Masters of the Shadowlands 7: This is Who I Am

Cherise Sinclair

When trying to save a woman from slavers, Sam screwed up. Royally. Now Linda wants nothing to do with him. Or with BDSM. She won't even admit she's a masochist. As a dominant and sadist, he can give her what she needs, and when an...
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Full Description

When trying to save a woman from slavers, Sam screwed up. Royally. Now Linda wants nothing to do with him. Or with BDSM. She won't even admit she's a masochist. As a dominant and sadist, he can give her what she needs, and when an opportunity arises, he slips into her life, intending to make amends. She's everything he knew she would be…except for her bullheaded determination to be 'normal'.

Now the horrible time is past, Linda just wants to return to her small conservative town, pick up her quiet life, and be normal. But how can someone who likes pain be 'normal'? To her dismay, when someone spray-paints her home with obscenities, Sam shows up to rescue her. Again. Doesn't he understand that the last thing she needs in her life is a sadist? He's amused by her objections. But his dry sense of humor doesn't disguise that he's tough as nails and dominant and stubborn. He's not going to let her drive him off this time. All too soon, she realizes she wants him to stay.

When he takes her to the Shadowlands, she finds a new home…until she hears a voice from out of her nightmares.

  • Note:This book contains strong but consensual sadistic elements that may be uncomfortable for some readers.
Linda grabbed the chair arm of the witness stand, fighting to pull in a breath. Under her silk blouse, sweat dampened her back, and black spots danced at the edge of her vision. As her knees threatened to buckle, she tightened her grip on the curved wood. Will. Not. Show. Weakness. Another breath. She pretended to look around, stalling and hoping she’d be able to walk.

Whispers skittered around the courtroom, but the jurors were silent, watching her with concern. The white-haired grocer’s expression was outraged--for her. The tiny housewife wiped tears from her face.

The prosecuting attorney stepped forward to help, but the jury’s warmth had put strength back into Linda’s body. She straightened, stepped down, and her legs held. Thank you, God. Surely she could walk to the door.

She glanced at the defense attorney and his client--the balding, older man in his European-cut suit and diamond-encrusted watch--who was on trial for the murder of a nineteen-year-old college student.

Holly had been kidnapped. Enslaved like Linda.

Linda swallowed hard. She’d held the sweet-faced girl as she’d cried for her mother. She’d told her it would be all right. She’d lied. When the FBI raided an auction, freeing the slaves, it had been far too late for Holly.

The bastard sitting there so smugly had whipped her to death.

As Linda walked past, his patronizing gaze slid down her body, making her shudder and remember her own screams. Unable to escape, unable to fight. Beaten. Raped. She already felt dirty all the way to her core; his stare added another layer of filth. Ignoring the bile burning her throat, she forced herself to give him a dismissive look. Testifying had required all her strength, but she’d done what she’d come here to do. Chin up, head held high, she strode toward the exit.

The sandy-haired FBI agent, Vance Buchanan, waited there. “Well done,” he said in a low voice. “Only a few steps farther.” He reached out to assist her.

She flinched away.

As his hand dropped and he opened the door, she cursed herself for showing weakness. But she’d been a slave. She didn’t want to be touched.

After the overcrowded courtroom, the fresh air in the hallway was bracing, and then suddenly too cold. Her legs went boneless, and she dropped with a jarring thump onto the wooden bench. When she pushed her hands between her knees to hide the trembling, it only made the shaking of her knees more obvious. The dancing black spots had returned. Lovely.

“You did great, Linda.” Vance’s voice was washed away by her pounding pulse, and she--

“Goddamn fool, she’s shocky.” A voice from her dreams grated across her nerves, snapping her into the present. The bench squeaked a complaint as someone sat beside her. Arms closed around her, trapping her.

No! She shoved at his wide shoulders, panic rising like a flood tide.

“Don’t move, girl. You need to be held. Slap me later.” The rough growl of Sam’s voice was the rumble of an 18-wheeler carrying a truckload of safety.

Not trapped. Sheltered. He was warm--so, so warm. She sagged against him. I hate you.

“That a girl. Take a break for a second. You earned it.”

His chest was a brick wall, his arms iron bands, not comfortable in the least. Her body didn’t care, more secure than in the long, long months since she’d been freed from the slavers. With Sam’s arms around her, nothing would hurt her.

Except him.

“What are you doing here, Davies?” Vance asked.

“Kim told me the asshole who’d killed their friend was being tried. I figured this one would testify.” The silence that followed sounded accusing.

