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Monday, December 5, 2011

Review for To Command and Collar (Masters of the Shadowlands 6) by Cherise Sinclair

Genre: BDSM Contemporary Suspense
Series: Masters of the Shadowlands; Previous Book: Make Me, Sir

Determined to find the human traffickers preying on Shadowlands’ submissives, Master Raoul gets himself invited to a small slave auction. Once informed, the FBI orders him to reject the limited choices so the slavers will invite him to the big auction. To Raoul’s shock, one of the slaves is the kidnapped friend of a Shadowlands sub. She has a scarred body...and an unbroken spirit. He can’t leave her behind. Ruining the FBI’s carefully laid plans, he buys her.

Kimberly’s freedom has come at a devastating price: the other women are still slaves. An FBI raid is their only hope for rescue. Desperate to help the Feds locate the big auction, she agrees to pose as Master Raoul’s slave. Wearing a collar again is terrifying, but under the powerful dominant’s care, Kim starts to heal and then to blossom. This is what she’s been drawn to—and fled from—her entire life.

She escaped the slavers who captured her body—can she escape the master who’s captured her heart?

****Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: anal play, BDSM theme and elements (including/not limited to: bondage, fire play, flogging), violence. ****

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My Review

This was an incredible book! Emotional, powerful, sexual, thought provoking, and more. I’m a huge fan of the Shadowlands Series and Cherise Sinclair in general. I can always tell that she cares a lot about the characters she writes. To Command and Collar was no exception

Kimberly has been abducted by human traffickers selling sex slaves. To say she was mistreated is the understatement of the year. She is being sold as “damaged merchandise” because she stabbed her previous buyer. Like her already? Just wait.

Enter Raoul Sandoval, Shadowlands Master, BDSM instructor and all around hardass, or at least I thought he was a hardass in the previous books. And he is, in the best possible way. He’s decent, generous, hard-working, and even harder playing. A six-foot, muscle packed, structural engineer, and with a brother he watched get involved with a street gang, he’s no one to mess with. He’s smart and lethal.  As an experienced Dom, he agrees to go undercover as a buyer to help find the slavers and shut them down. He’s not supposed to buy anyone, just look and get invited back. That is, until he sees Kimberly.

Once he brings Kim home, the FBI realizes that she is going to have to look every bit the part of the slave, when the Overseer comes back to visit and make sure Raoul is satisfied with his purchase.  Let’s just say he’s human sex trafficking’s answer to middle management.  Quite the customer service, huh?  So Kim has a choice: go into witness protection and let her mom think she’s dead, or stay with Raoul and help to rescue the slaves/friends she left behind and bring down the pond scum who took her in the first place.

So begins the Master/slave relationship between Raoul and Kim.  But ever the patient teacher, Raoul promises no sex and takes things very slowly.  Kim was taken because she was a spirited submissive who frequented BDSM clubs, so under Raoul’s tutelage and care, she goes through the gamut of emotions. She goes from feeling hatred and fear toward Raoul, to attraction, comfort and safety when she’s in his arms. She feels like she’s disgusting and dirty, though Raoul tells her constantly that she’s strong and beautiful, a survivor. Really, she’s all over the map.

But this is where Sinclair’s writing REALLY shines. She conveys the emotion Kim feels so viscerally, at times my chest hurt, it felt so real. It was like my heart was breaking. Who wouldn’t be an emotional mess if they went through such a trauma?   I was emotional after reading it!  But what is required for a natural submissive, who had her tendencies used against her in the most horrific possible way, to find her way back to herself?  What would she need to feel safe? My answer (and clearly Sinclair’s answer too) is Raoul.

Raoul shows such patience with Kim, slowly pushing her boundaries to keep her from retreating into her innermost self. He cares for her tenderly but with the most incredible strength behind it. And the entire time he’s calmly bringing her back to the real Kim, you can feel the powerful, sexual being underneath and just how it reawakens Kim’s sexuality and helps her to reclaim her body, bit by bit.

