Tag: Cherise Sinclair

Guest Review: Eventide of the Bear by Cherise Sinclair

Posted February 22, 2016 by Judith in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Eventide of the Bear by Cherise SinclairReviewer: Judith
Eventide of the Beat by Cherise Sinclair
Series: The Wild Hunt Legacy #3

Publication Date: January 26th 2016
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five-stars

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?

Ms Sinclair is mostly known for her Shadowlands and Masters of the Mountain series.  However, those who like her writing in any genre have come to appreciate her paranormal Wild Hunt Legacy series in which she has created an entire society where shifters of varying breeds live together under the guidance and direction of Cosantirs, individuals gifted by the gods with the power to bring order out of chaos.  There is an entire vocabulary that has been created and the stories are fascinating as readers observe how shifters order their lives and live in small, out-of-the-way communities that even have human citizens.  Once of the greatest dangers to these communities is the presence of hellhounds, mystical demon/shifter creatures who live off their kills, especially magical beings like shifters.  And it is in doing battle with one of these to save the life of a child that our heroine comes in contact with a shifter community after years of being banished over a clear misunderstanding.  Lonely, hurting, close to death in many ways, Emma welcomes the acceptance of the Cold Creek community and the care and kindness of Ben, a bear shifter who fights hellhounds but lives a lonely existence after being abandoned. Throw in Ryder, a panther shifter who has taken possession of his daughter, a child he never knew about, and who is a long-time friend of Ben.  Now the Cold Creek household contains three adult shifters with great emotional burdens and troubled pasts and a child who has been mistreated, ignored and abused by her natural mother.

It is the unusual mix of personalities, histories, and emotional burdens that drives this story.  Emma is attracted to both Ben and Ryder but is sure that she is unworthy of either of them.  After all she had been shunned from her home community so there is possibly no hope of any kind of relationship with either of them when the full story of her immediate past comes out.  Yet Emma is a woman of deep kindness and loves with no hesitation.  She is one of those persons who gives without measure and especially when Ryder’s child needs her.  The back stories of these characters weaves in and out of their immediate context and the reader recognizes that something of a crisis nature has to happen in order for these three to resolve their relationship impasse.

Ms Sinclair is best known for her stories that involve the BDSM community as she is herself involved in that lifestyle.  Yet whatever the genre of her tales, there is the underlying goal of bringing her characters to the point of recognizing their own worth, of coming to full maturity where they are interacting with partners/lovers with respect and mutual desire for genuine caring and loving.  The attraction of this series for me is experiencing a society that embraces all kinds of shifters in communities that also include some humans.  Not that the human society knows about and accepts paranormal creatures.  Such is not the case.  But the community of Cold Creek and others in the story point out that it is possible to merge both human and paranormal societies in special circumstances.  Were we so good at pulling that off in real life.

This is a really fine read and one that Ms Sinclair’s fans have waited for.  It is also a great place to begin reading her work.  Each of her books are stand alone stories but in this series the first two books help to get the reader started appreciating the unique society in which these stories take place.  Readers will love Emma and feel her sense of unworthiness because of her unloving and critical mother.  Ben and Ryder are lovable in their own way, especially as readers experience Ryder’s growing joy at being a dad.  This is one of those books paranormal romance fans will find it difficult to put down.  I know I did.  Do yourself a favor and get this one.  It’s a keeper.

I give it a rating of 5 out of 5.

five-stars


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Guest Review: 1001 Dark Nights: Show Me Baby by Cherise Sinclair

Posted August 13, 2014 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Anthologies (multiple authors)

Judith’s reviShow me Babyew of Show Me Baby (Masters of the Shadowlands #9, 1001 Dark Nights #8) by Cherise Sinclair

After his last lover chose her career over him, Jake knows he wants a woman who will put him at the top of her priorities—as he would with her. One of the trainees, Rainie, has caught his attention. Lush body, a gift for living life to the fullest, always laughing or smiling. Yeah. She trips all his switches. But she’s never given him a second look and that’s damned annoying. 

