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FIRST IN A NEW SERIES 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 FIRST IN A NEW SERIES 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….

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FIRST IN A NEW SERIES 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 FIRST IN A NEW SERIES 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….

30 review for Bound

  1. 5 out of 5

    ☆☽Erica☾☆

    DNF @ 30% ALRIGHT LET'S DO THIS SHIT. I don't usually do full out reviews, usually just my reactions to the book, but this time I'm gonna go full throttle on this bitch because it was not only bad but RIDICULOUSLY FUNNY NOT EVEN ON PURPOSE. Disclaimer: I know this book isn't supposed to be overly good and is intended to simply be smut but I'm gonna treat it like it's a real book. Furthermore, I am reviewing the first 30% so maybe this all goes to an amazing place in the last 70% but I sincerely DNF @ 30% ALRIGHT LET'S DO THIS SHIT. I don't usually do full out reviews, usually just my reactions to the book, but this time I'm gonna go full throttle on this bitch because it was not only bad but RIDICULOUSLY FUNNY NOT EVEN ON PURPOSE. Disclaimer: I know this book isn't supposed to be overly good and is intended to simply be smut but I'm gonna treat it like it's a real book. Furthermore, I am reviewing the first 30% so maybe this all goes to an amazing place in the last 70% but I sincerely doubt it. End of disclaimer. The characters: Amery our main character and the physical embodiment of facepalming. Here is her: Blond hair, blue eyes, conservative christian trying to be not so sexually restricted anymore, woman in a business suit. Her friend Molly: Literally just there to set up the plot, dopey and lame. The love interest Ronin McLongdick Black aka sensei aka master black aka blossoming serial killer. Who is described as but probably actually looks like Then Amery's two stereotypical-in-every-way gay friends Chaz and Emmylou who are just gay, that's their whole personality. Everything they do or say relates to this one character point. Now let's more on to the "plot." The story starts with Amery and Molly going to a women's self defense class at a place called Black Arts No apparently it's not like that. Just a super pristine dojo. Molly was recently attacked by a man so she wants to learn how to defend herself and since Amery is such an amazing friend she comes with her because shes amazing. read:sarcasm. BUT Amery doesn't plan on participating, she just plans on watching and supporting her darling mop friend. But it turns out that that's not allowed so Amery does her best to nudge her elbow into everyone she can until she gets in the class and ends up paying for the course and is required to participate. Molly, of course, is all like "no Amery it's fine we'll go home" and Amery's like NO IM A GOOD FRIEND AND THIS IS WHAT AMAZING PEOPLE DO. So eventually they get in and they start to do the stuff and whatever. But then. out of nowhere. Amery hears "Why isn't she wearing the required uniform?" apparently the sensei Master Black douche was watching from his perch and was just like WTF NO everyone must be wearing the same outfit. So he comes out from behind her and everyone stops and HE DEMANDS THAT SHE CHANGES HER PANTS. TO CLARIFY, HE COMES OUT DURING A WOMEN'S SELF-DEFENSE CLASS AND INTIMIDATES ONE OF HIS NEW STUDENTS TO CHANGE HER PANTS. WOMEN'S SELF DEFENSE. AGAINST AGGRESSIVE MEN. but of course, Master Black never does this so everyone is like so then she goes into the changing room so she can get rid of her devil jeans and shes so upset at him that she just takes her pants off in front of him and throws them at him. MEanwhile hes all like After this stupid ordeal is over she returns to class and he insists on being her partner. SIGH. Then at the end of the class Amery receives a call telling her that someone broke into/ vandalized her home which is also her workplace. So she races off and whatever. The next day she is super tired cause her wall was still broken last night so she didn't sleep well and so she is standing around figuring out what to do and waiting for the repair people while chatting with her gay stereotype friends and suddenly she hears "I have to disagree with that statement." from the shadows, and who is at her apartment? None other than staring guy. So she's like wtf and everyone else is like awwwww HE KNOWS WHERE SHE LIVES. ANYWAYS. So at one point Amery addresses why he's here and it goes like this: "Amery backed up. 'Are you so concerned with all your new students that you stop in to check on them.?' 'Only you, apparently.' She found her back against the brick wall. He hadn't caged her in with his arms or blocked her in with his body. He even kept a respectable distance, not touching her at all, but something about him held her in place." Originally I thought he wanted to bring her jeans back but then a few lines later it is revealed he didn't bring the jeans so its like ???????? And even Amery tells him he's creeping her out. And then he goes: "'But you're not scared of me, are you?' 'No.' It came out of her mouth before the logic center of her brain weighed in with a solid hell yes." HOW MANY TIMES ARE WE GOING TO GO THROUGH THIS BULLSHIT. AUTHORS SETTING WOMEN UP TO ACCEPT CREEPY BEHAVIOR AND IGNORE THEIR INSTINCTS. FINE. Then he starts saying "I wanna take you to bed" and barfworthy stuff like that whenever he can sneak it in and then she's like "We're getting past my comfort zone." "His eyes searched hers. 'Now you're getting it. From the minute I watched you walk into my dojo, this had been past my comfort zone." OK. Then a page later "'I just need more coffee.' Amery started to stand, but two strong hands on her thighs kept her in place." "You need sleep, not coffee." Then we head into this fail of a situation: A hard hand landed on her shoulder. "Slow down. Don't want this pretty face of yours smacking into the concrete." She wheeled around. "What are you still doing here?" "Helping you." "Why?" "I don't know." "Seriously." "Seriously. I don't know." He encroached her space, coming chest-to-chest with her. "So will you please cut me a break and let me make sure you fall face-first in your bed and not on the floor?" Something...oddly sweet flickered in his penetrating stare, and her flip comment dried up. "Thank you, Ronin." He smoothed her hair from her cheek. "My pleasure." "Why didn't it bother her that he touched her with such familiarity? Amery turned away before she did something stupid like face-plant into that amazing chest of his. He followed her closely up the stairs. The breathing-down-her-neck proximity didn't change when she cut towards her bedroom." The next day he is back and hires her (she's a graphic designer) to create a new logo for his witchcraft den, i mean dojo. Her asks her to lunch and then rejects her suggestion as to where they should go. It turns out he already made reservations before even asking her. So then they are about to take his motorcycle and she's all "im wearing a skirt" and he goes: He loomed over her. "It's twelve blocks. If you hate the ride over, I'll call a cab to bring you back here after lunch. But you've got to at least try it. You know you want to." How had he known that? "I'm putting myself in your hands, Ronin." "You have no idea how much that appeals to me," he murmured. "HOW HAD HE KNOWN THAT?" ????? IS THIS BITCH SERIOUS. There's really no insight here, just him teasing you, he's not reading your thoughts. So they go out to their stupid lunch and of course they ask each other questions, AS PEOPLE DO ON DATES. and Amery's internal monologue literally says "What was up with the twenty questions." Just to note, she also states she's uncomfortable with how he's staring at her during lunch and he just shrugs. Moving on. He lets her know he wants it to be more than business between them. him and his demon witchcraft penis want her. "Why me?" she blurted. "To hear people talk, you're some kind of martial arts god. You have that whole scary, mysterious Zen thing going on. And you are one of the hottest guys I've ever met." "One of?" he repeated. "Okay, the hottest guy I've ever met, but I didn't want to admit that because I didn't want you to get a swelled head." Ronin smiled. "Thank you for the compliment. But I'm just a guy, Amery. A guy who works too hard and plays too little. And after meeting you?" His heated gaze roamed over her face. "I'm more than ready to play." First of all. He manipulates her into saying that he's the hottest guy she's ever met AND THEN decided to play the humble card I can't with this guy. And then he proceeds to say some lame-ass shit that he classifies as romantic. AND the only reason this even can be construed as romantic is because he's so darn hot. Wouldn't be the same if he looked like this instead But then again, maybe this is someone's ideal, I can't judge. While they are on this stupid and painful lunch date he decides to create a challenge for her because she doesn't think shes hot (surprise! could this contain more tropes/ stereotypes? I think not!) So he suggests that tomorrow they go out to a bar and he will creepily watch her from the corner for an hour and see how much she gets hit on. Apparently she doesn't think she's hot because she's always hanging out with gay people so she never gets to get hit on by creepy hetero guys. So for some reason she agrees to this so then the next day or whenever they do this thing and it only lasts 10 minutes because she gets hit on so much and he gets jealous. So Ronin pulls this shit: A hand landed on her shoulder and Ronin's smooth cheek brushed hers as he inserted himself between them. "Sorry I'm late. I know how much you hate waiting." Then he offered his hand to Will. "Ronin. And you are?" "Will." "Thanks, Will, for keeping my girl company." What was up with Ronin acting as if they were a couple? "My pleasure." Will smiled at Amery. "Good seeing you again." Then he moved to the other side of the bar. "You ready?" Ronin asked. "For you to explain to me exactly what the hell that was? Yes. Start talking." Ronin squeezed her shoulder. "A friendly reminder that you're off the market." "Like I'm a slab of meat?" she asked sharply. "You are Grade-A prime cut all the way, baby." THIS IS THEIR SECOND DATE. THEY CAN CALCULATE THE TIME THEYVE KNOWN EACH OTHER IN TWO DIGIT HOURS. HOW IS THIS SHIT CONSIDERED ROMANTIC BTW HE INSERTED HIMSELF BETWEEN THEM. A few more points before I move on with my life. He takes her to his apartment which is super guarded and locked down. "Sucks when you have to haul groceries, doesn't it?" "That's why I don't have a membership at Costco." He had a better sense of humor than Amery had credit him for. What is humorous about this. I don't get it. no. he's not funny. Then as they are going up his stupid private elevator and she starts to get nervous thinking about what she's going to do in the event that she wants to leave. Like how she will escape. She voices her fears and he proceeds to mouth attack her into submission. Basically he physically coerces her into going to his apartment. Classic abusive behavior. While she's in his serial killer den of an apartment, which is pristine and clean and looks as if no one lives there, she notes his paintings on the wall. Art hung here and there. One picture contained a graphic scene- a fat Japanese man opened his robe, exposing his exaggerated genitalia to a disheveled geisha cowering on the ground. Two more similar in these hung next to it. One with a long-haired samurai wielding a sword at a snarling tiger standing in front of massacred bodies. The last picture featured a crouching Japanese man, naked, his oversized genitalia resting on the ground. In front of him was a half-clothes woman, tied to a post in some fancy rope configuration, and the man held her foot, licking the sole with an enlarged tongue." From behind her, Ronin said, "Those are shunga prints." "Interesting decorating choice." "They're heavy with symbolism, not at all what they appear to be on the surface." Ironic that description could also be applied to him? DEAR GOD. OKAY THE CREEPY PORTRAITS ARE HERE AND THEY ARE CLEARLY VIOLENT AND MISOGYNISTIC BUT SINCE HE SAYS THERES A DEEPER MEANING, THAT MUST BE TRUE. BECAUSE HE SAYS SO. HOW MUCH MORE OBVIOUS DOES THIS SERIAL KILLER HAVE TO BE. ALSO WHAT LAME INTERNAL MONOLOGUE SHE LITERALLY THINKS THESE HORRIFIC PAINTINGS ARE "IRONIC" BECAUSE SHE THINKS HES SO ZEN AND COOL Then he makes her a healthy samurai meal, as he would cause everyone here is caricatures of real humans. She comments on this healthy meal and he says that it's a normal thing he makes and she jokes "Good. I was afraid maybe this was your way of telling me to lay off the Keebler fudge-striped cookies." AND THEN "Then her chin was in his hand and Ronin was right in her face. 'You are beautiful. Every inch of you. I'd never presume to change you, Amery, only enhance what I know is already there. And if eating Keebler fudge-striped cookies makes you happy, eat them.'" Was he raised in bomb-shelter where human communication was limited? (No, we already know his backstory and its relatively normal) What kind of human says this cliche bullshit directly to someone's face and means it as much as it implies he does. THEY JUST MET A FEW DAYS AGO. Okay, obviously I was not a fan of this book. I have a trillion more examples from the book as to why this sucks but my hands hurt. The only positive part was the author writes a decent sex scene, which i was holding out for to see how she did it. I was thinking, wouldn't it be interesting if an author wrote a story like this with a male character like this and everyone expects it to go all sexy and well, but then he actually is a serial killer, as he seems, as his characterization indicates. That would be quite an unusual but accurate plot twist. But ultimately, the sex scenes were the end goal here. So I guess the plot isn't necessary. Apparently wooing isn't necessary. Apparently positive male characters aren't necessary. Apparently, sex is SOOO much better when one person is sufficiently creeped out. NO. NONE OF THIS.