But even so, Kim struggles with who she is and who she wants to be. What will happen when the visit from the Overseer is over? Will she see Raoul again? We haven’t heard the last of the evil human traffickers. What does the future hold for this pair? Check out To Command and Collar and see. Definite recommended read. This book could be a standalone, but your reading experience will be much richer if you read the series.

Red lipsNote: We realize this book may not be for everyone as it has a survivor reliving and retelling of her time in captivity. It’s very graphic, but very necessary for the reader to understand what she went through and overcame. But if seual trauma is a trigger, this may not be the book for you.


What I loved about To Command and Collar:

  • That Raoul was kind, accommodating, caring and freakin’ hot!  Sorry, but I’m keepin’ it real.
  • That Kim has a fortitude the likes of which I’ve never read, yet she was totally believable.
  • That the writer had Kim go to a therapist after her ordeal.  Sinclair didn’t leave all the healing on Raoul’s shoulders, having him heal her with the magic of his care.  Raoul consulted her therapist often.
  • That female friendships aren’t pushed aside.  Shadowlands Doms are secure.  They want their subs happy.
  • Raoul has a surprise in his pants.  (Don’t YOU wanna know!)
  • Ari and how she came to be in Kim’s life.
  • All of the Spanish terms of endearment Raoul calls Kim. “Gatita” is my favorite.
  • That we get to see what all of the couples from the previous books are up to.  That Jessica!
  • Raoul, Raoul, Raoul..I just love him.  He rates up there with Nolan from Book 3 for me now.

ROL-DislikeThings I didn’t like about To Command and Collar:

  • The stress I felt while reading Kim’s harrowing tale.  I had such a strong reaction to it.  But it was all worth it in the end. 


“The safety and anonymity of the association and our buyers is our primary concern.” The Overseer stopped. Kim glanced up to see him gesture toward the floggers on the back wall. “I think you’ll find something there that fits your needs.”

“How much time do we have?”

“Long as you want.” The Overseer’s eyes met Kim’s. “According to her last owner, this piece of goods doesn’t break down quickly.”

Her skin went cold; her hands started to tremble. Lord Greville had never stopped until she’d broken, and then he’d…

Master R snorted and pulled her back against his body, his arm around her waist, one wide palm covering her breast. “Any ham-handed idiot can make a woman scream. I prefer to assess…responsiveness.” His powerful hand caressed her, his touch light. Not somehow repugnant, but still…touching her, as a reminder that her body was no longer her own. She tried to move, but the iron band of his arm held her easily in place.

The Overseer tipped his head. “It’s a pleasure to have an experienced dominant.”

As if he’d recognize experience if it bit him on the butt, Kim thought, but Master R was a dom. She could tell. As the Overseer left at a hail from the fat buyer, Master R turned her around. His face held no expression she could read, and a tremor ran through her. What was he planning to do?

Did she want to try to get him to buy her or not? He hadn’t been cruel — not in the way the other two buyers displayed. Her stomach sank when she saw Holly restrained on a bench, enduring the slash of the cane, whimpering with each blow.

On the St. Andrew’s cross, Linda was silent, but tears streamed down her face as the whip left red stripes on her breasts and stomach. The older woman had admitted she was a masochist — actually liked pain — but not like this. Never like this.

Kim didn’t want either of those sadists, yet this man was…observant. Too smart to get away from. She flinched as Holly’s buyer changed to a leather strap, the sound loud in the room. Should she chance the cruelty in hopes of escape? How badly would she be damaged before she could get free?

“You’re thinking too much, little slave. Keep your eyes only on me.”

Her attention jerked back to him at the soft command. His veil of remoteness had dropped away again. Folding his arms over his chest, he studied her, his dark gaze skimming over her face, her shoulders, her hands, her legs. Under the discomfort of the heavy silence, she shifted her weight as the flutters in her stomach increased. An experienced dominant. She saw the signs in his posture and in the way that sometimes she reacted to him as a dom — not a monster.

He’s a monster. Never forget that.

“What is your real name?” he asked softly.

