Mischief and the Masters by Cherise Sinclair

  About Mischief and the Masters

  Masters of the Shadowlands: 12

  This book had it all… Another great addition in one of my all time favorite series!!

  ~ SNS Reviews

  She wants a short, sweet Master. One Master.

  The two devastatingly dominant Drago cousins have other ideas.

  Her life destroyed by a stalker, Uzuri Cheval starts anew in Tampa and joins the exclusive Shadowlands club. Unconvinced of her claims that she can overcome her fear of big men without help, Master Z gives her a time limit. And she is improving—until she hears the stalker is out of prison. Now her time limit is up, and the Masters will intervene, which is okay—as long as whoever helps her is short. Okay, sweet and gentle would be good, too.

  But two Doms? Dangerously experienced and dauntingly powerful cousins? No way.

  Having volunteered in every hellhole in the world, Dr. Alastair Drago is ready to settle down. Detective Max Drago has joined him and, once again, the cousins share everything. A house, lives, problems…and whatever submissive catches their interest. One mischievous submissive has definitely caught Alastair’s. However, having been burned by a woman, Max remains detached…until little mischief’s troubles turn deadly.

  Mischief and the Masters is the latest book in the bestselling Masters of the Shadowlands series. If you enjoy edgy ménage and dominance spiced with humor and suspense, you’ll love Cherise Sinclair’s latest romance.

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  Mischief and the Masters

  Masters of the Shadowlands 12

  Cherise Sinclair

  VanScoy Publishing Group

  Mischief and the Masters

  Copyright © 2016 by Cherise Sinclair

  Nook Edition

  ISBN: 978-0-9975529-4-2

  Published by VanScoy Publishing Group

  Cover Artist: April Martinez

  This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales, business establishments, or organizations is entirely coincidental.

  All rights reserved. This copy is intended for the original purchaser of this eBook only. No part of this eBook may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any manner whatsoever without prior written permission from the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

  Warning: This book contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language and may be considered offensive to some readers. This book is for sale to adults only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase.

  Disclaimer: Please do not try any new sexual practice, without the guidance of an experienced practitioner. Neither the publisher nor the author will be responsible for any loss, harm, injury, or death resulting from use of the information contained in this book.

  Table of Contents


  About Mischief and the Masters

  Title Page

  Copyright Page


  Author’s Note

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  Chapter Twenty-Five

  Chapter Twenty-Six

  Chapter Twenty-Seven

  Chapter Twenty-Eight

  Chapter Twenty-Nine

  Chapter Thirty

  About My Liege of Dark Haven

  Excerpt from My Liege of Dark Haven

  Also from Cherise Sinclair

  About Cherise Sinclair


  First, a huge thank you to all of you who email, comment on Facebook, and/or participate in my discussion group. Uzuri’s story came about because y’all insisted it was her turn. By your command…here is her book. I hope I did our li’l prankster justice.

  A shout-out goes to the Shadowkittens in my Facebook News & Discussion group who serve up generous helpings of inspiration, weigh in on momentous decisions like “should this sex scene be kinky or all about the pain?”, toss out ideas for new stories and characters, and just do what kittehs do best—be adorable and fun. I love you all.

  You know, back when I started writing, I was clueless about how many people were needed to get a book into readers’ hands. So here’s a map of those involved.

  First up are my beloved critique partners who bravely take on the first rough draft. Monette Michaels, Bianca Sommerland, and Fiona Archer—thank you!

  I’m always stunned and grateful for readers who volunteer to help with a book. Huge thanks go to Angie-Leonie Hinckson, Eliana West, Natalie Jett, and Tracy Harris who guided me down the path of interracial romance with advice that ranged from hairstyles to lifestyle issues. Big hugs, my dears, and heaps of gratitude.

  Once cleaned up, Red Quill Editing steps in for a myriad of back and forth copyedits and proofing—and during that time, my wonderful team of beta readers, Barb Jack, Lisa White, and Marian Shulman also check over the writing for all the goofs an author can make.

  Meantime, April Martinez does her usual fantastic job of designing the cover art. So when the author (me) makes impossible demands like, “I love this photo for Uzuri and Max, but this photo is what Master Alastair looks like, so can you put them all together?” she somehow makes it work. Thank you, April!

  When editing is done, Paul at BB eBooks formats the manuscript. Blessings upon you and your team, Paul, for both your speed and your attention to detail.

  Finally, to get the word out to everyone, I have two promo people who help with the Facebook discussion group, sending ARCs to bloggers, and creating catchy memes. Thanks to Janet at JJS Marketing & Design, and Leagh and Lisa at Romance Novel Promotions for your hard work.

  And finally, a big thank you to my wonderful dearheart who will drag me out of my writing cave and remind me that life isn’t all work and no play. I do love you so much.

  Author’s Note

  To my readers,

  The books I write are fiction, not reality, and as in most romantic fiction, the romance is compressed into a very, very short time period.

