Series: Dark Haven #1
Published by Loose Id, LLC on 2012-05
Three women, three Doms. One extraordinary night. Welcome to Dark Haven, and may all of your darkest wishes come true...
A Good Sub Would – Sierra Cartwright (5 Stars)
Shelby has flown in especially to be topped by Master David at theme night at Darkhaven. A friend for years, Shelby enjoys being playing with the generous lawyer, but therein lies the problem; playing at submitting is all that Shelby does with David.
Master Trevor is a legend amongst the subs. Known as “harsh, but fair”, every sub wants to be mastered by him and Shelby is no exception. After several unsatisfying liaisons, Trevor is bored with the lifestyle. Shelby catches his eye as soon as she saunters into the club, but after watching her half arsed attempts at submission, he is intrigued. Seizing the opportunity during a poker game, Master Trevor makes Master David put Shelby up as part of the stake.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a good tale if Trevor didn’t win, and soon Shelby finds herself with a week-long vacation at Casa Trevor. Can she learn to submit to him in just a week? Or will this little foray into submission with a true Dom at the helm, prove that BDSM just isn’t for her? In his home, Trevor is King….will she be able to submit to his every little whim and fantasy and finally become a true submissive?
This story was a pleasant shock to me. After only partially enjoying Ms Cartwright’s first Darkhaven tale, I expected very little from this. What I got was a delicious tale of a bored Dom finding himself again, with a little help from a novice sub.
I loved Shelby’s character. From her sassiness to her obvious floundering with some of the more challenging aspects of the lifestyle, she was a sub that I truly wanted to find peace. It was obvious that she was a true submissive, but it was just as obvious that David is not the man she needed to tame her.
Trevor is a potent Dominant. Sexy as hell whilst being an incredibly demanding lover, he sure gives Shelby a few things to think about. He is attracted to her sass and naivety, but it isn’t long before he starts to crave her on an emotional level. They put each other through their paces, but with her innate need to please and his need to make her submit, they soon fall into a comfortable, and incredibly sexy, rhythm. I loved the banter that they had; Shelby never crossed the line into disobedience but it was nice to see Trevor obviously enjoy the fact that she wasn’t a mindless slave.
The ending was fabulous and I hope we see these two again. As a word of caution there is a lot of spankings and floggings in this tale as Shelby requires a substantial amount of pain to get off! Anal sex and vibrators also get featured.
Hunting Holly – Belinda McBride (4 Stars)
Master Xavier phones the Wolf Alpha Chase when he finds something of interest hiding in the club. Tex, Hunter and Kurt are the ones dispatched to DarkHaven on theme night to pick up the package. The “package” turns out to be a small boy who has been rescued from Abraxas, a test subject which tugs at all the men’s heartstrings. A note left with the boy magically changes to become a warning about a mysterious girl in danger at the club.
Holly has come to DarkHaven to play at being a Domme. After running from her feelings for Tex and Hunter, she finds that she needs the release that only the club can provide. When she senses the men enter the building, anticipation starts to build. As a dominant female, she needed the men to prove they were worthy of her by tracking her down and taming her. But the boys need to accept that only together will they be enough to Dominate such a strong female. Once Tex and Hunter realise that the female in trouble is Holly, they are determined to take her back to the pack. Losing her has been torturing them for months, and if they accept the challenge of proving their worthiness, there will be no turning back for any of them.
The addition of the werewolf stories into the DarkHaven anthology is just a weird notion to me. It’s the world that I loved from Cherise Sinclair’s Master of stories, and messing with such well loved characters (i.e. Simon and Jake) is just liable to rub me up the wrong way. For this review I’m going to try to forget that it is the same world, I’m sorry but I can’t be fair to the story if the only thing going through my head is that the whole concept p**ses me off!
