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Sandy M’s review of Bound (Mastered Series, Book 1) by Lorelei James
Contemporary Erotic Romance published by NAL 4 Feb 14

When you find a favorite author who writes one of your favorite series, you know the day will come when that series has to end. The nearer that time gets, the more anxious you become – will you like the next round of books, even though you’ve loved every word this author has written so far? Doubts creep in; it’s human nature. However, when it comes to Lorelei James, I should have known better. Her McKay/West family series has only one more book before the final curtain, so I’m sure there are plenty of her fans out there who may have the same doubts. Let me assure you – douse all doubts and get ready to fall in love with this series and characters who will totally consume you just as all of those McKays did.

For me, it’s always been Ms. James’ heroes who pull me in, make me fall in love and daydream about them whenever I get the chance. Larger than life, as I’ve said in previous reviews. That’s definitely the case with Sensei Ronin Black. Intense. Alpha. Secretive. Sexy. Sensual. And so much more. Of course, her heroines are always strong, independent, intelligent, and just as sexy and sensual; they give as good as they get and I love them all too.

Amery accompanies a friend to a self-defense class for support, but they find out that if she isn’t enrolled she can’t stay. Stupid rule, but she goes with it. Even despite the owner of the dojo when he goes a step further, requiring her to even have the proper clothing or she’s on the street. So Amery literally tosses her pants at the man – for being as sexy as he is irritating – and little does she know that act is the beginning of huge changes in her life. This is all good for her after the upbringing she had with straight-laced, very religious parents. With Ronin the sensual side of Amery blossoms and she revels in it. She shares parts of herself that not many people know, so why doesn’t he reciprocate after everything other thing they’ve shared?

Keeping his secrets close to the vest has always been Ronin’s way, so he’s not prepared for further sharing of his life with Amery. I have no knowledge at all about the exotic and sensual Japanese rope tying Ronin is a master at, and the way Ms. James blends it into this book and these characters’ lives gives the reader another level of intimacy and intricacies that always seem to be lacking in other authors’ stories in this genre. After such depth of loving from Ronin, Amery is game to give this new side of him a try, even going to a local club with him to see exactly what it’s all about. With all of this, though, Amery wants more from Ronin, and even though he does open up to a point, she knows there’s so much he’s not sharing.

I have to say I’m not impressed with Avery’s so-called friends. They’re quite selfish when Amery wants to change up their usual nights out for a drink and some fun. Even after apologies are forthcoming after their latest tirade, it’s too little too late in my eyes. Especially when they’re the ones who know what Amery’s gone through to now find a bit of happiness. Any of my friends acting this way, they’d no longer be friends. Just sayin’.

As I got near the end of the book, the situation between Ronin and Amery blows apart, Ronin’s secrets coming to the fore. I heard myself whispering, “No! No, no, no, no!” Just when that secret is exposed, it’s basically the last page, for all intents and purposes, and waiting for March – though not that far away – is much too long to wait to see what Ronin is going to do to get back the best thing that’s ever happened to him. So be very prepared for a heck of a cliffhanger.

But I wouldn’t give up reading this book even with that cliffhanger. Lorelei James is a master at layering her stories, expertly peeling them away to reveal another unexpected level to keep the reader turning the pages, only to be faced with one more surprise or twist. Her characters are real, and she never shies away from emotion of any kind. Ronin and Amery are right up there with my favorite McKay characters. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

NAL is very generously offering up a copy of Bound for one of our readers today. Leave us a meaningful comment to be in the running!

sandym-iconGrade: A+


…a woman’s desire to shatter her inhibitions leaves her unprepared for where that erotic journey will take her…

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…

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:

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