  2. 5 out of 5

    ~ Becs ~

    Ronin made that low rumble in the back of his throat, and it vibrated against her skin. “At some point tonight I will have my hand up your dress and you will come for me. Anything I want, any time I want was a very dangerous promise to make to me, Amery,” he whispered against her jaw, “because you have no idea what I want from you.” Oh, boy this is hot, hot, HOT! I’ve never actually read Lorelei James before but I know her by reputation as an absolute Queen of down and dirty, kinky erotic romanc Ronin made that low rumble in the back of his throat, and it vibrated against her skin. “At some point tonight I will have my hand up your dress and you will come for me. Anything I want, any time I want was a very dangerous promise to make to me, Amery,” he whispered against her jaw, “because you have no idea what I want from you.” Oh, boy this is hot, hot, HOT! I’ve never actually read Lorelei James before but I know her by reputation as an absolute Queen of down and dirty, kinky erotic romances – she’s more than well known for her Rough Riders and Blacktop Cowboys series so I was really thrilled to be asked to review this title, a first book in a new series. I did think that this would be the type of series where each book features a separate couple and wasn’t expecting the cliffhanger at the end – Ronin and Amery’s story does not end here and will continue in Unwound which is due for release in March. So we have Amery, a North Dakota native now living in Downtown Denver and agreeing to go to self-defence classes with her friend Molly who’d recently been attacked by homeless guys and there she meets Dojo Master Ronin. She gives him a whole load of sass and even throw her jeans at him and Ronin just knows he has to have her and pursues her. They embark on a highly sensual affair but Ronin has got far more strings to his bow, or should I say ropes, than Amery anticipates or is ready for and this leads us onto a highly sexually charged yet pretty angsty erotic romance. “Trust me to worship your body the way it’s meant to be?” “Didn’t I already say yes?” “You did.” His teeth followed the tendons in her neck. She shuddered in his arms and she felt his smile against her skin. “But I want to blindfold you so you can focus on how you feel, not on what I’m doing.” “What will you be doing to me?” A kiss below her ear. “Teasing you.” A soft kiss in front of her ear. “Pushing your boundaries.” He gently blew in her ear. “Boundaries that you claimed earlier might not be boundaries at all.” I liked Amery – she’s very ballsy, a little bit naive and is desperately trying to break free of her strict Christian upbringing and spread her wings. Meeting with Ronin and all that he has to offer will totally push her boundaries as she slowly gives up her inhibitions and allows herself to submit to him one step at a time. She appears to be entirely wholesome but Ronin soon learns that she has much darker desires that she’s willing to explore with him. The enigmatic Ronin is a bit of a closed book – he holds things very close to his chest and doesn’t reveal much about himself. By the end of this book, he was still a bit of a mystery to me and I feel that we have a lot more to learn about him in book 2. I would say that as a dominant, he seriously needs to work on his communication skills. He’s supposed to be able to read his submissive and prepare her for what is to come but, at one point, he has Amery practically screaming for her life and running for the hills. It was kind of like – here let me blindfold you and did I mention my lovely whip and chains collection? Poor girl was terrified and I really can’t blame her! Ronin is a Rope Master so there’s a lot of highly sensual Shibari and Kinbaku scenes in this and, I do have to say, that Lorelei James writes THE most intensely erotic and sensual D/s scenes – I really enjoyed this aspect of the book. But, Ronin’s holding out on Amery and his lack of communication could just about be the end of their relationship and we’re left with a big cliffy – but it’s not a long wait until their story concludes in Unwound, due for release at the end of March. All in all, a very sensual, angsty BDSM romance with a delicious martial arts Master as a Dom and a naive yet feisty girl as his very apprehensive sub. 4 kinky stars. Read this review at Sinfully Sexy | Follow us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter

  3. 5 out of 5

    enqi ☁️✨ [joon's]

    Bound was, to say the least, ordinary. When I picked it up, I hadn't read anything BDSM for a while so I decided on this book because of the whole alpha-male-who-does-karate-and-is-also-a-dangerous-ninja trope. And also because the book has a rating above 4 stars on Goodreads, which is pretty rare for many popular erotic romances. I went in with high expectations, and this book fell flat of them all. He stared at her, equally mesmerized. In that moment she knew what would happen if she let hi Bound was, to say the least, ordinary. When I picked it up, I hadn't read anything BDSM for a while so I decided on this book because of the whole alpha-male-who-does-karate-and-is-also-a-dangerous-ninja trope. And also because the book has a rating above 4 stars on Goodreads, which is pretty rare for many popular erotic romances. I went in with high expectations, and this book fell flat of them all. He stared at her, equally mesmerized. In that moment she knew what would happen if she let him in. But he didn’t push. Didn’t speak. He left the decision up to her. Was she ready to be Ronin Black’s lover? And the answer came quickly in a mental shout. Yes. The story never really picked up for me and I never really fell in love with Ronin throughout the book, and weeks later, I really couldn't tell you much that I remember after reading it. At times I got bored reading which doesn't commonly happen, and I found myself skimming the pages just to get to the down-and-dirty scenes. (Because let's be real: sex scenes are the only reason why I even read erotica.) Amery (the heroine)'s best friends didn't really feel like best friends; they were only there when the author absolutely had to write them in, and otherwise they were just filler and came off as bland characters with zero depth. And Amery herself was a total pushover. I get she was in love with Ronin but it didn't excuse the distant way he treated her. At the end she did have some mettle, but it came a little bit late. Steam level/sex scenes: This is subjective but to me it was nothing new or interesting. The bondage in this book featured Shibari and was treated more like an art instead, so it was sort of mild. Which is okay with me, but if you like something a little more intense, don't read this book. The ending to this was really typical - (view spoiler)[ Amery finds out Ronin "lied to" (kept information from) her, and leaves him. He goes all frantic and realises how much he actually loves her and wants her in his life. There is a cliffhanger about whether they'll get back together (they will), and to know the answer (yes) you must read the second book. (hide spoiler)] Ultimately... nothing extraordinary. A little boring at times. I most probably wouldn't read it again unless I absolutely had to.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shari Kay

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. More like 1.75 ✭. This is my first Lorelei James book and likely my last. I should state up front that I haven't read this author before because her books have content that I usually avoid in my romances. Reading something you know you won't like before starting isn't a good thing for the author or the reader. I try hard to avoid triggers in this genre whenever I can and honestly thought Bound was free of them (I didn't see anything about cheating in the reviews i read). Sadly, IMO, it wasn't the More like 1.75 ✭. This is my first Lorelei James book and likely my last. I should state up front that I haven't read this author before because her books have content that I usually avoid in my romances. Reading something you know you won't like before starting isn't a good thing for the author or the reader. I try hard to avoid triggers in this genre whenever I can and honestly thought Bound was free of them (I didn't see anything about cheating in the reviews i read). Sadly, IMO, it wasn't the case but I had problems with this book beyond personal triggers. Let's start with the obvious: from my POV Ronin does cheat on Amery. They have been "dating" for months. They have lots of sex and go out in public together. Friends and coworkers know they are "seeing" each other. To be fair, exclusivity in the relationship is never voiced and Amery always seems to thinks it will not be a long term thing. That he will leave her at some point. She even stops going to gay bars with her friends shortly after they meet so she can "widen her net" though she never dates anyone else and this is the only reason why I could shelve it under "technically not cheating". *eyeroll* Whatthehellever. It's total bullshit. The author can have her character think however many times she wants that there was no real relationship. Random, ridiculously negative thoughts by the h don't make it so--actions make it so and those action said they were a couple. An expectation of monogamy is not unreasonable then. They are going at it like rabbits and had advanced to the stage where they were no longer using condoms. They spend tons of time together to the point that her friends complained about it. Feelings were definitely involved. This is a relationship. So here are the facts so you can decide whether or not you think it's cheating. Ronin is into Japanese rope art. It's a big part of his life that he keeps secret from Amery while they are having sex regularly. She finds out and decides to go see one of his demonstrations at a sex club. Let me rant here for just a second if I may. Sex clubs. *Gah.* I'm so sick of this plot device? Trope? Setting/excuse for kinky sex and/or dramarama? It is one of the major reasons I read very little true BDSM books. My understanding was the Bound was not a BDSM book but a bondage book so the club thing coming into play threw me. I wasn't expecting it. Maybe I should have? IDK My point is why should I have expected it? Does anyone who has any kind of kink have to do it in a club? In front of and/or involving other people? Why can't sex be kept to the privacy of their own home? It drives me crazy! Okay...moving on. Amery goes to see Ronin's work so she can understand what it's all about and decide if they can continue forward and if she can be what he needs sexually. She watches with jealously (no real relationship my ass) as Ronin ties up a naked 'model' in a blatantly sexual pose and touches her intimately in front of an audience. He does not have intercourse with her. After Amery sees this and they have a "talk".( after having sex of course) Ronin informs Amery that if she won't be his public model he will have to use someone else for them. If she doesn't like being tied up, he will need to practice on other women in private as well. He will touch them sexually but promises not to f*ck them. She has no say in this if she wants any kind of relationship with him. FYI Amery does not feel she is sexually free enough, (though she wishes she were. I will get into this poppycock later in the review)to ever be displayed in a public setting. So Ronin will continue tying other women up and touching them in a sexual manner when he does, no matter how Amery feels about it. (we also have no idea how many times he has done this since hooking up with Amery) She is in a take it or leave it situation here. Oh! But she notices he never takes his shirt off with OW when he does his art, that would be too much intimacy and he only does that with actual lovers like Amery. Lucky girl. Enough said there. Moving on to non-trigger issues. Amery is a hypocritical, judgmental bitch. When will authors realize a strong, independent woman does not equal a bitchy one? I disliked Amery greatly. The author wanted me to believe she was this woman who was trying to free herself from a repressive christian upbringing. Instead I saw a woman with reverse prejudices that judged those who didn't believe as she thought they should. She decided all those with conservative values are small minded. She judged Ronin as a thug and worse than that when she saw his playroom for the first time. She judged her gay friends as promiscuous and selfish. She judged herself because she didn't want to be trussed up like a thanksgiving goose in front of strangers and somehow that was a failing from her parents and society as a whole. She pulled off her pants in a huff because the rules were that she had to wear a uniform to participate in class and it pissed her off so much she thought she'd teach him(Ronin) by not being ashamed to strip in front of A. TOTAL. STRANGER.. She had hot wax poured on her breasts in one of their very first encounters and thought she was just being brave.(not stupid?) She allowed her photo to be taken while tied and orgasming after vowing she never would; (convenient she needed a pic of this for work. Really? what are the odds? Good thing she knew Ronin) trusting those pictures and a gifted framed photo of one of them given to a person she's supposedly NOT in a relationship with would never come to light. Telling her friend a ONS is nothing to be ashamed of but failing to say it's not the ONS that's the problem but doing it while being involved with another person. It is just a normal college age thing after all. No slut shaming here unless you are talking about the three women Ronin was given to knot train on by his mentor. Those women are apparently whores since they were loaned out and would have f*cked him if he'd wanted. Errrrrr. I will save you my thoughts on Ronin except to say I couldn't connect with his character. I didn't understand his thoughts or actions. His reasons (beyond the sexual stigma) of secrecy. I hated hearing about his ex of 2 years, Naomi, and how he f*cked her in public though he didn't want to and then when she wanted to make it a reoccurring part of their sex life, he punished her and f*cked her again in public but wouldn't let her orgasm because she disrespected him. How his play room was built for her. I could go on and on about what I found disturbing and contradictory in this book, but I'll wrap it up instead and just say this author is not for me. This story is continued in the next book. This one ends with Amery breaking up with Ronin, not for being unwilling to give up his ow demonstrations but because he kept the fact that he was a billionaire from her and went behind her back to save her business. Will I read the next one? Did you read my review?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

