other activity that Xavier wishes her too. This surprises Abby, but she often gets lost in her mind avoiding the activity going on to her. What we see is Abby's intellect crunching what she is learning. She gets deep into her own mind analyzing all the data she is collecting. Xavier notices this trend and wow, he pulls out all kinds of different ways to combat it.

Abby is also slightly overweight, has straight thin hair and generally has a bad opinion of herself. If you read any BDSM you know a Dom doesn't like his sub saying anything bad about her/himself. So Xavier has to deal with getting Abby to understand her beauty.

All during this time, Abby is gathering her research and you will be surprised at what she was really writing about versus what the typical writings generally are about. But this really doesn't matter because Abby is breaking the club rules by revealing anything about Dark Haven. Abby worms her way into Xavier's circle, slowly into his heart so this betrayal comes with some consequences in the end. There are two punishments that had me squirming at both the harshness of it and the emotions you read as Abby goes through it. Everyone at the club gets a chance at the two punishments making it embarrassing to read about. I am so glad I am not Abby! The gripping part of this punishment is that Xavier is very uncomfortable with it as well even though he thought of it. He stands beside Abby through it all, lending her his support even as he struggles dealing with other people punishing his sub. But in the end it was Abby who had to deal with it so while I appreciated Xavier's pain, it was Abby I was more concerned over.

This wouldn't be a Cherise Sinclair book without some BDSM games! And yes there is one that both excited me and had me rooting for all the subs to win. Read it, you will be trying to cheer the subs on too!

And Nathan returns and cements why I hated him early on. Read it...you will too.

So what did I have a hard time with? I really did not like Abby for about half of the book. She seemed weak letting her sister talk to her in such a way that would have had me in a girl on girl wrestling match! Abby and her mother have a great relationship. In fact, Abby has a great relationship with her stepfather and half sister. It is just the poison stepsister that seems to walk all over her. The second thing I didn't like is how Abby seemed desperate for Nathan even though he made her uncomfortable with all his BDSM needs. I was sending up red flags all over the place! If you have any doubts, then clearly this isn't the person for you if you can't discuss them logically. She just seemed to desperate to keep Nathan in the beginning.

You know how you picture a character after the description the author gives? Well, after reading about Abby, I didn't have a great image. Whenever Xavier grabbed her hair I wanted to say what hair since it was described as thin, straight and short. Trying to do the Xavier thing, I tried to come up with adjectives that were positive to describe it...golden, pixie cut, lushness when messed up. I just kept picturing something that wasn't appealing. Normally looks aren't a big deal for me. I don't care how they look as long as they have the deep emotion that guides the story. So I don't know why this one hung me up. The only thing I can think of is that Xavier has very long tresses. As you can see in the cover, he has some Native American heritage along with a beautiful braid down his gorgeous, back...ok I got lost there for moment. Xavier takes his braid out several times and all I wanted to do was run my hands through it. So could having an alpha male with gorgeous hair make me look at a sub's hair as less than beautiful? Only thing I can think of.

But the best part...Abby grows so much in this book. She learns from her mistakes, grows a backbone, decides what she really wants and takes her punishment like a trooper. Xavier helps her along the way, but he too has some growing to do and learning to love again, even trust again.

Cherise doesn't sit on her laurels of past books just cloning them one after another. Each book offers a new and unique look at a BDSM couple. Every BDSM relationship is different just like every vanilla relationship is different. We see new and different scenes and learn that being the owner of a slave is tiring...sometimes they don't want to pick out your clothes. Each story has a new perspective, growing with each new look. The growth of writing is evident as you read Cherise's earlier books to her latest books. I just happy I can ride along reading her awesome books that just keep getting better and better with each new book!

*Puts on my Dominatrix outfit* I am ordering you to buy and read this book. *Takes off the Dominatrix outfit for my shorts and t-shirt* Seriously. If you want a BDSM book that is serious, not fluff, but also not filled with sadists, you will love this book. It is not deep into pain, but it is into Dominance/submission. I highly recommend it to everyone...vanilla or chocolate!



Profile Image for Jane.
Author 2 books14 followers
June 1, 2016
Cherise Sinclair, how much do I love My Liege? Let me count the ways.

I love the depth and breadth of His character.
I love His outward poise and inner grace.
I love His calm, His confidence.
I love His humility.
I love His stoicism.
I love the way He expresses himself.
I love that He questions himself.
I love His naturalness.
But most of all, I love His dominance.

Oh, my goodness. If I had the ability to will a fictional character into existence, I would be doing my utmost to bring Xavier Leduc (a.k.a ‘My Leige’) to life. He strides about the pages of My Liege of Dark Haven, dominating the characters in the story – the heroine, Abigail Bern, in particular – and the reader like the most wonderfully dark maestro. He is absolutely – wonderfully – consuming.

I realise that I’ve only recently posted a review for one of Cherise Sinclair’s other books (Breaking Free from the Club Shadowlands/Masters of the Shadowlands series) but I’ve been waiting for My Leige’s story for the past few months and it – He – is just too good not to talk about immediately. Master Xavier waits for no one.

