Review: Marriage Games by C.D. Reiss


Marriage Games
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.

She’s wrong.

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Guest Review from Jeannie:

CD Reiss rewrites the rules, blazing new trails in this shattering novel of a marriage coming apart. It disintegrates every expectation and preconceived notion of the genre, and gives us characters we can inhabit. We crawl into their skin and heads and feel every bit of their joy, pain, anger and sorrow. It’s not a romance novel – it’s a haunting love story. Full of messy, exultant, punishing , enslaving love. This one will live in your head and your gut for weeks. I loved and hated how this story made me feel. So much anguish. So many misunderstandings and missed connections.

We meet Adam Steinbeck on the worst day of his life – his wife and business partner, Diana McNeill- Barnes, ends their marriage with a note on the kitchen counter. No cheating. No confrontation. Just “I don’t love you anymore” – despite the orgasmic Tuesday night sex. As his life threatens to spin apart, he seeks refuge in the life he left behind five years prior. You see, Adam is a Dominant and he left it all behind when he met Diana, committing himself to a life of vanilla sex with the woman he loved. But that wasn’t his only secret.

CD Reiss is masterful when it comes to the male point of view and Adam Steinbeck is no exception. You WILL fall in love with him. Guaranteed. We live in his head and his heart as he tries to figure out a way to survive the devastation Diana’s words have unleashed. They were the perfect team. Diana was the schemer and dreamer in their business partnership but Adam was the one who figured out how to make it work. Have no doubt – Adam is a man with a plan and never fails to see it to completion. A survival plan that involves 30 days at the play house in Montauk with Master Adam.

Once we arrive in Montauk and the rules of the game are established, the POV shifts to Diana, Adam’s little huntress. But if he had paid attention in class he would know that Diana was also the goddess of the moon, magic and sexual freedom. Diana’s story of sexual and emotional awaking is beautiful and poignant as she rediscovers herself as a woman, wife, partner, lover, and daughter. You will see yourself in her. Also guaranteed. She decides to play the game to win – without truly realizing what she is competing for. She has to battle a past she doesn’t understand and the outside forces tempting Adam back to the life he left behind. A life that has no place for her. Or does it?

As always, Ms. Reiss’ prose is spare, elegant, and lyrical. Her poetic eroticism depicts the emotional brutality of a relationship in its death throes with such realism that it bleeds off of the page and burrows into your heart, leaving a gaping wound in its wake.   Marriage Games, at its essence, is about the masks we wear in our quest for a forever love and how those masks change us, allow us to hide from ourselves, and change our love as we find it, keep it and push it away. It’s also about what happens when we finally strip those masks away and have to decide whether we like what we see in the mirror and see in our partner.

Out of every ending is a new beginning. Or is there? Marriage Games is the first installment in a duet. You’ll have to wait for its companion, Separation Games, due January 3, 2017to find out.

A shower of stars but I am only allowed to give five.


About the Author:

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.

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