Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Lean On Me by Cherise Sinclair

(Masters of the Shadowlands series, book 4)
Andrea wants to submit, but not to just any so-called Dom. He has to be tougher than the slum-bred bullies she grew up with. She’d given up finding a true Dom when her friend finagles her a place as a trainee in an exclusive BDSM club with the powerful Shadowlands Masters. Andrea’s thrilled…and terrified.
Forced to accept an unknown submissive into his carefully run trainee program, Master Cullen is furious. Not only is the young woman new to BDSM, but she’s unsuited to her role – armored in leather like a Domme, she’s more liable to punch a Dom than kneel. He decides to push her right back out the door. But as he ruthlessly intimidates her, punishes her, then comforts her, his glimpses of the woman inside the emotional armor intrigue him and her utter surrender captures his heart.
Although Master Cullen is famous for his unfettered lifestyle, Andrea believes he might be interested in her, until she discovers he’s not just a bartender – he’s a cop. Maybe he’s overlook her past brush with the law, but when another trainee accuses her of stealing money, Andrea’s sure she’s lost the Master she wanted with all her heart.

WARNING: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and a strong BDSM theme.

Well, shit. I think i jinxed it when I said in my review of Breaking Free that there hadn't been any main characters I didn't like so far. After this book, I'm sad to say I can no longer say that. I did enjoy some parts of the book, but this one was by far my least favorite of the series so far.

Andrea is a mouthy, independent sub who can’t seem to find a Dom that she’s willing to submit to. Given her background of growing up in the slums with an alcoholic father who always taught her to stick up for herself and taught her to fight when she was just 10 years old, being a sub isn’t something that naturally comes easy for her; that is, until she becomes a trainee at Club Shadowlands and meets Master Cullen. He’s intimidating, big, and just the type of Dom she needs to make her truly submit. Andrea begins to develop feelings for Master Cullen, but there’s one problem: he never gets involved with his trainees. Well, he never has until now. As much as he tries to talk himself out of it, he finds himself wanting to pursue Andrea beyond the Master/trainee relationship. He becomes frustrated with her attitude at times, but just when it seems that they may be able to take their relationship to the next level, Andrea finds out Master Cullen’s day job is in law enforcement. She has kept her background from everyone except her best friend, and had her previous records sealed in an attempt to forget that part of her life. Unfortunately, her past comes into full focus when fellow trainee, Vanessa, accuses Andrea of stealing her money from her locker. Master Dan, also in law enforcement, manages to obtain Andrea’s record and what he finds in it only backs up Vanessa’s claim that Andrea is a thief. After being kicked out of Club Shadowlands, Andrea fears she will never see Master Cullen again, and worse…he will never want to see her again after he finds out about her past.

Okay. I was so excited for this book because I have liked Master Cullen since the first book, but I was actually kind of disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, there were still some parts of the books that I loved (I’ll get to that a little later) but Andrea just ruined this book for me. I really did try to like her, I promise I did! I just couldn’t. Her whole attitude was more Domme than sub, and her unwillingness to show fear or ask for help at all was just beyond ridiculous. Not to mention, I lost track to how many Doms she accidentally punched just because they touched her. If you want to be a sub, you miiiight want to get used to Doms touching you without freaking punching them! She was just super annoying to me and if I had to hear her say Dios one more time, I was probably going to lose it. I get that she’s Mexican, but cripes…I thinks the word Dios is on every other page. She’s by far my least favorite sub so far…as if you couldn’t already figure that out.

I liked Master Cullen, but not quite as much as I thought I would. He seemed so much wittier and outgoing in the previous three books. My favorite parts of the book were actually the scenes with the other Doms and subs: Master Z, Master Dan, Master Nolan, Jessica, Kari, and Beth. I love that Dan and Kari are married now, and I still think Jessica and Kari are my favorite subs.

I didn’t hate the book, but I didn’t love it either. I didn’t even really like a lot of it, just because Andrea wasn’t my cup of tea. I thought it was okay. The saving grace was the incorporation of the characters from previous books, who I all love. The BDSM content seems to get a little more intense with each book, although there hasn’t been anything that made me really cringe yet…thankfully! Overall, the book was just alright. Am I still looking forward to the next book in the series? “Yes, Sir.” ;)

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