My review cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/lean-on-me-by-cherise-sinclair
Andrea knows she’s a submissive, but not just any Dom will do. She’s a strong woman and she needs an even stronger Dom, but she hasn’t been able to find them among the BDSM clubs she’s been to. Then her best friend calls in a favor that enables Andrea to become a trainee in the exclusive club, the Shadowlands.
Master Cullen, who runs the trainee program, isn’t too happy to have an unknown sub in his program. And Andrea, who tends to punch any man who catches her unawares, just isn’t cut out to be a trainee. Yet something about the abrasive sub calls to Cullen, makes him want to break his no-relationship-with-trainees rule. But can Cullen break past the steel-walls guarding Andrea’s heart and get her to trust that he’s the Dom – and the partner – for her?
I should probably start off by confessing that ever since the first Masters of the Shadowlands book, Club Shadowlands, I’ve wanted to read Cullen’s story. The too-sexy-for-words Dom has always fascinated me with his easygoing nature that layers over a mind and will of iron. Lean on Me pairs Cullen with a submissive who tries all of Cullen’s limits, much as he tests hers. Andrea is more than a little sharp around the edges, but I actually really liked her. I was worried at first that she’d be a bit too hardened for me to connect with, but there’s softness under that steel, humanizing her.
The issue I ran into with Lean on Me wasn’t with either Cullen or Andrea. My favorite Dom was everything I hoped for and Andrea is a kick-ass heroine. The problem I had is that they just didn’t jive for me as a couple. There was something fundamentally missing from them as a pair which made it hard to become invested in their romantic journey. This was a pity as I was so excited for Cullen’s story. It’s even harder to describe what was off because I liked both protagonists individually; the spark just wasn’t there for them as a couple.
Lean on Me is the fourth book in the Masters of the Shadowlands series, but it can be read as a standalone. The six previous protagonists all appear in Lean on Me and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to see them because each hero and heroine Cheise Sinclair creates is unique and completely endearing. In addition, in Lean on Me, Ms. Sinclair introduces a new Shadowlands Master, Marcus, who is oh-so-drool-worthy. I absolutely love the Masters of the Shadowlands series and I desperately hope Ms. Sinclair writes more books for the men and women of the Shadowlands (again, I particularly hope Marcus gets a book). I just can’t get enough of this sirenic series!