So onto the wolves. This story was actually a truly lovely ménage story. All three characters are fabulously well written and entertaining, so I actively wanted their HEA. Holly is a damaged wolf who has picked herself up and put the pieces back together with superglue. What she went through at the hands of Abraxas is horrific; she was treated worse than an animal and I hope and pray we see the whole lot of them suffer for what they do to the pack. Topping at the club is her way of releasing some demons, but she isn’t submissive.
Hunter was one of the many “test-subjects” that was held with her. Mentally damaged because of the way he was forced to act whilst in his wolf form, he refuses to shift and exists as a shadow of his real self. Tex is the complete opposite of Hunter. Charming, breezy and sexy as sin, Tex has been the person that Holly could unwind with for months. Hunter was content to step back and allow them to be together, but only Holly knows that both of them are her mates. When they finally realise that they are destined to be together the fun and games commence and the scene where they team top her is AWESOME! I have to say that my favourite character in this story is Tex. He is the light that heals both Hunter and Holly and his roping skills made my palms sweaty.
Again a little disclaimer for the spanking, restraints and anal play, but this is a BDSM ménage, so they are a given!
Welcome to the Darkside – Cherise Sinclair (5 Stars)
Summer is still emotionally damaged from her negative experience during a party during the first anthology. Unable to trust Dom’s, she only plays with friends and never leaves the safety net of the club. When she finds herself alone in the club on Western night, she decides that the time may have come to branch out in the Dom department. After entering a sub roping competition, Master Xavier pairs her up with Virgil, a newbie Dom. Instant attraction flairs, and Virgil ends up playing with his newly caught sub.
Virgil can’t come to terms with his Dominant nature. A cop by trade, he finds the very notion of causing pain to another human pain abhorrent. Unable to resolve the conflict between his need to protect, and his need to Dominate, he turns up to the club with Master Simon to sort out his true nature once and for all. Having his hands on Summer, and giving her the pain and pleasure that she needs, starts to allow Virgil to accept what he is.
The evening with Virgil has similar therapeutic effects on Summer and, after the evening is over, she books herself into counciling to work through her trauma at the hands of a sadistic Dom. When she is offered the chance of seeing Virgil again at a BDSM party at Serenity lodge (the business of Jake and Logan from the Master of series), she can’t help but jump at the chance. Upon laying eyes upon each other again, it’s clear that it wasn’t a onetime deal between them. Problem is, Virgil doesn’t much like exhibitionism and likes the fact that Summer won’t be alone with him even less. Can Summer let go of her fears long enough to realise that Virgil is just as protective as he is Dominant? And will Virgil be able to reconcile with the fact that, if he wants to be with Summer, he will have to give her everything she needs, including the pain?
I LOVED THIS STORY!
I was so excited when I heard that Virgil was getting a story because I loved him in Master of the Abyss. In this story, he is the most protective, loving Dom I think I’ve met in a Sinclair story. Please don’t misunderstand me; he is fricking dreamy as a Dom! I adored the way he tried to get Summer to come to terms with her traumas without ever belittling her fears. His protective nature just couldn’t come to terms with the fact that he needed to punish her. Someone I spoke to about it referred to him as a reluctant Dom, and I couldn’t have put it better myself. He was a Dom, but he couldn’t quite accept what that entailed.
I’m glad that Summer was the focus of this story. What happened to her in book one was every subs nightmare; she put her trust in someone and they completely abused her. I never felt that Sinclair played down her fears, or tried to resolve them prematurely for the sake of the story. I felt it was incredibly well done! I loved their HEA and was rooting for them as soon as he roped her on the stage (there are some fabulous roping scenes in this book :D). I enjoyed that we also see the other characters from both the first anthology and the Master of series. Rhona and Simon have an active part in our HEA, as it takes a lot to convince Summer that Virgil is just a big kinky teddy bear. Logan, Rebecca, Jake, Kallie and Wyatt also appear and it’s nice to see them.
I loved it and am rapidly beginning to like these characters just as much as the Shadowland ones. A fab read.
What I wanna know is where’s Xaviers book…..please ladies? 😀