    KcLu's review posted on Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews When you think of sexy cowboys, the name Lorelei James comes to mind, right? Well, as much as I love her to die for cowboys, she has proven without a doubt, she can write outside of her norm. The setting may be different and the men may not wear cowboy hats but the writing style, the characters, and the story is everything I’ve come to expect from her and then some. The first book in the new series, Bound, The Mastered Series is one of those b KcLu's review posted on Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews When you think of sexy cowboys, the name Lorelei James comes to mind, right? Well, as much as I love her to die for cowboys, she has proven without a doubt, she can write outside of her norm. The setting may be different and the men may not wear cowboy hats but the writing style, the characters, and the story is everything I’ve come to expect from her and then some. The first book in the new series, Bound, The Mastered Series is one of those books that gets deep into the parts of your heart and holds on tight. I couldn’t put it down for anything in this world. This is a book that I know I will be rereading and often. When Amery goes to a self-defense class to support a friend whose been the victim of an attack, it never crosses her mind that she would end up in the class and at the attention of the quite intriguing and very brooding owner of the dojo, Ronin Black. At first, she doesn’t know what to think of him but he brings out her inner brat for sure which is something he’s not used to. Because of the commanding vibes he puts out, people are usually afraid of him, but not so with Amery. She doesn’t know what it is about him that has her under his spell, him or his ropes. What she does know is his mysterious side is not something she’s very fond of. She’d like nothing more than to chip away at those barriers he’s got in place and replace it with trust and communication. This poses a problem for them and Ronin will have to make the decision to let her in or allow the secrets to slowly unwind their relationship. The more layers Amery uncovers the deeper she is bound, but there is also that part of her that is scared of how much she needs him. This big question in her mind is – Is this love or obsession? Can she truly accept him and all of the ways he pushes her boundaries? Ronin Black -what can I say about Ronin Black except the fact that he stole the absolute breath from my body. He truly sweeps not only Amery off her feet, but me as well. He is alpha to the core and has enough mystery in him to drive you wild. He’s wealthy, sexy, educated, driven, sexy, powerful, intense, sexy, skilled in rope play and sexy. Since this story is told in Amery’s point of view, we aren’t able to fully know Ronin and learn how his mind works but I’m keeping my fingers crossed we learn ALL about him in the 2nd book which is told mostly in his point of view. I have it on good authority it will NOT be the same story, but a continuation of this one. One thing that always impresses me about Lorelei James is she never fails to do her homework. No matter the subject, she makes sure she gets it right. Since I have firsthand experience with rope play I can say she NAILED it. Whatever Amery was feeling was exactly how I felt when I was in the same situation. It is a truly freeing experience to be in the ropes with someone that truly knows what they are doing. There are few books that just leave me gutted and raw like this one. I will say this book is effing fantastic, but when it ended I was cursing. I NEED to know what comes next. This is my warning that there is a slight cliff hanger but the good news is we only have to wait until March 25th to find out what happens. Lorelei is an absolute evil genius when it comes to writing, and the way she can pull you into the story is just beyond compare. The stories she weaves will leave you as tied up as some of Ronin’s best knots. I can guarantee that I will be waiting on pins and needles for book two, Unwound, because I need more Ronin Black in my life! Note from DiDi: You may see BOUND labled as BDSM, don't let that scare you off, while bondage is a part of BDSM, BOUND focuses solely on the beauty of Kinbaku/Shibari, which is the technique of using ropes for erotic bondage. Kinbaku/Shibari comes from Japanese martial arts. TEASER REVIEW FOR UNWOUND (Mastered #2) I give it like 10 stars.. lol.. and another Purest Delight Award! BOUND ends in a little bit of a cliffhanger, but not a terrible one. We were lucky enough to just get the ARC of UNWOUND over the weekend, and folks it is WORTH the wait. Lorelei did not disappoint with UNWOUND. Buy BOUND now and before you know it UNWOUND will be here. Full review of UNWOUND will be posted closer to release day in March. Don't let comments about it being a cliffhanger sway you, you don’t want to miss this series!! It is a definite must read. It will rope you by the heart, and tie you down till you hit the end! It is a heartbreakingly beautiful trip to HEA. Review copy provided for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    3 Meh Stars... It's been awhile since I read a BDSM type of exotic little diddy so I saw the blurb for an alpha karate dude and thought, why not?? The question I ask now is Why?? Why?? So we do have a hot karate dude and a sassy lonely heroine who catches the eye of our hero, by guess what? Her sassy mouth. Omg, never been done before, eva! Needless to say, I was bored. It was very predictable all the way through. There were some hot scenes don't get me wrong, but I didn't care cause I didn't get 3 Meh Stars... It's been awhile since I read a BDSM type of exotic little diddy so I saw the blurb for an alpha karate dude and thought, why not?? The question I ask now is Why?? Why?? So we do have a hot karate dude and a sassy lonely heroine who catches the eye of our hero, by guess what? Her sassy mouth. Omg, never been done before, eva! Needless to say, I was bored. It was very predictable all the way through. There were some hot scenes don't get me wrong, but I didn't care cause I didn't get into the main characters at all. Ropes, neat! Very much a product of the post-50 Shades market I feel like. So overall hot factor on a Karate Kid scale...I would rate this one a Mr. Miyagi when I wanted a Johnny Lawrence. Cause forget Daniel-son, if you were a child of the 80's, Johnny was where it was at. I rest my case.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Courtnie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is a mess. I guess I should first say that I'm going to read the sequel, and here's why; The book left off on a highly emotional unresolved note and, usually, if I dislike the book I could care less about the HEA and happily put it aside. But in this case, the ending 'fight', which was really a dialogue from the mouth of Amery, was so good that I am intrigued. I am not intrigued that Ronin can somehow fix her justifiably hurt feelings, but rather, how Amery could EVER come back from wh This book is a mess. I guess I should first say that I'm going to read the sequel, and here's why; The book left off on a highly emotional unresolved note and, usually, if I dislike the book I could care less about the HEA and happily put it aside. But in this case, the ending 'fight', which was really a dialogue from the mouth of Amery, was so good that I am intrigued. I am not intrigued that Ronin can somehow fix her justifiably hurt feelings, but rather, how Amery could EVER come back from what she says and forgive him. Because everything she said was pretty kick-ass. I'll sum it up as 'You are horrible and I don't need you'. Right on. If this was a stand-alone book that ended as such, I might have given it an extra star because her walking away would be good HEA here -- I do see however that there is a sequel, so no such luck. Also, of note was the inclusion of the artistry of Kinbaku/Shibari. It was so interesting to me that I actually Wiki'd it. The BDSM world is very, very hazy to me, and believe me, I'm 100% okay with that. So when I hear the term 'bondage', I think of something nearly medieval. This is so not the case here and perhaps for that reason only, I continued to read through umpteen various sex scenes that make up most of this book. So those are the positives. Why the 1 star? Like I said, this book is a mess. The first third is so silly it's nearly a joke. First was the case of lust at first sight - at 5%: "They stared at each other, locked in an eye-fuck that was better than any sex she’d ever had." Then the sass-mouth attraction - at 8%: “Your attitude . . . intrigues me.” “What attitude?” “Defiance. Especially since I don’t think that’s a natural reaction for you.” Because this has never been done before. Because being a bitch the first time you meet a guy is totally cool and hot. Because...give me a freakin' break already. So yeah, after some sassy conversation and that earth shattering eye-fuck (roughly 5 minutes of their lives right there) we now can trust a guy with your safety as evidenced here - at 8%: "Molly’s gaze darted to the right. “Master Black said he’d be happy to handle it for you. That’s okay, isn’t it?” “Of course it’s okay,” Chaz inserted. He squeezed Amery’s shoulder. “She’s exhausted and who better to trust her safety with than her self-defense instructor?” Okay, and let's talk about Chaz - one of her self-proclaimed 'besties'. Here's thing. I am not normally or easily offended when it comes to race/ethnicity/orientation in books or lack thereof. I'm one part naive and one part ignorant, but mostly I'm color blind. I don't give a friggin' fig if the guy or girl is black, white, mulatto, Asian, Korean, Brazilian or from Mars. I typically find intelligence, wit and charisma sexier than the package they're wrapped in anyway. And as for orientation, whatever! It's just ONE PART of who people are, so please, dear author, hash out the rest for me. So, given my blaise attitude, imagine my surprise when I was geniuinely offended by the token gay friend AND, to be fair, the OTHER bestie is a lesbian - at 8%: “Did she call you and your lesbian Mafia connections for help?” Chaz asked snottily. “They could protect her better than that gay brotherhood you hang around with,” she shot back." WTactualF. And if you want to know, every cliché I've read before is in here - Chaz is a complete man-whore who cheats and is a selfish bastard towards his friend Amery. Actually, every friend Amery possesses has a selfish dick moment in the book. Is it impossible for a girl to have normal, even-keeled friends? I...can't even go on. Oh, and not to be left out - @ 8% "The African-American cop approached her while the other cop, a young Hispanic woman, talked on a phone." I don't even effing know why the race of the police officer was important to the story. Maybe because later in the book, the losers who try to jump Ronin and Amery are Hispanic so we have to show some equality. And along the lines of me being offended - Amery is an idiot. Ronin is a whatever-level-I-don't-even-know black belt, owner of a dojo and all around martial arts expert. This is heavily played on. Amery, in her infinite classiness, calls Ronin a ninja all the freakin' time - and everything out his mouth is 'so Zen': "I learned many skills there, including finding the balance between what I need and what the world requires from me.” Amery sighed. When he said Zen stuff like that, she wanted to curl into him and absorb his strength and wisdom, while surrounding herself with his enticing scent." Ronin is an idiot too though - he's so cardboard for the first half of the book. I suppose that's what 'ZEN' is, having complete clarity and delivering your dialogue much like Tarzan. "Me Ronin. You Amery. Me, Master. You, get naked." He also can get EVERYTHING done by calling in a favor - in true billionaire (though not, as yet, revealed here) fashion. Here, with a standard health test - @ 39%: “You have my word.” Ronin rolled on top of her. “I’ll set up the appointments for Monday afternoon. We should have the results the next day.” “That fast?” “A guy owes me a favor." Because waiting 5-7 days to get your STD results like the rest of the world would just...totally throw off the pacing of this book. We must get condom-less now for the boinking from here on out. This just annoyed me. As did this - “No, I mean like ivory. There aren’t many moles or freckles to mar the perfection.” I'm am so sick of perfection. This is a completely personal annoyance. I'm freckled to the hilt. I hate the fact that this chic is unrealistically perfect skin (Nicole Kidman is an exception to the rule people) and that oh-so-rare strawberry blonde hair. So, after this I sorta quit highlighting and numbed out to just finish the book. I already figured that I spent way too much time thinking about source material that was meant for the brainless. So, I got into the spirit of things and went with it. Besides all the crap mentioned above, there was a part in the middle that really bothered me - after Ronin binds her the first time (after declaring that she has 'no boundaries' with him), she completely freaks out. Her reaction, which was that she thought he was going to KILL her, was so out of left field that I was a little disturbed. She then throws some pretty heavy accusations at him and storms off without explanation. Obviously, she gets over it after a week and realizes that bondage is so very freeing and wonderful for her. Commence with round 2 of the boinking extravaganza, with ropes now instead of just whatever was lying around before that he'd use (chaise lounge straps, scarves, belts, all of which she was fine with before). Whatever. I said this book was a mess and could have just left it at that, but there were things here so obviously wrong that it made it very easy for my very small brain to point out.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lara Adrian

