Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cherise Sinclair - Club Shadowlands

Cherise Sinclair - Club Shadowlands
E-book: 155 pages
Masters of Shadowlands Series Part 1
Genre: BDSM Contemporary Erotic Romance

Publisher: Loose Id
ISBN: 978-1-59632-133-5
Release Date: January 13, 2009
Main Characters: Jessica Randall & Master Z (Zachery)


Her car disabled during a tropical storm, Jessica Randall discovers the isolated house where she's sheltering is a private bondage club.  At first shocked, she soon becomes aroused watching the interactions between the Doms and their subs. But she's a professional woman—an accountant—and surely isn't submissive . . . is she?

Master Z hasn't been so attracted to a woman in years.  But the little sub who has wandered into his club intrigues him.  She's intelligent.  Reserved.  Conservative.  After he discovers her interest in BDSM, he can't resist breaching her walls and unleashing the passion she keeps hidden within.

My review:

While searching for new authors to devour I stumbled across the website of Cherise Sinclair and with the subtitle “Dominant males, Sizzling tales” she had my attention immediately. Miss Sinclair is an erotic romance author who writes emotional, erotic romance with a touch of BDSM, after I browsed through her backlist I bought a few books of her Masters of Shadowlands series and started in part 1, Club Shadowlands. I finished it the same day and it left me craving for more, right then I knew I had to read all of Sinclair’s books for I totally fell in love with her writing.

Shadowlands is such an emotional, sexy and naughty read that I could not stop reading, I immediately fell in love with the characters of Club Shadowlands. Still I find it difficult to review this story, I always have trouble writing a review of a story I like very much, but I am going to give it a try anyway. So here a few thoughts why I liked it so much that I now want to read all of Miss Sinclair’s sizzling tales.

This story is only 155 pages and the focus is on the blossoming relationship between Master Z (his name alone makes you week in the knees) and the very-innocent-to-the-BSDM- lifestyle Jessica Randall. After a series of events she ends up at Club Shadowlands and discovers that she is very drawn to this lifestyle and Master Z. She wants to explore her submissive side further and Master Z is more than willing to oblige her, he finds her very intriguing.

A lot of BSDM stories are very intense to read and are not in everyone’s comfort zone, others are such a light read that you can hardly call it a real BDSM story. But Cherise Sinclair manage to keep the story light yet profound and totally believable, we follow Jessica on her emotional journey to discover and accept her submissive nature step by step, therefore the balance of the story is perfect.

The urge to read on without missing a single page is so strong because of the great characterization. You cannot help falling in love with the characters; Jessica’s insecurities, her struggle to understand the rules of the lifestyle and to admit that she is submissive is gripping. Master Z is really classy, very masculine and totally in control, he emanates power, danger and discipline. He introduces Jessica to his lifestyle and knows exactly what she wants and needs even before she does. He protects her and nurtures her submissive side. Their chemistry is explosive, the BDSM scenes are intense and breathtaking and though the pivot of this story is their budding dom/sub relationship, Sinclair expertly adds little details of Master Z and Jessica’s daily life so you know they are a perfect match in every way.

At the same time she introduces us to some other Masters of Club Shadowlands, all different yet they emanate the same power and control as Master Z does. I got a little taste of what is yet to come in this series, they are sexy as hell and made my mouth water, I cannot wait to read what they have up their sleeves for us. I really like how Cherise Sinclair pulls us into the world of Club Shadowlands. She gives us such an insight in how a sub/dom relationship works; trust and obeying the rules are of crucial importance in such a relationship.

Sinclair’s voice is addictive, her writing is smooth and her characters are real and jump of the pages, and although this story is only 155 pages she manages to create a rich, emotional story that has dept and passion but at the same time is not too heavy to read. I love how she takes you one step at the time deeper into the world of BDSM.

If you like your stories sexy, hot and certainly not vanilla then Club Shadowlands is right up your alley, my only complaint... it is too short!

4,5 stars

Monday, March 7, 2011

Donna Alward - Proud Rancher, Precious Bundle

Donna Alward - Proud Rancher, Precious Bundle
Paperback: 187 pages
Contemporary Romance
Publisher:  Mills & Boons
ISBN: 978 0 263 88834 8
Release date: October 2010
Main characters: Wyatt Black & Elli Marchuk


The cowboy…
After a hard day’s ranching, Wyatt Black wants to kick back with a cold beer. But when he steps onto his porch he has unexpected company – his tiny abandoned baby niece!

His doorstep baby…
Against her better judgment, his neighbour Elli Marchuk agrees to help Wyatt for a few days.

And the girl next door!
Elli soon falls in love with baby Darcy, but it’s her grouchy, gorgeous protector who’s got her head over heels….

Wyatt Black has no clue what to do when he finds his baby niece Darcy abandoned on his porch. He is a rancher and knows nothing about babies. Fortunately his neighbor Elli Marchuk is willing to help him with baby Darcy till he has figured out what is going on here. Wyatt and Elli fall in love with baby Darcy and she is their number one priority till Darcy’s mum returns. They feel attracted to one another but both carry a lot of emotional luggage and this stands between them.

To be honest, I had low expectations when I started this story. Why? Because it is a novella, it is only 187 pages long or perhaps better said short. Me and short stories are usually not a good combination, I almost always miss a certain depth in the characters or plotline and it usually feels rushed. But Donna Alward pleasantly surprised me with Proud Rancher, Precious Bundle. It is a beautiful, even-paced, emotional and solid read about two people who try to heal themselves and leave their past behind.

The story works for me because it is not rushed. The whole story takes place in approximately 2 – 3 weeks; it is even-paced and only deals with the relationship of Wyatt and Elli. So no complex plotlines or lots of characters, just a classic love story between two people. Because the storyline is pretty straightforward the strength of this story lies in the character development of Elli and Wyatt. Both are strong, likeable and totally caught in the maelstrom of emotions that baby Darcy brings along.

Wyatt is a rancher, handsome, strong, and a bit blunt sometimes but also gentle, caring and responsible. He had a lousy childhood; his father drank and beat him and he took care of his mom instead of the other way around. To compensate his father’s absence and lack of responsibility he always felt the need to fix things or people and still does. He tries very hard not to be like his father, but his parents’ marriage has scarred him. Having Darcy in the house makes him realize he is nothing like his father and that he is worthy of a family.

Elli is a strong and caring woman who lost her baby; on top of that she has lost her job and got divorced. Now she tries to pick up the pieces of her life and tries to figure out what to do with it. The last thing she needs is to fall head over heels again for a rancher and take care of a baby. But taking care of Darcy is forcing her to face her grief and start living again instead of hiding from the world. And while spending time with Darcy and Wyatt she discovers what she really wants out of a relationship.

I was really rooting for Elli and Wyatt, I so wanted them to be happy and have their HEA. Thanks to Darcy they both had to scrutinize their lives, they helped each other to fathom things about themselves so that they can move on with their life. At the end of the story both have a better understanding of themselves, making them well-rounded characters. Elli and Wyatt’s conversations are vivid and some were very recognizable, making the story only more real. Do not expect steamy love scenes, there aren’t any and I did not miss them. This story does not need it for it is packed with real-life emotions.

With this story I now have Donna Alward on my radar. Proud Rancher, Precious Bundle is a powerful, emotional and classic love story. It kept me captive and rooting for Elli and Wyatt to the last page. It is feel-good romance at its best and I loved it!

4 stars