Master of the Mountain

Do you re-read books? It seems like there are some people who do it religiously (my hand is waving high in the air right now) and others who very rarely do it. I’ve mentioned this before on my blog, but the characters in my favourite books are like best friends to me and re-visiting those characters is literally like visiting an old friend who I don’t get to see very often. Sometimes I just get the feeling to go back to my favourites rather than reading new books, especially if I am going through a rough patch, so ‘m excited to share some of my old favourite on my blog over the next few weeks.

Master of the Mountain is the first book in the Mountain Masters / Dark Haven series by Cherise Sinclair. The series is order can be kind of confusing because it was originally two separate series that merged into one. I’ll try to post reviews in order 🙂

mountain

When Rebecca’s lover talks her into a mountain lodge vacation with his swing club, she soon learns she’s not cut out for playing musical beds. But with her boyfriend “entertaining” in their cabin, she has nowhere to sleep. Logan, the lodge owner, finds her freezing on the porch. After hauling her inside, he warms her in his own bed, and there the experienced Dominant discovers that Rebecca might not be a swinger…but she is definitely a submissive.

Rebecca knows that no one can love her plump, scarred body. But, to her surprise, Logan disagrees and is quite happy to show her just how much he enjoys her curves. Under his skilled hands, Rebecca loses not only her inhibitions, but also her heart.

Damaged from the war, Logan considers himself too dangerous to be around the enticing little sub. He sends her away for her own safety, not realizing she thinks she’s been rejected because of her size. When Logan’s mountains echo with her voice long after she’s gone, he knows she’s left behind part of herself—and taken his heart. But when he arrives in the city to reclaim her, Rebecca’s phone has been disconnected and her apartment is empty…

—                         —                         —

I love the atmosphere in Master of the Mountain! Logan and his brother Jake are both super sexy, rough and tough manly-men doms who run a lodge in the mountains. Ms. Sinclair does a great job of enticing the reader into the lifestyle both of bdsm and of lodge life. The heroine Becca is a city girl through and through at the start, but not very happy with her relationship, or she discovers, her professional citified life. She is an artist at heart and falls just as much in love with the rugged outdoors as she does the man who shows it to her.

I’m a country-girl at heart and this book definitely brought out my longing to move from my small-town neighbourhood to the real countryside. I would love to live in a forest, in a village so small and remote that everyone knows everyone. At the very least, I am looking up cabin rentals for a vacation this summer, and dreaming of making it a permanent move!

So Logan, and incidentally his brother Jake as well, both are my own personal kryptonite and this is one of those books where I can truly say that I would love to take the place of the main character.

Master of the Mountain is filled with typical Cherise Sinclair hits, from a female character who is new to the scene, her blossoming sexuality and body confidence, and ridiculously hot guys who are honourable and fun. It is a light read that introduces a brand new cast of characters and one of my favourite series to go back and re-visit every couple of years.

Warning: The group Becca is visiting the lodge with are swingers and she quickly discovers that she does not want to participate and that her relationship with her boyfriend – already on the edge – is not going to survive the weekend. Considering he is swinging and pressuring her to as well, I don’t consider anything Becca and Logan do to be cheating but if this is a serious trigger for you, tread carefully.

Highly recommended!

* * * * *

xx

Advertisements

Brighter Than The Sun by Maya Banks

Brighter Than The Sun is the 11th book in the contemporary romance series KGI.

banks

As the last unattached member of the Kelly clan, Joe is more than ready to risk life and limb on any mission he’s assigned to, but when it comes to love, he’ll keep his distance. He’s content to watch his brothers become thoroughly domesticated.

Zoe’s had nothing but heartbreak in her life, and she’s determined to start over with a completely new identity, thanks to her college friend, Rusty Kelly. But it’s the gorgeous smile and tender words of Joe Kelly that begin to weaken her resolve to never risk her heart again. And Joe will have to put everything on the line to save Zoe, when secrets of her past resurface—and threaten to tear them apart…

—                        —                         —

This book reads quite a bit differently than most of the others in the series, in my opinion.  Earlier books in the series were intensely-action based, and usually revolved around the missions that KGI members make, whether it is a hostage rescue, investigation or taking out a crime lord. The characters themselves poke fun at how many members met their spouse on an op!

In comparison, the romance in this story has nothing to do with a KGI mission. And although their skills are used briefly for an action scene near the end of the book, it is certainly much more of a background subplot that merely serves to identify some character traits for the hero and his family.

Brighter Than The Sun has a sweeter tone to its romance. Joe is gentle with and sensitive to his beau, realizing that she has been abused and is a complete flight risk. He is careful not to scare her away and really takes the time to sweet her off her feet with wholesome, country experiences that she has never had. They go fishing, and boating and play in the creek. It really is the perfect country romance! Many of the previous heroes had multiple moments where they acted overbearing and I like that in my story. So it is good that the author takes this story in another direction, it just wasn’t one that worked for me as well.

Probably due to the lack of action, BTTS is pretty wordy. It is uncharacteristic for a KGI novel, but many of the characters make long speeches – basically a soliloquy – throughout the book. I mostly skipped over these, because the story would start to lose my interest. And it is overwhelming for a paragraph to take up an entire page. The author would have been wiser to break up the text, even if the speaker isn’t interrupted by another character, just by adding descriptors such as, ‘she shifted restlessly’.

One thing that I did love in the background of this story was learning more about the relationship between Rusty and Sean now that Rusty is an adult. She has grown up from a troublesome runaway teenager taken in by the Kelly family to an intellectual, highly educated young woman. But despite her academic accomplishments, she still doesn’t feel fully accepted by the KGI family (other than by her adopted parents) and lacks confidence in herself within the family unit.

A large part of this is due to Rusty’s complicated and difficult relationship with Sean. Clearly they are meant to be together, and it seems like the next book in this series will finally be the one where they find their HEA!

My heart broke for her by the end this story though, so I hope it is not too long of a wait!

In some ways, BTTS read like a reunion novel. There was a heavy focus on the background characters and catching the reader up on where they are now. In particular, there are a lot of updates on Rusty/Sean, Sam/Sophie and Nathan/Shea.

I haven’t been too fond of several of the more recent novels in the KGI series. Brighter Than The Sun was more entertaining than those, but I don’t think any book will reach the same level as the first three in the series did, at least in my opinion.

* * *

xx