    You can never go wrong with Lorelei James when it comes to intense characters and pulse-pounding emotion. She pushes me out of my comfort zone for romance a lot of the time, and I love it! She's quickly become an auto-buy for me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kim O

    Lorelei James is an auto-buy author for me because she knows how to tell a fantastic story with dimensional and relatable characters who draw you in, tug at your heart, and leave you wanting more. BOUND, the first in a new series by this accomplished author was no different. As anxious as I was to see how she would fair outside of her norm, I was not in the least disappointed. I laughed, I hurt, I rejoiced, I panted, and I yelled because the author has the ability to make you feel exactly what t Lorelei James is an auto-buy author for me because she knows how to tell a fantastic story with dimensional and relatable characters who draw you in, tug at your heart, and leave you wanting more. BOUND, the first in a new series by this accomplished author was no different. As anxious as I was to see how she would fair outside of her norm, I was not in the least disappointed. I laughed, I hurt, I rejoiced, I panted, and I yelled because the author has the ability to make you feel exactly what the characters are going through as though you are IN the story. I did not want to put this book down once I started. Ronin and Amery are a great couple. You could easily sense their attraction and though neither of them are perfect (how boring would that be?) you wanted them to be together. To figure out how to make it work. Amery was bold and adventurous and Ronin stayed a bit of a mystery throughout the book (for good reason). We learned bits and pieces of him, just enough to make him interestingly Alpha and definitely sexy. I read a lot of books in this genre and I have to give Lorelei James credit for a unique and refreshing story line involving Japanese rope bondage. If you have read other books by other authors in this genre, you will be surprised at how much more of a story you will get with Bound, along with the heat, and there is a lot of heat. However, I never felt like the sex or bondage overpowered the love story. The emotionalism and eroticism combined made into beautifully written scenes. I loved this book on so many levels and I hope there will be plenty more to the series. There certainly are enough supporting characters to keep it going. SPOILER** **A note about the cliffhanger - Normally, I am not a fan of cliffhangers. But here's the thing. I got a 400 page book about a couple with undeniable pull and passion towards one another with lots of heat, heart, misunderstandings and heartache. The fact that in a little over a month I'll get to continue their journey with ANOTHER full length novel on how they learn to trust again and work through the difficulties of a committed relationship is worth the wait for me, I find it hard to complain about nearly 800 pages of a couple I adore and want to read more of. I can't wait to see what happens in Book 2, Unwound, and how the author (whom I trust) takes me on that roller coaster ride to the end.

  10. 5 out of 5

    (Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Originally posted at http://smexybooks.com/2014/02/review-... When Amery Hardwick enrolls in a self defense class at a local dojo with her friend Molly, she finds herself under the heavy perusal of of the owner. Amery, a small town girl, is soon caught under his spell of sexual delights as he gently but firmly strips her defenses to unveil the sensuous woman he suspects lurks within her. Ronin Black, the sensei and owner of the Black Arts dojo, wants to possess Amery in every manner and form. An i Originally posted at http://smexybooks.com/2014/02/review-... When Amery Hardwick enrolls in a self defense class at a local dojo with her friend Molly, she finds herself under the heavy perusal of of the owner. Amery, a small town girl, is soon caught under his spell of sexual delights as he gently but firmly strips her defenses to unveil the sensuous woman he suspects lurks within her. Ronin Black, the sensei and owner of the Black Arts dojo, wants to possess Amery in every manner and form. An intense contained man, he holds his emotions close to his vest. His time spent with Amery only intensifies his need to possess her. As their relationship grows beyond a sexual nature, Ronin’s secretive nature begins to chafe at Amery. Secrets she needs to uncover if she is ever able to give him the complete trust he demands. When I was given this for review, I was thrilled. I am a huge fan of Ms. James’s Rough Riders and Blacktop Cowboy series and though I knew this would be different, I was looking forward to reading. Lorelei James has a distinct and addictive voice for erotic contemporary romance. Her stories are a wonderfully crafted balance of plot and romance. Each couple she brings before you is a delight in contradictions and complications; tempered with humor, wild sexual temperament, and an innate dominance that hooks even the most jaded of readers. Bound is definitely a different path for James. Though still in the erotic genre, its storyline and characters are quieter and more subdued than James’ normal offerings. Subtle with textured nuance and subcontext, there is much going on under the actual words. It is unusual to see a couple whose issues aren’t immediately presented. Its only as the story reveals that we learn Amery grew up in a fundamental Christian home. Taught that desire in any form is an affront to God and punished most harshly for her supposed transgressions, Amery’s sexuality is buried deep inside her. This is not to say she is a pushover because she’s not. She owns her own business and is quite vocal in her likes and dislikes. But I couldn’t help but feel her easy submersion into submission was more by product of her upbringing and need to please than a true need to let go. Ronin remained an enigma throughout as this is from Amery’s point of view so all our information is gleaned from her thoughts and opinions. We learn he is half Japanese and is a former MMA style fighter. He owns a dojo, is most assuredly dominant, and likes rope play. He pushes, in my opinion, for Amery to trust him and like her, I was cautious. He has secrets and goes to great lengths to avoid directly answering Amery about his life. I could empathize with Amery here. How can you give complete trust to someone can’t or won’t reciprocate? The story moves fast and smooth with a heavy hand on the romance. There is character development though I felt we didn’t even begin to scratch the surface of Amery and Ronin’s psyche. The dialogue is stilted at times; especially with Ronin’s monochromatic replies. The BDSM is contained to the art of Japanese rope play and light bondage. No real D/s exploration or power exchanges though I was dismayed by the lack of information from Ronin to Amery concerning his obviously lifestyle and needs relationship wise. Indulging in wax play on the third date, out of the blue, doesn’t cut it. Informed consent should always be practiced. Intriguing scenes and an interesting look into dojos and martial arts held my interest. Amery and Ronin explore their sexual compatibility through a series of interactions and intimate endeavors that push Amery’s boundaries. I was never truly convinced Ronin felt anything beyond sexual attraction to Amery, though. It’s as if she is the perfect medium for his art but he doesn’t see the person beneath. The chemistry is hot and their love making scenes are incredibly written but it was a matter of seeing all the right moves and hearing all the right words but never feeling the connection. When Ronin would shut Amery down as she struggles to break through his shields, I didn’t get angry at him. I didn’t get indignant for her. I just shrugged it off and kept reading. Certain aspects of their personalities also felt off. Both were guilty of assuming things, flouncing off in a huff, then apologizing and falling into bed. Ronin especially with his anger issues that when combined with his sexual proclivities, made me wary. They were both juvenile at times. There was one scene where Ronin shows Amery his playroom and her first thought is he is going to kill her due to the ceremonial knives on his wall. He accuses her of not trusting him but I found that telling in her perceptions of him. That goes beyond lack of trust. I also had issues with him placing her blindfolded and tied up in the room then disappearing; giving her the impression she was alone. That is not how you introduce someone to your lifestyle for the first time and definitely not how you garner trust. A defined cast of secondary characters entertained but no one stood out as invaluable. They were plot devices. Used to expand and elevate certain scenes and our main character’s emotions. Amery’s bff’s were almost caricatures in their “mean girl” approach to Amery and her new romance. Though Ronin is close to some people in his life, we are made crystal clear that Ronin has no true friends which serves to remind us of his secrets and emotional shields. The plot elements were predictable in setup and push the issues that circle our couple to a head. An ex girlfriend, jealous friends, and a demanding family all come into play to push Amery and Ronin into directions that could tear them apart. The ending, dramatic and a wee contrived, leaves readers wondering where Amery and Ronin can go from here. Luckily readers won’t have to wait long as book two, Unwound, releases March 25, 2014. Unwound will be presented in Ronin’s POV. I do believe this is duology though I could be wrong. Though I wasn’t blown away by this one, I much prefer her dirty, loud, adorably rambunctious cowboys, it held my interest overall and I am curious to see how Ronin and Amery will address all the elephants in the room. I will be reading and reviewing book two-Unwound. Rating: C

  11. 5 out of 5

    Shawna

    3 -4 stars – Contemporary/Erotic/BDSM Romance 3 ½-4 stars – Contemporary/Erotic/BDSM Romance

