A Nix Review – To Command and Collar by Cherise Sinclair (5 Stars)

Posted December 2, 2011 by Nix in Uncategorized / 3 Comments

Determined to break apart the slave-ring that has been preying on the Shadowlands submissives, Master Raoul snags himself an invite into a viewing of some “bargain-basement” slaves. His mission from the FBI is to reject all the slaves with the hopes of being invited into the auction which would allow them to finally arrest the leaders of the evil Harvest Association. Unfortunately, Raoul finds it hard not to “buy” one of the cheaper slaves when she turns out to be the best friend of Gabi (from Make Me Sir). Potentially blowing months of hard work for the FBI, his Dom instincts sneak up on him and soon the pretty brunette is in his home. A lucky break means that there may be other opportunity for the imposing Dom to attend the auction, but first he must make his ownership of Kim look real. Can he impose his collar onto someone who is not only is unwilling but is also damaged to the core from her previous “Master”
Kim wants out of the nightmare that her life has become. Kidnapped, tortured, raped and forced into slavery, this is not the life that any little girl dreams of. When she finds herself back on the market after her previous owner returns her as “damaged goods”, she doesn’t believe that the man who promises her safety can keep to his word. After hearing proclamations from both her friends and the authorities that he isn’t one of the bad guys, she resigns herself to playing the role of his slave in order to try to help the other girls. Unfortunately for her, the Harvester Association check on their sales and want to see her perform in her role as slave. Can she really ever trust a Dom again? When her submissive nature starts to rise to the surface, she finds herself fighting against the one relationship that has ever felt right. Can she really let herself trust him enough to become his slave?

First of all I need to warn you of a couple of things.

  1.     These books are a series. You can read them individually but you won’t appreciate the characters and their relationships. This would be a shame as they are all amazing.
  2.    I have an immediate bias towards anything with the name “Cherise Sinclair” on the front of it (sorry!)

Now that that’s out of the way I can start to rave with a clear conscience. This story had the potential to be an incredibly dark story with very little light at the end of the tunnel. The background setting was truly horrific and a very brave choice for a Romance story. In Make Me Sir, we began our journey into the sick and twisted world of the slave traders. The situation wasn’t resolved in one book, nor should it have been. I appreciated that Ms Sinclair took the time to show the aftermath of these events for the victims rather than using it as a nifty plot device and then finishing with it when the HEA occurs. Kim was so damaged she made me cry. Raped, tortured, verbally abuse, kept in a cage…..honestly, I don’t think I’ve read more abuse in a Romance. When Raoul “buys” her, she struggles to adjust to real life, struggles not be scared of what’s around each corner, struggles to trust the people around her. I thought she was the strongest character I have met in a while, as she has a choice to just go home, but instead she put herself under the control of a stranger to try to save her friends. I didn’t know if her sanity would hold up in the face of some very tough situations, but I was ever hopeful. Some people may take issue with the fact that she went from one form of slavery to the other but, to me, that was the point. Kimberly was submissive to the core; she would always be in a relationship where the lifestyle infringed on her life, rather than sticking to the bedroom. The choice was taken away from her by the cretins that kidnapped her but, although she was somewhat cornered into the M/s relationship with Raoul, it was still her choice to enter such a contract.

Raoul was dreamy. Raoul took this story and made it a little sweeter because he was just so caring. The other Dom’s in the Shadowland series all have their inner sappy side, but Raoul’s is pretty much out there for everyone to see. He nurtures Kim, whilst giving her the control that she needs. With any other type of Dom this story would be in danger of heading towards the darker, twisted side of BDSM, but he lightened up every page that he appeared on.  I loved them together and thought he was the ideal Dom to heal her. On a side note I want to bitch slap his ex-wife….with a bat. Was he my favourite Shadowland’s Dom? Nope, that will always be Nolan. Are they my favourite couple? Yes, I think they were! The sex scenes were pant-worthy and you need to look out for a fire play scene…..mega hot!!! J

There were a lot of other things going on in this story. We get to see Galen and Vance work as a team whilst attempting to intimidate little Sally (Seriously, shivers people!)  I’ve wanted Sally to get a book in forever and am glad that it seems to be en route. We also get to see Sadist Sam in action in this one. I think I want his book the most and this shocks me a little. I have read many books involving a Sadist but never enjoyed any of them because it’s not my kink.  I think Ms Sinclair has been very clever in leaving his book until the end because he is now so far beneath my skin, there is no way I couldn’t enjoy his story and I think this will be the same for anyone who is dubious about true S/M! We got to see the whole gang again too; Kari and Dan have some news, there is a big event for Nolan and Beth and once again Gabi gets the best lines!

Another fabulous addition to the Shadowlands series. With a damaged heroine and a dreamy Dom, this book made me laugh, cry and hope. A brave book and I was sad when it ended!

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