☆☆➹⁀☆ 4.5 stars☆➹⁀☆☆
What it’s about:
These are the unbreakable rules in the game.
Stay collected. Compartmentalize. Think your next move through. Never let your heart dictate your tactics.
The heart is impulsive.
The heart makes bad decisions.
The heart doesn’t see the long game.
Because the heart may have decided to get Adam back, but when the endgame comes, the heart’s going to be the first thing to break.
Separation Games is book two of the Games Duet by CD Reiss. It explores the continued crumbling marriage of two people who claim to no longer love one another. That claim is more about their lack of satisfaction and self doubts. Separation Games also explores, Diana’s awakening not only to her husband’s sexual needs but also to her own.
Diana and Adam are clearly meant to be together. Everyone but them seems to see the inevitability of it. However, for Diana and Adam to see their destiny, they have to admit their wants and needs not only to each other but also to themselves. Separation Games is so much more than sexual kink or trying something new to put the spark back into a long-term relationship. This book is about honesty and trust in relationships, and because Diana and Adam were not entirely honest when building the foundation of their relationship, they are forced to tear it down completely and rebuild an entirely new one. The big question is, are they both willing to rebuild?
Diana’s deductions of Adam’s motivations left me wanting more—more from Adam that is. The dual narration of Separation Games is not laid out in the common alternating chapter narration. Diana is the narrator for much of the book, and Adam becomes the narrator at the story’s zenith. It is unique and creative. It allows the reader to fully relate to Diana’s questions, yearnings and vulnerability while keeping dominant Adam less exposed. Reiss’ writing is both extraordinarily detailed and subtle; she writes presuming her readers are intelligent enough to see all the nuances she has folded into the details.
The angst of Diana and Adam’s separation isn’t the usual game played in YA and NA novels. It isn’t a wild rollercoaster of ups and downs, but a continuing struggle from start to finish. In fact, it is clear from start to finish that Ms. Reiss doesn’t consider the sacrament of marriage a game. The message that marriage is not for the faint of heart is clear. I adored Ms. Reiss’ comparison of hot -house flowers and dandelions. It is perhaps a nod to a comment once made by her own husband regarding the fragility of orchids compared to the strong, resilient dandelion.
I loved that Diana saw the why and what of Adam, assessed his needs and pushed him to admit it to himself and her. I was frustrated by how much Adam had to be pushed to get to the point of realization. I loved that while Diana was using her newfound interest in BDSM as a way of pushing Adam, she knew that she was only excited by the idea of exploring these needs with her husband. That she wasn’t turned on by any dominant made the story feel like self-exploration and becoming better individuals by giving more of themselves to each other rather than just another story about erotic experiences.
Beyond the scintillating scenes, Separation Games is about love, giving and trust. It is about a couple who rises like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes of their complacency to build a stronger commitment to building a supportive life together.
Tour host: Social Butterfly PR