Vance sighed. “Linda didn’t want to see you.”

“Yep. I can see that.” The dryness in the gravelly voice came through loud and clear.

When had she put her arms around his waist? She was gripping him as if he were a lifeline over an abyss. Her arms loosened.

His tightened. “One more minute, missy. Be a shame not to get your strength back before you bust my chops.”

Another minute sounded...just right. As she rested her cheek against his chest, the lazy lub-dub of his heart tried to coax hers into slowing. His soft cotton shirt smelled of the outdoors, of hay and leather and sun. So very different from the stench of fear and sex. Of pain. Her stomach clenched.

He gave a hissing sound of annoyance.

She looked up.

In a face tanned to old leather, his eyes were a startling pale blue. His silvering hair needed a trim. “Whatever you’re thinking, stop.” He curved a hand over her nape and tucked her head back under his chin.

Okay. For a few more seconds, she’d... What in the world was she doing? I hate this man. As her mind cleared, she tried to push away. “Don’t touch me.”

He grunted as if she’d hit him, and released her instantly.

Expecting to see amusement in his gaze, she saw only concern. It didn’t matter. She rose to her feet, rattled when he did the same. But he was the kind of man who’d observe that old-fashioned courtesy. A gentleman sadist. His aura of confidence--and menace--was disconcerting. She took a step away from him.

Distance didn’t help. He trapped her easily with the power of his gaze, his posture, his voice. “I want you to call me.”

“No,” she whispered, unable to give her refusal the strength it deserved. “I don’t want to see you.” The one hour of knowing him had been enough for her. He’d seen right to her core, and she’d learned how deep humiliation could go.

His hard mouth tightened, but he merely tapped her chin with a finger. “Submissives don’t get what they want. They get what they need.” He might as well have said the rest of what he was thinking: And you need me.

But she didn’t. She wouldn’t.

* * * *

Sam left his battered truck in the parking lot and strode across the street to the small city park. Beyond the palms lining the entrance, massive live oak trees cast dark pools of shade. The air was cool with a slight crispness. Almost into February, Tampa still had a few months before the daily rains would send the humidity to sauna-like levels.

He spotted Nolan King on a picnic bench across the green swath of grass. Sam glanced at his watch. Late. Linda’s testimony had lasted longer than he’d planned.

As Sam sidestepped a toddler chasing a beach ball, her mother on a park bench gave him a sharp look. He approved of her vigilance. The world held too many monsters. But Sam wasn’t someone she needed to worry about. He might be a sadist, but he only played consensual games.

Except for one time.

The scene he’d done at the slave auction with Linda hadn’t been what he would call consensual. To lead the FBI to the auction, he’d convinced the slavers he was a buyer and gotten himself an invitation. But the cops had needed time to block the roads, which left Raoul, his sub, and Sam in a nightmare. Wealthy buyers had roamed a ballroom, sampling the “merchandise”--the slaves chained to the walls.

Linda had been up for sale. Since Raoul’s sub knew her, she’d asked Sam to care for Linda. But there was no care to be had in a place like that. Disguised as a buyer, Sam’s only hope was to pretend to check her out prior to buying her. To whip her himself. He couldn’t risk telling her that he was a good guy and help was on the way.

Seeing Kim’s nod of approval, Linda had known Sam wasn’t a complete bastard. But was the scene consensual? Hardly. Not when her only choice had been him or another slaver.

Sam ran his hand through his hair. He was too damned old to play James Bond. He was a farmer, not a spy. He’d done his best by her, and she’d been the sweetest, most responsive submissive-masochist he’d ever met. The chemistry between them had been a bonfire. She’d trusted him, given him what he asked for, and in return, he’d transformed what might have been a nightmare of pain into something wonderful for her.

And then he’d made a mistake; to this day, he wasn’t sure exactly what. He had ideas, but hell, he could be totally off base.

Sam sighed. For the past few months, Linda’d lived out of state with a sister, and this morning, he’d had her in his arms again. She’d trusted him to hold her. The sound of her low voice, her citrus-lavender scent, her yielding body had been even better than his memories. Until she’d pushed him away.

As Sam approached the picnic table, Nolan looked up. From a small cooler, the hard-faced Dom removed a Mountain Dew and handed it over. “Figured you’d need something to wipe the taste out of your mouth. How’d the trial go?”

“The goddamned defense attorney took his questions into the gutter trying to shake her. Bad enough she gets raped by the slavers. To get raped again by a sleazy interrogation?” Sam popped the top as he sat. The icy drink washed the bitterness from his throat. “I wanted to shove a boot in his foul mouth.”

