Book five of the Shadowlands series starts a multibook arc, with a very dark theme: sexual slavery. Someone is targeting submissives, and the FBI asks Master Z to help. One of their employees, Gabi, fits the profile of the women that are being kidnapped. She has a mild background in BDSM and is willing to be bait. Master Marcus is the trainee coordinator, so he has the most contact with Gabi. He can’t figure her out, but does his best to comply with Z’s request to take her on. She wavers back and forth between sweet submissive and brat, but doesn’t seem to really enjoy her brattishness. Of course, she is trying to attract the kidnappers, but she can’t say so.
The tension in this book really ratches up as gentlemanly Marcus tries to cope with his growing attraction to the sub and his puzzlement at her inconsistent behavior. Things come to a head when Gabi is taken.
I really enjoyed this book as the stakes got higher and higher for Marcus and Gabi. One Cherise’s best.