Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Games, Book 1
Heat Level: Off The Charts (BDSM)
From the very first moment that I read the blurb for this book, I knew that I had to read it. I love when CD Reiss flirts with the dark and sharp edges of romance between a couple. And I especially love the way that she brings a dominant/submission relationship to life – especially when the path is not easily paved. Marriage Games truly delivered what I was hoping when I first caught wind of this book. An amazing interplay of right/wrong, dominant/submissive, pain/pleasure, pushing/pulling, leaving/staying, too much/too little and holding tight/letting go in only the way that CD Reiss can deliver.
Can a marriage really be successful with both partners are hiding who they truly are? Can bringing everything to a head really change what has already fundamentally changed? Can thirty days impact lives so that the very fundamentals are dragged to the surface and skeletons laid to bare?
I will admit that at times both Adam and Diana frustrated the heck out of me throughout this book. The way that they believed that they knew what was best for the other irritated me. Yet it was also this belief on both their parts that drew the tension like a tight wire. Their intentions where honest for them, so I could easily overcome my frustration. But when these two starting communicating, laying truths at their feet and being comfortable in who they are, I could not help but fall in love with both of them.
Do you know what I love about CD Reiss and her writing the most? The way that she writes characters that push the boundaries set both by themselves and “society norms.” Through Adam this was demonstrated by hiding his dominant tendencies from Diana because 1. He did not believe that he could love as a dominant & 2. Because he did not believe that she could love him because of his dominant nature. Diana was also not far from this as well. She had a very solid notion of what she thought was appropriate behaviour – and that it is to be strong willed at every turn. It was the tension of accepting who you are and being true to yourself and keeping what you believe should be the truth that had me on edge throughout this book. Reiss is amazing at bringing readers along the journey of this to and fro and feeling all the emotion poured into the book.
The fact that Adam and Diana are attracted to each other and that there is an undeniable pull between them that they can’t quite define is never in question throughout this book. The sex between this pair was off the chart hot. There is no denying that this is a book that contains some very real elements of BDSM. There are scenes which are extreme and if this type of dominant/submissive relationship is not your cup of tea – as well as the masochist/sadist side – then there is a real possibility that this is not for you.
What I was not expecting in this book was the love story of Adam and Diana that underpinned so much of this story. The flashbacks to the past cemented how they both felt for the other for me but really paved the way for the heartbreak.
CD Reiss is a true storyteller. Her words jump off the page and drags the reader into the story. Marriage Games owned me from the very first pages. The emotional turmoil, the identity crises, the hot sex, the great writing all came together so perfectly in this book. This book does end unresolved, but you will enjoy the journey of these two that you won’t mind! Can’t wait to see what happens next in Separation Games.
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.
“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.
About CD Reiss
CD Reiss is a USA Today and Amazon bestseller. 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.