And then rip apart the balding slaver who’d killed the youngster. Holly had only been nineteen--the same age as his little girl. “I’m an adult now, Daddy,” his pretty Nicole often reminded him. He growled under his breath. No matter what the law said, his daughter’s life had barely begun. And because of the slavers, one young woman wouldn’t grow any older. The police had found Holly’s body in a ravine where the killer had dumped her like garbage.

But after Linda’s testimony, Sam had seen the bastard’s conviction in the jurors’ faces. And he wouldn’t live long--not once the other prisoners saw pictures of the sweet-faced college student. “Linda held up like a trouper.”

“May have less muscles, but women got more guts than most men.”

“True.” They’d endure where a man would give up and die.

As a light breeze swept the park with the scent of brine, Sam listened to the children on the swing set.

“Push me.”

“Look how high I can go.”

He relaxed. He’d needed the reminder of happiness. “Why the park?”

Nolan jerked his chin to the left. “Great scenery.”

Sam followed his gaze. Beth, Nolan’s submissive, knelt nearby, planting bright yellow flowers in a newly tilled garden. The glint of her red hair reminded him how Linda’s thick mane had brushed his fingers when he held her shoulders. Her hair had grown.

Nolan’s contented, possessive smile sent envy through Sam. He’d never had that kind of happiness with a woman. Probably never would since just the thought of his ex-wife drove ice shards into his gut. But he had a good life now. Wanting more would be stupid. “Beth ignoring you?”

“No. I brought her lunch and made her take a break. She just went back to work.” Nolan glanced at Sam. “You going to go after that submissive? Linda, right?”

“She’s not interested.” But dammit, the way she’d clung to him said otherwise.

“Want to tell me why not?”

Nolan’s sub had been abused. He might have advice. Didn’t matter. “No.”

“And they say I’m closemouthed.”

Sam shrugged. Nolan didn’t like to talk. Period. Sam just didn’t talk about personal shit. Too risky. Back in ’Nam, trails often held trip wires and mines. He’d seen friends blown to bits. Then when he married, he’d learned booby traps could be made of confidences. Could kill the spirit instead.

And wasn’t he a bitter fool on a sunny day? He nodded at the rolled-up sheaf of paper sitting on the table. “The plans?”

“Yep. If they suit you, I can have the concrete guys start in another week.” Nolan spread the paper out on the rough wood. “I think you’ll like the suggestions the architect made.”

Sam rose to take a better look. Good timing for this. Construction of a new stable would keep him busy for a while. Give Linda a chance to settle back into her life.

Then he’d see what was what.

Copyright © Cherise Sinclair


Customer Reviews

Riveting Review by Dar
One of my favourites of this series. Linda and Sam's journey of who they are and what they have gone through is thrilling.

I would recommend this book. You will not be disappointed.
(Posted on 6/30/2014)
Outstanding Review by Damian
Just finished Cherise Sinclair's book This is Who I Am. I will say that her books only get better and this one was an emotional roller coaster. The book should be in anyone's library.

If you can imagine a Dom/sadist and sub/masochist coming together; a woman broken and a man helping her mend this is the book you are looking for. If you are willing to read a love story fought for through the pain of both partners, this is a book for you to read. Her characters walk off the pages and into your heart. Their emotions are genuine and true to the situations. You begin to see beyond the words and into the souls of these imaginary people Cherise Sinclair has created. If this is your first book of her's you will be wanting all of them to learn the other revealed relationships and the entire story behind the Shadowlands and the Masters there.

This books isn't just for those that enjoy BDSM. The story behind the sex scenes is as thrilling and holding as any of the mainstream books. Sinclair doesn't write the BDSM and sex scenes as some of the other authors. She uses them in the storyline to promote and tell the healing or pain of the characters in this book. Her grasp of the BDSM and the truth of it is enlightening.
(Posted on 5/24/2014)
Addicted Review by Sandi
Addicted to Cherise Sinclair's books! (Posted on 5/22/2014)
another 5 star read Review by Paris
The book title “This is Who I am” says it all. It is the personal acceptance of who you are. This is not a book about broken or damaged people who turn to the BDSM lifestyle to find themselves. This is journey of love, acknowledgement, and acceptance of one’s self. This is two people who complement each other’s sexual tastes, desires and needs. This is a book about prejudice, and other people assumptions, a book where ones sexual taste defines them in the eyes of others.

