Club Shadowlands

Cherise Sinclair
Club Shadowlands
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Release Date
January 2009
Book 1 of Masters of the Shadowlands
BDSM, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

Her car disabled during a tropical storm, Jessica Randall discovers the isolated house where she's sheltering is a private bondage club. At first shocked, she soon becomes aroused watching the interactions between the Doms and their subs. But she's a professional woman--an accountant--and surely isn't a submissive . . . is she?

Master Z hasn't been so attracted to a woman in years. But the little sub who has wandered into his club intrigues him. She's intelligent. Reserved. Conservative. After he discovers her interest in BDSM, he can't resist tying her up and unleashing the passion she hides within.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, strong BDSM theme and content (including/not limited to bondage, caning, restraints, spanking, etc), exhibitionism, voyeurism.

Book Review by Michelle R
Oct 27, 2010   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
174 people found the following review helpful
There are those books that strike a chord with you. Books that you recommend to everyone you know. Books that you think about in quiet moments. These books change you in some small way. They shape you. They don't have to be the great American novel. They could be the trite teenage book read. But for you, they spoke and you listened. Having such a strong passion for reading, I have a number of those special books tucked away in my literary heart. Cherise Sinclair just happens to be one of the authors who holds a prominent position in that cache. As I read Club Shadowlands, the first book in the Masters of the Shadowlands series, I could feel a part of me change.

I'll be the first to admit I am a pretty vanilla girl. My box is small and well defined and I live quite well in it. I knew what BDSM was. Bondage, right? Pain, right? Whips and leather. All stuff way outside of my box. Not much to relate to there. Nothing I would find interesting. That is, until I fell victim to the herd mentality and picked up Club Shadowlands to see what all my fellow Good Reads groupies were yammering about. In that book, I found a new understanding--a new way of looking at things. I began to understand what I couldn't understand before. Why in the world would anyone feel compelled to this lifestyle? Through Sinclair's masterful storytelling voice, comprehension took hold.

Jessica Russell was an accountant with a pretty ordinary and unfulfilling life until a storm left her stranded after another bad date. In the pouring rain, Jessica sought shelter at the closest residence only to discover that it was a private BDSM club. Curious, Jessica accepted the invitation to dry off and have a look around until her car could be towed. Master Z, the club owner, watched over his little visitor from afar only to observe her body's subtle cues that the lifestyle intrigued her. Aroused her. The more he watched, the more he came to know that inside that conservative shell lay a submissive waiting to be topped. The more he watched and learned, the more compelled he became to take her on a journey of self discovery.

Yes, Club Shadowlands is an erotic romance that takes place in a private BDSM club. The story is chock full of scenes that are sure to make the most unflappable blush. That being said, this isn't just a romance. It isn't just a wild, kinky, sex-filled story. It is a mental journey. It is heady and intelligent. It is an uncomplicated view into the psychology of BDSM and more specifically the nature of Dominant and submissive relationships. It is a peek into their minds and an introduction to the lifestyle. Sinclair shared how it isn't an easy flippant lifestyle to pursue, and that an amazing connection and opportunity to grow can arise from the right Dom/sub relationship. Club Shadowlands is most definitely a psychological journey. Since reading this series I have gone on to read many BDSM stories, but Sinclair stands out as an author with the talent and desire to help readers understand the lifestyle by climbing inside the mind of her characters.

I highly recommend Sinclair's book to anyone willing to be surprised by the compassion and caring that goes into making a successful Dom/sub relationship work or for anyone just looking to have their toes curl and their blood race. When friends are just venturing into the erotica genre, this is typically the first book I recommend. All the unfamiliar kink comes with explanation and understanding. Respect arises that makes the entire BDSM erotic romance genre more human and understandable. Enjoy!
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Book Review by Belinda Boring (author,reviewer)
Feb 23, 2011
190 people found the following review helpful
Being the lover of reading romance that I am, every now and then I come across a blurb that sizzles or a cover that makes me take a second, much deeper look. My heart starts racing and I'm starting to get that excited self talk - "Oh Belinda.. I think we just found a new book to devour" Right before I click the To Purchase button, a caption then catches my eyes. It's a disclaimer that the book contains strong BDSM themes and then lists a long list of sexual acts. Instantly my hands freezes, I break out into a sweat and I close the screen. That scene isn't for me, I tell myself, I'm not into the whips and chains and dog collar wearing. But lately I've been getting a little adventurous and find myself staring at more and more BDSM titles. So I decided to take a leap of faith and with a recommendation in my hand, I downloaded CLUB SHADOWLANDS to my Kindle. With shaking hands and strong curiosity I started and hours later … I am still thinking about how amazing it was! If there was ever a book to break my BDSM book virginity with, this story was it.

