Romantic Suspense: Book Annotation 1

Breaking Free: Masters of the Shadowlands series, Book 3:

Determined to find some kind of romance that I could actually stand, I finally turned to a section of seedier, erotic romances that I was really quite curious about. Though the author, Cherise Sinclair, considers her books to be of a BDSM Erotic Romance genre, most of them involve a level of mystery and suspense, particularly Breaking Free.

To give a little background, the series is centered around a private BDSM club called The Shadowlands. Trusted, longtime Dom/mes of The Shadowlands are referred to (always) as Master or Mistress and sometimes have responsibilities at the club such as bartending or dungeon monitoring/supervision. Each book revolves on the burgeoning love life of one of the Masters, though the novels seem to focus a bit more on the new women in their lives.


Beth is a fairly new to Shadowlands; her membership is part of her pay for redesigning and maintaining the lush landscape surrounding the club’s mansion. The visible and disturbing scars decorating her body indicate a violent past, but Shadowlands owner Zane suspects that her pain might run much deeper. Her “hard limit” list is extensive, her play sessions do nothing to to turn her on, and her lack of response frustrates the Doms working with her. Yet she claims that she “needs” the club, and the kind-hearted owner, knowing that she’s a true submissive, doesn’t want to turn her away.

When Master Nolan returns to the club after a long contracting job in Iraq, Zane requests his help in dealing with Beth. Together, they give Beth an ultimatum: accept this new, assigned Dom, or have her membership revoked. Nolan slowly and gently breaks down Beth’s emotional and physical barriers, allowing her to blossom for the first time in years. But their growing intimacy and mutual respect may be cut short by the very man who gave Beth her scars and the lies she told about him.


The appeals for this particular type of romance may be a bit different than other members of the genre. This novel, specifically, deals with sadism in a very painful, disturbing way. But women searching for something a little darker or dirtier for their romance needs might find some good reads in the BDSM erotic suspense romances.

Read Alikes:

The rest of the Shadowlands series by Cherise Sinclair

Melissa Schroeder’s Harmless series


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