  12. 5 out of 5

    The BookChick

    My Rating: ★★★★VERY GOOD: The characteristics of a 4 star book include: a great story; I loved the characters; and there was an interesting plot and unique story elements; there may have been a few odd things kept the story from being amazing. I would read it again and I would recommend it to a friend. Bound is the inaugural book in Lorelei James' new series, The Mastered. I will confess that when I first started reading the book I thought it was going to be yet another redux of Fifty Shades of G My Rating: ★★★★VERY GOOD: The characteristics of a 4 star book include: a great story; I loved the characters; and there was an interesting plot and unique story elements; there may have been a few odd things kept the story from being amazing. I would read it again and I would recommend it to a friend. Bound is the inaugural book in Lorelei James' new series, The Mastered. I will confess that when I first started reading the book I thought it was going to be yet another redux of Fifty Shades of Grey. I immediately had the thought, "Been there, done that...but, I like Lorelei's work so I'll give it a shot." I'm glad I got past my preconceived notions and delved into the sexy world of Ronin Black. The book was sexy and edgy with perfectly interspersed dollops of sweet throughout. About the characters: Ronin Black Mysterious and sexy eight-degree black belt, with topaz colored eights and shoulder length chocolate brown hair. At many times in the story, Ronin is insufferably aloof, standoffish, and selective about sharing details about his life. But Ronin has a secret. Wel, one really big one that the reader doesn't find out about until the end of the story. The other "secret" is not so much a secret but a predilection that Ronin gives Amery glimpses of at the onset of their "relationship". Ronin is a shibari and kinbaku master. His passion for rope bondage puts him in quite a predicament with Amery later in the story. Ronin keeps his life almost completely separate from Amery's, minus the smoking hot physical interactions they have together. He holds himself off from her while demanding to know every private and intimate detail about her life. His reaction to Tyler was a bit caveman-beat my chest-my womanish. However, when Amery asked him about his ex Naomi, all she got in return was scant details. Ronin also failed to let Amery know about his lineage which caused a MAJOR issue between them at the end of the story. At that point, we actually see more emotion from Ronin than we see throughout the entire story — even during their smexy times. He is visibly shaken and upset about Amery's reaction to his intentional deceit. Amery Hardwick A "Debbie Do-Right" type of woman who was raised fundamentalist Christian parents. The only physical detail we really glean about her is that she has strawberry blonde hair and clear porcelain-like skin. Amery is a talented graphic designer with a struggling business. She and Ronin meet at his martial arts center, Black Arts, where she is accompanying her friend and colleague, Molly, who needs a bit of How to Defend Yourself 101 training after being attacked. Amery's first interaction with Ronin is combative and contemptuous. Although she is not prone to rocking the book, she does so with him and challenges his authority. For me, Amery is often very weak-willed and passive. I was shaking my head often about her not pushing Ronin to know more, especially after she'd given him everything. She allowed him to thoroughly possess her--mind, life, body, and heart--and the only thing he freely gave her in return was his body. Amery also irritated me with her over the top reactions to things. There is an incident when Ronin is forced to use his training in a real life situation. If he didn't, he and Amery could have been seriously hurt. Amery's reaction, "He's prone to violence and he scares me..." That's not what she said literally but that is the gist of her reaction. And two seconds later, I kid you not, she's telling him that his display of power got her hot. There were a few incidents of Amery's overreacting in the story. But the end of the story actually had me standing up and offering her a round of applause. Finally...finally...she stood up for herself and let Ronin know that she wasn't co-signing with his secretive and selective behavior any more. The Story Anyone who is a fan of Lorelei James's work will enjoy this story. Bound contains her usual level of book hotness and a potent story that fully engages the reader from beginning to begin. I started my review by stating that I thought Bound would be a redux of Fifty Shades of Grey. It is not. The story is wholly unique with it's storyline and characters. Ronin is no tortured Christian Grey-esque hero and Amery is certainly no naive Ana Steele. Amery may have had a rigid upbringing but she is by no means naive. Unsure of her beauty, yes. Naive, no. Her response to Ronin more than proves that. I also appreciated the secondary characters in the story. Amery has a very eclectic band of friends and Ronin's friends...well as "friends" for Ronin as they could get...added a great counterbalance to Amery's friends while reading. Bound was extremely enjoyable but be warned that it ends in a cliffy. I know! We. Hate. Those. :) But, be strong, Unwound will be released on March 25 so there isn't a long time to wait to find out what happens for and to the couple. The Audiobook I listened to Bound as an audiobook and the narrator, Rachel Vivette, did an excellent job capturing the intense sexiness of Lorelei's words. She did an outstanding job with accents and inflections and made the book and enjoyable one to listen to. Ratings Detail: Rating for male protagonist: 4★ Rating for female protagonist: 3½★ Rating for secondary characters: 4★ Plot Viability: 4★ General Storyline: 4★ Story Ending: 4★ Ease of Reading: 4★ Cliffhanger: Yes Overall rating: 4★ For more of my reviews visit The BookChick Blog

  13. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    4.5 stars Bound took me by surprise. I figured it was going to be your typical BDSM book. I approached it with some measure of trepidation, because many BDSM books don't appeal to me. It's the submissive part of the relationship I always have the biggest problem with. But, I wanted to try Bound because it's by Lorelei James, and from what I've read by her, she masters super strong characters. Surprise number one - Bound is NOT a BDSM book. Surprise number two - there isn't a single cowboy in this 4.5 stars Bound took me by surprise. I figured it was going to be your typical BDSM book. I approached it with some measure of trepidation, because many BDSM books don't appeal to me. It's the submissive part of the relationship I always have the biggest problem with. But, I wanted to try Bound because it's by Lorelei James, and from what I've read by her, she masters super strong characters. Surprise number one - Bound is NOT a BDSM book. Surprise number two - there isn't a single cowboy in this book. Bound is about art and secrets and how the past has the power to strengthen or destroy you. Amery is the owner of a freelance graphic design business who is trying to remake herself in Denver. After enrolling in a self-defense class, she meets Ronin Black, eighth-degree black belt and super sexy owner of the dojo where her class is held. Ronin makes Amery feel things she never thought possible. He makes her want to bare her life, her soul and her body for him, and yet, she doesn't get the same openness in return. It's clear Ronin cares deeply for her, yet he keeps a lot of secrets. Ronin spent a lot of time in Japan, and while there learned the Japanese art of Kinbaku and Shibari, both of which use ropes and scarves to bind a person, sometimes for sexual pleasure. It's treated as a form of art - a thing of beauty. In this way, it's very different from what we westerners think of as "bondage." It's not whips and chains and handcuffs. It's colorful scarves and soft touches and something to be admired. How amazingly fascinating and refreshing! Ronin is a master at these arts and for awhile, Amery is his canvas. They both grow and learn so much about themselves during the course of their relationship. Despite the fact that Ronin kept that part of him a secret from Amery for awhile, in the spirit of continually trying to broaden her horizons and break out of the stifling mold in which her parents put her, she opens herself up to this new and exciting thing with him. I loved reading about the binding. I even Googled a few of them so I could see what they looked like. It was such a new and interesting approach to the same old BDSM genre. And even cooler is that it came from Lorelei James. I've only known her for her sexy cowboy series. What a wonderful surprise! The chemistry between Amery and Ronin was awesome. I loved how they cared for each other and seemed to want to meet each others' needs, no matter what they were. It was sweet and sexy and I was rooting for them the entire time. But, Ronin - GAH. His inability to open up and share... well, anything of substance, really... was infuriating. And, Amery's constant acceptance of that equally frustrated me. I could see a mile away that there was going to come a point when the proverbial shit was going to hit the fan and create a colossal mess. And, when that happened, I was very torn. I was cheering Amery on for finally growing a backbone, and yet, my heart was breaking for both of them. Despite my frustration with him, Lorelei James' development of Ronin Black made it impossible to not love him. I love that he's not your typical young stud (he's 38). Well, young - no (at least, not comparatively speaking). Stud? Hell yes. Ronin Black may not swagger, wear chaps or don a 10-gallon hat, but that's okay. Because hot is hot. And, Ronin Black is H-O-T. He's enigmatic and intense and strong. He's all things that embody sexy. Bound is told from Amery's POV, except for the last chapter, which is all Ronin. There is a bit of a cliffhanger ending, but it fit well with the story and the events that unfolded in the last few chapters. Thank goodness we don't have to wait long for the follow-up to their story!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ellen ✦ Book Bellas ✦

    5+++ stars!!! WOW. Bound is the first book I have read by Lorelei James and let me just say I am adding all of her books to my TBR list RIGHT NOW. BOUND blew me away. Literally stayed up until 4:00 am reading this book, that’s how elegant and sexy Ms. James’ writing is. There is no insta-love here, there is a beautifully written, slow build-up between the characters of Ronin and Amery, and a deliciously slow burn of a development of their relationship. You think you know Alpha? You haven’t met Ron 5+++ stars!!! WOW. Bound is the first book I have read by Lorelei James and let me just say I am adding all of her books to my TBR list RIGHT NOW. BOUND blew me away. Literally stayed up until 4:00 am reading this book, that’s how elegant and sexy Ms. James’ writing is. There is no insta-love here, there is a beautifully written, slow build-up between the characters of Ronin and Amery, and a deliciously slow burn of a development of their relationship. You think you know Alpha? You haven’t met Ronin yet. Even his name holds significance and meaning but you will have to read the book to find out. The story begins as our heroine Amery accompanies her friend to a self-defense class at the last minute. Amery is unprepared for the effect that the Master of the dojo, Ronin, has on her. And she has an effect on him, as well. She is a good girl from a small town, trying to make her way in the big city of Denver, and is actually very lonely after a bad break-up with her old boyfriend. Ms. James does an excellent job at crafting a wonderful story of being a Single working woman living alone in a large city, looking for love, not losing yourself in a man and also learning to accept others for who they are. Okay, enough of that. Now to the good stuff. The sex scenes in BOUND are absolutely some of the most erotic, sensual and beautiful that I have ever read. And I read a lot of romance and erotica. I also learned something new about certain Japanese-inspired practices that are fascinating, and made me want to learn more. Ronin has zoomed to the top of my favorite Book Boyfriend list and it’s only January! He is a stunning, sexual, sensual and compelling character. At about 94% I realized that the secrets Ronin had been withholding from Amery were pretty significant but I was totally taken off guard by this development. There is not exactly a cliffhanger but there is definitely a lot more to Ronin and Amery’s story (thank God for that) and Book #2 in this series is releasing in March 2014. I have one complaint about BOUND, and it is a significant one — I have a severe book hangover. I miss Ronin already. (ARC provided by the publisher in return for an honest review.)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen (About That Story)

    Wow! Okay, so this was intense and majorly hot. Super interesting story with intriguing characters. Great read! I thought both Amery and Ronin were great. Sometimes I loved them, sometimes I wanted to throttle each of them but they definitely got under my skin. Loved their meeting and the chemistry that built from the push and pull they shared. After that, they had a super fast, instant-type of relationship. I really wanted to know more about Ronin but he didn’t give much away, he was extremely g Wow! Okay, so this was intense and majorly hot. Super interesting story with intriguing characters. Great read! I thought both Amery and Ronin were great. Sometimes I loved them, sometimes I wanted to throttle each of them but they definitely got under my skin. Loved their meeting and the chemistry that built from the push and pull they shared. After that, they had a super fast, instant-type of relationship. I really wanted to know more about Ronin but he didn’t give much away, he was extremely guarded. I found this part of him frustrating because I wanted more about him and to know why he was so closed off. Ronin was commanding and in control but had a few sweet moments, I loved those. Amery was pretty much an open book. I really enjoyed watching her get stronger and loved it when she got feisty. She was a bit frustrating too, sometimes I just wanted to shake her and tell her to ask the right questions. This was super hot with a nice amount of kink, very erotic and passionate. There were intricate details when the kink is happening, it was kind of fascinating. I liked discovering what Ronin’s favorite form of kink was and some of the drama that was created from it. I did think some of the schmexy got a little repetitive - same scenario, different day - but it was all still super hot and enjoyable to read. I didn't really care for all of Amery’s friends. They seemed rather off putting to me. They were friendly enough but I never really felt the connection between them. I did really like Molly though. It was nice to see her opening up during the story, really asserting herself. Loved Ronin’s friends and coworkers from the dojo, I’m excited about what could happen there. Really good writing with a nice build throughout, I couldn't stop reading because I wanted to know all the things. The end is explosive and ends in a cliffhanger. Finally some info on Ronin! I’m not a fan of cliffhangers but I loved the drama that was created and I will definitely be reading book two, Unwound, because I have to know what happens next! And the last little bit is Ronin's POV... LOVED that!!! I'm officially hooked in the Mastered series!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly K

