by CD Reiss
Series: The Games Duet # 2
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Erotic Romance
5 Emotional Crowns
I am emotionally exhausted! CD Reiss has put me through the ringer with Adam and Diana’s story, and it is filled with a plethora of emotions, so much anger, self-loathing, longing, love, self-discovery, and healing. Watching this couple struggle with their own identities while also trying to manage how they feel for each other and making their relationship work was beautifully heart-wrenching and ultimately rewarding.
Diana is fighting for the man she loves, the man that has awakened something inside of her, and her unwillingness to be ashamed of who she wants to be with and for Adam is amazing to watch. She pushes and pulls, willing to do anything to win him back. She also calls him on his unwillingness to play the game and holds nothing back, and when he finally plays with her, her sexual awakening is empowering. Her trust in him, in them, leaves her open to all the ways he wants to degrade her and hurt her for pleasure, his and hers. It is a phenomenal experience to watch CD Reiss develop Diana’s character throughout the course of The Games duet, and I’m in awe of this heroine!
Adam is so much more than I expected after Marriage Games. The dominate readers meet in book one is still there. He is still possessive and looks to claim her, especially when she looks to fulfill her needs, making Adam’s “ownership” of her seductive and enticing. In Separation Games, Adam develops into a much more complex character. His inner conflict of being a dominant for Diana causes true self-reflection, and watching him struggle between wanting her and giving her the life he thinks she should have weighs heavily on his soul, almost destroying them and himself in the process. He struggles with giving her want she wants sexually and resists training her, and not fully for the reasons readers would expect. The self-loathing and the pushing away of Diana are some of the most heart-breaking scenes of the book, crushing this reader’s heart over and over again, but ultimately making Adam a hero readers are enamored with.
This story will put you through the ringer and leave you with one heck of book hangover, and I would do it all again! This story/s development of them as a couple and the individual characters is freeing, and CD Reiss has a way of connecting readers to her characters, forcing readers to feel every single facet of every emotional experience these characters have. Readers have no choice but to feel what Adam and Diana feel. They feel the hatred, the passion, the self-loathing, and the love, and with each submission, with each fight, and with each struggle readers become more emotionally invested in these people, which only makes the end of this story and their resolution so much more AMAZING!
BDSM is not a genre of romance I read a lot, but CD Reiss does it so well that I cannot resist picking up her books. With each scene, even with some degradation and violence, the love is there. It radiates from every interaction between and comment from Adam and Diana. The trust, respect, and admiration these couples have for each other is astounding, but CD Reiss also highlights the dangers and importance of being safe when playing in this world. What I loved most, though, about this book is both characters coming to own their sexual prowess! Even Adam comes to understand himself more as a Dom, which only serves to help his relationship with his huntress, and Diana comes to accept that what she enjoys isn’t shameful but is something to be celebrated and enjoyed. That underlying message that BDSM is still an expression of love, or at least adoration, respect and trust is so important in this story.
Cd Reiss’s skills as a writer are sensational!! Her stories are alluring and seductive, and I cannot resist these worlds she creates! She writes in a way that connects readers to her characters and readers end up living the story with her characters, feeling every single emotion and experience. She is truly a one of a kind writer, and I am very much looking forward to what she has in store for her readers in the future!
The stunning conclusion to the New York Times Bestseller.
There’s one, unbreakable rule in the game.
Stay collected. Compartmentalize. Think your next move through. Never let your heart dictate your tactics.
The heart is impulsive.
The heart makes bad decisions.
The heart doesn’t see the long game.
Because the heart may have decided to get Adam back, but when the endgame comes, the heart’s going to be the first thing to break.
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He took my hand, putting it in his lap as if it was finally home. “What are we doing?” he asked.
“Like it’s our job.”
“If you’re going to do something, I say, do it all the way.”
He squeezed my hand. I was jarred by the way he looked in the direction of the window, but not through it. He didn’t look like the commanding Dominant who had been my partner for the past few weeks. As handsome as ever, and graceful and sharp, a leader and a decider, but not the same.
He faced me. “I don’t know how to fix this.”
The streetlights glinted off the light in one eye and his jaw locked, catching things he’d never say. He looked like a man I knew and abandoned. Manhattan Adam.
“We can’t fix it,” I said, putting his hand in my lap, watching our clasped hands make a new form. I rubbed the outside of his thumb with mine, feeling it’s familiar shape, the strength of the knuckle and the texture of his skin on mine. “We have to build something new. And we can.” I looked up from our hands to his face.
Could I make him feel my optimism? Could I take a piece of it onto a fork and lift it to his lips? Would they part? Would he let me lay it on his tongue? Would he chew and swallow, saying “I do. I do believe we can, I do.”
He didn’t say that. He didn’t believe, but his lips needed to touch my belief and his tongue needed to taste my hope.
I don’t know if I kissed him or if he kissed me, but it felt like a first kiss, with full quivering that left me paralyzed at his nearness. The act of two tongues tasting each other was so intimate between strangers, so taken for granted over time, and so rarely is the wonder of it felt through to the bone.
He was licorice. Fennel and leather. And he moved like cool water, reacting to my movements, countering with his hands and his mouth, covering me with his attention. The kiss was the sway of sex, the smell of it, the carnal desire without the promise of anything but another dance.
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.
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About the Author:
CD Reiss is a New York Times bestselling author. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn’t pick up, she’s at the well, hauling buckets.
Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master’s degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere, but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels.
Critics have dubbed the books “poetic,” “literary,” and “hauntingly atmospheric,” which is flattering enough for her to put it in a bio, but embarrassing enough for her not to tell her husband, or he might think she’s some sort of braggart who’s too good to chop a cord of wood.
If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.
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