Friday, February 18, 2011

Go Ahead. Make Me, Sir.

I’ve said it before when reviewing Cherise Sinclair's Masters of the Shadowlands books – let me say it again - here’s my recommendation. Listen real close because this is very important. Book five of the Masters of the Shadowlands books is now available and it's Friday. Put the kids to bed. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Keep the bottle close. Slip into some comfy jammies. Light a candle. Read in an uninterrupted location where heavy breathing is acceptable. You will l-o-v-e this book.
Cherise Sinclair hits the nail on the head again with Make Me, Sir in her series that, at times, seems so real it could be non-fiction. The striking imagery of the BDSM world with its erotic submission and intense passion explodes from the pages of each of Sinclair’s Masters of the Shadowlands books. But Make Me, Sir is the best yet.
Throughout the country, rebellious submissives are being kidnapped from BDSM clubs. The FBI is working to locate the source of the human trafficking ring, by placing undercover agents in the clubs to pose as decoys. Gabrielle Renard works for the FBI as a victim specialist, not an agent; but after one of her friends is taken, she uses her experience as a submissive to be placed as bait at the Shadowlands, an exclusive Florida BDSM club.

Dom Marcus Atherton “Master Marcus” manages the Shadowlands’ trainee program, but he doesn’t know why the club’s owner has assigned a new trainee to him without any information except that he is to keep the sub on for at least one month. Having been married to a diva of a sub before, Marcus has no desire to deal with a sub that is constantly talking back and disobeying him. And yet, something about Gabi draws him to her. She’s sassy but he senses a sweetness and desire to fully submit when she isn’t acting out for inexplicable reasons.

Gabi doesn’t mind talking back to Master Marcus especially since he first appears to be like other stuffy lawyers she’s known. Then Gabi starts to see the man behind the suit and it makes her yearn for something she can’t have: Marcus, as her Master. Gabi knows she can’t break cover, not with a slaver targeting the Shadowlands but she’s also never desired anyone the way she does Master Marcus.

Make Me, Sir is Cherise Sinclair’s hottest, most engaging and intense Masters of the Shadowlands book yet. Right from the start, Marcus and Gabi have great chemistry. The jokes they share and their casual rapport when outside a scene speaks to their connection beyond the sexual attraction. As are all Sinclair’s characters, Marcus and Gabi are multi-dimensional and so genuine that the reader has a sense of actually seeing and hearing the characters moan (if only, right?!). Marcus and Gabi seemed to fit perfect together. Her feistiness and his unrelenting patience are meant for each other and the way they fall in love sort of backwards fits these unique characters. It wouldn’t have been logical any other way.
Anyone who has read my reviews knows that I judge a book first by the hero (sorry, can’t help myself!) and let me say… Marcus, oh Master Marcus, you caught my attention in the last Masters of the Shadowlands book and won me over in this book. He is sexy, intelligent, intuitive, dominant, and yet so sweetly caring. It is no surprise that Gabi fell for him as he unknowingly acts as her anchor on this undercover operation. Dare I say he is perfect.
Working undercover, Gabi is out of her comfort zone with no field training but she’s committed to finding the slavers who took her friend and this propels her forward. Gabi is the friend every woman needs to have, incredibly loyal and a genuinely kind-hearted person with a past that comes out as she plays her role as a bratty submissive. The reader can feel her pain when she needs to play the role of rebellious submissive, thereby resisting her true sub nature, just as Marcus can sense as well. My heart clenched when finally Marcus pushes for the truth and Gabi finds herself unintentionally sharing her secrets, their relationship moves into a whole new dimension.
The couples from each of the previous books are secondary characters in Make Me, Sir.  It was nice to revisit and reconnect with the couples, a natural evolution of sorts as marriages are planned and babies are hatched. A secondary plot involving Jessica and Master Z will have readers cheering Jessica on and squinting through some nail-biting scenes. It takes a talented author to weave past characters so intrinsically into a storyline that the book wouldn’t be the same without them. Somehow calling them secondary characters seems to diminish their role in the story.
It was touching when the all-so-very-dominant masters learned of Gabi's undercover operation and were upset they had treated her as a rebellious sub without knowing otherwise. But committed to helping Gabi continue in order to save women being abducted for the slavery ring, they had to knowingly punish a sub who did not thrive on it. The tenderness they felt towards her spoke volumes of thier gentle and caring natures though I think they may have had a bit too much fun during the puppy scene. 
With so much eroticism and emotion packed into her books, a reader can only wait impatiently for another installment of the Masters of the Shadowlands to be written soon. And need I even say that I give this book 5 chocolate-dipped strawberries.
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