  You, my darlings, live in the real world, and I want you to take a little more time in your relationships. Good Doms don’t grow on trees, and there are some strange people out there. So while you’re looking for that special Dom, please, be careful.

  When you find him, realize he can’t read your mind. Yes, frightening as it might be, you’re going to have to open up and talk to him. And you listen to him, in return. Share your hopes and fears, what you want from him, what scares you spitless. Okay, he may try to push your boundaries a little—he’s a Dom, after all—but you will have your safe word. You will have a safe word, am I clear? Use protection. Have a back-up person. Communicate.

  Remember: safe, sane,
and consensual.

  Know that I’m hoping you find that special, loving person who will understand your needs and hold you close.

  And while you’re looking or even if you have already found your dearheart, come and hang out with the Masters of the Shadowlands.



  Chapter One

  COMING “HOME” TRULY was the hardest part of each day.

  As Uzuri Cheval pulled into her driveway and turned off her car, she looked at her one-story duplex. The dark windows appeared like hollow eyes in the white stucco. There were no dog toys in the yard, no laughter or music coming from inside. Lonely.

  But, it was hers. Her refuge against the world, and one she needed right now. She’d had one crummy day.

  Sometimes, she wondered if handing out burgers and fries wouldn’t be easier.

  At least a Mickey D’s counter person wouldn’t have her boss demand a marketing plan for spring swimsuits. She wrinkled her nose, remembering last year. All those skinny mannequins in bikinis and not one with a real woman’s figure.

  To make matters worse, the fall clothing stock wasn’t selling as well as predicted, which was probably because the Florida summer had been scorching and showed no signs of slacking off, even well into September.

  To top off her day, she’d had a close encounter of the ugly kind.

  I should have stayed in bed. With the covers over my head.

  Still…the fast food industry would have to limp along without her shoveling their fries. Being a fashion buyer with all its challenges truly was a dream come true.

  Selling and buying and marketing? She was all over that like a bargain shopper on Black Friday sales. Love it.

  Working with the advertising section on marketing strategies? Super fun.

  She knew that bad sales figures happened occasionally. The merchandising manager had even admitted that climate change wasn’t under Uzuri’s control.

  But…the ugly scene? Omigod, her encounter with Carole Fuller had been horrible. If only she hadn’t visited the women’s clothing section today. But it was part of her job to observe what clothing attracted customers, what they picked up, and what they considered and put back. While there, she’d noticed a sales associate repeatedly ignore customers needing help to fawn over better-dressed white women instead. That wasn’t right. The sales staff was to give everyone exceptional service. Everyone. How many of those women who’d been slighted would never return? After all, Tampa had plenty of clothing stores.

  When informed, the section manager had been furious. Apparently, Carole had already been warned twice to amend her ways. The manager had called the sales associate over for a final warning.

  Not an hour later, Carole and her friends had entered the deli where Uzuri was eating. Uzuri shivered at the memory of the loud, ugly confrontation. Carole blamed her for the reprimand. Said Uzuri didn’t know anything. After all, Carole had been selling clothing since before Uzuri was born. She knew how to sell far better than any new grad. At least, she hadn’t said black new grad.

  Uzuri shut the car engine off. Thank goodness, Carole wasn’t male since Uzuri would probably have cowered. However, confronting a female was difficult, but not impossible, and Uzuri had responded in a firm, level voice. Okay, she’d totally pretended she was Master Z.

  She hadn’t let the older woman’s sneer shake her. Of course, after returning to her office, she’d trembled for a good hour. A long internal debate later, she’d decided the confrontation didn’t need to be shared with the woman’s manager. Enough was enough.

  Thank goodness, the day was over.

  As she slid out of her car, the early evening heat plastered her suit to her curvy frame, reminding her of why the fall clothing line wasn’t selling well. I should have ordered extra shorts and tank tops instead, but who knew global warming would negate half of the fall season?

  The white stucco duplex shimmered with heat, and the stately line of curbside palms provided no shade at all. Catching the awful scent of rotting food, she wrinkled her nose. Ewww. Purse under her arm, she quickly crossed the driveway. Air-conditioning. Need air-conditioning. As she rounded the bushes, which concealed her recessed front door, the stench got worse and then she saw the cause. A heaping pile of…of garbage sat on her front stoop.

  Fear stabbed her so hard she gasped. No, no, no. Fumbling for the pepper spray in her purse, she spun to check her surroundings.

  No one hid behind her car or the trees. No one watched from across the street. There were no strangers in sight. Despite the sultry heat, cold fear-sweat trickled down her spine. As she fought for a breath, her ribcage refused to let any air in.

  Down the street to her left, teenaged Duke Hernandez was mowing his lawn. On the sidewalk to the right, blonde Brenna rode her tricycle and sang some Disney tune in a high voice. The golden furry shape sprawled in the neighbor’s yard was the Smith’s retriever.

