January 3, 2011
Review: Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair
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