Lassoing Lilly (Cloudcroft #3)

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Sophisticated, confident businesswoman Lillian Adams spends her days managing a sizable staff, but her lonely evenings are spent imagining deliciously naughty stories about firm-handed men and the feisty women who love them. But when an emotional confrontation at work leaves Lilly at a crossroads in her life, she decides it is time to take the leap and see if she can truly make a career for herself as a romance novelist.

As both a working ranch and a kink-themed resort, Cloudcroft offers the perfect location for Lilly to learn more about real life spanking and BDSM. Though she is all but terrified upon her arrival, after meeting Lincoln Sullivan, the handsome, boldly dominant co-owner of Cloudcroft, she quickly ends up agreeing to spend the weekend as his submissive.

Soon enough, Lilly finds herself naked, blushing, and burning with need as Linc teaches her what it means to surrender her beautiful body to his masterful lovemaking. But though it excites her deeply when Linc spanks her bare bottom for any disobedience, Lilly struggles to come to terms with her intense arousal at being made to submit. Can she find a way to balance what is expected of an independent, modern woman with her desire to be taken in hand?

—                    —                    —

Note: This is the third book in the Cloudcroft Ranch series.

Lilly and Linc are a “mature” couple who meet in their late thirties/forties and their relationship bears the mark of older, more mature individuals. When compared to a very immature young person like Bella (from book 1), the difference between her and Lilly is night and day!

Lilly has trouble submitting at times, both because of her professional background and her lack of trust. She has been a strong and independent woman for a long time, and has become unable to relax, de-stress, or share responsibility, both in her professional and personal lives. When she meets Linc, everything changes.

I love that the author had her characters grow slowly and naturally, rather than suggesting that playing with BDSM is going to instantly change your personality. We change all the time as people – hopefully in ways that indicate growth. Lilly’s interest in BDSM is just one facet of this.

I love the western vibe that is going for this series. There is something about a rugged man that just makes a girl’s panties wet!

There is plenty of spanking and some use of toys in this novel, but the author doesn’t get too involved in other kinks.

I definitely recommend this novel if you are looking for a mature romance that still has kink. Also, neither Linc or Lilly have children.

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xx

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Saving Sophia (Cloudcroft Ranch #2)

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After a tragic accident left her alone in the foster care system at a young age, Sophia Montgomery grew up relying on no one but herself, but at age twenty-three she finds herself facing homelessness after her plans for a summer job fall through. Seeing no alternative, she lets two of her friends convince her to apply for a gardening job at Cloudcroft, a combination working ranch and BDSM resort. Though she is nervous about the whole idea, Sophia pretends to understand what she is getting herself into despite having no experience with anything kinky.

Sophia is immediately impressed by handsome rancher and resort manager Marcus Greene, but when her intense focus on her work puts her health at risk she quickly discovers that her new boss takes her well-being very seriously. After a thorough scolding, Sophia’s bottom is bared for a sound spanking, and to her surprise the humiliating chastisement arouses her deeply.

She soon learns that Marcus can be tender as well as stern, and being held in his lap and comforted after her punishment makes Sophia feel safer than she has in a long time. Over the coming days she grows to trust in Marcus’ discipline and guidance as he takes it upon himself to teach her what it means to truly surrender to a dominant man, but when Sophia makes a startling discovery about her past will she end up leaving Cloudcroft behind?

—                    —                    —

Not gonna lie, I was super surprised that Marcus was the hero in this book. I was sure it was going to be Linc, the brother of the hero in book one.

Nevertheless, Saving Sophia is a fun and sexy book to dive into!

Sophia grew up in a series of foster homes, so she hasn’t had the education and life experiences that she would have had otherwise, despite her intellect and drive to better herself. She is remarkable for not falling through the cracks and is a partner worthy of Marcus, who has also worked incredibly hard to get to where he is in life.

I like that both of the characters had challenges that they had overcome, as well as things they were still working on. Sophia is a much more likeable character than the heroine in book one, and it was fun watching her fall into this BDSM world, of which she is completely ignorant.

I also lived the relationships that Marcus has with Mum and stepmother, and how open and welcoming they are to Sophia. Those two old ladies are a riot and I hope they keep turning up as secondary characters in the series.

