Tagged: Sherri Hayes

Release Date: January 28th Hidden Threat Cover 1-2016

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Cali Stanton has one goal in life, being a doctor. She has spent the last two years helping the less fortunate in Africa. It’s a job she loves and intends to do for the foreseeable future. That is until she receives a call from her father saying he’s been injured and needs her back in Chicago. Less than a week later she finds herself behind her father’s desk at Stanton Enterprises, running the family business…something she never wanted to do. But how could she say no to her father when he insists that she is the only one he can trust?

Matthew Andersen and his brother, Jason, have spent the last two years managing security at Stanton Enterprises. However, someone is determined to take down the company and with it its acting CEO, Cali Stanton.

Cali and Matthew must work together to find out who is behind the threats to not only the company but to Cali herself while they fight their growing attraction for each other. Can they figure out the hidden threat before it’s too late?

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I’ve seen a lot of discussion on negotiation in BDSM relationships. The process seems to be fascinating to some, like it’s a new concept, but isn’t negotiation what happens in any relationship? Or maybe I should say, isn’t that what should happen in any relationship? sherrihates

Whenever I research a topic, I like to go back to the basics. What does negotiation mean exactly? According to the dictionary, negotiation is: mutual discussion and arrangement of the terms of a transaction or agreement.

Seems pretty simple, right? Both parties talk and find common ground.

In vanilla (non-BDSM) relationships, the process is often lumped in the ‘getting to know you’ category. But should it be?

Negotiation is one concept where I feel those that practice BDSM tend to get it right more than those in more conventional relationships. Because of the exaggerated dynamics that can usually be found in BDSM relationships, expectations are more clearly laid out and discussed in most cases. What does each party want out of the relationship? Do they desire something long-term or short-term? What are each person’s hard limits (things they are not willing to do). What do they want to try, experience?

In vanilla relationships this can be anything from getting married to children to career goals for each partner. These same things are often on the negotiating table of a BDSM relationship as well, but it goes a step farther than that. Not many vanilla couples I know talk about their expectations of each other in the bedroom. Many times, sex is allowed to develop ‘naturally’. The problem with this, however, is that the partners can’t read each other’s minds. If communication isn’t there, then how does each partner know that the other is getting what they want and need out of the relationship, sexually and otherwise?

So what does negotiation mean in a relationship? It can actually mean a great many things. There are some couples out there that write everything down. In BDSM, this is known as a contract. Others take a less clinical approach and discuss things regularly with open communication. If one partner is interested in trying something new, they bring it up to the other partner, maybe do some research, and then decide as a couple if it’s something they want to pursue.

I recently read a wonderful blog post from a submissive regarding communication between her and her Sir. They are just starting out on their BDSM journey, and her blog posts always have great insights into the real life struggles of living and communicating in a D/s relationship. Here is the link to her post if you’d like to check it out. http://onbeingsubmissive.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/you-have-to-talk-for-this-to-work/

How about you? How do you and your partner address new facets to your relationship? Do you have a specific time and place for discussion? Do you have a contract that lays everything out?

Truth by Sherri Hayes truth

Link to buy

ISBN-10: 1612131611

ISBN-13: 978-1612131610

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 3 out of 5

Blurb:

For the last two months, Brianna has discovered something she never thought she would again. Hope. After the horror of being Ian’s slave for ten months, a fate she never imagined she’d escape, it feels as if she is living a dream. She has freedom she hadn’t expected to have again, and she wakes up every morning not fearing what the day will bring. There is also Stephan. The man who saved her from the daily torture she had to endure at the hands of Ian and his friends. The same man who makes her heart race with just the thought of him. Life is good. Outside forces are determined to conspire against them, however. When Brianna’s father shows up on her doorstep, it sends her world spiraling out of control. He brings with him new information about how Brianna ended up in Ian’s clutches, but will it make a difference? Will Stephan be able to find a way to make Ian pay for all he made Brianna suffer? As Brianna and Stephan try to find out the truth, their relationship is tested. She is forced to face her past head on and deal with the ugly reality of what happened to her. Will Stephan’s love be enough to see her through her newest challenge, or will the fragile trust they’ve built come crumbling down around them as the truth makes itself known.

 Review:

Truth is the third book in the Finding Anna series and is just as intense. Stephan has helped Anna a lot, but be aware that some of the things he has Anna write in her diary can be very disturbing even if you have read the previous books. I was a little disappointed the way it ended though, but am looking forward to the next story as I want to know how this particular situation is resolved.

The way Stephan tries to help Anna will endear himself to readers. I liked the way he is so gentle with Anna and wonder if he has had some training as a counselor or if he is just that way. Several situations will test his patience, his family, Anna’s father, and then the problems at his foundation.

The progress Anna makes is almost miraculous. She is really a strong person to survive what she did, though she is still trying to come to terms with being her own person.