I won't profess to know anything about the lifestyle. Yes, I had some preconceived ideas but straight away I appreciated the author's patience in explaining the details. The book shares the story of Jessica, a controlled accountant who found herself stranded in the middle of nowhere during a storm. Looking for shelter and a phone to call for help, the lucky girl stumbles across a house where she's reluctantly taken in. She finds out she's at a private club and given an option – she can spend the night in the cold, empty entry way or she can sign papers and become a member. With the attitude that she wasn't buying a car so how bad could it be, Jessica quickly signs the document and is whisked away by the sexy manager. What follows next is a shock to her senses. He leads her into a changing room where he proceeds to take control. She's showered, toweled and clothed and lead out into the club. Everywhere she turns are people, couples in all states of undress, doing things that she never thought possible. Tess is intrigued, horrified but most of all aroused by what she sees and the manager/owner, Dom Master Z sees in her the beauty of a submissive. He takes her under his wing, placing her under his command and although she struggles at times, there's no denying the chemistry between the two. The story shows Master Z introducing the BDSM scene to his fascinating new sub, talking and showing her the pleasures that come when trust is placed in his hands. Feelings intensify as Jessica struggles to accept there's nothing wrong with her loving her sex with a kink in it. Is she ready to open herself up, commit to Master Z and lifestyle? Or will she turn and walk away afraid?

There is such great emotion with this story. I had all sorts of images running through my head of what scenes would look like and was blown away at just how far off I was. The author did an amazing job with just how tasteful the story was and I know it was because she took the time to explain to the reader via Jessica why things were the way they were. I will admit there were some things that shocked me at first but I found there was a strong element of sensuality and respect that it made difficult not to get aroused by it all. There was such a level of intimacy between Master Z and Jessica that I felt I was brought into their little piece of the world and I was comfortable. That wasn't something I expected but it was a great experience.

I really enjoyed getting to know Jessica. She was definitely my kind of character because she had such real responses. I thought she was extremely brave. Not because she willing took part in the club and some of its activities but that she was so open to explore new things AND to share what she liked and didn't. I liked that she was able to take those small risks with Master Z and that through placing her trust in him, she experienced life changing pleasure. I loved watching her come to grips with her body image, to watch her go from obedient sub to spitfire when she felt someone was being threatened. I felt for her when she was punished for breaking club rules but it didn't break her. I think it came with having such an amazing Dom care for her and I really enjoyed living vicariously through her as I read.

Master Z, or Zachary as he's known away from the club, was one part masculine sensuality, one part sex on a stick and one part force of nature. Put that all together and you get a Dom that any woman would fall over herself for. He was incredible. He was firm and commanding, then gentle and tender. He took his role really seriously and everything was for Jessica's pleasure. It was important for him to be in tune to her needs, anticipating them, knowing just how far to push her boundaries. I loved how he was with Jessica knowing she was new to the lifestyle and how he knew just how much of a taste to give her. He made me tremble a little as I read and I know he's made a very lasting impression. I don't have many "ordinary" men on my lust list seeing it's occupied with a whole bunch of hunky Supes. I have one now – Master Z and he fully holds his own. He may not have fangs or fur but that man has restraints and handcuffs and is an expert in using them *shivers* Absolutely delicious.

I loved everything about reading CLUB SHADOWLANDS and feel it is the perfect book for readers who are new to erotica with BDSM themes and have a healthy curiosity. It's definitely whet my appetite to read more and given me a greater respect for the lifestyle. So if you'll excuse me, book two Dark Citadel is waiting for me. Happy reading!
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