Saving Sophia has plenty of spanking scenes, but the relationship style is very similar to that of Jack and Bella in book 1 of this series. I hope to see development in the next books. I would hate to see each book (and each couple) become carbon copies of one another, at least in terms of their D/s relationship style.

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Beneath the Scars (Shadowlands #13)

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Josie doesn’t need any help raising her son.

Pregnant at sixteen, Josie learned the hard way about men and their empty promises. She picked herself up and is raising her eleven-year-old son. By herself. And that’s the way she intends it to stay. Unfortunately, her impressionable boy becomes fascinated by the scruffy, intimidating biker who lives next door.

The scars on Holt’s face are only the most visible of his wounds.

Out of the hospital after being attacked in his own damn house, Holt is coming to terms with the fact that his scars frighten people. Like his now-ex-girlfriend who ran after one look at him. Like his redheaded neighbor who hauled her boy away as if Holt was a serial killer. Fine. He’ll give the pretty bartender all the space she wants.

The Shadowlands will bring them together…

When Josie starts bartending in the exclusive, private club, she discovers her neighbor is a member. And a Master–a skilled powerful Dom who can make her fantasies come true. Slowly, the firefighter breaks down the walls around her heart, teaching her how to trust. How to love…

But when her son’s choices lead to disaster, can their relationship survive?

—                         —                         —

Okay, first off, I hate this cover. It was actually a turnoff for me reading this book but I love the author and the series, so I knew better than to judge it by its cover.

That being said …

We have on our hands yet another fabulous Shadowlands story from Ms. Sinclair.

Beneath the Scars starts off much slower with the sex and BDSM than most of the books in this series have. Josie is new to the club and her first real scene occurs more than a quarter of the way into the book.

I love that the author has created a single mom romance, which is something I have been hoping she would do for a few years now. I also appreciate that the son wasn’t always full of warm and fuzzy feelings towards Holt. I felt that this is a fairly realistic portrayal of a new family forming, with all the ups and downs and stumbles that go along with.

I have become used to this author introducing a new kink in every one of her books. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one introduced in Beneath the Scars and I really missed this aspect. It was something that I had expected and looked forward to, so I kept waiting for this scene to happen.

The romance between Holt and Josie is more of a slow burn than an eruption of passion. They are immediately attracted to one another but move slowly due to a number of circumstances. Holt is heavily into bondage but there was limited use of other toys or kinks in this book. I feel that this book is closer to “romance” than erotica, at least compared to the others in the series.

Overall, a solid addition to the series and one I will definitely read again, but it didn’t completely fill up my bucket.

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xx

Sold to the Billionaire (Emily Tilton)

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As the daughter of the prime minister, eighteen-year-old Heather Gerber is used to society’s high expectations, until the day her entire world is radically changed in an instant and she becomes little more than property to be bought, sold, and used in any manner her future owner sees fit.

Brought to the Institute to be prepared for her eventual sale, Heather quickly finds herself naked, blushing, and helplessly aroused as she is thoroughly and painfully spanked by stern, handsome trainer Paul Federico. But though Paul knows that Heather will soon belong to a powerful billionaire, as he teaches her what it means to surrender her virgin body to a dominant man he cannot help falling for the beautiful, innocent girl. Can he find a way to claim her for his own?

—                         —                         —

Sold to the Billionaire is a short novel by Emily Tilton. It is set during an alternate world, in a small country set in contemporary Ontario, Canada. There are scenes involving consensual non-consent, spanking, and anal sex.

I found this story to be extremely confusing and disjointed. It is part of a series (“The Institute Series”) but it was marketed as being easy to read as a standalone – no prior knowledge of the series necessary. This was not the case at all.

The book blurb available on Goodreads and Amazon insinuates that the story will be about two main characters, Heather and Paul. I didn’t find this to be accurate. In fact, the first intimate scenes are about Heather’s parents, which for me is just icky. I don’t want to read about the parents and the child/dren having sex, even though there is nothing between them (no incest). The POV character changes multiple times. I can think of at least five off the top of my head.

I also strongly disliked that there are scenes where female characters are raped and enjoy it. It is one thing to incorporate consensual nonconsent within a bdsm scene, but this is not the case.