    2:5 stars This book was mostly just okay for me. It took me some time to get into. Some things in it were just weird. But hey, it's a bondage book, and my first one, so that's to be expected. In many ways, it was a 50 Shades with straight bondage instead of all bdsm. I liked the lead female pretty well--even though I hated her name, Amery, and wanted to pronounce it differently than I think the author meant. She was smart and I liked the exploration of herself she went through. I just wish that t 2:5 stars This book was mostly just okay for me. It took me some time to get into. Some things in it were just weird. But hey, it's a bondage book, and my first one, so that's to be expected. In many ways, it was a 50 Shades with straight bondage instead of all bdsm. I liked the lead female pretty well--even though I hated her name, Amery, and wanted to pronounce it differently than I think the author meant. She was smart and I liked the exploration of herself she went through. I just wish that the lead male, Ronin, had at least met her a half way and opened up more. But I'm sure that will happen in the next book. Because of course this is a series. I think 99% of all books these days are series or become series even if they weren't planned that way. Anyway, the characters were likable enough. I could even get behind them and root for them. The supporting characters were hit or miss for me. I liked some more than others. My biggest complaint is probably the writing. It's written in third person but might as well have been written from Amery's POV as we only got insight into what she felt. We did not learn anything extra about Ronin. Then at the end, it switches to Ronin with a little notation at the top of the chapter that tells us this happens (not necessary, especially since it's not a first person narrative). And the writer...overuses ellipses...and uses them...in weird ways. Sometimes...a comma or a dash would have sufficed just fine. But even with all my annoyance in this book, I'm sure I will read the second one. Just like I have done with the Crossfire series. Lol. So I guess that means I like the story well enough even if I don't love the writing.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Madhellena

    Whew... It's 5 in the morning and I just finished this - all I can say is that it's driving me nuts because the second book is two days away!!! I didn't know it had a cliff-hanger and now I'm counting the hours until I can read the rest of the story. Anyway, Lorelei wrote a great story (again) and it goes on my favourites shelf. It's a story about learning to be bold and confident, even if this means taking a road you didn't expect. This book focused on the heroine's journey and I'm looking forwar Whew... It's 5 in the morning and I just finished this - all I can say is that it's driving me nuts because the second book is two days away!!! I didn't know it had a cliff-hanger and now I'm counting the hours until I can read the rest of the story. Anyway, Lorelei wrote a great story (again) and it goes on my favourites shelf. It's a story about learning to be bold and confident, even if this means taking a road you didn't expect. This book focused on the heroine's journey and I'm looking forward to the hero's groveling :))

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    Review posted: Happily Ever After - Reads Blog rating: B+ “I’m putting myself in your hands, Ronin.” “You have no idea how much that appeals to me,” he murmured. Amery goes with her friend Molly to a self-defense class and immediately finds herself up close and personal with the serious owner and super-elite (yes, he has a high level that’s stated, but to me he’s about one level below super hero status with his abilities) black belt, Ronin, who gives her an introduction to self-defense on his own Review posted: Happily Ever After - Reads Blog rating: B+ “I’m putting myself in your hands, Ronin.” “You have no idea how much that appeals to me,” he murmured. Amery goes with her friend Molly to a self-defense class and immediately finds herself up close and personal with the serious owner and super-elite (yes, he has a high level that’s stated, but to me he’s about one level below super hero status with his abilities) black belt, Ronin, who gives her an introduction to self-defense on his own during the class, singling her out for some reason. Amery doesn’t really have a filter so usually what she’s thinking ends up coming out of her mouth and it doesn’t put her in a good light at the dojo which is run with strict precision and all rules are followed, no matter what. Ronin is very private, very secretive and doesn’t let many people into his inner circle. Currently just his #2 and #3 men at the dojo really seem to know him, so when he’s instantly taken with Amery, eyebrows are raised because it’s not like him at all. He, frankly, doesn’t give a shit what other people think and he makes it clear that he wants Amery and he’ll have her eventually. Amery is still a little relationship shy after her ex did a number on her. That plus the constant voice in her head that reminds her of all the things her super religious parents, especially father, drilled into her at a young age, have her constantly second guessing what she really wants to do. Her best friends are gay, so her social circle the past few years has consisted of going with them to gay bars, not really conducive to meeting men. She’s also thrown herself into her business, graphic design, trying to keep things afloat in an industry that’s finding her clients pulling more and more work in-house. So she hasn’t had time to date let alone find a real chance at a relationship. Until Ronin. He just barges into her life and she loves it. She does question things, is she letting her world revolve too much around him right now? Can they have a relationship that doesn’t exist solely in the bedroom? All good questions, and when she voices them to Ronin, I liked how they were handled. But, Ronin is a secretive guy and for all that Amery tells him about herself, putting her whole self out there to him, he doesn’t return this and it’s the main sticking point for where their relationship goes wrong. “…Have I not made myself clear that it will be more than self-defense training and business between us?” “Why me?” she blurted. “To hear people talk, you’re some kind of martial arts god. You have that whole scary, mysterious Zen thing going on. And you are one of the hottest guys I’ve ever met.” “One of?” he repeated. “Okay, the hottest guy I’ve ever met, but I didn’t want to admit that because I didn’t want you to get a swelled head.” Ronin smiled. “That you for the compliment. But I’m just a guy, Amery. A guy who works too hard and play too little. And after meeting you?” His heated gaze roamed over her face. “I’m more than ready to play.” The story focuses heavily on two areas, Ronin and Amery’s sexual relationship and the secrets and omissions that Ronin keeps out of their relationship. First, the sex. Oh lordy, Ronin is one sexy hero and he proves that Lorelei James can do sexy without a cowboy in sight. Ronin’s life revolves around the dojo and his upbringing was such that he’s studied several different disciplines throughout his life. One of those things he’s mastered is a form of bondage. Different ways of using rope and ties that when described in the story feel almost like art. It’s incredibly erotic, very sexy and it’s something that’s completely new to Amery. In fact, she doesn’t like this at all initially, mainly because Ronin doesn’t really explain what it is, what it means to him and the place it has in their relationship with her until Amery reaches the point of freaking out about it. But they talk, it’s one of the few things that Ronin does go into great detail about, and it’s something that Amery, with full trust in Ronin, comes to enjoy. I loved the backdrop for this story as well, especially Ronin’s work at the dojo and his talents with various fighting styles. Lorelei James paints a wonderful picture of not only Ronin’s career but his rope work and it’s detailed and easy to imagine what he’s doing. Now Ronin isn’t the perfect guy. He holds a LOT of himself back from Amery and in an emotional scene, she lets him have it after she’s blindsided by some of the details and facts he never told her about himself. I can only imagine that this will be the stepping stone Ronin needs to figure things out and make things right with Amery. But don’t expect to get that in Bound. I admit, I didn’t read anything about this book beforehand other than the blurb and had no idea that the “series” is actually a two-book series for Ronin and Amery. Meaning, Bound ends a big old ‘to be continued.’ Just beware of this, because as I was reading the book and coming to the end, Ronin and Amery were fighting big time and I had no idea that it would be continued in the next book. Grrrr ARGH! But, after some quick research the next book is out very soon, so the wait won’t be all that bad. I really enjoyed Bound. It’s sexy, erotic and Ronin is a dark, silent hero that stands out. Sure, he made a big mistake by not opening up, but that’s him and I get that it’s hard for him to change on a dime and be completely open to Amery when it’s just not who is he. But if he wants Amery back he’ll have a lot of work to do to earn her trust and I can’t wait to see how he goes about it. Plus, he still has a ton of secrets about his life that need to come out, and I, like Amery, need to know all about him!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anna's Herding Cats

    Mini Review 1/23 Other than being incredibly pissed this ended in a cliffhanger and wasn't a complete story the book was amazing. Incredible characters, fantastic setting, steamy as all hell and just captivating. The surprise non-ending without even a happy for now though...yeah. Pissed off reader girl and brought it down to a 4 star. Full review 3/3 Below is the original review as it was posted on Reviewed for herding cats & burning soup. on 2/2/14. Lorelei took great offense to the sanitize Mini Review 1/23 Other than being incredibly pissed this ended in a cliffhanger and wasn't a complete story the book was amazing. Incredible characters, fantastic setting, steamy as all hell and just captivating. The surprise non-ending without even a happy for now though...yeah. Pissed off reader girl and brought it down to a 4 star. Full review 3/3 Below is the original review as it was posted on Reviewed for herding cats & burning soup. on 2/2/14. Lorelei took great offense to the sanitized version of my complaint that was posted on Amazon and after dealing with her posting lies about me in multiple groups at this point I'd not recommend this book or any others by Lorelei James. She won't be an author whose books are welcome in my home from here on out which is a shame since I own most of them and have enjoyed her work in the past. ~~~ Pretty much--Lorelei James is amazing. She can weave an erotic romance in a way that pulls you in and has you completely captivated like no one else. And Bound was an incredible example of that talent. From page one I was all in. The gist: Amery takes up a self defense class in support of her girlfriend and winds up catching the attention of the seriously sexy Master Black who can't seem to keep away from her. And yummy, delicious, naughty things follow... There was something about these two that I just connected with. Their relationship was great but it was them as individuals too. I'm the first to admit I am hard on my heroines. I expect more from them. So saying Amery was amazing really means something. And I loved this chick. The way she thought, how she reacted to things, how she dealt with her screw ups and how passionate she was without even realizing it. Total girl crush. And Ronin. Ah he's a deliciously frustrating man that's incredibly powerful and deadly. He's sensual and graceful and could make ya agree to ALL sorts of naughty things without even trying. He does hold a lot of things close to the chest. Which even though he's hot as hell and all kinds of amazing could really drive a girl to pinch the snot out of him. But still love him at the same time. Yeah, I know. But he managed it. lol "Since I won, I get to pick what we do tonight. Have any idea what that might be?" Please say hours of hot, raunchy sex. Ronin's eyes narrowed. "Did you say something?" "Uh. No." Thank god she hadn't said that out loud, but she half suspected he'd read her mind. "What are we doing?" she asked quickly. "I hope it involves food." I enjoyed watching these two together as they tried to figure out their attractions, boundaries and each other. They're an interesting pair. I loved the reactions they brought out in each other--I cracked up so many times at how they flustered each other-- and enjoyed the tension filled moments too when things weren't going so perfectly. And, damn me, the sex scenes are scorching hot throughout. So would not mind being tied up by Ronin. Nope. Not at all. It was. Just. Real nice. Whew! Yeah. Bound was really an amazing read. From characters to setting to the sensual qualities of the relationship. The drama with friends and even between Ronin and Amery now and again. It all worked incredibly well and pulled me in completely. It was just fun to read and had me alternatively smiling and panting after these two. And it really had all the makings for a 5 star read. Other than the fact that at the end of the book I was sent into full out rant mode. Which brings us to part 2 of the review... **Part 2** And there's a spoiler so be warned. So, I had a couple small issues--the cover which is just--I'm tired of the non-covers happening. And a heavy helping of typos/editing blips the first half of the book (I had a finished copy so fully "edited") . Both are annoying to me but deal-able. But then the big issue. And with that I'm officially taking off my *proper* blogger hat and gonna rant. Because let me tell you. I was fucking PISSED on the last page of this book. It's a cliffhanger. *taps fingers* I nearly threw the fucking book across the room I was so ticked off. I really really do not like this new trend of cliffhangers/serial publications that have no warning. At nearly 400 pages and 15 bucks there's no HEA. There's not even a HFN when the book ended. They're broken up and things are shit. Book 2 of their story comes out end of March. For another 15 bucks. That's really hard to swallow when you're expecting a full story in one book. Even for a book that was as incredible as this one. I get this is the trend now but there needs to be a clear warning on the book that you're going to have to invest not just extra funds but extra hours to actually get the complete happily ever after. So this was taken down to a 4 star and that was pretty generous with how pissed off I was when finishing this book. How annoyed I still am more than a week later. A warning of some sort really would have been appreciated. So grrs and args!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dark Faerie Tales

    Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales Quick & Dirty: Steamy martial arts with a serious Fifty Shades feel….. Opening Sentence: “So this is where you’re learning to kick some ass.” The Review: Amery attends a self defense class with her friend Molly, as support. Molly wants to come out of her shell after being attacked. Amery is immediately noticed by Ronin, aka Master Black, the Sensei of Black Arts! Okay total side note, when I saw the name of the dojo I really did wonder if this was a paranorma Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales Quick & Dirty: Steamy martial arts with a serious Fifty Shades feel….. Opening Sentence: “So this is where you’re learning to kick some ass.” The Review: Amery attends a self defense class with her friend Molly, as support. Molly wants to come out of her shell after being attacked. Amery is immediately noticed by Ronin, aka Master Black, the Sensei of Black Arts! Okay total side note, when I saw the name of the dojo I really did wonder if this was a paranormal romance! Master Black begins to teach Amery and soon after starts showing up in her life! The attraction is immediate and fierce. Ahh, I feel like I am already doing this book an injustice. Amery and Ronin are downright hot and steamy, I enjoyed getting to know Amery and Ronin is a bit of a hot mystery, which does cause problems later, but for now he is a hot bad ass! Amery and Ronin are navigating business, their relationship, his bondage fascination, and her friends. As they get deeper and deeper, some of his habits send Amery running, but will it be the bondage that ends their relationship or his unwillingness to let down his guard? Oh my word, what can I say about this book? It was so unexpected, although I guess the name should have been a hint, right? But honestly, I really didn’t know anything about this book, or the author. So from the moment I opened this I was all in… Amery is a total gem, she breaking out of her shell and finding herself, she is snarky, smart, and talented! I love her flaws and her honest struggle to take in information and process it. And the ending…. I was almost in tears and the other half of me was like, hell yeah, get it girl! Major cliffhanger, the moment I am done with this review I am heading over to buy book 2, and maybe 3 and 4 because I loved this book! I knew I was enjoying it, but when it ended I knew it kicked me in the gut, this book was so much better than Fifty Shades. I don’t even know why I put that in the quick and dirty other than to let you know this is erotica with a similar feel. The mix of martial arts and Japanese culture and the bondage was just amazing. I was enthralled and loved every single minute of it. Ronin was a bit of the ugh/and I love him mix for me. I really did like them as a couple and I am totally invested in seeing how this all plays out. You know how some romance novels remind you why you don’t just read that genre too much anymore? Then you pick up another romance novel and it just blows you away and reminds you why this was once your favorite genre….yes Bound is in this category! What are you are waiting for? Go forth and get it now!!! Notable Scenes: “The blast of the heat from these liquids gold eyes reminded her that her boldness was only an act.” “Butterflies danced in her stomach as she waited for him to answer his own question.” “She trembled with heart-pounding, body-tingling anticipation.” “The man had all the right words.” “The man had ninja sex skills too.” “But she could admit part of her reluctance had been fear.” “On the outside he might look like a sophisticated gentleman, but on the inside Ronin Black was a pure sexual beast.” “When his words for you to understand who I am echoed back to her, she realized this secret would’ve come out eventually.” FTC Advisory: NAL/Penguin provided me with a copy of Bound. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rosebud

    Molly Calloway has been having a hard time coping after becoming the victim of an assault so Amery Hardwick talks her into taking a self defense class at a reputable dojo. Molly's anxiety level makes it imperative that Amery be there but the dojo has a 'no observer' policy which means Amery will have to take the class herself to be present. Things go from bad to worse when the owner Ronin Black singles her out for infractions in the club's policies and lack of respect to his staff. After clearin Molly Calloway has been having a hard time coping after becoming the victim of an assault so Amery Hardwick talks her into taking a self defense class at a reputable dojo. Molly's anxiety level makes it imperative that Amery be there but the dojo has a 'no observer' policy which means Amery will have to take the class herself to be present. Things go from bad to worse when the owner Ronin Black singles her out for infractions in the club's policies and lack of respect to his staff. After clearing up her misunderstandings and attempting to portray the model student persona Amery is surprised when Ronin continues to take a personal interest in her. Could Ronin seriously be interested in a small town minister's daughter or is he looking to add her to his long list of women who enjoy one night with Master Ronin never to hear from him again? This is totally tongue in cheek when I say this book brings to mind "Karate Kid" meets the "Crossfire Series" including a 'wax on'-'wax off' scene that I got a real kick out of ..... This book will appeal to the trilogy series fans out there who enjoy the mysterious wealthy guy who meets a female and proceeds to claim her (for want of a better word) in every way yet is holding back parts of himself. It's like pulling out teeth for Amery to break his outside shell only to find out that he's like an onion in having layer upon layer of mystery. For me this was intriguing yet predictable except that I didn't know the specifics for this book/series. My impression though was there wasn't enough info or development to support Ronin's mindset or actions in certain situations. But that could just be me. Until the end which did give me more answers but of course it ends in a major teaser (dare I say cliffhanger?) that will drive me nuts until the next installment comes out March 25, 2014. The core erotic romance/adult content theme of this book is BDSM that had a slant with shibari artistry. That in itself sold me on this book as I absolutely love the beauty and the skill needed to create a living canvas using rope. One of the few times I wish a book would have included pictures. So. The majority of play scenes feature some sort of bondage scenario that occurs in their D/s relationship. As for the secondary characters. There's the gay and lesbian BFF's who add the foil to Amery's friends list and Molly, the reason Amery and Ronin met in the first place. On the other side there's Deacon, Knox, and Zach who add to things but not to the degree I felt they should have. And don't even get me started on any family members and how they impacted the story. That I also would have appreciated having more exposure. ;) This is the kind of book that will have a target fan base of those who want to read a BDSM book that features the strong wealthy Dom who hooks up with a working class girl who gets pulled into the BDSM world. They will have to work though their issues which WILL be continued in a follow up installment........

  22. 4 out of 5

    cosmogirl7481

    I had a love/hate relationship with this book. And my emotions ran in the extreme on both ends. But I suppose the author’s responsibility is to make me feel, so in that respect, the author did a fantastic job. Amery, our heroine, goes to a self-defense class after her friend and employee is attacked. She’s not really interested for herself, but wants to be there for support. This is where she has an unexpected and quite entertaining encounter with our hero, Ronin. Ronin is definitely an alpha male I had a love/hate relationship with this book. And my emotions ran in the extreme on both ends. But I suppose the author’s responsibility is to make me feel, so in that respect, the author did a fantastic job. Amery, our heroine, goes to a self-defense class after her friend and employee is attacked. She’s not really interested for herself, but wants to be there for support. This is where she has an unexpected and quite entertaining encounter with our hero, Ronin. Ronin is definitely an alpha male. After all, what would you expect from a martial artist who trains and fights? I enjoyed Ronin quite a bit. Actually, I really loved several things about him. First of all, he’s basically a fantasy man. He’s also of Asian descent, which is awesome. I think there is a noticeable void of ethnically diverse heroes in contemporary romance/erotica. He’s also strong, intelligent, and sweet lord, I-need-him-to-get-in-my-pants-immediately hot. And I liked Amery a lot, too. Honestly. She’s a contemporary female character with legitimate, believable issues. She handles herself well, and given her circumstances, behaves and reacts in a manner that didn’t feel contrived. Their story progresses naturally. A little quick at times, but this is erotica, and I’m down with immediate attraction that leads to a physical and emotional relationship. You can tell that Ronin is hiding something of himself from Avery. Something sexual. There is an underlying tension in the sex scenes, and I completely thought it was one thing, but it ended up being something else altogether. I like it when I’m surprised by a plot twist. I like it a lot. With that being said, the sex was smokin’. The author did use a few erotica clichés that I don’t love in the sex scenes, but overall, I enjoyed them quite a bit. But there were a couple of extremely convenient plot devices that, in all honesty, the author could have done without. Still, the story kept me turning pages; I needed to know what was going to happen next. But just when I absolutely had to know the next thing, the book ended. Let me repeat: the book freaking ended! I hate cliffhangers with everything inside me. I knew this was a series book when I started it, however, I thought it would be a series that encompassed other characters. Not just Amery and Ronin. So, basically I’m just left here wondering what’s going to happen next. On one hand, I’m furious. On the other, I need to know what’s going to happen and will definitely read the next book. So, Lorelei James has me there. And kudos to her for that. An enjoyable read overall. I’d give it a 3.5, but I’m rounding up to a 4 because I enjoyed the unique setting, the interesting hero, and the unexpected sexual proclivity of our hero, Ronin.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)