The additional cast of characters is interesting and the conflicts between several of them also create some of the issues being faced by both Anna and Stephan. Some make you want to slap them and others, hug. I liked Jade as she seemed to understand Anna a little more than some of the others, even though she doesn’t seem to be in the BDSM lifestyle.

Reviewed by Iron Mistress

Red Zone by Sherri Hayes

Link to buy Red Zone

ISBN-10:1612131433

ISBN-13: 978-1612131436

Story Rating 4 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 0 out of 5

Blurb:

After a case ended badly for Rebecca Carson, she’s losing her mind sitting around her apartment waiting on her superiors to allow her to return to work. Since she was a teenager, the only thing she’d ever wanted was to join the FBI. Now that dream was in danger.

Gage Daniels has made a pretty good life for himself. A nice house. A career he loves. As a professional football player, he’s used to getting almost everything he’d ever want  with just the snap of his fingers. This includes women. A well-timed smile is usually all it takes to attract the opposite sex, especially in Nashville.

When a stalker threatens Gage, the team owner calls an old friend, Rebecca’s ex-partner Travis Hansen, to help protect his star quarterback and find the person responsible. Hansen offers Rebecca the job, and she jumps at the chance. It’s work, and it will get her out of her apartment. How bad can it be?

Posing as Gage’s girlfriend, however, isn’t as easy as it seems. The man is relentless. Rebecca must work to protect Gage while staving off his advances. She’s there to do a job, nothing more. The last thing she wants is to be another notch on a hotshot athlete’s belt.

As the stalker continues to up the ante, Rebecca finds it harder and harder to keep her distance from Nashville’s star quarterback. He isn’t what she expected in one of the city’s most notorious playboys. Now all she has to do is keep him safe until they can find his stalker, and hope she doesn’t lose her heart in the process.

Review:

Red Zone is the second book in the Daniels Brothers Series and is a stand alone. It is not necessary to read Behind Closed Doors first, but you’ll want to go back after reading Red Zone!  Pick this one up especially if you like a good sports romance that has a little intrigue and action thrown in. If you are looking for one of Ms. Hayes’ super racy reads, this unfortunately isn’t. But it is a great story that hits a lot of other notes.

Rebecca is a FBI Agent that is currently on leave after a bad case. When her former partner calls and wants her assistance on a case she is happy to have something to do. Little does she know that this case will be anything but normal. When she meets professional football player, Gage, she knows that trouble is brewing for the both of them very quickly. Rebecca is a passionate woman who likes to buck the status-quo and pave her own path no matter what anyone else thinks. She will butt heads with everyone, is socially awkward, but a very determined woman.

Gage is rather stereotypical to start with. He likes his women, his fancy clothes, and almost anything else his heart desires. But when he meets Rebecca things start to change and the first change on his agenda is her wardrobe! Gage will make you laugh and give you those warm fuzzy awe moments as well. He doesn’t really believe he has a stalker and thinks that having protection is ridiculous but he needs to keep the team owner happy so he deals with it by having fun at Rebecca’s expense for a while.

Red Zone is a very sweet romance with a little suspense thrown in for good measure. The suspense is perfect for the story but the revelation of the stalker and the ending seems to happen a bit abruptly. You are looking to turn a few more pages when suddenly nothing is left! Red Zone is well written with a great storyline and fairly believable plot. It keeps you intrigued and reading even without the super smutty sex scenes we are accustomed to. If you are looking for something a little lighter and sweeter to read, pick up Red Zone and enjoy the ride.

Reviewed by Star

 

Need by Sherri Hayes

http://www.amazon.com/Need-Sherri-Hayes/dp/1612130976/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359584879&sr=1-1&keywords=need+by+sherri+hayes

ISBN-10:1612130976

ISBN-13: 978-1612130972

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 4 out of 5

Blurb:

As Brianna comes to terms with the realization that she is no longer a slave, she must figure out what she wants for her life. Forgetting her past isn’t an option. She knows she cannot imagine her life without the man who saved her, but can she be what he needs? Stephan never imagined falling in love with the woman he rescued. The scars from her past haunt her, and he is helpless to stop them. Can he be everything she needs and help her move on?

Review:

First off, I think I am the only person who hasn’t read the first book, Slave, in the Finding Anna series by Sherri Hayes. While it would have been helpful to read Slave first, you can still enjoy Need if you haven’t had a chance to start at the beginning. Although, it is highly, highly recommended to pick up Slave and follow it closely with Need and then wait with baited breath to read Truth, the third book in the series.

