New Release Review ~ Adrift in the Embers: The Game Series #7 by Cara Dee (Excerpt)

Adrift in the Embers by Cara Dee

Series: The Game Series #7 (Standalone)
Genre: Gay Romance/BDSM Romance
Tags: #TheGameSeries #HighProtocol #MMMMRomance #Masterslave #McleanHouse #SecondChancesRomance #FoundFamily #Daddykink #Sadomasochism


Available in Kindle Unlimited:  https://readerlinks.com/l/2524870 

Catch up with the series here: https://readerlinks.com/l/1581265/55 

Synopsis:

The Game Series | Book 7 | Standalone | Daddy/Little | MMMM | D/s | Family

Join Little Corey on his journey out of the fire, away from the crippling doubt and uncertainties, and into the healing, adrenaline-inducing, sweet, filthy, and safe embrace of three men starting to realize their dynamic might not be complete just yet.

On a bad day, I blamed my stupid, damaged, autistic brain. No one forced me to be with him. No one forced me to accept what he told me. That I was difficult. Difficult to handle, difficult to please…heck, even difficult to go out to dinner with, considering all my texture issues. On a bad day, I believed every word he said. I was lucky to have him. I loved him so, so much for putting up with me. I was gonna leave my friends and family behind, move with him to Denver, and we were going to be happy together forever.

 Then Master Greer opened his big mouth, and I didn’t know what to believe anymore. He was my friend, my favorite Sadist in the whole world, and he was dating two amazing men who were also saying stuff that was painful to hear. Like, I wasn’t difficult at all. Like, the man who was supposed to protect me, love me, and take care of me in our Daddy/Little relationship was in reality abusing me.

 I started having good days thanks to them. Good, bewildering, mind-numbing, eye-opening, very good days. It was just extremely important I didn’t get confused by their kindness. They opened up their home to me as an act of friendship. Nothing more, nothing less. As soon as I felt better, I’d be on my way again.

 Crap.

 

 The Game Series is a BDSM series where romance meets the reality of kink. Sometimes we fall for someone we don’t match with, sometimes vanilla business gets in the way of kinky pleasure, and sometimes we have to compromise and push ourselves to overcome trauma and insecurities. No matter what, one thing is certain. This is not a perfect world—and maybe that’s why the happily ever after feels so good.

Excerpt 

Iffy was the best word to describe what I felt when I drove toward Mclean that evening.

It’d been a late afternoon of conflicting emotions and more confusion.

Daddy had liked my Facebook update a few minutes after I’d posted, which had made me feel so good. And I’d read and reread the post so many times that I knew it by heart now.

Sometimes it’s extra important to reflect on what others tell you, and we’re never too old to improve. I’m going to dial things down and try not to take up so much space. Because when I talk, I can’t listen.

His little heart reaction under the post meant the world to me. I was doing something right, finally.

But then two friends had sent me private messages, basically accusing Marcus of making me feel bad and taking too much from me.

So…a lot of confusion here. I mean, these were friends I trusted.

The sun was about to set when I got closer to our kinky estate, and I did my best to push aside all the anxiousness and focus on the fun I could have tonight. Master Greer was demonstrating figging on his new slave, Archie, and some were trying to get Nathan, one of our rope riggers, to showcase bondage for smaller body parts, like fingers, toes, balls, cocks, pussies, and nipples.

To be honest, I was a little nervous about seeing Greer. He’d been treated unfairly in my mess of a life. What was supposed to have been a simple arrangement of me receiving pain from him had become a clusterfuck of mistakes and, evidently, lies.

It’d started so perfectly. Marcus had given me permission to ask Greer. Greer had accepted. Our first session, he’d made me cry so fucking hard, and I’d fallen head over heels for his ways. His manners, the way he spoke and commanded the room, his affection, and how he administered pain. The rawest of hurt, the best emotional release, and then he’d held me tightly afterward.

Everything had unraveled from there. I’d been the idiot who hadn’t considered the fact that Greer needed aftercare as much as I did, and I’d been so focused on Marcus’s demand that I go home straight after the session. I wasn’t allowed to linger, and he wanted to handle my aftercare himself. So Greer had asked me to stop by one day to “talk.” And he’d mentioned that the aftercare was very important, not just for him to make sure I was all right, but for him to mend too.

I still felt bad after apologizing. Sometimes I was so damn blind and stupid.

I’d wanted to make up for it after our second session; I’d illustrated something for him on my iPad and ordered the design on a knitted beanie. Because he made me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and beanies were warm. But then Marcus had told me Greer was sick—when he wasn’t. So I hadn’t shown up.

I hated lies.

Lies tilted my world sideways.

The next time I’d seen Greer was the night Marcus had beaten one of his other Littles in front of me. A night I wanted to forget. I’d had to share a bed with Marcus and that guy. Ugh.

The only good thing about that night was when Greer had come over to me. Over and over, I replayed the memory of his stare. From the second he squatted down in front of where I’d been kneeling, to the moment he’d risen again to confront Marcus. Greer’s warm, rich voice calling me a good boy had still been swimming in my head when he threatened my Daddy.

“Corey will show up tomorrow, Marcus… I promise I won’t be ‘sick.’”

I released a breath and pulled in next to the big carport that was already full. Plenty of cars had to park on the grass.

This place was just packed with memories and stories, and it made my stomach hurt when I thought about leaving.

