Published by Flip City Media Inc. on October 22nd 2016
THIRTY DAYSThat’s all Adam Steinbeck demands of his wife.Thirty days in a remote cottage, doing everything he demands. After that, he’ll sign her divorce papers and give her complete ownership of their company.
THIRTY DAYSThat’s how long he has to rediscover the man he once was. The Dominant Master he hid when he fell in love with her five years ago.
THIRTY DAYSShe wants the business they built badly enough to go to the cottage for a month. Cut off ties to the world and do his bidding. She can submit to him with her body, but her heart will never yield.
She thinks this is his pathetic attempt to repair their marriage.
“Marriage Games is one of the most powerful novels I have ever read. CD Reiss gets into the soul of her hero and heroine and never lets go. A strong, clear picture of the psychological and emotional challenges of a D/s relationship, especially in a marriage. Why it works and why it might not. Can’t wait for the next one.” ―Desiree Holt, USA Today bestselling author
That’s all Adam Steinbeck demands of his wife.
Thirty days in a remote cottage, doing everything he demands. After that, he’ll sign her divorce papers and give her complete ownership of their company.
That’s how long he has to rediscover the man he once was. The Dominant Master he hid when he fell in love with her five years ago.
She wants the business they built badly enough to go to the cottage for a month. Cut off ties to the world and do his bidding. She can submit to him with her body, but her heart will never yield.
She thinks this is his pathetic attempt to repair their marriage.
Where do I even start? The best way I can describe this book is smooth and sensual like a fine wine, and dark and decadent like a pair of high heel leather boots. I would classify it as a BDSM erotic psychological drama with romantic elements. It’s the first part of a duet, so it ends in a cliffhanger. It’s more a character study than a love story.
I think the distinction between romance novel and a BDSM book with romantic elements is necessary. If you’re looking for a highly romantic novel and you’re not comfortable with BDSM I honestly don’t think I’d recommend this book at all. I thought this book was going to be about domination and submission alone, and maybe some spanking,but no. This delves into the psychology of BDSM quite a bit and there are mentions and portrayals of acts that may be highly questionable to some. So yes, we’re talking masochism, paddles, punishment, humilliation, crawling, deep-throat fucking, nipple clamps… it’s a lot more hardcore than I thought it would be. And there are even instances that may feel like “cheating” to certain readers depending on your definition of the term.
Thankfully I’m up for all things kinky so I really don’t mind. I’m the person who counts Nine and a Half Weeks and The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy among her favorite books. I’ve read Tiffany Reisz and enjoyed her a lot. Also, I quickly realized that this book was a lot more intense on the BDSM exploration and a lot more naturalistic in tone than a romance novel. What I mean is that it feels tangible, like these are living breathing people with real life emotions and struggles. So I ceased to have expectations of a fantasy land that I could float away to. This almost demanded that I thinkabout everything deeply, about what it means to be a woman and about what it means to be a submissive, and why. It’s basically a bunch of questions made into a book.
I’m still torn in terms of whether I understand what the story is trying to say. And I’m torn in terms of whether I actually liked the characters or not. That makes sense because it is only part one of a two part series after all. From a BDSM aspect, as someone who has dabbled in the lifestyle, I found myself questioning some of the things Adam did and though regarding kink.
And I just got to be honest here, a lot of both Adam’s and Diana’s actions and emotions made zero sense. It’s as though the characters themselves are so confused, they confused the author or maybe the author knows exactly where she’s heading and why. But again, I have to reserve judgement in terms of the storyline until I finish this journey. So far these characters flip flop on their feelings for each other so much and so fast, they gave me whiplash. The ending had me scratching my head. I finished feeling hella puzzled about WTF is going on.
I’m rating this 4.5 stars based solely on the writing. I’m no stranger to this author’s skill to write BDSM erotic romances. I devoured the entire Songs of Submission series (criminally underrated). So I know how good a writer she is. It’s almost as if she’s writing a screenplay. At times the writing is actually so good it starts crossing into lyrical territory but thankfully never really feels like purple prose.
My favorite part was EVERYTHING involving a Manet painting. It was the most awe-inducing use of a visual aid I’ve ever seen in a book. I found it fascinating.
I can’t wait for the second part of this book. It has the potential to be incredibly good or things could go south really quickly. But I think CD Reiss is talented enough that she can pull off an amazing ride that will ultimately be worth it. January can’t get here fast enough! 4.5 Stars!