What is sex, pleasure?
From a dictionary definition:

Sex: any act of touching intimately with stimulation giving excitement to a partner, male or female.

Pleasure describes the broad class of mental states that humans and other animals experience as positive, enjoyable, or worth seeking. It includes more specific mental states such as happiness, entertainment, enjoyment,ecstasy, and euphoria. In psychology, the pleasure principle describes pleasure as a positive feedback mechanism, motivating the organism to recreate in the future the situation which it has just found pleasurable

Seems simple enough to me, why wouldn’t everyone what that? How we get there is a question for each of us to personally deal with, and in my opinion, is not something that the community, family, friends or parties outside of the relationship need to be involved in.

Both Sam and Linda were good people, hard working, contributed to their communities, raised their children the best they could, were creative and caring. Cherise Sinclair did a great job giving us everyday normal people, people who would not normally stand out. Why should what we do in the bedroom (or chosen location) between consenting parties define who we are as people? Why we are not judged on our daily contributions to life and society?

If Linda had not been a victim of the human traffickers, had not testified, there would not have been any community, or family interest in her sexual life. For Linda this focus, made it difficult for her to come to terms with her personal desires and needs. I think Linda always knew there was something missing in her sexual life; she tried to ask her partners for more, but their shock, fear and un-acceptance of her requests lead them to label her as sick. It took a person like Sam, who enjoyed inflecting pain as part of the sexual act, to complement and free Linda of her fear that she was mentally damaged,dirty, or wired wrong.

Sam had come to terms with his sexual proclivities somewhere in his history, but had not resolved the emotional issues surrounding his ex wife, or his ability to verbally express love to those important to him. Sam’s relationship with Linda forced him to realize that there was emptiness in his life that she could fill. I actully had difficulty seeing Sam as a sadist, once the sex acts were completed, he was so warm, caring, and concerned for Linda, and others, he was just such a great guy!

The sexual scenes in this book are extremely tasteful, they are not crude, crass or thrown in for the shock value, they complemented the storyline and help us understand the needs and desires of both Sam and Linda. Although they may not be what we the reader experience in our journey to pleasure, I saw them as true to life practices that others may engage in.

Supporting Sam and Linda in their journey were our returning cast of characters from the Shadowlands, a few new trainees were added, but for the most part all characters are known to readers of the series. Interwoven into the main plot was the wedding of Z and Jessica, and a bit more on the aftermath of the human trafficking storyline from the previous book.

This was a difficult subject matter to have as a mainstream book, I applauded Cherise Sinclair , for her creative, artistic , and tasteful delivery of a beautiful love story, and journey to personal acceptance for our characters.

I enjoyed this book very much
(Posted on 5/17/2014)
Pain Done Right Review by B
I just cannot say enough good things about this author! A serious pet peeve of mine is how often bad guys are sadists and/or sadists are shown to be pretty freakin evil. It seems like even in BDSM books, sadism is a dirty little secret that is tip-toed around so as not to squeak the vanilla crowd. Unlike many reviewers, I wasn't worried about the pain aspect, but I was curious how Ms. Sinclair would show it. She does a beautiful job as showing it as just another part- a hot part, in this case- of a loving and healthy relationship, set up to meet the needs of the people involved. Awesome :)
I didn't really care for Sam in the first few books, but I've been a fan since we got to see him interact with Gabby in book 5. I wanted to slap Linda's kids, and I was so impressed by how Sam handled that whole thing! One of the things I love in these books is how much the Doms grow along with the subs, and that is certainly true here as well. Linda is just such an incredibly brave character- by the end of the book, I was so proud and happy for her, that she was at the place where she could say "THIS IS WHO I AM"! I wasn't sure what I'd think about them being older, since that's never been my thing, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was just a part of them like height, or eye color, but it made the story richer for not shying away from it. I know I love the author, but really, the way this story was written just blew me away!
(Posted on 4/17/2014)
LOVE!!! Review by bettina
Another great book by Cherise Sinclair! I was never a fan of a sadist but I was Cherise's worst internet brat begging for Master Sam to come out and play. I loved this soft side and his firm hand. I can not wait for the next books to come out! (Posted on 11/23/2013)
Amazing Once Again Review by Stargazer
This book shows even a sadist has a soft side. I was on the look out for this book as soon as I finished book 6. I loved watching the relationship between Sam and Linda grow proving that you can not only find yourself but find the perfect partner later in life! I will have to say that I am addicted to this series! (Posted on 11/18/2013)
Amazing again Review by Shannon
Again, another book that doesn't disappoint. I love the relationship between Sam and Linda. Sam can be a tough guy, but he is also a loving man. love, love, love this book. (Posted on 11/4/2013)
Love it totally recommended Review by oreana
This is who I Am is the seventh book in Masters of the Shadowlands series by Cherise Sinclair. Book seven is about Master Sam and Linda. After being rescused from the overseer's auction by Sam and the FEDS(To command and Collar book 6) Linda is trying to get her life back to "normal", she doesn't want to accept that she is a Submissive Masochist. Sam Davies or Master Sam is exactly what Linda doesn't want a dominating man with the skill to give her what she craves. Denial!! But Sam won't let her run not from him and especially not from herself.