  She found no hulking man with a patchily shaved scalp. No Jarvis.

  Embarrassed, she huffed out a breath and stowed her pepper spray. Way to overreact, girl. Undoubtedly, some fun-loving brats had dumped one of the garbage cans that’d lined the curb this morning.

  Surely, that was all.

  Or was it? Over the past few months, other minor incidents had occurred. Her car window busted, a dead mouse left on a windowsill, her newspaper ripped to shreds, her electricity turned off. All since Jarvis had gotten out of jail.

  But really, the instances were few and far between. She wasn’t being stalked. Pranks happened all the time; it was just her turn right now.

  “Uzuri, you’re back.” The quavering voice came from Mrs. Avery who lived in the other side of the duplex. Leaning on her walker, the elderly lady stepped outside. Stooped and shriveled with skin almost as white as her hair, she was one of the sweetest people in the world. “Such a mess. I saw it when Betty brought me back from grocery shopping.”

  “Did they dump anyone else’s garbage?”

  “It doesn’t look like it, dear.”

  Just me? Yet, that still didn’t mean the culprit was Jarvis. Maybe someone had targeted her for being black. Wasn’t it weird to hope she was being harassed for her race?

  But she couldn’t bear to think of the alternative…

  Mrs. Avery pursed her lips. “I talked with Mr. Hernandez. He will send over the boys with shovels and a garbage can to get that cleaned up. He said they owe you for feeding their dog and cats last month.”

  Uzuri’s shoulders relaxed. “That will be a wonderful help. Thank you so much.”

  Mrs. Avery waved her hand in dismissal. “None of us could bear thinking of you having to deal with it. You work so hard.”

  Uzuri’s eyes burned. Although she’d only lived here since last spring, her neighbors had taken her in as one of them. “Thank you.”

  “Go get changed now, dear. You’ll want to spray the stoop after Duke and Roberto cart away the mess.”

  “You’re right.” She’d wash it and drench the area with Febreze. As Mrs. Avery returned to her half of the duplex, Uzuri stepped around the garbage and opened the front door, then stopped to listen.


  More silence.

  With an exasperated breath, she forced herself to step inside.

  Cool air washed over her. Everything was neat and tidy. Not like the destruction Jarvis had wreaked on her apartment in Cincinnati. The pale blue couch with bright floral pillows showed no wrinkles from someone’s heavy body using it. From someone making himself at home.

  The framed prints of fashion shows hung straight. Beneath them, various customized Barbie and Ken dolls strutted across the hanging shelf, attired in fall’s seasonal clothing. None were disarranged, no heads or arms pulled off.

  No vindictive intruder. Honestly, girl, get over it.

  Jarvis was in Cincinnati, on parole, and unable to leave the area. He’d gone on with his life. He wasn’t interested in her any longer. She needed to stop seeing him as a boogeym
an and the cause of every trivial mishap.

  That crawling sensation on her neck didn’t mean anyone was actually watching.

  Chapter Two

  THE NEXT AFTERNOON, Uzuri encountered a new kind of anxiety as she waited in the reception area of the fancy-ass spa with three friends. At the desk, Andrea chatted with the scheduler.

  “You know, I like a bit of pain, but this…this wasn’t on my to-do list.” Sally was in her mid-twenties like Uzuri with long, curly brown hair and brown eyes. Wearing ugly gray sweatpants and a red T-shirt that said, ZOMBIES HATE FAST FOOD, she had a crushing grip on Uzuri’s cold hand.

  A few years older, Kari and Jessica looked equally uneasy. Kari hugged herself, brown eyes wide. “I’m a schoolteacher. I don’t do stuff like this. How did this happen?”

  Jessica rolled her green eyes. Short, curvy, and blonde, she was also in sweats. “Maybe because you were as drunk as the rest of us?”

  “Actually,” Sally said judiciously, “I think she was worse.”

  “We couldn’t let Andrea face this alone.” At the Labor Day party, Andrea had whined about her huge pre-wedding task list—and how her very dominant fiancé had requested something terrifying. Thinking Cullen craved a new flogger or something, Uzuri had teased Andrea and said his request couldn’t be that bad. Only Andrea hadn’t been talking about a flogger. Oh noooo, Master Cullen wanted Andrea to try a Brazilian wax. Obviously looking forward to the honeymoon, he’d told his fiancée he loved how waxing left…things…extra smooth.

  Seeing Andrea’s worry, well, what could her friends do but offer to go with her?

  Of Andrea’s besties, Rainie begged off since she’d recently had her own waxing appointment. Gabi and Kim couldn’t get away, and Beth was swamped with work and her two new children. And Linda…

  “Why didn’t Linda come?” Sally asked. “She always makes me feel better if she’s around.”

  Uzuri nodded. Linda was the most motherly person on the planet. “She wasn’t at the party, remember?”

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