January 3, 2011

Review: Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair

Club Shadowlands
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Publisher: Loose Id
Series: Masters of the Shadowlands, Book 1
ISBN: 1596321334
Purchase Information:

For more information please visit Cherise Sinclair's website.

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 a 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 tying her up and unleashing the passion she hides within.


This novel is definitely not my typical read, in fact I was quite hesitant about it, but a friend of mine swore that I had to. I politely declined, but she kept after me and finally nagged me into defeat. Why am I telling you any of this? Simple. I want to get preconception out of the way due to it's subject matter. Something about BDSM definitely raises some eyebrows and it was the thing that had me questioning how I had got suckered into reading this novel in the first place. But, believe me when I say, despite my doubts and reservations about this novel it completely blew me away surpassing anything that I could have hoped for.

Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair, the first novel in Masters of the Shadowlands series is an extremely well written erotic romance. While I started off very unsure about what to expect, I found this novel to be deeply engaging, filled with tantalizing characters and a wonderful exploration of the BDSM 'lifestyle'.
Truly, it was Sinclair's character development that had me floored. Jessica is a likable intelligent woman, strong yet insecure about her self image. When she stumbles upon Club Shadowlands, we are taken with her on an eye opening journey into this alternate lifestyle. Jessica's thoughts and hesitancy mirrored my own about the subject as the story began and really helped me to build a sort of kinship to her. Her questioning, curious nature wondering what sort of people go in for this sexual proclivity was interesting and in her desire to learn more about others, she found out instead about herself. The emotions she experiences throughout the novel are engrossing and cover a wide range, from shame and embarrassment, to lust and desire, hitting upon something very tangible in the reader, making it feel as if you are sharing in her experiences with her-both the good and the bad.
Her guide through this scintillating realm is Dom, Master Z. He's alluring, attractive and somehow safe and comforting in this wild sexual playground. I found myself instantly loving him, his protective caring nature paired with an alpha male mentality...what wasn't to love? I was also extremely intrigued by his apparent empathic abilities. It softens his outer rugged demeanor of stoic power, but the inner knowledge of the feelings of those around him, the inner desires, makes him somehow even more sexy if possible because of his need to protect and pleasure that person.
The relationship between Jessica and Master Z is also nicely developed considering they just happen to randomly meet, but, somehow the evolution seems very organic. In truth this has to do a lot with the emotionality of the novel which makes it easy to connect between the two characters. The growing attraction very obvious and clear. The development of trust between them is slow and flowing with moments of give and take making the moments of passion all the more sizzling. All in all, theirs is a tender caring romance that had me enthralled, reading late into the night to see what would happen between them.

The exploration of the 'lifestyle' is definitely something of an eye opener as well. From the types of people who are involved (Master Z is a children's shrink and Jessica an accountant) this novel is an interesting introduction into understanding not only the characters but the actual reality of BDSM, not the stereotype that comes to mind. While I'm not sure if the world itself appeals to me, the focus on the characters does. This novel in particular, I was obsessed with the realistic characters and especially Jessica's reaction not only to the pleasures this lifestyle entails, but her connection to Master Z.

Overall, this novel was extremely surprising and had me engrossed from start to finish. Enjoyable and interesting, this novel left me craving to know more about the Masters of the Shadowlands...the only problem with that is waiting for all the books to appear in Nook format. *sigh*.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Scars

Advisory: Graphic Sexual Content
Contains BDSM-May not suitable for all readers

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