"Submissives don't get what they want. They get what they need."

Please Please!!! Master Sam give me what I need!

I must say Cherise Sinclair never disappoints me. From the moment Master Sam was introduced I was both intrigued and scared. In book seven I was able to see a side of him that had me fall in love. He has a wicked sense of humor. Sinclair has that ability to make you wish the characters were real. Oh how I wish :-P
Linda, I have not complaints. Cherise really demonstrated Linda's emotions and reflected real fear and reactions towards the abuse she suffered.

Great book the story flowed wonderfully.

Oreana M

(Posted on 11/1/2013)
Refuse to be a Victim Review by MarywithHugs
I liked the way Linda took charge of her life as she explored changes she wanted to make in her life as well as learned to cope with the distress of her captivity. In conquering her own fears she helps Sam in facing his own.

I don't like when anyone blames or further victimizes someone who has and is already suffering as the victim of a crime and hope there are always (as in this novel) others who refuse to let it happen.

I can't wait for Cherise Sinclair's next book!
(Posted on 10/27/2013)
I loved it! Review by Glamdring
He gave her a contemplative stare as if he’d never had a woman tease him. Then again, who in their right mind would tease a sadist?

Amongst the BDSM themed books the sadist/masochist couples are part of the ones I like the least. I’m sorry, but I can’t find a sadist appealing so if I can help it I tend to avoid BDSM books with sadist heroes.

That being said, even though I knew that Sam and Linda fell in that category I couldn’t wait to read “This is Who I Am”. For three reasons. The first one is although Sam is a sadist, since book 5 I couldn’t help but like him. The second reason is because in book 6, wanting to help Linda, Sam ended up messing up big time. He knows something went wrong but doesn’t know what and feel bad about it. The last reason is because in this book the identity of the mole in the Shadowlands Club was to be revealed (this particular sadist was creepy).

And then he’d made a mistake; to this day, he wasn’t sure exactly what. He had ideas, but hell, he could be totally off base.

“I’m not sure what I did.” Where were all the arguments he’d come up with over the past months? “But I did something wrong. I’m sorry, girl.”

Still, because of the MC's preferences I was prepared to not enjoy this book as much as the other, so this book was a really really good surprise. I don’t know how she did it but somehow Cherise Sinclair managed to write the story in such a way that their relationship was just beautiful and right.

With Sam, she’d felt safe. Safe enough to let go, to let pain transform into pleasure, to let herself slide into her happy place. His strength, his voice, even his brutal honesty was reassuring. So was the way he’d hold her afterward with surprisingly tender hands, caring for her as if she... meant... something.

I think that one of the things that allowed this achievement is that during the different BDSM scenes, instead of focusing on too much technical details or the pain side, Cherise Sinclair focused on the pleasure felt by Linda.

Glorious, erotic rawness. Unsure if she hurt or felt wonderful, she whimpered.
Delight filled his eyes.
[...] The pain was —as Goldilocks said—just right.

Another thing that helped is that not only none of them is in the humiliation stuff but after her abduction Linda is determined to be treated with respect and Sam is there to help her recover her self-esteem and confidence. I really liked the game they played where she was to receive “good” punishment if she misbehaved and “bad” ones if she was polite and compliant.

After donning the suit coat she’d fetched, he gave her an approving smile. “Miss Madison, I’m Sam Davies, the CEO of Pain International.” He held his hand out. (LOL!)

Sam is a really thoughtful and watchful Dom (inside and outside the club), Linda is a strong and loving woman and together they were beautiful. I think the fact that they are both mature added a dimension to their story.

Expecting to see amusement in his gaze, she saw only concern. It didn’t matter. She rose to her feet, rattled when he did the same. But he was the kind of man who’d observe that old-fashioned courtesy. A gentleman sadist.

"May have less muscles, but women got more guts than most men."

