by Joyce Lamb)
Author Sierra Cartwright introduces us to her Mastered series. Book six, In the Den, is out today. Bring your handcuffs!
Sierra: Oh, la, la, sizzle …
I love it when a tall, dark, and dangerous Dom has everything he knows challenged by a strong woman. Especially when she's a Domme in her own right.
In my latest release, I'm throwing open the door and inviting you into the Den. Damien Lowell, the home's enigmatic owner, has appeared in all five previous books in the Mastered series. And now you'll see his personal space, learn what he's doing when he isn't one of the most sought-after Doms in Colorado, and you'll see how Milady Catrina Watson shakes up his perfectly ordered life, leaving him reeling.
But Damien is not the only one who is challenged in this relationship. After a disastrous relationship years ago, Catrina became a Domme. She likes being in charge of her own life and feels a need to stay away from intimate relationships.
She's been a member of the Den for a long time, and she's always fascinated Damien. He finds her gorgeously appealing to all his masculine and Dominant senses. He's held back, telling himself that it's wrong for a Dom to go after a Domme.
And yet … in a raw, stark way, he wants her, and he knows he has to have her.
He likes watching her interact with her subs, and he's a firm believer that all Dominants should have experience as a submissive. He's convinced that being on the receiving end of a blazing spanking makes a Dom more cautious, more aware, better.
When he does a demonstration with a sub, he's aware of Milady Catrina's intent focus. If he's not mistaken, she's at least curious, if not intrigued by him.
Damien isn't one to waste an opportunity. He approaches her privately, determined to woo her.
Catrina refuses to be swept off her feet by any man, especially one who's so infuriatingly alpha. But, damn, something about his confidence and his aura of power ensnares her, even though she wishes it didn't.
He issues a challenge, one that rankles with its confident undertones. He informs her she'll be a better Domme if she has experienced submission herself.
After he proves his point in an oh-so sexy way, she agrees to have one scene with him. Unfortunately for her, she discovers he's a bit like chocolate. One taste leads to another. Before long, she realizes she craves him, and his touch.
The avowed bachelor had believed he could prove a thing or two to the gorgeous Domme, but Damien discovers he likes having her in his office, in his bed, and more frighteningly, in his life. That he hadn't counted on.
How do two dominants come to terms with a relationship? Can it work? And who masters whom?
As in other stories I write, I make sure they too have some lighthearted moments along the way. And oh, yes, our pirate-like Gregorio has a starring role in this book. (Is it OK to confess that Gregorio makes me swoon?)
It's bittersweet to see the Mastered series close with this sixth book, In the Den. I have enjoyed telling each of the various stories, and the series has enjoyed phenomenal success.
Each story has a part of my real life woven through it. With This Collar was inspired by a stunning January wedding I attended at a Colorado mountain home. The breathtaking house served as the model for the Den. The characters found a piece of my heart, and I secretly wanted Master Marcus for myself.
Recently, I had a relationship that didn't work out. In retrospect, after the crying had ended and I'd eaten far too much key lime pie to drown my sorrows, I was grateful things hadn't worked out. I wanted to play with that concept and explore it. In the book On His Terms, Chelsea thinks she's in love with a rock star. She's determined to ensnare him. Not only could the fabulous rock star be her Dom, but she's convinced that having him as a client will help her new business get off the ground. The first scene they have doesn't go well, so she hatches a plan to get some training to become the perfect submissive.
Master Alexander no longer does training, but how can he resist the ardent Chelsea? As the relationship progresses, each realize they're in for trouble. She's starting to fall for the unrelenting Dom, which is a problem since she thinks she's in love with someone else. And, in all his years training submissives, Alexander has never had a problem turning a sub back to her rightful Master. As Chelsea starts to matter to him, he wonders how he can let her go.
Over the Line is a personal favorite of mine. I had a friend who spent the first year of her life in a backpack! Her parents were world travelers and they didn't let having a baby slow them down. I've always wondered what it would be like to grow up all over the world and how that would affect you.
In my heroine's case, she became a vagabond herself. She travels extensively, leads backpacking and camping trips, and resists any form of commitment that would keep her from exploring the world she loves. So when she meets Master Michael, she questions everything she's taken for granted. He's a second-generation rancher with deep roots in the land.
Writing about a rancher takes me back to some of the stories I wrote much earlier on. I adore the strong, silent type. But this rancher has a few tricks with a lasso, as well.
Not only that but he has a goat who provides comedic relief. I did a happy dance when the book won the Best BDSM Book of the Year from BDSM Book Reviews. I loved that things that intrigued me also appealed to readers. And, really, what's not wonderful about a cowboy? Le sigh.
With a few strategic changes, In His Cuffs was "ripped from the headlines" of my own life. When the heroine's family business is taken over by a new owner, she's tied to a horrible employment contract.
In my most recent professional job, I, too, was in golden handcuffs, a business term I took creative license with. The company I was at was being prepared for sale, and I was considered a strategic liaison and asked to stay on. I really was ready to move and begin a new life, but the terms the owner offered were very appealing. I felt torn between what I'd agreed to do and what I really wanted to do.
In real life, I didn't fall in love with my boss. And he wasn't a hunky Dom. But the basic idea of being forced to stay in a job you feel you can't endure appealed to me. And poor Maggie. Her one escape from her real life is an occasional night out at the Den. So imagine her frustration and chagrin when she finds out that her boss and nemesis is also a Dom. And sure enough, he has a real pair of handcuffs attached to his jeans.
Maggie soon finds herself In His Cuffs in more ways than one …
In book five, For the Sub, Brandy, a house sub who is featured in most of the Mastered series, finds her happily ever after, but she has to struggle for it. Brandy has admired Master Niles for a long time. But the man is very much a loner. His gorgeous and talented wife/submissive died, and his broken heart has never recovered. Brandy is nothing like his wife had been, nothing like the kind of woman who appeals to him. But there's something about her.
He accepts an invitation to her home, a cottage filled with her menagerie of adopted animals.
My sister, Angie, served as the inspiration for my heroine. I remember our mum taking us shopping when we were little. We were each allowed to pick out a stuffed animal. Angie chose the one with a missing ear. She, too, has an adopted Great Dane. And my sister is tireless in her volunteer efforts.
To my knowledge, my sister's husband isn't a thing like Master Niles, except for the fact they both fall in love with a wonderful woman whose nurturing heart restores their spirit. And you have to know, if it's a Sierra book, there'll be plenty of humor and toe-curling sensuality.
I hope you'll enjoy the behind the scenes peek inside the Den and that you'll return often to meet the heart-stopping Doms who I promise will make you blush…
Find out more about Sierra and her books at www.sierracartwright.com.