Rainie has been burned enough times that she’s not going to get serious about any man. Sure, the BDSM club trainees are supposed to be looking for a permanent Dom, but no harm, no foul—they don’t need to know she lied. Trainees get to be involved in everything—and with everyone. But there’s one she avoids. Master Jake is always frowning at her. No matter how gorgeous he is, she doesn’t need any disapproving Dom up in her business. Unfortunately, her best friends are having a double wedding. Little hearts are floati ng in the air. Every breath is filled with romance. Rainie is doomed.

This is the August release in a series of novellas that is styled along the lines of the classic 1001 Nights of legend and each story is written by a different author whose readers are delighted to receive their efforts.   Not only that, but this is the 9th story in the Masters of the Shadowlands series by Ms Sinclair and is a delightful addition to the series.   Each story in this series features a man who has attained “master” status as a caring and well-trained BDSM Dom and who is dedicated to safe, sane, and consensual participation in the lifestyle.  This story is about Master Jake, one of the newest of the Shadowlands masters, a dedicated veterinarian and caring man whose heart is now bruised because the woman who he planned to marry had chosen her career over their relationship.  He only knows Rainie as one of the trainees and it is only because of an injured dog that he begins to see her through a different set of “lenses.”   Rainie is a woman who has prevailed in gaining a good education, whose mind and heart are true and whose skills are a credit to any business who hires her.  Yet her fears over discovery of her past, her insecurites rooted in her destructive self-image keep her from allowing her attraction to Master Jake to blossom.

As always, Ms Sinclair tells a story that is filled with the emotions of real people, filled with the hurts and hopes that drive people to seek relationship, to seek fulfillment in so many different ways.  It bears the mark of realism that comes from a writer who knows that about which she writes and brings that first-hand knowledge to the writing task.  Even those readers who do not have any desire to participate in a BDSM context can feel the pain and joys of people in this story, the need to be who they are, to experience the best that living and loving can offer.  The wedding of several of the Shadowland Masters is also a much anticipated happening and one that readers of this series will enjoy.    It’s a novella, that’s true, and ordinarily I am not very jazzed about this shorter story format.  However, this is a work that feels like it is longer than it really is and packs lots of story in this shorter form.  Ms Sinclair always makes every word count.

Lastly, I really have to comment that my favorite aspect of all the stories in this series is the comraderie among all the characters–the loyalty that all the submissives show toward one another, the deep friendship they share, and the fun they seem to have whenever they gather.  The bachelorette party scene is a hoot.  Also, the fact that the masters, dominant to the core, still live by a code that respects and values submissive women and men deeply and to the extent that their moral code is built around that respect.  All in all it is a really good read and one that should be enjoyed and appreciated.

I give it a rating of 4.25 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This title is available from Evil Eye Concepts Inc.  You can buy it here in e-format.


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Guest Review: Edge of the Enforcer by Cherise Sinclair

Posted June 22, 2014 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Edge of the EnforcerJudith’s review of Edge of the Enforcer (Doms of Dark Haven #4) by Cherise Sinclair

Fleeing false murder charges, Lindsey lands in San Francisco. There she builds a satisfying life until, in the notorious Dark Haven BDSM club, she encounters deVries. Moth, meet flame.

A security specialist and occasional mercenary, deVries needs an adorable submissive like a knife to the gut. Hell, she’s not even a masochist. But here she is, all big brown eyes and sweet body and sassy mouth. Loyal. Tough-minded. Honest.

Or maybe not, considering her ID is forged. If she thinks to lie to him, she’ll learn better. He’s the Enforcer of Dark Haven—his discipline is absolute, his punishments harsh, and his heart untouched…until now.

This is the fourth book in the popular Mountain Masters and Dark Haven series by an author that has not only captivated readers with her erotic and sensual fiction that embraces the BDSM lifestyle, but one that is herself a participant in the lifestyle.  Known best for her Shadowlands series, Ms Sinclair has nevertheless drawn readers into this series of stories revolving around dominants and submissives who live in the San Francisco Bay Area and surrounding environs.  At Dark Haven they are able to be honest about their preferences and deepest needs without the judgmentalism of those who do not understand the lifestyle or who insist on seeing it as sinful perversion.