Of course this book being part of the Masters of the Shadowlands series, there was also funny moments. And I absolutely can’t wait for Sally, Galen and Vance story!!!

"Those two. They’ve got tag teaming down to a science. And they make me feel stupid. I never feel stupid. I need a drink."
(Posted on 10/21/2013)
Cherise Sinclair Has Done It Again Review by Erica
Gosh I love this series. This Is Who I Am was different from the other books in the series - not as much of it is set at the Shadowlands, so there is less from the other characters, which was a bit bumful in my opinion. But I still quite enjoyed it! Sam and Linda are such fun characters.

Now can we PLEAAAAAASE have Sally's story like NOW? I've been waiting for this for AGES! OMGGGG.
(Posted on 10/4/2013)
Master of the Shadowlands Review by Linda
Cherise Sinclair never disappoints with her Masters of the Shadowlands.
Even this time, with a sadistic Master and a masochistic submissive, she made me love this couple.
We met Linda in the last book, as one of the kidnapped women for sale, and Sam was the one who infiltrated the auction.
Linda´s troubled, she wants the submission and the pain, but she´s so guilted by her feelings. Not knowing what to do, she seeks the help of Kim, who takes her to Shadowlands.. And there´s Sam, again.
An older couple, with the wisdom of age, and Sam was awesome, as a rancher with presence and authority that had me melting. Even if I´m no lover of pain, CS made me believe it, accept it and love it.
(Posted on 9/28/2013)
Good part of the series Review by Taylor
Like other sinclair books in this series it was good, but a little much at times. This book in particular focuses more on pain aspects and s&m. For some but not for others (Posted on 8/28/2013)
Awesome Review by Teah
Well what can I say other then Cherise has me tangled up in her world at Club Shadowlands. Yet another book in the series that I couldn't put down and absolutely loved from the first page. Love the characters and the story line. Damn this author knows how to write awesome books in this genre. (Posted on 8/26/2013)
Gold Standard Review by Tina
Cherise Sinclair is my gold standard when it comes to BDSM books. She is an auto-buy on release day as well. When I've read a crap book, of any genre, this author is a comfort read for me. Her stories are so deeply emotional and character driven that I'm always blown away by the depth and sincerity of them. She was my first BDSM read and I am sooooooo glad of it. I adore, adore, adore her work.

In my completely and totally biased opinion the Shadowlands books get better with each installment. The slaver storyline is incredibly emotional and has made for several excellent healing/comfort books. It's so emotional and has such depth. This offering us no different.

Linda was rescued from slavers but not before sadist, Master Sam had breached her defenses. Several months later we see Linda testify against one of her captors only to be unwillingly comforted by Sam.

What follows is not only a journey of healing for Linda but one for Sam as well. We see again how very strong Linda is, we see her learn to not only accept but embrace her needs and desires. We also see her fight for her stubborn, thick headed man!

It was wonderful to learn more about the gruff Master Sam and to see his tender moments with Linda. Also great to see his interaction with his daughter and Linda's children. Sam's past is heartbreaking and I loved seeing him overcome it because he loved Linda that much.

Of course we also get wonderfully emotionally intense and hot sex. Both club sex and one on one in private. While s/m is so not my thing I was drawn in by ebb and flow of Sam and Linda's needs. How they fed off of and satisfied each other. Sinclair writes some of the best BDSM sex around! I think what really gets me is how skillfully she shows the power exchange between Dom and sub and to me that is so amazingly erotic. That absolute trust in another. That ability to completely let go of thought and be immersed in feeling, in sensation. Just,

Thankfully we get a chance to see how the Masters and their subs from previous books are doing as well as a romantic, powerful, and touching scene with Master Z and Jessica. A few new Doms are introduced, hopefully meaning more Shadowlands stories to come. I mean who wouldn't want a story about a Master named Holt. The name alone gives me tingles!

Ms. Sinclair also gives us a bit more Sally and her FBI agents. Can't wait for that story!

I highly recommend this story to BDSM fans. While you can read it as a stand alone it is so much richer with the background knowledge you get from the previous six books. That and really, you just don't want to miss a Shadowlands book. Really. I mean it. You don't.
(Posted on 8/20/2013)
I absolutely loved loved loved this book and cannot wait for more. Review by Cindy
Cherise has topped herself with this one. I was curious going in how she would make a sadist a likeable character. After reading this Sam is now my new favorite character (yes that changes from book to book in the Shadowlands series) I absolutely loved that we got so much out of the club time with Sam and Linda. For me I felt that was important to show them as real people who regardless of what they needed sexually and emotionally that in the outside world they were just regular people who both had survived different traumatic experiences in their lives.

