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Bound by Lorelei James

Sunday, February 9, 2014


In the new Mastered series by New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James, 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….

Review: I must say, Bound by Lorelei James is an unexpected surprise and a wonderful beginning to a new series. When I picked up this book, I was under the impression that it was going to be just another story with a predictable plot with overly dramatic & dark undertones (this seems to be the theme in contemporary erotic romances as of lately). But I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this was NOT the case with Bound.

The main characters in the story are addicting, and in my opinion, very well thought out. The conflict between Emery and Ronin Black is suspenseful, but thankfully not cliche. I love that Lorelei James created a character, like Emery, who throughout the book gradually learns to explore and embrace her sexuality. Not only did I find it believe because of her sexually repressed Christian background, but I found it refreshing. I think people often forget the power in embracing your own sexuality, but Lorelei James hits it on the mark.

The juxtapose position of Ronin's background and Emery's is intriguing. Ronin really helps her embrace herself and her femininity. Personally, it's what really makes me love him as a character. Yes, he is a bit of a complex and secretive character who's obviously hiding a piece of himself, but it's not cliche. His problems, in a way, are actually a lot more down-to-earth than expected. Or at least a lot more understandable.

I really enjoyed the slow build of Emery and Ronin's relationship. The banter between them was fun to read and I loved that Ronin brought out Emery's boldness in her character. Throughout the story you begin to see this slow progression of Emery's character in bloom, but it isn't until the end when you see her stick up for herself that you realize she's grown into her own skin.

While I'm not overly happy that Ms. James left us on a cliffhanger at the end, I'm not mad either. The end of the book did have a great stopping point and it did leave us with an interesting last chapter which is told in Ronin's point-of-view. I'm very excited to see what happens next in Unwound, and I am happy that readers and Ronin fans won't have to wait too long to see what happens next. Unwound releases March 25th.

Rating: 4/5 Diamonds

Reviewed by: Vanessa

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,, and

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