~5 CRAZIES STARS~
Adam Steinbeck is a successful business developer and Dominant who falls in love with Diana, an incredible woman whose family’s publishing business is failing. Despite not being privy to his lifestyle and convinced she is not submissive in any way, Adam buries his dominant side and his particular needs to pursue a future with her. While Adam and Diana are highly compatible in their professional lives – she is a creator and he is a finisher – their marriage lacks an essential honesty. When Adam discovers Diana’s impending plans to leave their five-year marriage, certain truths are revealed and an intense exchange is about to occur.
“What I thought I’d hidden had always been exposed. What I thought I owned had never been mine. She’s been more perceptive and more in control than I ever gave her credit for.”
Adam’s motives are complicated but the offer of submitting to him for thirty days is one that intrigues Diana – and not just because he is dangling the coveted prize in her proverbial face, but also because she craves the honesty he’s been withholding for so long. Adam has tried to shield Diana from his world for his own reasons but understanding his choices leads to a complex introspection into his life and decisions. Not expecting to feel more than a physical connection during this experiment, Diana learns more about herself as she reconciles her true feelings. What seems to be the solution for Adam and Diana as individuals is only superficial since the issues at hand are much deeper than they realized.
“My answer to that is, by the end of our time here, you may not submit in your heart, but you’ll understand what it means. And you’ll understand me.”
The evolution of complex emotions and discoveries within Adam and Diana is extraordinarily written to precision with deep character dimension. Because Adam’s personality is commanding, decisive and protective, it also makes it difficult to expose such a large part of himself to his wife, as he tries to shield her from his monstrous side. The level of vulnerability and yet strength is endearing to Adam’s character. With Diana, she is no fool but she is forced to acknowledge her latent weaknesses and embrace the truth.
“I wasn’t interested in loving a sub. The world we inhabit wasn’t designed for people to be in love. It was designed for intensity, pain, pleasure, courtesy, and ritual.”
Marriage Games is a book that delves into the emotions of a failed marriage, but what I read was far deeper, fascinating and erotic. In book one of this duet, CD Reiss absolutely nailed it with such realistically rich and provocative storytelling that has become her signature style. Upon thinking I understood Adam and Diana, more layers were revealed that kept me glued to each page. Additionally, the BDSM dynamics are exciting and sincerely portrayed leading to a plot that is so much more than dominance and submission. I loved and savored every single word, punctuation mark and pause! It’s just simply more and I highly recommend!
*An ARC was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review! Thank you for the opportunity!*