Master of Freedom

Master of Freedom is the seventh book in the Mountain Masters / Doms of Dark Haven series by Cherise Sinclair.

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Detective Atticus Ware gave up his beloved Idaho to start again in the mountains of California, close to his imprisoned brother. He has a rewarding job and friends, but the experienced Dominant wants more than the Do-Me submissives who flock around him. He needs a woman who will give her heart as well as her body.

Virginia, “Gin,” is damn good at her challenging career as a prison psychologist. However, one problem inmate is mired in misery and unable to overcome his guilt at causing a friend’s death.
To clear her mind, she joins a friend’s kinky backpacking excursion, planning to hide in her tent during the evening BDSM pursuits. But Atticus lures her into the activities. She’s read about BDSM, but submission under the hands of a powerful Dom is beyond anything she’d imagined. She doesn’t trust men, doesn’t want a relationship, and yet…wants more from him.

Finally, Atticus has found the woman he wants in his life. In his bed. In his cuffs. But she’s not only his brother’s therapist, but also works in a prison. How can he tolerate his woman walking into danger every single blasted day?

Gin knows she has no future with Atticus Ware, but still, hope is rising in her heart.

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Master of Freedom is a solid addition to the Mountain Masters series, but it isn’t one of my favourites. The plot-line felt like it was mostly recycled from some of the previous novels and I really didn’t like the intrusion of LA gangs into my picturesque escape in the Yosemite Mountains. Hopefully they will be all heading out of town now that half the gang has been arrested.

The other thing that prevented me from falling in love with this book was the heroine Gin. She is pretty, sweet and good-hearted, but annoying as hell at some points. At the beginning of the story, she doesn’t even believe bdsm is something that happens in real life and this type of naivety drives me up the wall, especially since she is supposed to be a licensed shrink, with experience working in a family practice and is currently working in a state prison. She is a well-educated, independent woman who has lived all over the United States. One would think that alternative lifestyles and romantic partnerships is something she would have been exposed to, despite her Bible Belt upbringing.

I did love the introduction of Sawyer Ware, the hero’s brother who is incarcerated in the state prison I mentioned above. Having an “outlaw” supporting character is unique to this author and I loved that it made our band of LEO/military heroes a little more well rounded.

Master of Freedom is a good edition to the series, and it introduces the concept of suspension bondage into this kinky world we all love so much on this blog. I enjoyed it but I don’t recommend it as highly as the others in the series.

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Master of the Abyss

Master of the Abyss is the second book in the Mountain Masters / Dark Haven bdsm series by Cherise Sinclair.

On the mountain, the watcher seeks out evil women. And then they die.

Two years ago, when Jake Hunt uncollared his slave, she committed suicide. Guilt-ridden, he will commit to a woman for one night only, devoting his energy to a mountain lodge that caters to a BDSM crowd.

Kallie Masterson is tough. Unwanted as a child, she worked hard to become a wilderness guide. She’s proud of who she is, and hurt that Jake frowns on her for acting like a man.

After rescuing the macho guide from a bar fight, Jake is stunned that the ugly men’s clothing hides a warm, responsive woman. A submissive woman. When guide business brings her to the lodge on BDSM night, and she is obviously aroused by the play, Jake takes the little sub right into his world of pain and pleasure. He warns her: one-night-only. But she responds so beautifully–so joyously–under his command, that one night soon becomes two, then three…

Then a missing hiker reminds Jake of his past lover, and he realizes he’s become too involved. He pulls back.

Meanwhile, the watcher on the mountain has rendered his verdict: Kallie Masterson is evil. The sentence: Death.

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Jake was introduced in the first book about his brother. And he is just as hot as I thought he would be! Kallie is not at all the type of woman that Jake thought he was looking for but it turns out that they bring out the best in each other. He gives her the confidence to seek out the dom-sub relationship that had been missing in her love life while she in turn pulls no punches in making Jake face the BS he had been telling himself since his old girlfriend’s death.

Most of this book takes place in Yosemite National Park, so it is a fun “country romance” set in a beautiful landscape. Jake and Kallie are both working as guides, so the secondary characters tend to rotate in and out of the book, without taking too much focus away from the primary characters. It is nice that the Bear Flat community is expanded upon a little bit, with the introduction of some of the other residents, including Kallie’s three cousins, whom she lives with (and who all have the potential to be hot future heroes at some point!).

I have noticed that some other reviewers seemed to be a little annoyed by Kallie’s particular hang-up. After essentially being orphaned and dumped by her stepfather when he remarried, she bounced from family member to family member before ending up with her widowed uncle and three boy cousins. Afraid that she would lose this home too, and not understanding what she had done to be so unlovable in the past, she was a teenager determined to fit in with the boys and never rock the boat. Because of this history, Kallie always doubts her own self-worth and puts her needs last. She has major trust issues and doesn’t believe that she can ever count on another person long-term.

I had no problem with Kallie’s hangups and didn’t feel like they over-powered the book. It flowed well for me and I felt that it was balanced between the two main characters. To some extent, any positive example of a D/s relationship is going to be more focused on the submissive’s needs, not because the Dom doesn’t have them or is less important, but because the relationship is focused on the one who is giving up power in the exchange.

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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 🙂

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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…

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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!

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Eventide of the Bear – January 26th

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I am so excited about this book. It comes out January 26th and is the loooong awaited third instalment to the Wild Hunt series.

The Wild Hunt series is paranormal. Were-creatures (lions, bears, wolves…) have their own communities in the mountains, ruled by the Consantir of the territory who is given his legitimacy by the God Herne. While I am not usually a huge fan of fantasy, Ms. Sinclair does it right.

I am a huge fan of Cherise Sinclair, she is my most trusted author. Which means that she is the one author who I will follow into uncharted territory, whether I like the sound of a book or not. I trust that she will make it all ok, and is an automatic one-click in my books. I’ve been waiting a long time for this book, hopefully it will help clear away some of the mid-winter blues!

Here is the blurb to Eventide of the Bear:

She risked her life to save a human child.  Pain was her reward.

All her life, Emma longed for someone to love. Instead, disaster sees the brand-new bard banished from her people for long lonely years. Injured saving a child, the werebear has to steal food from humans, breaking shifter Law. The territory’s Cosantir and his lethal grizzly warrior catch her in the act. To her surprise, she’s healed and welcomed. Obviously, they don’t know her past. But oh, she can’t resist being around other shifters—especially the captivatingly powerful warrior. Maybe she can stay…just a little while.

As a grizzly warrior, Ben is ordered to house the pretty werebear until she heals. His littermate abandoned him, his home is empty, and he’s been alone for a long time. Intelligent and sweet and lushly curved, Emma is a delight…even if she is oddly reticent about her past. Although having sworn off females, he’s sorely tempted by this one. Damned if he doesn’t want to keep her, secrets or not.

Females were trouble. Years past, one split Ryder from his littermate. Now the panther shifter is returning to Ben, bringing his cub with him, a four-year-old he stole from the abusive female. To Ryder’s annoyance, his brother is sheltering a wounded bear. A female. Even worse, she’s beautiful and gentle and loving—damned if he’s going to fall for that act again. But when the dark of the moon arrives and death reigns supreme, he’ll discover that not all females are alike.

In a world filled with hellhounds and pixies, can three lonely shifters and one silent cub create a new family together? 

Genre: Paranormal erotic romance (menage)

Ms. Sinclair has posted an excerpt from the first chapter on her website. You’ll find it here.

The two books in this series are Hour of the Lion, followed by Winter of the Wolf.

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