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Marriage Games: The Games Duet Paperback – October 25, 2016
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“Through glimpses of past and present, the world of Adam Steinbeck and Diana McNeill-Barnes are revealed in such clarity that readers can’t help but visualize the whole picture painted by CD Reiss’ pen. Fans of the author will definitely fall in love with this new twist on this Dominant/submissive relationship between Adam and Diana.” ―RT Book Reviews
“Marriage Games is one of the most powerful novels I have ever read. CD Reiss gets into the soul of her hero and heroine and never lets go. A strong, clear picture of the psychological and emotional challenges of a D/s relationship, especially in a marriage. Why it works and why it might not. Can’t wait for the next one.” ―Desiree Holt, USA Today bestselling author
“Marriage Games is a gorgeously intense story! The BDSM was white hot, and Adam is my favorite kind of dominant...he lives and breathes absolute control.” ―Annabel Joseph, New York Times Bestselling Author
“Marriage Games left me breathless. CD Reiss is beyond brilliant and this is an absolute must read.” ―Sawyer Bennett, New York Times Bestselling Author of Sugar Baby
“Bold characters, hot sex, brilliant writing―CD Reiss has done it again!” ―Jennifer Probst, New York Times Bestselling Author
“Commanding and complex, Adam Steinbeck is the Dom of my dreams. CD Reiss delivers the most compelling kink.” ―Skye Warren
“I devoured this book; and it devoured me! Spellbinding, swoony, emotional, and mindblowingly addictive.” ―Katy Evans
“Marriage Games by CD Reiss absolutely blew me away. The characters intrigued me, the story grabbed me, the sizzle thrilled me, and the writing style enticed me. Trust me, this is one book you don't want to miss!” ―J Kenner
“This book kicked my ass so hard it made me hang on all night long.” ―AL Jackson
PRAISE FOR CD REISS
"CD Reiss's writing is utterly addictive and a total rush." ―Bella Andre, New York Times bestselling author of The Sullivans
"With strikingly beautiful prose and the contrasting gritty, vivid Los Angeles setting, Shuttergirl is Reiss's finest work yet." ―Laurelin Paige, New York Times bestselling author of the Fixed Trilogy
"CD Reiss blew me away with her hypnotic writing and brilliant storytelling."―Corinne Michaels, New York Times bestselling author of The Salvation Series "CD Reiss writes the best erotica I have ever read." ―Meredith Wild, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Hacker series
About the Author
CD Reiss is a New York Times 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 gave her a big enough ego to try her hand at novels. She’ll tell you all about it out back, where a cord of wood awaits.
If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.
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Such is Marriage Games, one of the best books I've read this year.
Adam and Diana have been married four years - four happy years, Adam thought. A note on the kitchen counter one morning defies that notion, however, because Diana has left him. She is unhappy, she no longer loves him, and she wants this marriage to end.
Adam's initial shock gives way to an agonizing pain that demands action: "I needed to become a man unburdened by love. I didn't have a plan yet. I didn't have a beginning, middle, and end. Just a concept without form. I didn't articulate it to myself, but somewhere on the back burners, something started brewing. Something difficult, bold, and utterly callous."
One thing you quickly learn about Adam is that he is a Dominant, yet his marital bed was absent any D/s relationship because Adam believes it is impossible for him to love a submissive. And one thing Adam knows without question is that he loves his wife.
He also knows that he is not ready for his marriage to end.
To forestall Diana's demand for a divorce, Adam proposes an exchange: 30 days together, during which Diana will do whatever Adam asks, after which he will give her not only the divorce but the 51 percent he owns in her and her father's company.
Reiss has a running motif of cold and ice that reflects the state of this marriage. Adam has frozen part of himself off, leaving a cold void where his dominance once thrived. He refers to Diana as his "little huntress," but her mythological namesake pursues creatures whose hearts beat warm blood. What Adam can't see is that part of his heart, much like the snow drifts in Manhatten and the Hamptons, is too cold to hunt. When Adam observes that his "toe made a divot in the crust of ice but didn't break through," he might as well be talking about himself.
Yes, Adam loves his wife. You will not question this. in fact, you will agonize with him over Diana's absence. Adam professes that she is "light, life, energy. Everything." And you believe him. You know this to be true. Reiss uses this to almost turn you against Diana, to dislike her with the same intensity with which Adam loves her.
And then Reiss changes the "game," and you find yourself standing on that frozen crust of ice, feeling it crack underneath you.
This book is so amazingly well written that I am struggling with how to describe it. I have not marked up a book as I marked Marriage Games in a long, long time. When Reiss is in Adam's head, she immerses you in his thoughts and feelings, grabbing you by the jugular and not releasing you. This book will exhaust your emotional reserves in a way that very few books do, but it's a good way, in a way that makes you feel as if you just experienced something phenomenal.
Truly, the less you know about this book, the better you will be. Go into it ready to be challenged. Go into it ready to love Adam, yet also be prepared to understand him better, sometimes in ways that make you weep for him rather than on behalf of him. You also need to be prepared to rethink how you look at marriage, to see it as an organic, ever-changing entity in which two partners grow and adapt to each other's growth. You need to learn that a game can only be played by two willing participants, and not all games can be won.
As this is the first in a duet, it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. Or maybe "cliffhanger" is the wrong word to use. It ends on that icy crust, and you hear the ice beginning to break. Reiss leaves you wondering if you - and Adam and Diana - will make it safely across or if the ice will tear you asunder.
This book has been advertised in my face, (even now as I write this, an ad is in the corner for it) for days. So, I read reviews before purchasing it, here's a few choice words that I kept seeing:
"Best dom ever" <- that made me lol when I got to the halfway point.
I'm not going to sugarcoat this, so here goes.
Maybe I shouldn't have read the new M. Robinson book before reading this one. The main character in that wasn't even a Dom, and he was still a much better one than Adam.
Was Adam supposed to be dark, powerful and sexy? He wasn't. Adam was an emotional marshmallow and Diana was a whiny heroine. I originally was going to give this four stars but then I stopped and thought about it.
1.) She left him and asked for a divorce with a freaking note.
2.) This book switches between PAST TENSE and FUTURE tense, this confused me at times and I didn't like it.
3.) This book does have a lot of chapters, but they're all like four pages long, I counted. The first one doesn't even count because it's only half a page.
4.) There was nothing original about this story-line. It's been done before and much better.
5.) I didn't find this book sexy, in fact it FAILED at the bdsm theme it was going for and quite frankly, the sex in this book was boring, nothing really hot or steamy about it.
6.) Adam was like a damn doormat. Love hurts, yes I get it. But, you're supposed to be some dom-monster and spend half the book battling your emotional feels. Get it together!
Now aside from all of this I pushed on, telling myself, "You are finishing this book."
Sidenote- this book seemed repetitive to me, actually, I was bored with the past tense back story.
I KNEW exactly how this book was going to end three chapters before it did. & When it did exactly what I though it was going to, irritation set in.
She could have combined both books into one. I won't get the next one because I did not love either of the main characters AND I KNOW how the story-line is going to go. Broken man, doesn't want to tarnish the love of his life, yada, yada, ya- boom- Everything is peaches and cream couple is back together. I do not need two books of Adam and Diana's really weak attempt at BDSM and immature relationship.
I know I'm like in the bottom 2% of those who didn't like this But I haven't been this irritated by a book in a while. So for those who loved it, more power to you.
Most recent customer reviews
I found myself skipping to end of book af 15% to see if the book improved but it dit not
Not worth trying...Read more