I read a lot… those of you who follow the Guilty Indulgence Review Site know this already but I preface this review with my statement because it matters that I read a lot when I say that Cherise Sinclair is a master of the erotica/ BDSM genre. I have found no other author in this genre whose every book I have loved. Oh, there are some I like most of what they’ve written, some of what they’ve written but never all of what they’ve written. So when I took the step to read another series after the fabulous Masters of the Shadowlands, it was with some hesitancy. I didn’t want her to let me down – I was afraid – until I “opened” the book.
This book, as do each of her stories, powerfully depicts the wonders of new love, trust and romance of a different nature. This is where my warning comes in that if you aren't interested in BDSM, Master of the Mountain may not be for you. With that being said, I would rate this as a moderate (certainly not hard core) BDSM erotica with a primary focus on the developing romantic relationship between the main characters. If you’ve never read something like this, Master of the Mountain would be a good first. (Heck, it was for the main character, Becca!)
The heroine, Becca, is attending her first swinger’s weekend with her boyfriend. She is apprehensive and insecure but she has agreed to attend for the sake of their bland sex life in hopes that this will spice up their relationship. But it takes only a few hours for her to be certain the swinger lifestyle is not for her. Even though several of the group members make her feel wanted, she just doesn’t want to participate so when her boyfriend entertains in their small cabin and she doesn’t want to join in, Becca finds herself without a place to stay. A city girl, this is Becca’s first time out in the wilderness and she feels completely out of her element. Certain her relationship is history, she wants only to return to the city but is stuck with no transportation. Then along comes Logan.
Mmm… mmm… Logan. Mysterious, dark and hunky Logan owns the lodge with his brother Jake (read the next book for his story). Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from the war, he is plagued with terrible nightmares from which he has trouble waking. Once hurting his brother during one particularly horrible episode, he is afraid to have a woman in his bed concerned he may harm her. And so he is afraid to fall in love because he has convinced himself he cannot have a relationship.
And so it is that Becca and Logan are perfect for one another. Seeing Becca so lost sets off Logan’s protective instinct. He finds her plus-size curves sexy but she doubts that a man as handsome as Logan could be interested in a curvy woman like her. He is determined to teach her otherwise. Noticing signs of a true submissive inside Becca, Logan gives an introduction to his dominant lifestyle. Logan is sweet but firm, teaching her to embrace her submissive desires as he guides her to a pleasure she has never known. With Logan, Becca learns to love her body, overcome some of her fears and discover that she’s not so frigid after all.
It would just be wrong if I didn’t mention the amazing hot sex, especially in the great outdoors when Logan pushes Becca to the point where her sounds of pleasure can be heard across the mountain to where the swinger group is picnicking (absolutely adorable when the group brings it up at dinner only to discover it was Becca). I bet her ex-boyfriend was kicking himself then. And when Logan carries her through the room filled with swingers, straight to his apartment and announcing that she belonged to him, I wanted to cheer in victory for Becca!
As much as Logan heals Becca and brings her to self-fulfillment, Becca begins to heal Logan. She is exactly what this war-scarred Dom needs to move into a committed relationship. And just when I think Logan is convinced to do just that and the HEA is only a page turn away, Logan rejects Becca. Not understanding his motivation (stubborn Dom for insisting she be honest but not doing it himself!), she falls back on her insecurities. She doesn’t know that Logan is scared because he’s falling in love with her and is still convinced he may harm her during his nightmares.
Sinclair’s balance of descriptive detail to build understanding and descriptive dialogue to build relationships is perfection. There are never slow moments in this book – each page, each scene has you hanging on for more, desiring more (hmm... sounds like a good master to me). It comes down to the very end when Logan finally comes to his senses and has to work to win Becca back. (I only wish she’d made him suffer a bit more.) With the powerful message of trust at the crux of the story, once again all the rest just builds on that theme. Master of the Mountain is my newest favorite Cherise Sinclair story. A definite 5 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries book.