Our heroine is a woman who is highly educated and who had the misfortune of falling into a set of circumstances where not only has she lost the man she loved but is now being sought as the primary suspect in his murder.  She knows that the police are bad cops, on the take, and who are seeking to pin his murder on her in order to save themselves.  So she has been on the run, working in low paying jobs, just trying to stay alive and away from those who would take her life from her.  Yet amid all the “lying” she has to do with her false ID and cover story about her past, she is totally honest about her own needs and her desire to be herself in at least one setting:  her membership at Dark Haven.  It is there she meets Zander deVries, a long-time participant in the lifestyle, a hardcore sadist and Dom, and a man who was carefully guarding a heart deeply wounded by the betrayal of a money-grubbing wife and a messy divorce.  Lindsey wasn’t his type at all, and when he perceives that she is being less than honest about some things, he wavers back and forth in his attraction to her.

This is a novel that is full of suspense, the dark excitement of the BDSM lifestyle, the kinds of loving that is intense and often misunderstood by those whose knowledge is limited or non-existent, and the hurts that emotional betrayal alone can cause.  It is about two people who really need each other but who are so fearful (for very different reasons, to be sure) that they almost lose each other.  These two often clash, often misunderstand each other, often read into their actions feelings and thoughts that simply aren’t there.  Zander has deep needs that Lindsey admits she can’t meet, but her jealousy gets in the way of helping her find solutions that will keep them together and satisfied with their prospects for the future.  It is a novel that is not easy to read and for those who have trouble with some or all of the aspects of the BDSM lifestyle, this book is not for you.  Yet as one who can’t picture herself as a participant at any point in my life, I still appreciate the dynamic between the characters, the insights that the author brings into her stories, and the hope she gives to people who have stuffed feelings and needs so deep that they don’t think there will ever be a venue for full expression of who they really are.

As always, Ms Sinclair brings considerable expertise and knowledge to the writing task itself, constructing her stories in a seamless fashion, bringing the reader along with teasers and bits and pieces of this and that without giving away the whole plot too soon.  All her books have that undercurrent of suspense and mystery that makes her stories intriguing and which snare the imagination of the reader in a web of persons and plot and story.  Her characters are achingly real, full of human angst and seeking that sense of wholeness we all live to find.  When all is said and done, this novel is filled with all the stuff that romance fiction fans will find captivating and which will provide a truly satisfying reading experience.  I have read all Ms Sinclair’s work and once again she has given her fans a story that will stand up to repeated readings.

I don’t hesitate to give this book a rating of 4.75 out of 5.

This title is available from Loose Id. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Guest Review: My Liege of Dark Haven by Cherise Sinclair

Posted October 14, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Judith’s review of My Liege of Dark Haven (Mountain Masters #3) by Cherise Sinclair 

Threatened by university cutbacks, Professor Abigail Bern’s only hope is to publish a provocative research paper–soon. Planning to covertly observe behavior in the notorious Dark Haven BDSM club, she takes a receptionist job. When the owner calls upon her to assist in a demonstration, she’s appalled. Then fascinated. Under the unyielding hands of the master known as my Liege, she discovers a need to be more than an observer.

His late wife had been the center of his life, and Xavier Leduc wants no other. But when his new receptionist does her utmost to keep an emotional distance from him, he’s intrigued and digs deeper. She’s adorable. Intriguingly intelligent, beautifully submissive, sweetly vulnerable. He soon realizes her defenses are keeping her on the fringe of her sexuality–and her life. As he draws her into fuller participation, she unconsciously does the same for him. She begins to fill his world.

Ever since the night she met my Liege Xavier, Abby has questioned everything she believes about herself. She’s falling for the stern owner of Dark Haven and thinks he’s beginning to care for her…until the day he learns why she’s in his club.

Let me start by stating that I have read every single book that this author has released.  She writes with a deft hand, telling the stories of these characters in a way that brings them alive on the page, making the reader so aware of them as people that one would like to meet them someday.  It is apparent from the author’s website that this characteristic of her writing grows out of the fact that they are indeed alive in her mind.  Fascinating.

