Again, we’re delving into the sexy, sultry world of Cherise Sinclair. Books 4, 5 and 6 have been read and reviewed as below. If you’re keen to give this series a try, let me know what you think.
Lean on Me (Masters of the Shadowlands #4)
Synopsis: Andrea wants to submit, but not to just any so-called Dom. He has to be tougher than the slum-bred bullies she grew up with. She’d given up finding a true Dom when her friend finagles her a place as a trainee in an exclusive BDSM club with the powerful Shadowlands Masters. Andrea’s thrilled…and terrified.
Forced to accept an unknown submissive into his carefully run trainee program, Master Cullen is furious. Not only is the young woman new to BDSM, but she’s unsuited to her role–armoured in leather like a Domme, she’s more liable to punch a Dom than kneel. He decides to push her right back out the door. But as he ruthlessly intimidates her, punishes her, then comforts her, his glimpses of the woman inside the emotional armour intrigue him and her utter surrender captures his heart.
Although Master Cullen is famous for his unfettered lifestyle, Andrea believes he might be interested in her, until she discovers he’s not just a bartender–he’s a cop. Maybe he’d overlook her past brush with the law, but when another trainee accuses her of stealing money, Andrea’s sure she’s lost the Master she wanted with all her heart.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: BDSM theme and content (includes/not limited to: bondage, spanking, tethering), voyeurism.
Thoughts: 220 pages. To me this one felt a bit like Cherise had pandered to the fans and was padding her books. If this had of been Cherise’s first book I read, I’m not convinced I’d have kept reading.
Review: Again, Cherise seems to have missed the mark.
I liked this one, it was different in the fact that the sub (Andrea) was a stronger and less ‘submissive’ character. The back story added delightfully to this. I liked reading about Cullen, but it started to feel a bit same same. It seems like all the Doms at Club Shadowlands are cut from the same mould. They are all big (in both senses of the word *wink*) they are all well in control, they all seem to like doing much of the same kink, it is getting a bit boring!
I want to read about a D/s relationship that is a little less ‘perfect’. I know that Andrea wasn’t perfect, but she seemed perfect for Cullen.
I will keep reading in the hopes that Cherise can bring it all together again for me.
Make Me, Sir (Masters of the Shadowlands #5)
Synopsis: Her job is to make his life miserable. His job is to make her submit. Whose heart will surrender first?
Across the country, rebellious BDSM submissives are being systematically kidnapped, one from each club. When her friend falls prey to the slavers, FBI victim specialist Gabrielle volunteers to be bait in a club not yet hit: the Shadowlands.
She finds that being a bratty sub comes naturally, especially when she gets to twit the appallingly conservative Master of the trainees. But she soon discovers he’s not as stuffy as she’d thought. Or as mean. She’d expected punishment, even humiliation, but she sure never expected to fall in love with a damned lawyer.
Courtesy of a prima donna ex-wife, Marcus loathes disobedient submissives. When the club owner insists he admit an incredibly bratty trainee, he’s furious. But as he comes to know Gabrielle and sees the alluring sweetness beneath the sass, he starts to fall for her.
Unfortunately, Marcus isn’t the only one who believes the feisty redhead is a prize worth capturing. And in the world of the slaver, such treasure is worth a hefty fee.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, strong BDSM theme and elements, violence.
Thoughts: 296 pages. Things are getting longer and much, much more involved in Cherise’s world. The complexity of the stories is a good thing.
Review: The biggest change you will find with this one from the others in the Shadowlands series, is the incredibly awesome backstory. The FBI, criminals, abduction, slavery… It’s all wrapped up along with the whips, chains and kink that is the norm.
Marcus is paired up with Gabi, both were characters I didn’t immediately warm too. This surprised me a bit with Marcus, we had been introduced briefly in a few of the other books, he should have got the blood pumping, but he didn’t.
Gabi should be the likable character. The sassy sub that most women could relate to, draw similarities with or wish to emulate. Alas, I didn’t really like her.
About 30% through, I was a bit over it. It was a lot of the same old, same old. The scenes were different, but the description was repetitive, too many, shuddered’s, folds, etc. Perhaps a thesaurus would have helped a little there.
I was totally miffed about the lack of finality with the backstory… What happened?!?? I want to know!
All in all, the backstory saved the day. Even Dom Gods in their naked glory couldn’t save this one. It is a shame, given that Cherise does write well, but perhaps 5 in a row was a bit much. Anyway, I wouldn’t count Cherise out if you are keen to check out a BDSM series, she writes well and although all her Doms are the picture of perfection, the five current books were enjoyable.
ETA – Just read the synopsis for book #6 and I guess I’ll find out what happened as it seems to run on from this one.
To Command and Collar (Masters of the Shadowlands #6)
Synopsis: Determined to find the human traffickers preying on Shadowlands’ submissives, Master Raoul gets himself invited to a small slave auction. Once informed, the FBI orders him to reject the limited choices so the slavers will invite him to the big auction. To Raoul’s shock, one of the slaves is the kidnapped friend of a Shadowlands sub. She has a scarred body…and an unbroken spirit. He can’t leave her behind. Ruining the FBI’s carefully laid plans, he buys her.
Kimberly’s freedom has come at a devastating price: the other women are still slaves. An FBI raid is their only hope for rescue. Desperate to help the Feds locate the big auction, she agrees to pose as Master Raoul’s slave. Wearing a collar again is terrifying, but under the powerful dominant’s care, Kim starts to heal and then to blossom. This is what she’s been drawn to—and fled from—her entire life.
She escaped the slavers who captured her body—can she escape the master who’s captured her heart?
Thoughts: 341 pages. A more complex storyline in this one, so it took me two days to read.
Review: What to say that hasn’t already been said in the other reviews?!
Despite the brutality and sometimes a little unbelievable reactions of Kim (the female lead) I would have to say this is my favourite book in the Masters of the Shadowlands series.
It is interesting, that given these books are meant for a bit of titillation, I did not really find that with this book. The kink was pretty full on. 24/7 slavery, whips and flogging in the extreme. Yes, there were some softer scenes, the fire scenes intrigued me, I think that could be a truly incredible sight to behold.
The thing that I enjoyed most about this book, was again, the backstory. The grittiness of the slavery syndicate, the truly ghastly men who formed it and entered into the kidnapping and slavery of intelligent, educated western women. It left a rather foul taste in my mouth, especially to think that this sort of thing can happen in real life.
Despite the fact that I said this is brutal, you don’t really get any extremely explicit recreations of the slavery. There are some memories, some talking, slight glimpses really, but it might overwhelm someone who is sensitive to abuse towards women. If this is you, do not read this book.
I was glad to finally see Cherise step away from the same old, same old, and I long to see where she takes us in books 7 and 8. I would love to have a book written from a Domme’s POV, or have one of the Doms be gay or something. Just to spice it up a little.
All in all, a rather interesting read.