Saving Sophia (Cloudcroft Ranch #2)

saving sophia

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?

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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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xx

 

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A Game of Chance by Linda Howard

A Game of Chance is the fifth book in the Mackenzie’s Mountain series by Linda Howard. My blog’s name is roughly taken from this series, because it had a marked influence on me in my youth.

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Blurb:

The last book in the Mackenzie Family series focuses on Chance Mackenzie, a feral, homeless adolescent until rescued and adopted by Wolf and Mary Mackenzie. The stunning and aloof half-breed has built a career in undercover ops, first as a Naval Intelligence Officer, then as a private consultant. However, one particularly vile terrorist has always eluded the law. Chance and brother Zane find a way to lure Crispin Hauer in: They’ll use his daughter Sonia as bait. First step: Make Sunny fall in love with Chance. What could be simpler?

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This is probably the only series I’ve read by Ms. Howard, but it has a special place in my heart. I love macho men like Chance. This type of character epitomizes everything I am attracted to in a man; he determines his own future, is handy, knowledgeable in self-defence and survival skills, kind and funny, and big and strong and take-charge.

I do wish that the story had of been expanded upon in the post-plane rescue scenes. I always feel that romance authors rush the endings. It’s like they feel after the action has come to a head, they only have a chapter or two to bring the story to conclusion. Well, that’s just not true.

This plot made me wonder, if I was in Sunny’s position, could I ever forgive Chance for his deception and betrayal? Would you?

I think that I’d get over it fairly easily. It is not as if the two were in a relationship and then he betrayed her, with another woman for example. He set up an unknown woman to take down her terrorist father, and in the process, managed to free her from him as well. And Chance protected her as much as he could through the whole process.

I like how he handles Sunny at the conclusion, giving her space to process and then overwhelming her with love, all the while having her back with Margreta. That is how a real man treats the woman he loves.

The following excerpt from A Game of Chance is my favourite scene. It is so heartwarming and sweet that it actually made me cry. It is my dream to one day marry into a large, loving, demonstrative family such as the Mackenzie clan.

‘Chance looked up at him, the only father he had ever known, and the man he respected most in the world.

“I don’t know who gave birth to you,” Wolf said. “But I do know bloodlines, son, and you’re a thoroughbred. Do you know what I regret most in my life? Not finding you until you were fourteen. Not feeling your hand holding my finger when you took your first step. Not getting up with you in the night when you were teething, or when you were sick. Not being able to hold you the way you needed holding, the way all kids need holding. By the time we got you I couldn’t do any of that, because you were as skittish as a wild colt. You didn’t like for us to touch you, and I tried to respect that.

“But one thing you need to know. I’m more proud of you than I’ve ever been of anything in my life, because you’re one of the finest men I’ve ever known, and you had to work a lot harder than most to get to where you are. If I could have had my pick of all the kids in the world to adopt, I still would have chosen you.”

Chance stared at his father, his eyes wet. Wolf Mackenzie put his arms around his grown son and hugged him close, the way he had wanted to do all these years. “I would have chosen you,” he said again.’     – copyright to Linda Howard

Isn’t that the sweetest? One of the things that we don’t do often enough in this world, is to tell our loved ones exactly how much we love them and that we are proud of them. Hearing those words fills the recipient with such a feeling of empowerment and hopefulness, providing courage and belief in self to get through future hardships.

Even though I am re-reading the books out of order, I will try to post reviews as I do so. Lately I’ve just been reading based on what I feel like in that moment, because I’ve felt so overwhelmed. I haven’t wanted to exert the discipline necessary to read and review things in order!

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xx