by CD Reiss
Series: Games # 1
Release Date: October 25th
Genre: Contemporary Romance
“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
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.
Marriage Games by C.D. Reiss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a LOVE STORY.
Past and Present.
It’s genre bending. Blending.
With staccato paragraphs and flowing prose, CD Reiss delivers a story, not just about BDSM and its dynamics, but about love, marriage, honesty, and self-actualization. It’s the story of falling in love, the struggle of marriage and what happens when it all falls apart.
Adam loves his wife Diana with his whole heart, but for years has held a piece of himself back. That piece is his dominant nature and his place in the BDSM lifestyle.
You can’t just decide to be vanilla the rest of your life. It’s not a choice.”
“It’s all a choice. And I choose her.
For Diana, that missing piece of him sparks a distance in their relationship. A sense of loneliness and longing for things she doesn’t quite understand or can grasp. After all, she’s afraid to be honest, both with herself and with him, about what she needs. So, she goes through the motions until one day…
I don’t know how to say this.
I don’t love you any more. I’m sorry.
Adam Steinbeck’s world crumbles with a simple note left on the counter. His love for her, though. That is something that he can never shake. So, he offers her Thirty Days. Thirty Days of honesty. Thirty Days of ALL of him. Thirty Days of her submission.
Anaïs Nin said, “The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.”. For me, this book exemplifies that on the topics of marriage, relationships, honesty and the importance of communication. This book is marriage. These characters have real human failings; emotions like guilt, fear and shame are central to their actions. They each have wants and needs they are reluctant to articulate.
You could easily read this book and just look at the story on the surface; it’s angsty with smoldering kinky sex and a solid duet style ending (not heavy on the cliffy). Really, though, it’s the way this author had me looking at the characters, their motivations, and seeing how that could happen in any relationship, any marriage. How she had me learning from it. That was the layer that took this book from genre fiction to genre bending. I can’t wait to see how things come together in the next book.
*Marriage Games was provided to CGSR Book Blog in exchange for an honest review*
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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.