Review: My Liege of Dark Haven

My Liege of Dark Haven
My Liege of Dark Haven by Cherise Sinclair

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Romance Review

My Liege finally meets up with the submissive woman he wants to keep!

Xavier is the owner of Dark Haven BDSM club. Like any sexy experienced dominant, submissives are throwing themselves at him. Xavier tends to keep his women in separate categories. There are ones for him to take to public functions, ones he trains with at home and ones he uses at the BDSM club only.

Abigail is new to Dark Haven. She's there with a dual purpose. She hopes to learn more about BDSM for a personal as well as a professional reason. Abby's boyfriend, Nathan, dumps her because she won't let him dominate her. As a professor, Abby needs to publish or die. Her paper will be on the BDSM lifestyle so joining Dark Haven will be the answers to her problems.

This set up really aggravates me. As someone in the lifestyle, I would find it very offensive to have someone observing me and writing a paper mentioning me without my consent. This behaviour is completely anathema to the BDSM subculture. First, without consent is bad enough. Second, to reveal to those outside of BDSM the inner workings in this manner is no different than outing a person. For many in the BDSM lifestyle, it is private because our jobs and family can be placed into jeopardy. Even as BDSM is becoming more mainstream, it is still not acceptable. As recent as the late ‘80s, people outed had to fight to keep their children. Courts would move to break up families, with social services stealing the children from the accused deviant dangerous parents. This is how serious it can be, which is why Abby's covert research pissed me off extensively.

It could be Ms. Sinclair purposely created Abby and positioned her in this manner, which made her unpalatable. In the beginning, Abby is irreverent to Xavier. For a person who is studying BDSM to potentially get back together with Nathan, she is paying attention to all the wrong things. Abby is too focused on the interpersonal relationships and hierarchy of the BDSM lifestylers to learn how to be a good submissive. It shows. Xavier picks up on it but since he doesn't know the true reason behind Abby's desire to join his club, he's at a disadvantage.

The conflict in this story is all too realistic. Abby is sucked into the lifestyle and now she wrestles with the ethics of her subterfuge. She became friends with people who will see her action as an act of betrayal. The inevitable occurs and Ms. Sinclair resolves it in a manner that is fantastic. It even turned my opinion around about Abby.

The BDSM in this tale is hot. The games Ms. Sinclair devises are ones that trip my trigger. It's because they involve a pursuit and capture theme with a fun kinky twist. This specific scene at the picnic helped to turn this story around for me into a positive manner. The scenes in the dungeon are tantalizing glimpses of what happens in a real BDSM club. The punishment scene is a favourite even if I felt it was too easy on Abby. Perhaps I'm more vengeful than others and more obsessive about my privacy being violated.

The relationship development between Abby and Xavier started out rocky. It never fails to confuse me why Xavier, who is this hot strong man, would want someone like Abby. Abby is insecure and rather annoying, and her lack of confidence is a big turn off. Fortunately, in this tale, she grows and comes into her own. She just needed a bit of reassurance from family, friends and a man who believes in her. Xavier also does some growing with the help of Abby. This helps enhance the character development. Neither main character is flawless yet they are a good match.

Between the erotic journey and personal issues resolved, this story ends in a trademark Ms. Sinclair happily ever after. This BDSM story is recommended to kinky readers who want a realistic portrayal of BDSM dynamics woven into a lovely romance.

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