    I have been anticipating this book for a while now. I love Lorelei James and couldn’t wait to see her writing an erotic romance not about cowboys. There are many things that I liked about BOUND. 1. I love the hero. Ronin Black is, in two words, sexy and intense. Boy! Is he intense! With the martial arts background, the tragic past you know it’s lurking beneath the surface, the mixed heritage…the love of tying women up. This guy is focused to a fault, he gives his all without cracking a smile and I have been anticipating this book for a while now. I love Lorelei James and couldn’t wait to see her writing an erotic romance not about cowboys. There are many things that I liked about BOUND. 1. I love the hero. Ronin Black is, in two words, sexy and intense. Boy! Is he intense! With the martial arts background, the tragic past you know it’s lurking beneath the surface, the mixed heritage…the love of tying women up. This guy is focused to a fault, he gives his all without cracking a smile and reluctantly lets his heroine in. But just a bit. He’s tough one to crack! 2. Amery is a strong heroine. She is immediately attracted to Ronin even when it doesn’t seem wise or healthy. But she’s always standing on her own two feet. Not co-dependent of Ronin. I was really impressed with the amount of research that shows through this book. The complexity of the martial arts not as the current fascination that people have now with jiu-jitsu, now promoted in the Brazilian style. Ronin is part Japanese and what he teaches at his dojo, and what he believes in, is the true beauty of martial arts. What they were always meant to be. They mean something and should be used with respect. I loved that Ms. James decided to go in this route instead of just a bunch of tough guys wanting to beat each other up! Then there’s the BDSM aspect of this book. I don’t think I would really want to label this book as BDSM. Yes, this is part of the book. But with Ronin, Shibari/Kinbaku (ropes technique) is part of his heritage. Part of that Japanese mystique that I described above with the martial arts. It’s another extension of who he is, without getting into the kinky that people somehow expect to read about. Ms. James showcased it as beautiful art, that has the potential of being freeing and erotic. This book is told from Amery’s POV. Although I really liked her, I sometimes missed being able to see inside Ronin’s thoughts. As I said before, he’s intense and doesn’t give you a hint what could be going through his mind. And at times, he was utterly a jerk! I need to see that other side. Desperately. Ronin Black will just leave you wanting to fix and heal him yourself! Be prepared for an unexpected twist at the end of this story! Just when I thought things were wrapping up nicely there was a curve ball thrown my way. All in all, job well done Ms. James. I think fans and new readers alike will flock to the Mastered series. I know when I pick up anything by this author, I will be thoroughly satisfied and enjoy the ride. *ARC provided by publisher

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ena May - Swoon Worthy Books/Enticing Journey Book Promotions

    This was my very first Lorelei James book and I have to say she didn’t disappoint. The story of Amery and Ronin Black is oh so sexy and steamy. I love erotica and although I would consider this erotica there is a great storyline behind all the sexiness. Amery is living her dream as a graphic designer and after a close friend signs up to take self defense after a recent attack Amery comes along for support not know that she too will be thrown into the class and in turn thrown right into the path of This was my very first Lorelei James book and I have to say she didn’t disappoint. The story of Amery and Ronin Black is oh so sexy and steamy. I love erotica and although I would consider this erotica there is a great storyline behind all the sexiness. Amery is living her dream as a graphic designer and after a close friend signs up to take self defense after a recent attack Amery comes along for support not know that she too will be thrown into the class and in turn thrown right into the path of Master Black. Amery is a strong and determined woman that doesn’t have a filter which in turn gets her in some trouble during class. Master Black doesn’t take crap from his students and after running into Amery and her smart mouth something sparks and they find themselves face to face at a battle of wills. Master Black is dominate and alpha 100 percent and Amery doesn’t do well with men telling her what to do but when those orders come from the sexy and dark Master Black she finds herself bending to his will. Those two together are seriously steamy hot. I loved reading the growth of Ronin throughout Bound and how the feelings he started to develop for Amery had him changing small things about himself – it was nice to see. Although he started to soften towards certain things he certainly did not lose his alpha card and held that tight throughout the entire novel. I will say that reading Bound I am not a fan of Lorelei James and cannot wait for Unwound book 2 because no I had no clue reading this that I would get the finishing story of Ronin and Amery and the ending I wanted to scream and throw the book across the room. Master Black captured my heart and left me wanting so much more. Amery and Ronin’s story is far from over and I can’t wait to see what Lorelei brings us next for Ronin and Amery – I have a feeling there will be more bumps in the road but the making up is always the best and Ronin is very very good at the ways he uses to say he is sorry. He is a naughty boy that can say he is sorry to me anytime he wants to. Great novel and I have a feeling that it’s going to be an amazingly sexy series. I need the next book now!!!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laz the Sailor

    A new series from Lorelei - yay! Unintentionally, the last 3 books I've read have all been about alpha males with BDSM kinks. I didn't really like the first one, the second was much better, but it seems I've kept the best for last. Ronin, the alpha, is dark and dominant, but he's not arrogant or an ass. The girl Amery is a bit naive, but she's got a strong core, and she doesn't take bullshit from anyone. These two bump heads in a very amusing way, and quickly find that they can really burn up the A new series from Lorelei - yay! Unintentionally, the last 3 books I've read have all been about alpha males with BDSM kinks. I didn't really like the first one, the second was much better, but it seems I've kept the best for last. Ronin, the alpha, is dark and dominant, but he's not arrogant or an ass. The girl Amery is a bit naive, but she's got a strong core, and she doesn't take bullshit from anyone. These two bump heads in a very amusing way, and quickly find that they can really burn up the sheets. Her sheltered life doesn't prepare her when she agrees to accept "anything" from him - wait, why are there hooks in the ceiling? But he makes her feel safe. He takes her to new heights of ecstasy, which she takes as proof of his character. LJ writes intense and detailed sex scenes. Ronin does the "get naked now" bit, but Amery gets her turn as well. This is not a one-sided relationship. This is one of the best in this genre - you're going to love it right up to the end.

  26. 5 out of 5

    K.

    4.5 Holy incoherent thoughts. That was good and I will start the next book, because that ending. That ending.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aղցela W.

    I can't believe I am writing this, but this is my first Lorelei James book. Amery is living in Denver while running her own graphic design business. She grew up in a small town and came from a very Christian family that caused her to grow up being ashamed of anything sexual. Her relationship with her parents now is strained at best, but she has started to live her life how she wants and not how they approve. After her friend gets attacked, Amery agrees to attend some self defense classes with he I can't believe I am writing this, but this is my first Lorelei James book. Amery is living in Denver while running her own graphic design business. She grew up in a small town and came from a very Christian family that caused her to grow up being ashamed of anything sexual. Her relationship with her parents now is strained at best, but she has started to live her life how she wants and not how they approve. After her friend gets attacked, Amery agrees to attend some self defense classes with her but instead of being an observer, she ends up being forced to participate. There she meets the sexy and mysterious owner of the Dojo, Ronin Black. Ronin and Amery are instantly drawn to each other, and feel a pull between them like they have never felt before. Ronin and Amery begin seeing each other, and Amery quickly figures out that there is so much more to Ronin than meets the eye. He has a darkness to him and desires that she has only scratched the surface of. Amery is introduced to Ronin's world of bondage, and gives herself over to him while opening up herself like never before. But Amery still feels as though Ronin is holding himself back from her and that he is hiding things from her. I really liked Ronin. I thought that he was extremely sexy, athletic, and very intriguing. I liked how raw and passionate he was, but that he could also be tender and gentle. There was so much more to him than meets the eye, and it really feels like we just barely scratch the surface with him in this book. I had a lot of issues with Amery first she let this man tie her up with scarves and a belt but when he uses rope she has a fit and the pointless arguments. Her friends Chazz and Emmylou I would have told them to but out sooner then she did, and she was too naïve for me she should have asked questions, but she didn't. Overall this was a good book I just had problems with Amery and her running dialogue in her head.

  28. 4 out of 5

    1-Click Addict Support Group

    Wow. So when I started this book I knew the heat would be off the charts, but what I didn’t expect was the depths to which the story would affect me. Lorelei, you have made a new, instant fan and I will be devouring the rest of the series just as soon as I am done typing this up! Amery is a small town girl who moved to Denver, CO with her ex. When she found him cheating on her soon after, she threw herself into her graphic design business and made a name for herself. She is also the daughter of a Wow. So when I started this book I knew the heat would be off the charts, but what I didn’t expect was the depths to which the story would affect me. Lorelei, you have made a new, instant fan and I will be devouring the rest of the series just as soon as I am done typing this up! Amery is a small town girl who moved to Denver, CO with her ex. When she found him cheating on her soon after, she threw herself into her graphic design business and made a name for herself. She is also the daughter of a Pastor, and is trying to come to terms with the fact that she is a sexual woman after having grown up believing it is a sin. Ronan is an 8th degree black belt, Sensei, and owner of a dojo in Denver. When Amery and her friend sign up for a self-defense class after her friend was attacked, he is smitten. He is also a rope master, practicing both Shibari and Kinbaku styles. Being the private man he is, it comes to no surprise he likes the control it offers him. Now, mix them together, add a dash of wild sexual attraction and you end up with a concoction so powerful it could be classified in the category of TNT. But with Ronan being so closed off and wearing his mask of control at all times, there is a lot of communication issues between the couple. The book ends on a small cliffy, but the story does continue in the next book. In fact I am opening that book in 5, 4, 3, 2… ~ Devlynn, 4.5 stars

  29. 5 out of 5

    DemetraP

    Cliffhanger ending warning. Huge cliffhanger. The next book is scheduled to be released in March. I really liked this book. The hero, Ronin, is the owner of a dojo and a rope bondage master. He sees the heroine in one of his classes and is immediately enthralled. They start seeing each other and he gradually explains the things he really likes to do in his intimate life with ropes. The best part of the book is the mysterious hero, Ronin. He is hot, sexy, has that edge of danger, and is really into Cliffhanger ending warning. Huge cliffhanger. The next book is scheduled to be released in March. I really liked this book. The hero, Ronin, is the owner of a dojo and a rope bondage master. He sees the heroine in one of his classes and is immediately enthralled. They start seeing each other and he gradually explains the things he really likes to do in his intimate life with ropes. The best part of the book is the mysterious hero, Ronin. He is hot, sexy, has that edge of danger, and is really into rope. Unfortunately, the heroine has meddling friends and a business that is struggling to put pressure on their relationship. His secrets and evasive answers even when she asks him to open up causes problems too. The heroine's friends really are stupid. They listen to her ex-boyfriend who cheated on her and complain about Ronin. What????? And they get mad when she doesn't want to go to gay bars every Friday with them because they always ditch her when they meet a romantic interest. Just skip the parts with them in it. I was very angry about the cliffhanger ending. I had no idea there would be one and it really pissed me off. This was a hot, emotional book with 2 people trying to find a balance between a kinky relationship and a true, emotional relationship. I can't wait for the next book with Ronin.

  30. 5 out of 5

    P.A. Lupton

    I will admit I was a little worried going into this one. I mean, I love Lorelei James’ other books so I shouldn’t have worried, but this is something totally different for her. I almost didn’t read it because I heard there was a cliff hanger ending, so let me just say to anyone holding off on reading this because of that: I hate cliff hangers, and this wasn’t that bad. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll want to immediately pick up book two, but I didn’t feel like I was left hanging too badly. The other c I will admit I was a little worried going into this one. I mean, I love Lorelei James’ other books so I shouldn’t have worried, but this is something totally different for her. I almost didn’t read it because I heard there was a cliff hanger ending, so let me just say to anyone holding off on reading this because of that: I hate cliff hangers, and this wasn’t that bad. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll want to immediately pick up book two, but I didn’t feel like I was left hanging too badly. The other concerns I had were a) I thought it’d be just like Fifty Shades and I’m getting a bit tired of the same old same old. And b) I was a bit worried about LJ writing BDSM since it’s not her normal genre. However, this book is not really about BDSM. It’s about bondage, and the way it’s introduced and explored all relates to the heroes cultural and martial arts back ground. I found that part of the story so intriguing and so different. The author did a fantastic job of that. Overall, I really enjoyed the characters. I enjoyed the story and the dialogue, and I am definitely going to read the next book when it’s released.

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