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cover66448-mediumThe Duke and the Domina

Warrick: The Ruination of Grayson Danforth

The Lords of Time series

by Jenn LeBlanc

Grayson Locke Danforth, in his wildest of dreams, never expected two things.

The first was to be recalled from India by Queen Victoria where he worked for the quiet purposes of the crown. He must now become the Duke of Warrick after the tragic deaths of his father and brothers. However, tragedy is entirely in the eyes of the beholder, and Grayson doesn’t want the title, or to return to what remains of his family. Grayson wants to remain invisible, an outcast, a man in exile for the way his body and mind behave and the secrets he needs to keep.

The second thing he never expected was to be forced into marriage to a woman from the twenty-first century.

Lulu is no mere woman, however. She’s a switch who works as a professional Dominatrix—at least, she did. When she wakes up in a strange house, a strange world, a strange body, she isn’t quite sure what to think and is certain she’s dreaming. She has less than a day to gain her bearings and make a decision that will dictate the rest of her life in this world—whether or not to marry this beautiful stranger.

As Lulu and Grayson attempt to begin a life together, she discovers the true reason why this man is a stranger to his family. She can only hope she can persuade Grayson to accept who she is, and who he was born to be, before he forces her out of his life in order to maintain his well-kept secrets.

Trust doesn’t come easily to either of them, but it’s the only thing they have. Grayson will have to give in to his need to submit in order to get his wife to open up and allow him to possess her fully in return.

It’s a cautious dance between two people who have never known how to trust, or love.

Again, another series I joined in the middle but luckily it didn’t seem to matter this time. I’m branching out a little in my reading – to me erotica, when done well, is just REALLY steamy romances. The material is a little more graphic but it is still about relationships. I’ve read a few, here and there, with BDSM elements, but it isn’t a sub-genre (or lifestyle) that I’m all that familiar with. I’m slowly getting the feel for the give and take in the D/s relationship, which is very intriguing. And The Duke and the Domina is even more so because up to this point everything I’d read had had a male Dom. This time, though, the roles are reversed … which makes it all the more interesting.

Throw in the fact that it is a historical romance and it becomes even more complicated. There are certain appearances that are expected in society and roles that are to be strictly adhered to. Grayson has certain tendencies, which are out of this norm, making him ashamed and solitary. He has very few people close to him and keeps many, many secrets. But when a mysterious woman falls into his lap, his world is turned upside down.

I’ve always loved the fish out of water idea of a woman traveling back in time. As an avid reader of love stories populated by lords and ladies, I can’t imagine what it would be like to throw a modern woman into that world. What she has to give up and what expectations she would have to meet. Having her be a Domina definitely makes it even more complicated – for those same reasons that Grayson’s preference are so very dangerous.

But when the two are thrown together it could be the answer … if only they can learn to open up their hearts and trust the other with the truth. To that end, I totally get Grayson’s reluctance – especially because of the damage it could do to him, those he calls his and even to his very life. But I’m not totally sure I understand her issues. She isn’t comfortable revealing herself to Grayson but I never got all that good an understanding why. Maybe I missed something but it wasn’t clear to me.

That didn’t stop me from enjoying the book though. I eagerly flipped pages as the two danced around each other … and finally gave love a chance.

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