(Posted on 6/27/2013)
My new favorite Review by Christy
Sam is a sadist. That is only one of the reasons why I was not looking forward to this book. There is a thin line, in my vanilla mind, between sadism and abuse. It's a line that most authors are not competent enough to walk. Sam and Linda are also older than the norm in an erotica book. I can admit, under duress, that I'm not 20 myself any more, but it's hard to get into an erotica story that has to pause for Metamucil breaks.

I'm sure a lot of reviews for this book begin with "I didn't think I'd like this story", so I'll skip that part of the review and go straight to the "I absolutely loved this story!" part. Sam and Linda's characters were written with such depth that they became people instead of characters on a page. Yes, they were older and that fact was not ignored so much as accepted and moved on from. Apparently just because you hit 50, it doesn't mean you're dead or infirm. Who knew?! Well, I guess I do now. I also have to say that, if the feelings described are accurate, I now get why someone would be a masochist. Not once did I feel as if Sam was abusive or Linda a pain slut. The descriptions of the BDSM play skillfully explained the way the impact translated itself in Linda's body and brain. I get it. (Wow. Didn't think I would say that when I started the book.)

My favorite piece of this book - and this holds true with all the Shadowlands stories - is the uniqueness of voice. I enjoy serial romances; however, after a while, the main characters all start to sound alike. This is book 7 in this series and I have yet to find that true. Every single character is portrayed uniquely. Each character has his or her own pattern of speech, pattern of thinking, and action. Cherise has managed to keep each character true to their -haha- character throughout 7 books. And each time a new Shadowlands book is released, the main character draws upon those previously defined characteristics and expands them. I always know who the book is about. That's realism for ya, folks.

I guess that makes the storyline itself the cherry on the top of the triple chocolate ganache cake. This story continues the slaver trade storyline begun in previous books, but from a more personal, dealing-with-the-aftermath sort of way. Linda's reactions to freedom from slavery while trying to confront and accept the masochistic side of herself feel believable. I hurt for her character and found myself rooting her on. And, in the end, I discovered that both Linda and Sam had taken place as my absolute favorite Shadowlands couple. (Sorry Gabi and Marcus!) And this book as my favorite in the series.
(Posted on 6/15/2013)
Best book yet! Review by Gab
I fell in love with Master Sam. He made pain sound fun! I love the Masters in the club shadowlands and this book was even better than the others. I highly recommend! (Posted on 6/12/2013)
OMG Review by HH nurse
I have been waiting so long for this and I was not disappointed. I love how Sam not only helped Linda, but she helped him. I LOVE the Shadowlands (Posted on 6/4/2013)
Couldn't Put it Down Review by Sheri
I mostly patiently waited for this book and I stressed and worried that it would let me down.....BUT IT DIDN'T

Seriously Ms. Sinclair out did herself she wrote this amazing story about a sadist and a woman who by every right shouldn't want anything to do with BDSM but then they find each other and love. It was beautiful, brutal and sexy all at once, with just a dash of sweet.

I recommend this story and the whole darn series.
(Posted on 6/2/2013)
It was hot! Review by Yvette
As usual, and I always feel the same after reading anything in this series, I absolutely adored Linda and Sam. Even though he's a sadist, I liked that the descriptions were not too graphic. It was kinda hot! I'm sure I'll read this again. So enjoyable. Ms. Sinclair is at the top of this genre. Her books are always so romantic and sexy. They are books that help this reader spark up her love life a bit! (Posted on 5/31/2013)
Another 5*-read in the Shadowlands-series! Review by Lea
In my eyes Ms. Sinclair is one of the top 3 BDSM-authors and an absolute must read. Her protagonists Sam and Linda are realistic, loveable and not to forget believeable. I'm glad Loose id was smart enough to keep working with Ms. Sinclair and I am counting the days to her next release! (Posted on 5/31/2013)
Absolutely Wonderful Review by Q
I waited very patiently for this book and I was not disappointed. Master Sam is my favorite of the Shadowlands' masters and he was wonderful. I enjoyed the introduction of other characters and the return of the other masters as well as Ben.
Now I just have to wait to see if the FBI agents get the sub they've had their eyes on. LOL
(Posted on 5/30/2013)
Another great story by Cherise Sinclair! Review by Cara
I really enjoy reading this author. I was a little hesitant because the main characters seemed a little too hard core for me but Cherise Sinclair managed to make this story really lovely and romantic along with great chemistry between the characters.