My name. Part of me. Not answering this. His chin lifted and under his gaze, her defiance that had infuriated Lord Greville bent as inevitably as a palm tree in a tropical storm. “Kimberly. Sir.”

“Thank you.” When his face softened in approval, her muscles relaxed even though she knew — she knew — he was a slaver. And he — he wanted to use a flogger on her.

He grasped her shoulders and turned her so her back was to him. Why wasn’t he being rough with her? As he traced lines down her back, his fingers were warm, the calluses scraping lightly. “You’ve been whipped. Was it before or after your slavery?”

Her throat went tight. Slavery. Why did hearing the word send disbelief through her every time? This can’t be me. Can’t be happening. “After.” Lord Greville’s eyes, crazy mad, the pain, falling to her knees, blood everywhere.

He grunted. “Assholes.”

What? She forced herself to stillness.

“You are not going to escape this evening without some pain, chiquita.” Even as she stiffened, he pulled her back against him again, his body like a brick wall, his arm circling her waist. He fondled her breasts, his gentleness disconcerting. His breath teased the curls at her temple. “Did you enjoy being flogged before all this happened?”

That was a different life, no relation to the one now.


She should never have told him her name — hearing it now, used in a master’s authoritative voice, shook something inside her. My name. I’m real. I’m still me, Kimberly Elizabeth Moore. She swallowed, remembered the question about BDSM clubs and play parties. Before. “I — yes.”

“Good girl.” His resonant voice relaxed her, even as she tried to keep herself defended. “And restraints? Do they bother you?”

This seemed like before somehow, the dance of negotiations, while finding a partner who liked what she did. But it isn’t, Kim. You’re a slave. A fuckhole. A slut. She stiffened.

He nipped her earlobe, making her jump and raising the oddest tingle inside her. “Stay in the present with me, Kimberly,” he said, his voice so very different than earlier. Low and rich and smooth with a hint of a Spanish accent. As unexpectedly warm as a sunny day in the spring. “Answer me now. Do restraints bother you?”

“No. Not really.” Not like enclosed spaces, hoods, cages. Her stomach turned over, and her chest constricted.

“Something bothers you. What?”

As if she’d give him a weapon to use against her. To punish her with like the Overseer had. Her mouth compressed into a thin line.

“No?” He sighed and turned her to face him. As he regarded her, he massaged her upper arms, his grip powerful, controlled…warm. “I am going to restrain you and flog you. I will use my hands on you, perhaps my mouth. I know you don’t have a choice in this” — his eyes chilled for a moment — “but you might find it easier, knowing I won’t exceed those boundaries.”

He — he was right. He planned nothing she hadn’t enjoyed at one time — nothing she hadn’t survived since. No cages. The relief blanked her mind, and a thank-you escaped before she could pull it back.

One corner of his mouth tipped up. “I like hearing gratitude.” He ran his knuckles over her left breast. As always, since soon after her capture, she felt nothing. No pain, no revulsion, just…nothing.

His eyes narrowed. He stroked over her breast again slowly, this time studying her face as he did. Without lifting his hand, he stroked upward and over her shoulder. Her neck.

The skin on his fingertips was a little rough. His palm melted the ice under her skin the way the heat from the sun would dissipate morning fog on the water.

“You will need much work, chiquita,” he murmured, “but this is not the night.”







  1. Ya'll are killin me.... Now I have another series I wanna read. Lol.

  2. Thanks for a wonderful review! *happy dancing over the 5 kisses*

  3. LOL, Lady! I feel the same way! I can't wait to read this one :)

    Remember to Enter the One Month 100+ Visitor Giveaway and you can win ANY book that's been reviewed! *hugs* :)

  4. Thank you Ms. Sinclair! It's well deserved and I wish we could give you more! Like 5 Kisses and 3 Hugs, or something like that. ;)

    theladykt- I promise you'll love the series. I did the first four books in 5 days. Then read books 5 and 6 in 24 hours each. You don't read them, you consume them. :)

  5. What an honor, Ms. Sinclair! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! We love your work and I'm with Michele - 5 Kisses isn't enough! Great job on the review, Michele! :)


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