When sensei Ronin Black first encounters Amery Hardwick, the fire in her eyes ignites a sexual spark a thousand times better than the primal rush he used to get from mixed martial arts matches. She accepts his darker edges and admits to him that her desires aren’t as wholesome as he believed. And before long Ronin is grappling with emotions he’s never felt before .
Yet despite demanding Amery bare her body and soul to him, Ronin holds a part of himself back. When she learns Ronin’s secret and walks out, his life begins to unravel. To regain her trust he must let go of his pride and prove to her that it’s more than passion binding them together. But after their private pleasures are made public, Ronin is unsure if he’s the right man for Amery. Can they face the consequences together? Or will their differences rip them apart?
Review: Amazing. Simply breath-taking. Bound (book 1) of the Mastered series left us on somewhat of a cliffhanger, but lucky for us Unwound picks up right where the first book left off.
I don't think I can say very often that I like the second book in a series more than the first, but this was definitely the case with Unwound. Lorelei James opens the book with a prologue starting six weeks after Ronin and Amery's breakup/blowup/fuckup. I loved this opening prologue because it immediately had me on the edge wondering what kind of trouble Ronin had found himself in since losing Amery and it brought me back to the shattered state of mind that Bound left me in. The prologue leaves us with a teaser of a very broken Ronin knocking on Amery's door in the middle of the night. The first few chapters sort of jump back in time, but they do a great job leading us up to the point where Ronin and Amery see one another again.
I really enjoyed this story because it focused on Ronin and Amery building their relationship back up on a foundation of honesty instead of secrets. There are definitely challenges that both Ronin and Amery face and I thought it was great that the author really made their struggles real instead of wiping the slate clean within the first few chapters. We get to see a very different side of Ronin. He's pretty much vulnerable and broken in the beginning and the situation really gives readers the hope that he's going to be a lot more open.
I found it ironic that throughout the story Amery wants Ronin to be completely forthcoming with her, but she isn't entirely honest with him about some things. For example, Ronin's sister offers Amery a contract as the designer for their food company and Amery doesn't immediately talk it over with Ronin, which I found really odd because it's a pretty big deal. I think it definitely plays into Amery's insecurity of her relationship with Ronin. She's hesitant to let him to tell her he loves her and she's even more hesitant about moving in with him.
There are definitely some hot scenes throughout this book and I don't think the word "hot" even does it justice, but Lorelei James does an amazing job showing us the heartbreaking and the intimate moments between Ronin and Amery's relationship. I loved all of it and I was really sad to come to the end of this book. Not because it's sad, but because I didn't want their story to stop.
Although this is the final book in Ronin and Amery's relationship I'm really hoping to see them again, even if it's as background characters. Ms. James has definitely set up some interesting supporting characters and I'm hoping we'll see Ronin's sister, Knox, or Deacon's story next. At least we can hope! I'm crossing my fingers.
Rating: 5/5 DIAMONDs
Reviewed by: Vanessa
Unwound releases MARCH 25th!
Pre-order it here: Amazon