This characters is taken from the novellas that appeared in two previous anthologies about Dark Haven, a BDSM club in San Francisco.  In both previous stories, Master Xavier, or My Liege as he is called by all who are a part of his club’s membership, exudes a natural dominance, a sense of personal power that not only is apparent to the members of his club but which is also evident in his dealings with people in his everyday profession.  But wrapped in this dominant human being beats a heart that is compassionate, caring, and empathetic.  He has built his Leduc Industries around the desire to help women who have been abused, abandoned, burdened with children they can’t support, with no employment skills, lacking the simple skills of reading and writing.  All his businesses are designed to employ these women and give them an opportunity to excel and find a better life for themselves and their children.

But all this is unknown to Abigail Bern when she tentatively enters Dark Haven, the club where her now-ex boyfriend was a member, a place where she is hoping to observe the relational dynamics of the individuals who are finding what they need in the BDSM community.  What starts out as a scientific journey of observation gradually turns into a new kind of potential relationship for both Abby and Master Xavier, a man who is still grieving the loss of his wife and D/s partner.  Now he is training submissives, dating  multiple women, and committed to none.  Yet Abby manages to worm her way into his consciousness to a degree that is uncomfortable and in ways he has not experienced since before his wife died.  On Abby’s part, she was terribly opposed to any kind of D/s interaction with her former boyfriend and it was her refusal to play any kind of BDSM games in the bedroom that was at the root of his breaking up with her.  Yet when Master Xavier begins to exert dominance in his gentle but non-negotiable style, Abby finds that she can submit without the feelings of unease she felt when Nathan wanted to dominate her.

Written with her characteristic realism, this author brings us the back story and on-going life journey of a man who needs to move beyond his wife’s death, whose own heart is needing the love of a good woman, whose needs for commitment and security and trust go far deeper than he is even willing to confront.  For Abby, she must deal with a destructive and self-centered stepsister, with her own insecurities about her future as an academic, and her feelings of inadequacy as a woman, especially one who has been continually called “fat” by her cruel stepsister. Her journey toward claiming the inner strength she possesses but has never actualized is a very important part of this story.  The road to true love does not run smooth for these two, and involved in this story are some of the updates of characters who appeared in the first two books in this series as well as the Dark Haven anthology novellas.  Readers who are Sinclair fans as well as those who enjoyed the Dark Haven anthologies will be pleased to have Master Xavier’s story expanded and see him struggle with life issues as he is falling deeper and deeper under the spell of this gentle but demanding woman.

I loved this book and have already read it twice.  There is a lot to learn about human nature as we vicariously see something of ourselves in the men and women in fiction.  Those of us who have never had model-perfect bodies can empathize with heroines like Abby Bern, with her worries about her shape, her weight, her appeal to a man as worldly-wise and sexy and Xavier.  But like Abby, growing beyond those insecurities is what maturity is made of and yet we can feel Abby’s worry as if it were revisiting our own.  This is another compelling look at the BDSM lifestyle set in a club setting that is probably styled like one that exists in San Francisco and written by an author who knows what she is talking about–who is terribly concerned that anyone who considers this lifestyle remember the watchwords of “safe, sane, and consensual.”  Her author remarks are directed toward the safety and well-being of her readers.  If you have read other Sinclair books, you will probably love this one, too.  If you are new to this author, I urge you to read this and others she has penned.  You will gain a new and probably far more positive view of the BDSM community and lifestyle than you have had in the past.

I give this book a rating of 4.5 out of 5.

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Loose ID. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.


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Guest Review: Hour of the Lion by Cherise Sinclair

Posted August 20, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Genres: Paranormal Romance



Judith’s review of Hour of the Lion by Cherise Sinclair.

As a dedicated covert ops agent, Victoria Morgan follows two rules: accomplish the mission and protect the innocent. When bitten by a werecat–yeah, that was a sucky day–she must investigate beings that shouldn’t exist and are hard as hell to identify. Just how can she tell if a person is human–or an animal-shifter who enjoys Bambi-sized snacks?

During her investigation, she finds a real home and friends for the first time. Sweet, right? But there’s a flip-side: the bad guys are waiting for her to turn into something four-legged with a tail, the shifters suspect her of spying, and she has fallen in love with a pair of Thumper-eating werecougar brothers.

Her duty is to expose their existence. Or she could follow her heart and protect them with all of her deadly skills.