Brianna and Stephan entranced me from the very beginning. While they have a rocky relationship in many ways due to Brianna’s past, there are a lot of realistic and normal things that are easy for a reader to relate to. Stephan is spending time retraining Brianna to be more of a submissive and less of a mindless slave. With her past being what it is, this means a lot of steps forward with even more steps backward as they work through issues that some people might consider minor yet between them they are very major issues. Both of these characters have their good and bad points. Stephan earns points by working hard to help Brianna overcome her past yet still be able to participate in submissive activities. Yet he loses a few points by the manner in which he determines is best for her, because at times it seems like he is hurting her more and it leaves you questioning his reasons. Brianna has a lot to overcome and while some of her decisions and actions may make you cringe, others will just make you ache for her.

The story line is much more psychological than arousing, but the writing is so superb that is just sucks you in and when you reach the cliffhanger at the end, you’ll be looking for more pages and just have to sigh while you wait for the next installment. We are introduced to several others characters that help define Brianna and her past, and while it would have been nice to learn a bit more about Stephan and his past, this story is very much about Brianna and her struggles. Ms. Hayes does a marvelous job at giving the reader insight to Brianna and how different her original experiences are from those that Stephan gives her. It is very enjoyable to learn how Brianna grows and finds a little of her own voice and pleasure in things that she didn’t know could be pleasurable.

If you really want to read a book that has a lot of realism and characters that are not perfect or doing everything exactly right all the time, then pick up Need.  Read it, dissect it, and most of all enjoy it.

Reviewed by Star

Creativity and Discipline

One of the things I find fascinating in BDSM is the creativity. Not only does it spice things up when it comes to play, but it also makes punishments/correction more personal. I had a Dom tell me once that spankings are fine for general infractions, but specific crimes are better corrected with specific punishments. It was something that has stuck with me and that I use in my writing. The goal is to curb the behavior, and since we are all not cut from the same mold, the correction given needs to be individual tailored to the person receiving it.

A submissive friend of mine told me that she used to have a problem with mouthing off to her Dom. If you know anything about most Dominants, that’s something most don’t take kindly too and usually don’t allow to continue for long, especially from their submissives. Her Dom wasn’t any different. Instead of spanking her or giving her some other generic form of punishment, he drove his point home by having her hold a live goldfish in her mouth. She recalled to me how it felt flopping around inside her mouth. The correction was unique, it had relevance to the situation, and it made the point of the importance of controlling her words and tone before speaking.

I love using this creativity in my writing. In Slave, Brianna was caught not paying attention, so Stephan took her books away from her. It amazes me how many of my readers who are not in the lifestyle react to this correction. Most were outraged that he would take her book away from her, her most prized possession at the time. But I say to them, that’s the point. In order for correction or punishment to be effective, it has to be something that is not pleasant for the submissive.

How to come up with creative corrections/punishments can be a challenge in and of itself and it takes practice and experience no matter if you are an author writing it or a Dom/me living it. As a writer, however, you have a little more time to think things through as you don’t have a naughty sub sitting there waiting for whatever you’ve deemed appropriate.

Where to start?

First, you need to look at the overall situation. What is the state of the character’s relationship? Have they been together for a while? Has trust been built or is everything still new and tentative?

Once that is established, look at the crime. Was it intentional or a misunderstanding? If a submissive intentionally and with all knowledge breaks a rule, they must be dealt with more harshly than one that has accidentally taken a miss step .

The best punishments are the ones that leave a lasting impression of the lesson. It doesn’t matter if it is something as simple as a writing assignment or a cold shower; the point is that it teaches, it corrects, and it deters. Some subs learn these quickly, others take more time and effort on the part of both the Dominant and the submissive, but either way it take time and learning about each other to find what is appropriate and what isn’t.

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sherri-Hayes/122511444477280?ref=hl

Blog

http://www.sherri-hayes.blogspot.com

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Sherri+Hayes 

Twitter – @Sherri_Hayes

Meet author Sherri Hayes!

Date: April 07, 2012 11:00AM — 2:00PM

Sherri will be at Lovejoy’s Market on April 7, 2012 between 11am and 2pm. If you are in central Ohio, stop by and see her. She’ll have copies of all three of her books with her to sell and sign.

900 Village Boulevard

Plain City, OH 43064

If you had told me three years ago I’d be writing a BDSM series, I’d have given you a funny look and probably muttered something like…huh? That would have been followed up by ‘what is BDSM?’

I grew up in a pretty conservative home where sex was rarely talked about, let alone anything outside of what was considered traditional. Watching shows on television I’d occasionally see a storyline involving ‘the leather community’, but it was only touched on and I never made the connection. Those shows also tended to be detective shows where someone was found dead and in the process of investigating they found out they liked to be tied up or something along those lines. I don’t really recall many storylines going into much detail, so until I started looking into research for my story I didn’t make the connection.

My introduction to BDSM reading came about three years ago. A friend of mine begged me to read a story she’d found. After finding out what it was about, I was leery. I’d never read a D/s story before. It took months for her to break me down, but eventually I did read it. The rest as they say is history.