So what’s My Liege of Dark Haven about, then? Let me tell you, dear reader, let me tell you …

Abigail Bern is a sociology professor facing major university cutbacks and the end of a romantic relationship with a fellow academic, a man who has tried repeatedly (and unsuccessfully) to engage her in BDSM. Desperate to hold onto her job and to try and understand her ex-partner’s desires – with the tentative hope that they might one day get back together – she decides that publishing some edgy and ground-breaking research on non-vanilla sexual practices may help her achieve both her goals.

‘Publish or perishwas not longer a cute phrase—not with the proposed cutbacks at her university.
It had been a ghastly week. She might lose her job and she’d definitely lost Nathan.
She hadn’t been meeting his needs, he’d said. His need to tie her up, call her names, order her around. His need to have his precious BDSM in the bedroom. Hopefully, during her fieldwork, she’d grow to understand the appeal of such things.’

But rather than making a formal approach to the BDSM community regarding her proposed research, Abigail decides to covertly observe the members of a local fetish club, Dark Haven. Wanting to watch their behaviour without actually participating herself, Abigail signs up for the position of part-time club secretary but is shocked to realise that standing on the sidelines isn’t permitted; as part of her role, she is expected to assist in demonstrations. Even more worryingly for Abigail, she attracts the attention of Dark Haven’s owner, Xavier Leduc, a seriously experienced Dom who both scares and excites her – and exposes her as a submissive, despite her protestations to the contrary.

‘”I’m not a submissive, I’m a Domme,” she informed him in reasonable tones. “I’m the one putting clamps on, not receiving.”
“The receptionists are always submissive.” Before she got herself in trouble, he made a guess and asked, “Simon recruited you?’
She nodded.
“Despite your overly encompassing clothing, I doubt Simon made an error.” Xavier took her pointed chin between his thumb and finger. As her smoky eyes widened and she tried to retreat, he let his voice slip into command mode. “Be still.”
A shiver ran through her, and her pupils dilated. Even her breathing stopped.’

Xavier, My Leige, is inexplicably fascinated by the woman who has suddenly appeared on his staff. (No pun intended.) Abigail is clearly intelligent and her quick, ever-active mind, naturally submissive nature, and desire to please are an irresistible challenge to him. Xavier wonders what it will take to make Abigail truly let go, but in pushing her boundaries finds that he’s dangerously close to becoming more involved with her than he ever planned. And then there’s the matter of her somewhat odd propensity to watch other members of Dark Haven at play …

Cherise Sinclair writes D/s like no one else. Her stories and characters are excellent, but what really sets her apart is her ability to get into the psychology of BDSM because she understands that the crux of sexual power exchange lies in the mind, not the body. Even better, her Doms, while experienced, aren’t perfect. They acknowledge their shortcomings and understand they aren’t infallible. They ‘listen’ to their partners; their bodies, their words. To what they don’t say as well as what they do. Even when the action on the page is singe-your-fingers hot, the minds of the characters are never left behind; the physical and mental are intrinsically linked.

There are some truly beautiful D/s encounters in My Liege of Dark Haven (I loved the very realistic – and educational – nipple clamp scene in the first quarter of the book) but one of the most powerful exchanges to my mind is the one that occurs between Abigail and her ex, Nathan. It provides a wonderful contrast to the former’s interactions with My Leige and is extremely effective in underscoring that BDSM is fundamentally about trust.

I think I covered the reasons why I like Xavier so much in my introduction but I’ll just re-iterate again, here, how much I adored him. Heck, he made me want to kneel for him and I was merely reading His book, not participating in it. Definitely a contender for the ‘my favourite Cherise Sinclair Dom’ spot – he’s jostling Nolan (Breaking Free) and Cullen (Lean on Me) for position. That’s not to say he is the sole engaging character in My Liege of Dark Haven. Oh, no. The extremely likeable Abigail, his foil, was utterly endearing in her ‘realness’. I loved that she had flyaway hair and bad eyesight. That she wasn't ‘other worldly’ or insanely and annoyingly perfect.

The other thing I particularly enjoyed was that the focus of My Liege of Dark Haven was very much on the BDSM relationship at its core. Its exploration of Xavier and Abigail’s strengthening connection was the backbone of the storyline and there were no extraneous plot points to detract from the mental sparring taking place between the two protagonists. (Cherise Sinclair’s Club Shadowlands/Masters of the Shadowlands series – which I have loved reading – tends to include instalments that contain elements of suspense. I don’t dislike this device but, personally, the writing of hers that I’ve enjoyed most has focussed almost exclusively on a Dom and a sub forming a bond with one another.)

I should point out that My Liege of Dark Haven contains characters that were originally introduced as part of the Doms of Dark Haven anthologies (Doms of Dark Haven and Doms of Dark Haven 2, Western Night), which Cherise Sinclair co-wrote with Sierra Cartwright and Belinda McBride, and her Masters of the Mountain series. You don’t have to have read any of these books to enjoy and appreciate My Liege of Dark Haven, though. But I suspect you'll be curious about past faces.

I really wonderful book that will undoubtedly make you hot under the collar. And Ms Sinclair? I am utterly intrigued by the deliciously sadistic DeVries. I can only imagine what he has in store for Lindsey. Because I good Dom never forgets – and I’m 99.9 per cent certain he’s going to collect on that debt she owes him … Oh to be in her shoes.
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