Joint Review & Giveaway: Bound by Lorelei James

Friday, February 7

Title:  Bound*
Author:  Lorelei James
Series: Mastered series, #1
Genre: erotic romance
Publisher: NAL Trade
Format: ebook, paperback & audiobook
Date/Year: February 4, 2014
Reviewed by: ElaineReads & Booklover

*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from the publisher:

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….

Elaine's & Booklover's  Musings:

Elaine:  I have read several of Lorelei James’ western novels and I always enjoy them.  This is the first book I have read by her set in a totally urban environment and it is obvious her talent is not restricted to a particular genre.  In fact, I think this is the best book of hers I have read.

Booklover:  Same here ;)  I am a big Lorelei James fan so I will read just about any romance she writes.  I have to say that I think that the urban setting (Denver, CO) was a refreshing change.  I didn't know what to expect since this book seemed out of the norm for the author.  Ms. James did write about a BDSM relationship in Cowboy Casanova, but I thought it was lacking a bit.  But that is not the case with Bound.  I agree I think Bound is the best book Lorelei James has written.  I was completely obsessed with Ronin and Amery for weeks!

Elaine:  Amery comes from an ultra religious background and her father was both physically and emotionally abusive when he did not feel she met his standards.  She escaped to college as soon as she was able, but her upbringing still inhibits her sexually.

Ronin is a martial arts expert and sparks fly between them as soon as they meet.  He is very secretive and obsessed with control in all areas of his life . . . particularly his sex life.  He is a master of the art of rope bondage which reflects his Japanese heritage.

Fortunately, Amery is excited about being bound and enjoys her sexual relationship with Ronin.  Unfortunately, her background causes her to be ashamed of her feelings.  She believes there is something wrong with her because she enjoys the bondage.

All of this could be overcome if Ronin would just open up to her. He keeps so many secrets, Amery cannot believe he really cares about her. 

Booklover:  This is a two book series.  According to the author the first book, Bound, focuses on Amery, and the second book, Unwound, focuses on Ronin.

Bound is all about Amery and how she struggles to embrace her relationship with Ronin and learning what her boundaries are. She had a previous relationship that only seemed to enforce her inhibitions, She's inexperienced in love and her sexuality (but not a virgin) but Ronin relentlessly pursues Amery despite her reservations and hang-ups.  There is immediate and undeniable chemistry between the two and sparks fly practically from page one.

Ronin pushes Amery to be the person she is meant to be, both sexually and professionally.  He demands her trust, her submission, and desires her love.  And through their romantic encounters, most including using Shibari and other erotic bondage techniques, he tries to bind her to him while keeping secrets from her. However, because Ronin doesn't share himself with her like she needs she questions everything about their time together and it's heartbreaking, for both of them.

Elaine:  Let me repeat, I loved this book.  I had heard of rope bondage, but I did not know that much about it.  Now, I can visualize the beauty of it and understand how it might be a part of Dom/Sub relationship. Mostly though, I see it as a form of living art.

The sequel, Unwound, is due out on March 25th and I cannot wait.  The ending of Bound definitely left me on edge and I want to know how Amery and Ronin work out their problems.  I know it will be another page turner to read.

Booklover:  Bound is the most sensual romance I have read in a really long time.  Not just because it is an erotic romance, but because of the beautiful way rope bondage is portrayed in this story.  I've read romances that had bondage in it before, but nothing like it was portrayed in Bound.  And while Ronin is a Dom, he's unlike any other Dom I've read before  either. Mainly because it's not all about a sex club, or sex for that matter.  It's really more of a deep need for him to express and embrace who he is at his very core.  Shibari is spiritual for him, and his binds are artistic expressions.

Because it was a Lorelei James story I knew I had to read it, but she just blew me away with the sensuality, the characters, and their story in Bound.  And Ronin.....quite frankly, is one of my favorite heroes (ranks up there with Jamie Frasier).  I LOVED LOVED LOVED him!  Flaws and all.  I loved Amery and him together.  I loved everything about this book so much that I am confident that it will make my best of the year list at the end of 2014. LOVE.

I don't ever re-read books.  There are just too many other books that I want to read, that I never re-read.  I re-read Bound, and I might just read it again (yes, for the third time).  Bound left me with a serious book hangover, and I loved every minute of it!  No other book I had in my TBR measured up or captured my interest like Bound did.  I think I started and stopped reading about seven other books before caving in and reading Bound again.   I rarely have this kind of reaction after reading a story, but a re-read status is the best recommendation I could ever give a book.  Simply put, Lorelei James proves that she is a Master of erotic romance with Bound.

Yes, the book does end unfinished, but that is because it continues with Unwound.   I wasn't upset by that because that means I get more of Ronin and Amery.  Bound is about 400 pages.  Unwound is approximately 384 pages.  The Mastered Series promises to be 784 pages of romance perfection!   I more than Highly Recommend Bound, it pushed all of my favorite romance buttons!  Like Elaine, I can't wait for Unwound!!!


Elaine Overall: 4.5 stars (Definitely a re-read, but I did not like the cliffhanger ending.)
Elaine Sensuality level: 4.5 (Except for the rope bondage, the sexual relationship was fairly vanilla.)

Booklover Overall:  5 stars (This is definitely one you will re-read, and I happened to really enjoy the ending.  I thought it was brilliant because now I can't wait for Unwound!)

Booklover Sensuality level:  4 (rope bondage, extremely intense sensual/sexual relationship.  It's hot, and has some of my favorite intimate scenes...ever!)

For a complete understanding and definition of the ratings at Seductive Musings, click here

Other Reviews:

Lorelei James is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Blacktop Cowboys and Rough Riders series as well as the steamy new Mastered series.  She lives in the Black Hills of western South Dakota with her family.  Visit her online at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

To celebrate the release of Bound, the first book in the Mastered series, Lorelei's publisher, Berkley is giving away a print copy of Bound to one lucky Musings follower.  (US only)  Enter to win in the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.


Cheryl S. February 7, 2014 at 1:51 AM  

Great review! I can't wait to read this book :) It sounds amazing but anything Lorelei writes is amazing ;)

Thank you for the giveaway!

Carol L. February 7, 2014 at 7:00 AM  

Don't know what happened to the first comment I wrote. Thanks for the opportunity. I love her books. And then when I read "he ranks up there with Jamie Fraser" that sealed it. :) Can't wait to read this .
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

Booklover Sue February 7, 2014 at 8:08 AM  

Book looks so good, just my kind of story! Can't wait to read it!
susanmplatt AT Hotmail DOT com

Kathleen O February 7, 2014 at 9:22 AM  

I love Lorelei's books and I can't wait to read this book.

erin February 7, 2014 at 9:23 AM  

thanks for the great review! I've really had my eye on this author and this series sounds like a good place to start :) Thanks for sharing!

Artemis February 7, 2014 at 10:38 AM  

What really sparked my interest in this book, besides being penned by the wonderful Ms. James, is the subject matter shibari. Great review and I'm glad to hear that the shibari wasn't put on the back-burner in BOUND as it is in so many other erotic romances.

Di February 7, 2014 at 7:24 PM  

Wow - great endorsement - I think I better read this!

books4me February 7, 2014 at 10:22 PM  

I love Lorelie's books and this one is sounds great!

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