Breaking Free

By: Cherise Sinclair

Series: Masters of Shadowlands

Book Number: 3

Star Rating:

Sensuality Rating:



Spoiler Disclaimer


Beth Stanton's sadistic husband left her severely scarred both inside and out and she's been on the run from him for a long time. At Club Shadowlands, she's finally found a place she feels like she can belong. By day, she's living out her dream of being a landscape designer by caring for the club's gardens, and by night, she uses the free membership Master Z gifted her to allow her submissive side to play. The only problem is that she's afraid of most of the Doms, so she's been playing it safe, choosing the nicer ones who don't stir up her anxiety, but they also don't arouse her in the way she needs. After watching several painful scenes in which Beth has participated, Master Z gives her an ultimatum to either accept the Dom he chooses for her or lose her club membership. Panicked over not being able to come back to the one place where she feels safe, Beth reluctantly agrees. Master Nolan's size and the way that he seems to see right through her frighten her, but his touch proves unexpectedly gentle. Soon he's taking her to the heights of ecstasy and chipping away at the ice around her long-frozen heart. But how will he react when he finds out that she's been lying to him?

Nolan King only recently returned from a year overseas as a military contractor. Before leaving, he'd uncollared his sub and doesn't really have any immediate intentions to take on another. But when his friend, Master Z, brings the little red-headed sub to his attention, she calls to something inside him. Her scars and the realization that someone abused her draw on his protective instincts and he can't resist the challenge of trying to top her. Master Nolan instantly recognizes Beth's problem and wants to help her break free, but it will take time and patience to earn her trust. After living through the pain of an ex cheating on him, the only thing Nolan demands is complete honesty, so when he discovers that Beth has been lying to him about certain aspects of her past, it feels like a betrayal. But when her bastard of an ex comes looking for her, Nolan must put aside his feelings to protect his woman.


Breaking Free is the third book in Cherise Sinclair's scorching hot Masters of the Shadowlands series. In this one, we have Beth who was deeply scarred both inside and out by her sadistic husband and now she's on the run from him. The submissive in her craves a Master's touch, but her fears won't allow her to trust enough to genuinely let anyone in. As a consequence, she's been picking all the wrong Doms to top her. After watching yet another painful scene between Beth and her latest Dom, Master Z, the owner of Club Shadowlands, has had enough and gives her an ultimatum: Accept Master Nolan, the Dom, he's chosen for her or lose her club membership. Unable to contemplate the idea of not coming back, Beth reluctantly agrees. She's fearful of the big Dom, but surprised by the gentleness of his touch. Master Nolan can see the scars all over her body and knows that someone abused her. He also realizes it will be a challenge to get the little sub to let him in, but he's more than up for it. However, after dealing with a cheating ex, the one thing Nolan can't abide is lying. When he finds out that Beth hasn't been entirely forthcoming with him about her past will he be able to forgive the dishonesty? And when her bastard ex finally tracks her down, will Nolan be around to prevent him from killing her?

Beth has known she's a submissive for several years, but she was still relatively inexperienced in the BDSM scene when she met the man who would become her husband. At first, things were okay between them, but soon she discovered just how sadistic he was. Several times, his abuse sent her to the hospital with serious injuries and he became more and more unhinged over time until he nearly killed her. That's when she decided to go on the run. Now she fears that he will track her down and made good on his promise to end her life. So she's done her best to fly under the radar ever since. Beth realized her dream of starting a landscaping and gardening business and ended up with Club Shadowlands as client. When the owner, Master Z, found out that she was a submissive, he offered her a free club membership as part of her payment. Beth feels much more comfortable at Club Shadowlands than she had at any of the BDSM clubs in Tampa, so she comes regularly. However, the abuse she suffered has left her unable to relinquish full control to a Dom. The men she's been choosing have either been too inexperienced to really recognize her needs or too easily frustrated by her seeming inability to become aroused, so she simply can't get off. When Master Z sees what's happening, he offers her a choice between allowing his friend, Master Nolan, to top her or losing her club membership. Not wanting to give up the one place where she feels relatively safe, Beth reluctantly agrees. She's frightened by Nolan's size but his touch is surprisingly gentle, leaving her begging for more after just one session. But he sees too much of her and she isn't sure if she can fully open up to him. Gradually he earns her trust, but when he finds out she's been dishonest with him, it may spell doom for their burgeoning relationship. Beth is a sweet, tortured heroine who's been through hell, but she's still brave enough to put herself out there, searching for what she needs. After all she'd been through, I was so happy that she found the perfect Dom she could trust in Master Nolan who sees all of her and can bring her to heights of pleasure she's never experienced before.

Like his good friend, Master Z, Nolan spent time in the military. He now owns a construction company and is very talented with tools in more ways than one.;-) He's only recently returned from an assignment as a military contractor in the Middle East. Prior to going, he'd been in a long-term 24/7 Master/slave relationship, but realizing he wasn't in love with her, he uncollared her before leaving. He also found the 24/7 aspect exhausting and isn't looking for another slave. He isn't even sure he wants a permanent sub right now, but when Master Z brings the little redheaded sub to his attention, she piques Nolan's interest, while her extensive scars tug at his heartstrings. When Z asks him to top her, Nolan readily agrees, immediately recognizing her trust issues and inability to give full control to her Dom. He knows she'll be a challenge, but it's one he finds himself relishing. His masterful touch rouses long-dormant feelings in Beth that set her running again, but Nolan's patience is eventually rewarded. However, after his ex cheated on him and lied when confronted about it, dishonesty is a hard limit for him. When he discovers that Beth hasn't been entirely up front about her past, he's ready to call it quits, but when Beth's monster of a husband comes calling, it rouses every protective instinct in Nolan. I can be very picky about my Dom heroes, but Master Nolan is quite yummy and one of the best I've read. He's kind and patient with Beth, gently pushing her boundaries to help her overcome the horrors of her past and find true healing and pleasure again.

Breaking Free was yet another excellent read in this series. Beth is a sweet woman who's been deeply traumatized, but underneath, she has a backbone of steel that has helped her survive. She's also brave to allow Nolan into her life and learn to trust him with both her body and her heart. Nolan is a Dom with a heart of gold and patience to spare. I adore him for the way he treats Beth like a precious gem and helps her regain her confidence. I feel like these two were the perfect couple who were made for each other. The author maintains a slight air of suspense by giving readers short scenes from the POV of Beth's husband as he hunts her down. But mostly it's all about our main couple and their scorching hot, sexy times, which just about set the pages on fire. I enjoyed seeing more of Master Z and Jessica (Club Shadowlands) and Master Dan and Kari (Dark Citadel) who all support both Beth and Nolan. The club's bartender, Master Cullen, also factors as a prominent supporting character. I love his outgoing, laid-back personality and can't wait to read his book, Lean on Me, which is the next in the series. Overall, Breaking Free was another wonderful read in this series that left me with a sweet sigh and a satisfied smile on my face, and I was excited to discover that I'll get more of Beth and Nolan in Book #11, Protecting His Own.

Note: This book contains explicit language and sexual situations including BDSM elements, voyeurism/exhibitionism, sex toys, anal play, a M/F/M menage scene, and a BDSM party with some partner swapping (no intercourse with others involved though), as well as a frightening non-sexual scene of kidnapping and sadistic torture, all of which could be objectionable to sensitive readers.


Cherise Sinclair


Men in Uniform - Military
Physically Imperfect Heroines
Tortured Heroines