Finally, this backstory that Ms. Tilton created to explain this alternate world was overly complicated. It could have been explained much more succinctly and simply, so the author could get down to the real business of the story.

Overall, not a story I would recommend.

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Show Me Baby (Shadowlands #9)

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A Masters of the Shadowlands Novella

After his last lover chose her career over him, Jake knows he wants a woman who will put him at the top of her priorities—as he would with her. One of the trainees, Rainie, has caught his attention. Lush body, a gift for living life to the fullest, always laughing or smiling. Yeah. She trips all his switches. But she’s never given him a second look and that’s damned annoying.

Rainie has been burned enough times that she’s not going to get serious about any man. Sure, the BDSM club trainees are supposed to be looking for a permanent Dom, but no harm, no foul—they don’t need to know she lied. Trainees get to be involved in everything—and with everyone. But there’s one she avoids. Master Jake is always frowning at her. No matter how gorgeous he is, she doesn’t need any disapproving Dom up in her business.

Unfortunately, her best friends are having a double wedding. Little hearts are floating in the air. Every breath is filled with romance. Rainie is doomed.

—                         —                         —

Show Me, Baby is supposed to be a novella but it is too long IMHO. I’d rate it more of a short novel which is great because I hate romantic novellas – they are too short for the love to unfurl and blossom.

Oh God, I’m waxing poetic.

Rainie is a BBW. I love that the author includes heroines who are a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Any woman reading these stories will be able to find someone who matches their body type.

Jake and Rainie have both been on the proximity of past Shadowlands stories for a while now, so I am glad that they are getting their stories told. I would also love to read about Uzuri, Anne, Saxon, Holt, Karl and Edward if anyone happens to have the author’s ear.

I reviewed the tenth book in the series, Servicing the Target, back when it was first released, so my next post will be skipping ahead to #11, Protecting His Own and then I will almost be caught up in this series!

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xx

If Only (Shadowlands #8)

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After the last fiasco, Sally gives up. She’ll never find a Dom of her own. Instead the computer whizz is job hunting in between bending the law—just a bit—to unearth the bastards who’d enslaved her friends. The clueless cops and Feds obviously need help.

FBI special agents, Galen and Vance, have waited to play with Sally for a long time. When the mischievous submissive returns to the exclusive Shadowlands BDSM club after an ugly relationship, the experienced co-tops are pleased. Realizing she’s suppressing her emotions, the powerful Doms push her—only to find that her sassiness conceals a scarred and vulnerable heart.

Shaken by the unexpected emotional exposure, Sally flees the demanding Masters and the Shadowlands.

Both Galen and Vance have reasons not to seek a long-term submissive, but when a brutal attack by her ex-Dom sends Sally into their home, the two agents are driven to protect her. To help her. To take her under command. Falling in love isn’t in the plans.

But as the little imp brings light into their lives, they begin to want more…until they discover she’s hacked into an organization that delights in burning people alive.

—                         —                         —

If Only is another exceptional story from the terrific Ms. Cherise Sinclair. It is a closed polyamorous relationship (MMf). The men consider each other (non-biological) brothers and are not gay. They do not have scenes with just each other, but do share the heroine, both together and in separate man-woman scenes. Essentially, Vance and Galen co-top and co-dom Sally who is their spirited, smart and bratty submissive.

I loved this book for a lot of reasons.

Firstly, Sally has been a supporting character since the very first Club Shadowlands book and she definitely deserved her own book and love interest this whole time. I love her and her story tore at my heart strings.

Secondly, often a series starts to plateau at this point and become repetitive but the author has done a great job at changing up the kinks and relationship types. For example, the previous book introduced the first S/m couple and this book is the first in the series to be MMf. There are multiple anal play/sex scenes in If Only, as well as fisting, which is new to the series.