“Pull your skirt up.” I said it without acknowledging the possibility that she’d disobey. It felt good to use those words and that tone. To watch her eyes go to the floor.
“Trust me.” I said it so low she was just within range to hear it. “Five minutes. Then we don’t have to fight over the car.”
I stepped back and set my watch with a beep. It wasn’t about the car for her. The Jag was the least of her worries, but it was a tangible justification.
For the downcast eyes. For the way her breathing changed. Maybe every bone in her body was vanilla. Maybe not.
“Quit any time,” I said. “Just say the word.”
She laid her hands on her hips.
Curled her fingers.
Pulled up her skirt.
The tops of her thighs came into view then met at the crotch. I was hard already and made no move to hide it. She noticed and stopped moving the skirt.
“Higher,” I said as if telling her how to center a picture over the couch. Higher was where it had to be. It wasn’t a request.
Up it went, revealing cotton underwear in a pink so pale they were almost white.
“Now what?” she asked.
“How do you feel?”
“Weird, Adam. Really weird.”
“Because I’m standing here with my skirt around my waist? Because you told me to? For a car, no less, which is creepy.”
She was so honest. I ached for her honesty.
“You’re not obeying me for an object. You’re obeying me so I do something. Take an action or don’t.”
“You think that’s not weird?”
“No, I don’t. And we have four minutes.” I stepped forward. Part of her discomfort was in the physical distance between us. I’d stepped away so she didn’t feel threatened, but my gaze was keeping her from relaxing. I kept my eyes on hers. I could smell her perfume and feel the shortness of her breath. “Are you turned on?”
“Sex isn’t going to get me back. I’m sorry—”
Her initial shock and offense lasted only a second before she pressed her lips together and reached down, shoulders angling, hand thrusting as if checking to make sure her cunt was still there.
We have hundreds of bones in our bodies, and sometimes we won’t acknowledge the preferences of the ones that scare us.
“Are you wet?”
I gripped the edge of the vanity and put my lips near her cheek, millimeters from touching her.
“You don’t love me anymore,” I whispered. “But I could always make you wet, and you always came for me. Like our Italy vacation. In Florence. Coming back from that club, in the little alley. Against the wall. I ripped through your underwear.”
Her breathing got shallow and fast.
“I fucked you in the dark, and when you came, you screamed my name so loud all the lights in the apartments went on.”
“That was good.” She turned her face toward mine.
When her lips nearly touched me, I pulled away just enough. “I said I wouldn’t touch you.”
“I changed my mind.”
I wasn’t fooled. Her arousal was talking. I owned her. She’d do whatever I told her. But I wanted something very simple. I wanted her pleasure. “Take the juice from your cunt and rub it on your clit. Make it wet.”
“What’s come over you?”
“Do it.” I felt her arm move against me. “Rub back and forth. Be consistent. One-two-one-two.”
When I felt that she had it, I stepped back. She stopped. Her knees were bent slightly and her fingers had taken her cunt from the side of the crotch, not the waistband. She never ceased to surprise me.
“Is this your way of getting back at me?”
“One-two-one-two. Let me see you come. You’re so beautiful when you come. You’ve gone this far.”
Her body must have been able to override her mind, because she moved her finger again, closing her eyes. Her cheeks reddened and her knees bent more deeply.
“In Florence. An hour after we got to the hotel. I came so deep in you that night. I fucked you from behind with your leg up on the dresser. I wanted to thrust my whole body inside you. I loved you that much. And I gave up who I was. Last night, at the club, I remembered what I was. I was a man who was obeyed. I dominated women, and they submitted to me. The result was what you’re about to feel. Complete pleasure.”
She let out a long, low groan, leaning on the vanity, twisting. I could have fucked her right then. I could have bent her over the counter and pounded her. But that wasn’t the point. No. Watching her hand move under her clothes because I commanded it. That was the point.
An uh escaped her throat. Years of marriage had taught me that meant she was about to come.
My watch beeped.
“Time’s up,” I said.
Her eyes went wide. Her hand stopped.
“Thank you,” I said. “We’re done. I’ll send you the title to the car. You might want to pull your skirt down, since I can’t lock the door from the outside.”
It was hard to walk away from her panting, bent frame without tasting her cunt or even seeing more of her reaction, but I turned the corner, unlocked the door, and left the bathroom.