Hell, this community, House Mclean, meant more to me than my own home. This house had to stand forever. I felt so welcome here. And dammit, if I was moving to Denver with Marcus, I was going to visit DC often! Maybe even once a month. I wanted to see my mom and Lane anyway.

With my overnight bag in tow, I left my car behind and made my way across the large lawn in front of the house. The music wasn’t too loud yet, and people were still arriving. Some would have dinner here; some had already eaten. I could usually smell the barbecue the minute I stepped out of my car.

Just as I climbed up the porch steps, I heard a bunch of shouting and cheering from the other side of the house. It was followed by Noa yelling, “Wait for us, please! Cameron and I are just gonna eat! We will hurry!”

A rush of anticipation surged through me, and I started hurrying. They obviously had plans, and I didn’t want to miss anything! Past the lobby, through the nightclub area, and then I reached the patio doors right behind a group of members who were clearly planning for some hot tub time. They had drinks, towels, and swimwear. Very skimpy swimwear.

Plenty of cute butts in this crowd.

As they aimed for the hot tubs, my view cleared up and revealed a patio full of friends and acquaintances. It stopped me dead in my tracks, and I was suddenly hit by a ball of nerves. Don’t be in the way; don’t take up too much space. Most of my friends were partnered up. Cam and Noa were with Master Lucian and KC. Kit was with Colt and Mr. West. Shay was with River and Reese.

I chewed on the inside of my cheek and hesitated. Who should I greet first? It seemed everyone had already found their group. The tables were full. Everyone was chatting away, and I didn’t want to intrude—

“Corey! Get your sweet butt over here before anyone else steals you away.”

The sound of Greer’s voice brought me relief, and I mustered a smile at him. He was sitting with Colt and Reese, and I hurried over to them and sat down next to Greer on the sofa.

“Hi.”

To my surprise, Greer leaned over and kissed the top of my head. He was just too fucking sweet. I couldn’t deal, dammit. Funny how I usually needed pain to cry, and now I was ready to bawl my eyes out over a sliver of affection.

“How are you, sweetheart?” Reese asked.

“I’m good!” I was quick to say. I didn’t want my crap to show, so it was important I maintained a grin. “How are you? Where’s River and Shay?”

“They went upstairs for a date with a cane or seven.” Reese smiled. “Colt, Greer, and I are in the mood for raising hell with brats instead. We’re playing tag in a little bit—I take for granted you’ll join us.”

I loved tag! I loved it so much, because I was pretty darn fast.

“Of course he will.” Greer answered for me before I could. “I need someone to chase down, and Archie would rather talk about babies with Ivy.”

I slapped a hand over my mouth and couldn’t help it; I fell into a fit of giggles. And it wasn’t so much what he’d said as it was the relief of seeing him again and not feeling like I was a nuisance. He wanted to catch me and play with me! I hoped he would introduce me to his partners also, Archie and Sloan. I wanted to meet them.

“If you really want me to,” I said. “But babies are cute!”

He smiled wolfishly and closed the distance, bumping our foreheads together. “You’re cute.”

God, this felt so good. He overwhelmed me in the best possible way. I giggled again, and I had to struggle to keep my emotions at bay.

Maybe tonight would be exactly what I needed.

~ * ~ Kys Review ~ * ~

* 5 Stars *
This is Corey’s story, but it’s also the companion of book #6, The Shepherd. Corey joins the three characters from there, and they all get their wonderful HEA.
If it’s even possible, I liked this installment even more than the start of their story. I think that’s because their relationship felt more balanced, and they were actively working toward a future that included all four of them.
I liked Corey’s voice a lot. He was adorable most of the time but was also vulnerable and hurting sometimes. Greer, Sloan, and Archie provided the support he needed to find himself again, get out of an abusive relationship and start healing from it.
Other community members were, of course, present, with River, Reese, and Shay, from Breathless – book #3, having the most page time. There was also a very nice and welcomed appearance from a book that’s not part of The Game series. It was short, so I hope we’ll see a lot more of them in future books.
Whenever I pick up a book by Cara Dee, I get swept up in the world and the characters she has created, no matter what it is, and this time it was no different. I like her author voice and writing style, and I say that with confidence after reading almost every story on her backlist. I hope she’ll keep writing and writing and that she’ll keep bringing us new characters to fall in love with and new stories to keep us up at night because we just have to read “one more chapter.”
~ Copy provided by Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement. ~

 

About Cara

I’m often awkwardly silent or, if the topic interests me, a chronic rambler. In other words, I can discuss writing forever and ever. Fiction, in particular. The love story—while a huge draw and constantly present—is secondary for me, because there’s so much more to writing romance fiction than just making two (or more) people fall in love and have hot sex. 

There’s a world to build, characters to develop, interests to create, and a topic or two to research thoroughly. 

Every book is a challenge for me, an opportunity to learn something new, and a puzzle to piece together. I want my characters to come to life, and the only way I know to do that is to give them substance—passions, history, goals, quirks, and strong opinions—and to let them evolve.

I want my men and women to be relatable. That means allowing room for everyday problems and, for lack of a better word, flaws. My characters will never be perfect.

Wait…this was supposed to be about me, not my writing.

I’m a writey person who loves to write. Always wanderlusting, twitterpating, kinking, cooking, baking, and geeking. There’s time for hockey and family, too. But mostly, I just love to write. 

Find Cara on social media here: https://www.caradeewrites.com/cdwlandingpage