Thirdly, the plot of this book will tie up the four book human trafficking arc that we’ve had going. It was great while it lasted but I am ready to move on. Thankfully the author saw this through without dragging it on forever and turning it into the basis of her series.

believe that If Only is also the first Shadowlands book where the heroine has safeworded during a scene. I love that the author brought this up and I hope she explores it more deeply in a future book. Although I love some aspects of romance novels, HEA and all, sometimes I hate that things tend to go along a little “too perfectly” or when all of the problems the characters face are external or from their pasts. In real life, Doms can’t read our minds and sometimes go too far (physically, emotionally, sexually) and the sub has to call “Red”. I’m glad it happened the first time (in this series) the way that it did and hope that the author will explore it during a more carnal scene eventually, because the aftermath for the characters would be delicious reading.

Cherise keeps enough humour in her books to keep the stories light, even when the subject matter is depressing, like taking down a human trafficking ring. After all, Sally has long been the club’s principle prankster, so you know she had to get into some type of trouble, especially when her Doms get grumpy from work. It is a submissive’s delight to cheer them up you know <evil grin>.

If Only also gives the reader some updates on other characters who have been quiet lately, especially Dan and Kari, who I LOVE. I highly recommend this book, but you should definitely read them in order. All seven previous instalments have reviews on this blog, and I will be catching up the rest before the newest book is released.

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This is who I am (Shadowlands #7)

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When trying to save a woman from slavers, Sam screwed up. Royally. Now Linda wants nothing to do with him. Or with BDSM. She won’t even admit she’s a masochist. As a dominant and sadist, he can give her what she needs, and when an opportunity arises, he slips into her life, intending to make amends. She’s everything he knew she would be…except for her bullheaded determination to be ‘normal’.

Now the horrible time is past, Linda just wants to return to her small conservative town, pick up her quiet life, and be normal. But how can someone who likes pain be ‘normal’? To her dismay, when someone spray-paints her home with obscenities, Sam shows up to rescue her. Again. Doesn’t he understand that the last thing she needs in her life is a sadist? He’s amused by her objections. But his dry sense of humor can’t disguise that he’s tough as nails and dominant and stubborn. He’s not going to let her drive him off this time. Soon she realizes she wants him to stay.

When he takes her to the Shadowlands, she feels as if she’s found a home…until she hears a voice from out of her nightmares.

—                         —                         —

This is who I am was a huge surprise hit! I am not into S&M and had never read a book with this kink before, but I trust Sinclair more than any other author so I knew that I would still give Linda and Sam a go. True to form, Cherise Sinclair never disappoints!

One of the best things about the Shadowlands books is that we get to see previous couples and get updates on their lives. I’ll just say that this one has a very exciting wedding in it and I loved the special moment the bride and groom share before the ceremony.

Sam wasn’t at all what I expected. I thought he would be scary and grumpy a lot of the time. He definitely isn’t Mr. Personality, but I think Sam is way harder on himself than anyone else. He holds himself to a very high standard but isn’t an ass about it towards everyone around him, as most people tend to be. I loved his reflection that sadists tended to be more polite than most Doms, at least outside of a scene. Sam ALWAYS put Linda’s needs before his own, and isn’t too immature or macho to apologize when he messes up. I sincerely hope that this author writes some more sexy cowboys in the very near future.

Sam sighed. Sometimes he enjoyed his “eat babies for breakfast” reputation, but sometimes it got old. Eventually the girl would discover that sadists tended to be politer than regular Doms—at least, when not in a scene. After all, if a sadist was nasty, then how would he get anyone to play with him?

Sinclair, Cherise. This Is Who I Am (Masters of the Shadowlands Series Book 7) (p. 122). Loose Id LLC. Kindle Edition.

Linda gave a different perspective of a sub than any we have seen before. She is the oldest heroine I have blogged about to date and is very mothering. I love how she was able to let her hair down and have fun with the other Shadowkittens, working side by side as an equal partner in life with Sam – even while being his submissive in the bedroom – and she had an iron hard backbone when things go wrong. Linda isn’t a youngster to cry on the couch about how hard and unfair life is. She reminded me numerous times of the saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”.

The S&M scenes in this book did not squirk me out at all. They were super hot. Drop your panties hot.

This is who I am helps to wind down the human trafficking plot line that has weaved the last few books together and while it has been very interesting, I am also ready for this series to move in a new direction. I don’t want to see it become a crime thriller. Although, those feds still haven’t partnered up with a Shadowkitten so I’m am sure the next book or two will contain the concluding threads ; )

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