No. I’m kidding. There really is more to it than that.

After reading that story and enjoying it so much, I sought out others. Even with my enjoyment of reading those stories, I had no inclination to write them.

Then one day, as I was finishing up a story I was writing, I began seeing stories on our local and national news about human trafficking. One story in particular was a story about a girl who was kidnapped and held captive for eighteen years. For whatever reason, my brain made a connection and I began wondering what would happen if you added BDSM to that equation.

The thing was, I didn’t want your traditional story where the mean Master abuses the captive woman and in the end she escapes to her freedom, so the mental wheels began to turn. It took over a month before I started writing anything. What I came up with surprised even me, but it also left me captivated by my two main characters Stephan and Brianna.

What if a Dom rescued a slave who wasn’t a slave by choice? What would he do with her? How would she react, function? And then since I am a romance writer… What would happen when romantic feelings entered the picture?

My Finding Anna series isn’t your typical BDSM novel. There is no play in the first novel, Slave, which is a staple for literature of this genre. I’ve had many people tell me that they’ve not read anything like it. You do have to understand the basics of BDSM in order to fully appreciate this novel, however, it is more about Stephan and Brianna themselves than anything else. I wanted to show a non-traditional view of healing and recovery from both sides; that of the person healing, and that of the one trying to help.

This is a journey, and it will not be an easy one. Healing from a past trauma never is. But I am looking forward to writing this amazing journey Stephan and Brianna are on and sharing it with my readers.

If you’d like to find out more information about my Finding Anna series, go to my blog http://findingannaseries.blogspot.com/.

Slave: Finding Anna
Sherri Hayes
The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House [link to buy]
ASIN B005EYTG1Q

 

Rating: 2 out of 5 Paddles

Stephan is a wealthy and powerful Dominant who has been in the lifestyle for years. When he learns from a friend that a young woman is being held against her will and forcibly trained as a slave by a vile sadistic man, he realizes he has to help her. The only way to get her away from her abusive Master is to buy her. So, ignoring his disgust at the thought of buying a woman, he plays the role necessary to gain her release. Once he meets Brianna, he realizes that the abuse has broken her and vows to do whatever is necessary to help her.

As a reviewer, there are books that are easy to review. Was the story good? Easy to read and enjoy? Great! Give it a good rating. Then there are books that aren’t so clear cut. This book falls into the latter category. I really enjoyed this book. It pulled me quickly into the story. Learning what Brianna has been through, reading how she reacts to things the rest of us just take for granted, your heart goes out to her. You understand Stephan’s frustrations as he attempts to help her. I enjoyed the hints of chemistry between the characters even while they are dealing with major problems. I really appreciate that Ms Hayes didn’t try to make Brianna “recover” in a single chapter like some books I’ve read.

The book is told in first person. That is not my preferred style. Yet, Ms Hayes managed it well. The parts are clearly defined so as not to be confusing and I quickly adjusted. Once I reached the end of the book, I think the story would have lost something if she’d written it in third person.

I enjoyed “Slave: Finding Anna Book1″ but, there are some pretty big issues. For this book, the classification is inappropriate. It is labeled as erotica, yet there was no sex in the entire book. It is positioned as a BDSM book. While I do believe you need to be familiar with Master/slave relationships to understand the story, there was no overt BDSM in this book. Despite that, based on the ending of this book, I suspect Book 2 will easily fall into those categories, so I assume that this is a series classification more than the book itself. I know I would be unhappy to read a book classified as a regular story. Then come to find out, the rest of the series is under a classification I do not have any interest in reading.

My biggest hurdle was that I didn’t realize this book is not a stand alone. When I hit the end of the book, I literally had to ask other readers if that really was the end. I kept hoping someone would tell me my copy was missing the rest of the book so I could keep reading! Yet, while I usually prefer a nice bow on the end of my stories, I enjoyed this book so much, I am chomping at the bit for book 2!

I think your enjoyment of this book comes down to what you want out of it. If you are looking for immediate heat or a cleanly wrapped up “Happily Ever After”, this book is not for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a book where you come to care about the well written characters with a story line that grabs you and carries you through the highs and lows of the story, then give this book a chance. Just know the following: 1. Yes, that really is the end of the book; 2. The next installment isn’t scheduled until Summer 2012; and lastly, 3. I’ve learned this story will span approximately 4 books total.

If I was rating this book based on the story, I would give it 4/5 stars. Nevertheless, on a site specifically for BDSM books, I have to give it 2/5 stars.

Side note: I am familiar with the BDSM lifestyle. I believe that each person should have the freedom to choose their kink, and level of intensity, without fear of recrimination from others. So, please, do not come after me for referring to a sadist as an abuser. In this case, he is definitely an abuser. Luckily, he is involved in very few scenes of this book.

Reviewed by Riane