Threatened by university cutbacks, Professor Abigail Bern’s only hope is to publish a provocative research paper–soon. Planning to covertly observe behavior in the notorious Dark Haven BDSM club, she takes a receptionist job. When the owner calls upon her to assist in a demonstration, she’s appalled. Then fascinated. Under the unyielding hands of the master known as my Liege, she discovers a need to be more than an observer.
His late wife had been the center of his life, and Xavier Leduc wants no other. But when his new receptionist does her utmost to keep an emotional distance from him, he’s intrigued and digs deeper. She’s adorable. Intriguingly intelligent, beautifully submissive, sweetly vulnerable. He soon realizes her defenses are keeping her on the fringe of her sexuality–and her life. As he draws her into fuller participation, she unconsciously does the same for him. She begins to fill his world.
Ever since the night she met my Liege Xavier, Abby has questioned everything she believes about herself. She’s falling for the stern owner of Dark Haven and thinks he’s beginning to care for her…until the day he learns why she’s in his club.
*Blurb from Goodreads*
Lou: When it comes to erotic romance, I’m very very picky with the tropes. I’ve read a few BDSM books, but I’ve never been one who enjoyed the bdsm sex club scene because it felt cliched and a little predictable. When I saw Angela James tweet about My Liege of Dark Haven, I decided to give it a go. I got a sample first, and really enjoyed what I read. I was so glad I bought this book. I felt that everything flowed smoothly in the story; the scenes in the sex club and the relationship between Xavier and Abby outside of the role of dom and submissive. I never felt that it was done because it’s the ‘thing’ to do in erotic romance. Xavier was a dom that had all the traits of a possessive male, but I didn’t find him to be an asshole. His relationship with Abby was fun to explore as a reader, and I really enjoyed how he pushed Abby out of her role as professor, which enabled her to keep a distance that Xavier wouldn’t stand for.
MinnChica: I don’t remember when exactly I feel in love with Cherise Sinclair, but I’ve been anxiously awaiting the last few of her BDSM romance books, and Master Xavier’s story was no exception. Although I’ve tried lots of other BDSM authors, Sinclair remains my all time favorite, and with this story, I think she really showcases why she is the superstar in this genre. The romance between Xavier and Abby was so great, filled with both super hot sexy times, but also a great emotional journey as well. I love that Sinclair keeps the BDSM intense, and yet within my comfort zone as well.
Lou: This! What occurred in My Liege of Dark Haven was within my comfort zone also, but it wasn’t vanilla by any standard. I suppose I’ve been waiting for an erotic romance between two couples that managed to maintain heat and tension. This book had spades of it, but I also found the character development to be great. The fact that Abby fostered puppies made me root for her all the more. Yes, have a character that loves animals means I’ll like your characters even more *grins*. The way in which Xavier was able to switch roles, and knew that whilst he had control in the bedroom (which is sort of a falsehood because the submissive also has all the control), he was sweet outside and wasn’t that controlling. Ok, maybe sweet is not the right word to use for Xavier, but he was sweet when he sent Abby to bed and fed all the puppies himself.
MinnChica: That is one of the things I love most about Sinclair’s writing. Although the Doms are dominant and Alpha and Masters in their own ways, they are also genuine men. They have faults, they have their own needs, and they all have a soft spot for their heroines. They are sweet and caring and for me, that makes the characters so real. I loved Abby’s devotion to animals as well, it added another layer to her personality. Although I really enjoyed Abby, loved her professor side, her submissive side, and her ability to to genuinely care for her friends, I would have liked her to have a bit more of a backbone. It seems like all the heroines in Sinclair’s books are very soft and sweet and docile, I would have liked Abby to be a little more confident, a little more daring. While I think she showed confidence in spades when it came to one of the big scenes in the end, it would have been nice to see that throughout the entire book.
Lou: That’s one aspect that I don’t like in the heroines of Sinclair. Most of them seem to be damaged and have issues about body weight and the way they look. It would be awesome if a heroine managed to achieve all that on her own, and if the hero helps her on the way, that’s a bonus. I didn’t understand why Abby let her sister act that way for so long. It felt like a foil just for the misunderstanding towards the end which I wasn’t a fan of. I also wonder if there will be a heroine who is a dom. It would change things up and make things different. Cherise Sinclair has mega talent, and I’m looking forward to reading more books in the Haven series. I’m glad I took a chance on this book because it was a very enjoyable read that had me glued to the pages, and it was smoking HAWT. I think everyone needs a Xavier. I give My Liege of Dark Haven a B+
MinnChica: All in all I really enjoyed this newest book in the Master of the Mountains series. I love that Sinclair is so good at pushing the boundaries of BDSM erotica, all while keeping the story within the confines of my comfort zone. I love reading about Alpha dominant heroes who are hard and demanding in one aspect of their lives, and a complete marshmallow in other aspects. I think Sinclair does an incredible job of balancing erotica with a sweet romance, and I know that I can count on her to give me an emotionally engaging love story, along with my smut!
I give My Liege of Dark Haven a B+