BOUND (Mastered #1) by Lorelei James
400 pages, trade paperback
Available February 4, 2014
Publisher: NAL Trade
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review
Former small-town girl Amery Hardwick is living her dream as a graphic designer in Denver, Colorado. She’s focused on building her business, which leaves little time for dating—not that she needs a romantic entanglement to fulfill her. When her friend signs up for a self-defense class as part of her recovery after an attack, Amery joins her for support. That’s where she meets him.
Ronin Black, owner of the dojo, is so drawn to Amery that he takes over her training—in public and in private. The enigmatic Ronin pushes Amery’s boundaries from the start, and with each new tryst, Amery becomes addicted to the pleasure and to him. But when Amery senses Ronin is hiding something, she questions her total trust in him, despite the undeniable thrill of his possession .
First Date: The heat coming off this guy is so intense, I’m surprised his dojo hasn’t burst into flames multiple times. (Actually, he should probably invest in a top-notch sprinkler system, just in case.) Ronin (whose name means “a wandering samurai who has no lord or master *epiphany* this also explains that movie 47 Ronin) is the strong, silent type, a fighter, incredibly private…and a mystery that Amery is just lusting to unlock. I loved the chemistry and mind-blowing passion between Ronin and Amery but I wasn’t the biggest fan of Amery’s rather unsupportive friends.
Second Date: Hoo-boy. Ronin has some interesting kinks. Kinks that involve colored ropes and intricate knot work. Um…I…um…well, this book is pretty far out of my comfort zone. Sure, I’ve read books with BSDM in it before, seen covers with people tied up in fancy ways but I’ve never actually read one that delves into the world of kinbaku and shibari bondage (hey, look! I learned something!). To those involved in this, it’s an art form, as it is to Ronin. Lorelei James definitely did her research on this one, as the scenes involving the bondage were highly descriptive (actually, all the smexy scenes were descriptive. And so freakin’ hot *sizzle*). She also didn’t throw this in just for kicks. Ronin takes great pride in his abilities, having spent years mastering them, and they’re an integral part of his persona. This, of course, causes a bit (okay, a lot) of friction in his relationship with Amery, who was raised in a strict Christian household where affection scarce.
Third Date: GAAAHHHHH!!! *flings book* *runs to pick it up and dust it off* SERIOUSLY?!? It just…ends? *runs to Goodreads to figure out what I missed* Oh, holy shit. This is one of those serials that are making an appearance again (upcoming discussion post!! Because…gah!). The next book, the second half of the story, doesn’t come out until March 25th. As much as I liked this story, this type of serial story (and me with no foreknowledge of it being a serial; I thought it was just a regular romance-type series) is as bad as romancing me hard, taking me home, getting all hot and heavy with me, taking me all the way to the edge then handing me my shoes and shoving me out the door without any explanation or satisfaction. Or cab fare. Bastard.
I do recommend this book but you might want to wait until both books are out so you won’t be left hanging. It’s a killer!
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