I have become a confirmed Cherise Sinclair fan! A little over a year ago I first read her work as I found her “Shadowlands” series, her shorter story in Doms of Darkhaven, and another of her novels set in the future. Now she has given her fans an interesting paranormal romance that is set in contemporary times, but involves lion shifters, a type of shifter that is not often the subject of paranormal novels.

I have always liked wolf shifters the best because of the pack configuration of their society, the sense of family and community, and the loyalty they have as a part of their tradition. The big cats are often loners and even in real life, it is not common to see communities of big cats except the lions who live in prides. Obviously, lion shifters live in a different kind of pride as they are dealing with their human side as well as their lion personae. And in this novel, the Alpha and his brother, the Enforcer, are strongly attracted to the human who moves into their community. But why was she really there?

Victoria had witnessed the humiliation, torture, and death of a young lion-shifter, an astounding phenomenon when she first witnessed the change. The bad guys had kidnapped this young shifter in order to study him and to hopefully use him to procreate additional shifters and for that reason, Victoria was also kidnapped off the streets. Lachlan was only in his late teens, and being confined in a metal cage had weakened him. Even though Vicki had managed to free them, Lachlan died. But before he died, he asked Vicki to travel to his home town, find his grandfather, and explain how he died, and to ask his grandfather to accept her as his “gift.” Vicki didn’t know exactly what that meant, but she agreed to do so. But before she traveled to Cold Creek to carry out her promise, Lachlan had bitten her, and he had also “gifted” her. Again, she had no idea what this would mean for her in the future. Honoring her promise to tell no one about shifters, Vicki accepted an undercover assignment which would also take her to Cold Creek where she hoped to get some information on the men who had taken Lachlan and, it appeared, others as well.

It was a quiet community in the Northwest mountains, isolated and out of the way. She rented a house, found a job waiting tables in the local bar, but it was some time before she realized that the owner of the bar was brother to the town sheriff, the man who had caught her breaking into her own house because the real estate person had failed to leave the key. She was wildly attracted to both of these men–that bothered her a lot–but she also found some previously hidden maternal instincts when forming a friendship with the young daughter of the bar’s owner.

It was a while before Vicki realized that essentially the entire town was populated with lion shifters with accepting and known humans living among them. She also slowly accepted that both the Alpha and sheriff were convinced that she was their mate and claimed her. One could easily say that here is where the “fun” begins. But that would be misleading because there was a lot of story left and it was not all good. As in all of her writing, Ms Sinclair has painted a word picture of a unique community with its own unique laws and traditions, has introduced readers to the heroine and her lovers, given readers cause to feel good as Vicki is welcomed to the werecat society and was able to bring healing to Lachlin’s grandfather, and effectively became a mother-figure to the Alpha’s daughter. But the bad guys are still out there and they are getting closer and closer. There are surprises all along the way, not only for the characters but most especially for the readers and there comes a time when Vicki’s life is not only in danger from the evil humans, but also from the shifter community who have found out about her connection to the Covert-Ops agency and who now view her as a spy. Because she has become a shifter herself, she is viewed as feral and a rogue and must die.

Lovers of paranormal romances will find this a very appealing and delightful novel. But there are some genuine nail-biting segments, and while the loving is hot and the connections between Vicki and her men are strong and sexually gratifying, there are also times of deep sadness and a sense that this triad of lovers will never be able to resolve what divides them or find a way to re-establish their mutual trust. I have also long believed that every novel is the work of a person who really wants to make a point as well as tell a story, and I don’t think this book is any different. In fact, I have found that Ms Sinclair’s work has always had an instructive bent while entertaining her readers. So it is here. Loving and family connection is endangered by old fears and prejudices, by a paranoia that may be accurately rooted in the responses of outsiders to shifters, but which is equally destructive internally when allowed to permeate the decisions and actions of the community. The prejudice of traditionalist shifters against humans is a case in point.

I highly recommend this novel as one that I think paranormal/shifter romance lovers will enjoy and one that just might land on your favorites or “to be re-read” list. I know I have already re-read it once and enjoyed it just as much the second time around. I don’t think you will want to miss out on this one.

I give it a rating of 4.75 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from VanScoy Publishing. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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