Saturday, February 22, 2014

**Review** Bound & Unwound ~ The Mastered Series 1 & 2 ~ Lorelei James

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….

**ARC received via Netgalley via Penguin in exchange for an honest review** 

This novel has been sitting on my Netgalley dashboard for about 2 months. I don't know what took me so long to pick it up. 

Amery is a graphic designer, a struggling one at that. On a promise to her co-worker, she heads to a self-defense class. She discovers quickly she had no idea what she was walking into. Catching the eye of Sensei Black, Amery is thrown completely off her game. And for some reason, she keeps coming back for more. 

Sensei Black and Amery embark on a journey where in the dojo, and the bedroom Black is in charge. Through secrets & withheld information Amery struggles with the balance of her business, her friends and her new found - odd - relationship with Ronin. She knows that soon enough her world is going to be swept out from underneath her. 

Lorelei James has one again proved to be a masterful storyteller. Need to say I was kicking myself for waiting so long to read this one. Ronin swept me off my feet and I couldn't get enough of him. I was pulled into the world of Japanese bondage and martial arts. Each time I had to put down my kindle was a struggle. I do hope we get to see Knox's story in the future. 

See my review of Unwound, the continuation of Ronin and Amery's story, below. 

When sensei Ronin Black first encounters Amery Hardwick, the fire in her eyes ignites a sexual spark a thousand times better than the primal rush he used to get from mixed martial arts matches. She accepts his darker edges and admits to him that her desires aren’t as wholesome as he believed. And before long Ronin is grappling with emotions he’s never felt before….

Yet despite demanding Amery bare her body and soul to him, Ronin holds a part of himself back. When she learns Ronin’s secret and walks out, his life begins to unravel. To regain her trust he must let go of his pride and prove to her that it’s more than passion binding them together. But after their private pleasures are made public, Ronin is unsure if he’s the right man for Amery. Can they face the consequences together? Or will their differences rip them apart?

**ARC received via Netgalley via Penguin in exchange for an honest review** 

In the continuation of Bound. We get the majority of the story from Ronin's POV. I was a little distraught that we didn't get more of Ronin's story in Bound, Unwound more than made up for it. 

Ronin is in despair from his separation from Amery. In an attempt to block the pain, he steps foot back inside the cage. Not the best decision he's made. Amery knows she's made a mistake walking away. From where she's sitting? It needed to happen. 

In Unwound, Ronin and Amery explore their intimacy issues in an attempt to salvage their budding relationship. 

Unwound was the perfect ending to Bound. It was a Masterful, Breathtaking, deeply sexy novel. While this novel as some smoking H.O.T. scenes, it explores the deep intimacy shared between 2 people who are obviously in love with one another. And how that intimacy affects their daily lives, communication, and overall understanding of one another. 

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