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Romance Review – The Dom’s Dungeon

The Dom’s Dungeon by Cherise Sinclair

Review by Cynthia F. (frazerc)

Upfront warning:  this is a BDSM novel.  I don’t read many of them since a lot of BDSM novels frequently go way outside my comfort zone. This one was recommended by several different sources so I gave it a shot and I’m pleased I did.  Unlike many in this genre, it’s not about the act, it’s about the romance.  It’s a very good read.

Mostly this is a relationship novel.  The heroine, MacKensie, is trying to escape a past she has been unable to move on from.  The hero, Alex, is both kind and caring but definitely jaded by the subs pursuing him.  [He’s filthy rich, good looking, and an expert Dom – what does he expect?]

The heroine has participated in a ‘house exchange’ program so she can get to Seattle and interview for jobs as a veterinarian.  She is planning a total change of scene to avoid a murky past.  She is stunned when she finds her exchange ‘house’ is really a mansion.  It’s luxurious, beautiful, and the dog is charming – but there’s this locked room…

The hero is supposed to be headed to the heroine’s small Iowa house and to attend a convention and tour various family holdings in the area.  Problems at the airport make that impossible so he returns to his home figuring he could work out some arrangement with his houseguest.

Locked rooms really bother MacKensie.  Years in foster care gave her the skills to open most of them.  She is extremely surprised to find the locked door hides a private ‘dungeon’ obviously intended for BDSM play.  Surprised but intrigued…

Finding his young and pretty houseguest has violated the house exchange contract and unlocked the door and is now trying out the various equipment [naked!] is a shock; one Alex deals with in his best Dom manner by spanking her and making her apologize.  But when the adrenaline spike and low blood sugar combine to make her woozy he gathers her into his lap, wraps her in a blanket and holds her until she stabilizes.

She’s desperate, has no money to stay in a motel, and has given out his  address and phone as contact information to potential employers. He has a female ‘stalker’ who he thinks would be put off if he started showing up with a new sub.  He offers her a deal – she can stay but will appear in public a few times [the club, parties with like-minded friends] with him and give the appearance of being his newest sub – no abuse, no sex, no humiliation.  In return he doesn’t throw her out, report her to the house exchange people, or destroy her reputation.

The remainder of the story deals with the development of their bond.  Mac has serious issues and Alex works hard at giving her what she needs.  It’s about caring and showing love, with an alternative twist admittedly, not about the mechanics of the BDSM relationship.  Of course her past comes back to haunt her in a very real and very public way but with Alex’s help she finally manages to overcome it and put it firmly behind her where it belongs.

One of the author’s true skills is she gives each of her characters a strong and identifiable voice.  After the initial plot device [hero walking in on naked heroine bent spanking bench] I felt the behaviors of all the characters were consistent and believable.  They are people you would want to know.

This is a stand alone novel but she has two series as well as another stand alone novel – all of which I promptly went out and bought after reading this one.


Masters of the Shadowlands

Club Shadowlands

Dark Citadel

Breaking Free

Lean on Me

Make Me, Sir [ebook only at this time, amazon, loose-id]


Doms of Darkhaven

Master of the Mountain

Simon Says: Mine from Doms of Dark Haven

Master of the Abyss [ebook only at this time, amazon, loose-id]



The Dom’s Dungeon (2009)

The Starlight Rite (2010)

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