Wednesday, December 7, 2016

3 stars-- Mischief and the Masters (Masters of the Shadowlands #12) by Cherise Sinclair

Two sexy doms and one wee little submissive. That's totally my catnip! Well, usually. Mischief and the Masters, didn't quite hit all my buttons. Which was a huge surprise since usually Sinclair's books get high marks from me.

What Worked:
The guys. Max and Alastair were yummy. Alpha, dominating, occasionally rather...creative. They're cousins--though one is black and one white-- and I liked their relationship and dynamic together. These two had each other's backs and while different in careers/personalities they complimented each other. 
The sexy bits. Scorching as usual. Sinclair knows how to write some steamy goodness. And has some fun with it. There were a lot of scenes with just one of the guys and the heroine but eventually the menage scenes kicked in.
Max watched the little submissive's eyes widen as she tugged ineffectually on her wrists. After a second, she asked in adorable outrage, "What kind of people have Velcro straps attached to their lounge chairs?"

"Doms, baby. Doms."
The wedding. *sigh* There was a wedding for a previous couple and there were some bits that got me really choked up. Some fun silly moments with the doms and some nice games as well.

What Didn't Work:
The heroine. Yeah. I had some hardcore heroine issues. *sadness* Uzuri just grated on my nerves. Everything about her came back to her being black or poor or having a stalker. I got really tired of the constant 'my teachers hated me because I was black, my co-workers hate me because I'm black (and they hate poor people), you only want to scene with me because I'm black, the girl on the subway stared at me like I was a criminal because I'm black (but really she just liked her outfit), she can't ask her friends for help in a life or death situation because...she's a 'strong black woman'. It was just too much. One odd thing was how much emphasis was put on the heroine being black but one of the heroes being black...hardly any emphasis or issues for him.

Usually there's a richness in the hero/heroine dynamic and you really feel that connection/bond with them. That was missing here. They were hot as a trio but I never felt that happily ever after/true love bit with them. The chemistry was just off.
There were also a couple of pretty glaring inconsistencies or bits that just weren't totally thought out. 
Social issues. Black vs white, rich vs poor, gun control (yeah there was a bit about the cop lamenting people legally owning AR-15s). It was, again, too much. I rolled my eyes a few too many times at all the "PC social narrative" that seemed to pop out. I don't remember ever feeling that way during one of Sinclair's books so it really stood out.
Overall, I struggled with Mischief and the Masters. I've read other interracial menages or m/f romances and enjoyed them. But I felt like Mischief and the Masters was trying a bit too hard and stepping too carefully writing-wise so it felt forced instead of having the typical flow I expect from Sinclair's writing. I didn't hate it but it was definitely my least favorite of the series and not what I expect from Sinclair. Her books usually flow but this one felt forced and took me more than 5 days to finish. I would say read the series because it's been fantastic overall (and book one is free) but not every book can be for every reader and this one just happened not to be for me. This one landed a low-end 3 stars.

Her life destroyed by a stalker, Uzuri Cheval starts anew in Tampa and joins the exclusive Shadowlands club. Unconvinced of her claims that she can overcome her fear of big men without help, Master Z gives her a time limit. And she is improving--until she hears the stalker is out of prison. Now her time limit is up, and the Masters will intervene, which is okay--as long as whoever helps her is short. Okay, sweet and gentle would be good, too.

But two Doms? Dangerously experienced and dauntingly powerful cousins? No way.

Having volunteered in every hellhole in the world, Dr. Alastair Drago is ready to settle down. Detective Max Drago has joined him and, once again, the cousins share everything. A house, lives, problems…and whatever submissive catches their interest. One mischievous submissive has definitely caught Alastair’s. However, having been burned by a woman, Max remains detached…until little mischief’s troubles turn deadly.

*covers link to Amazon

Challenges: Pick Your Genre (erotic) | Pervy Girl | Goodreads

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