(Posted on 5/30/2013)
Awesome! Review by Ruth
I thoroughly enjoyed this story! It wasn't nearly as angsty, or dark, or uncomfortable to read as I had thought it would be, and if I'm honest with myself, had, on some level, even hoped it would be. But as I finished the epilogue I realized that to have changed the pacing and intensity at all would have detracted from the honest feel of Linda's healing, as well as Sam's opening himself up and allowing himself to love and be loved. These things take time when you're as scarred as these two incredible people are, and I wouldn't have wanted their story told in any other way.

One of the things I was hoping for in this story was more insight into what makes sadists and masochists crave the giving and receiving of pain. Why would a person want to make another cry tears of pain, and why would the other person want to shed those kinds of tears? But I didn't get the answers I had hoped for, and you know what? That's okay, because it doesn't matter. That's like asking why one person likes rocky road ice cream but not plain chocolate, and another likes unbaked cookie dough but not cookie dough ice cream. When it's all said and done, why does the 'why' matter? And the truth is, it doesn't. As long as everyone is getting what satisfies their craving, the 'why' simply isn't important.

I enjoyed getting to know Sam and Linda, and watching Linda grow. To put aside her fears, her self recrimination, her insecurity and her lack of healthy self esteem, to become the woman she was always meant to be. And Sam... wow. I really had no idea what to expect. He's terrified me from the first time I read about him and I didn't like him very much. I expected him to be a man who used the label 'sadist' to justify being an asshole, but that is not Sam, and I'm so glad I read his story.

The bottom line: As with all of Ms. Sinclair's stories, I was given not only an entertaining, sexy read, but I was also given a lot to think about. I know without a doubt that Sam and Linda will come to mind often, and that makes me very happy! They're a couple worth getting to know, worth revisiting again and again, and worth remembering.
(Posted on 5/30/2013)
what a great book! Definitely does the series proud! Review by Donna M
Really loved the conflicts and struggles Linda and Sam faced after her ordeal from book 6. It great to see an older couple in a relationship showing love is worth the fight at any age! Kudos to Ms. Sinclair for a wonderful story... Looking forward to the next book. I so hope she continues on with the series after Sally's story because many of us have fallen in love with all the characters! (Posted on 5/30/2013)
So good!!!! Review by Katelyn
I love all of Cherise Sinclairs books, and she does not disappoint with this newest addition to the Master of the Shadowlands series! I was very happy that Master Sam finally got his own book! Highly recommend the whole series. (Posted on 5/29/2013)
The Best Review by Torhild
THIS IS WHO I AM is one of the best books I have been reading for a very long time. Cherise Sinclair gave us one sadistic Master Sam, filled with a beautiful lady named Linda. Their story was so sweet all the way. I have been laughing my way through all the chapters. The epilogue got me all mashed into a wet poddle of happiness . Go get this book NOW! (Posted on 5/29/2013)
Awesome Review by Kim
I loved Sam's book. I waited very patiently for this book and it did not disappoint. I cannot wait for the next book. (Posted on 5/29/2013)
Another well matched couple. Review by Rachel
I loved this book. Even with 2 children under 2 I managed to finish it in a 6 hours! Totally gripping and I couldn't put it down. I really enjoyed the way Sam, who although a sadist, has a soft and delicate side to him. Althoug the way the community reacts to Linda is horrible, I think it is accurately depicted and done with considerable thought. I can't wait for the next one in the series and will be continuing to check for a title and publication date! :-) (Posted on 5/29/2013)
Awesome!! Review by Nan
Loved it, couldn't put it down. Can hardly wait for the next instalment in the series & I hope it comes soon! (Posted on 5/28/2013)
Another amazing instalment Review by Ali
Wow, just wow. I love this series and am constantly rereading them all.
This is my favourite so far
The relationship between Sam and Linda is so strong even tho they are unsure
I love Linda's strength and while Sam such is a strong and caring Master he has a beautiful soft and vulnerable side
(Posted on 5/28/2013)
This is Who I Am Am by Cherise Sinclair Review by Teresa
I love Cherise's books.
This women knows how to write BDSM!
I have all her books and have waited it seams like a life time for
Sam's story. Counting down the days'!
(Posted on 5/26/2013)
Great Series Review by Becky
I have been anxiously waiting for this book to come out. I have the whole series and re-read them on a regular basis. Please keep them coming. (Posted on 5/26/2013)
Love Review by Light
Just love her books, can't wait for the next one to come out! (Posted on 5/21/2013)

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