I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Cherished by Lexi BlakeCherished by Lexi Blake
Series: Masters & Mercenaries #7.5
Published by DLZ Entertainment LLC Genres: BDSM, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 164
Format: eBook
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A doctor living a double life

By day, Dr. Will Daley is one of Dallas’s most eligible bachelors, but every night he dons his leathers as one of Sanctum’s most desired Doms. He’s sworn off looking for a long-term relationship but is captivated by the club’s newest member, Bridget Slaten, even though they couldn’t be more different. She comes from a world of privilege and he was raised in poverty. When he discovers she needs a date to her sister’s wedding, he makes certain he’s literally the only man for the job.

A woman no longer willing to live in the shadows

For most of her life, Bridget hid herself behind her laptop. She can write romantic, sensuous lives for her characters but not herself. Having Master Will as her date to the wedding is a thrilling prospect but he has a special request. He wants her to accept two weeks of his services as a Dom, a lover, and expert in BDSM, and that is an offer she can’t refuse. Their sexual chemistry is undeniable, but it’s in the tender moments that Bridget realizes she’s falling for a man who might never trust her with his heart.

A love strong enough to cherish

Together in paradise for a week, Will realizes he can’t imagine his life without Bridget. As the wedding approaches, ghosts from their past come back to haunt them and threaten to ruin the peace they’ve found. With everything exposed, they will have to risk it all to claim the love that can set them both free.

To cherish is to hold or treat as dear, feel love for, and to cling fondly or inveterately to.  That is the perfect description of how I felt after reading Cherished the newest novella in Lexi Blake’s Masters and Mercenaries series. Now I should confess that I am an uber fan of Ms. Blake but that’s because of the high quality of storytelling that is in every one of the books in this fabulous series.

This time around, Ms. Blake has paired off two characters from different books in the series. Will Daley is a neurologist and a Dom at Sanctum. He’s still emotionally recovering from the betrayal of his last sub and though he’s interested in Bridget Slaten, it’s only for sex. Bridget, best friend of Serena Dean-Miles, isn’t looking for a one-night hookup and she believes that’s all Will has to offer. But when she needs a date for her sister’s wedding, Will agrees to help. The chemistry between the two is hard to resist, so they don’t.  Then ghosts from both of their pasts appear and shake things up.

Bridget may very well be my favorite heroine in this series because I could relate to her the most. She’s an independent, sassy, smart-mouthed woman because she’s always had to look out for herself. As Will pointed out to her, she’s never had anyone fight for her before and it’s forced her to be a bit distrustful and put up walls. Will was also a character that I enjoyed. His dedication to his sisters was admirable and his sneaky way of managing Bridget made me laugh. Even though there were times I wanted to strangle him for his stupidity, I still wanted to strip of my clothes and kneel at his feet.

I am amazed at how much emotional storytelling Ms. Blake was able to fit into a novella. She didn’t skimp on anything and you never feel that things were rushed. The characters were fully fleshed out and plot lines were fully developed. I fully understand how the past has affected Bridget and Will and their motivations for their current actions. There was so much depth to this story as each had to learn about the true meaning of love.

Ms. Blake is a master at pulling you heart first into the story and making you forget that you are reading about fictional characters. The McKay/Taggert group and their friends have become a family that I very much wish to be a part of. And for those fans of the series, Ian does appear in the book with all of this glory. That man is probably the best fictional character that has ever existed.

Fortunately for me and the other countless uber fans, Ms. Blake has continuously added characters to this dynamic universe so that hopefully she will never run out of stories. The next full length novel and novella are already planned for and up for pre-order. So run, don’t walk, to your nearest computer and place your order. Then before you know it, you will have a gift waiting for you on your e-reader.