In the 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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I am a book junkie...I read and enjoy a variety of stories, so please don't "define me" by one book or review! :)
I'm sorry to have to say that there is nothing that I found good or well-done about this book. I read many, many books. And I listen to many more. I am open minded and read a wide variety of books, authors with different styles. Some may be written a little better than others, but I enjoy most every book. It takes a lot for me to abandon one, it has to be pretty bad. Well, this one qualifies. This is only the second, or at most the third, audiobook I have "quit" on in five-plus years and 500 hundred audiobooks total in my library. All of the following were annoying and poorly-done: The writing, the characters, the "love" scenes, (which are unappealing, un-sexy, and awkward with cheesy dialogue and terminology), the dialogue (mainly sniping and bickering between the characters), and the pace of the story, flow of events from one scene to another. Go ahead and give this one a miss, you will not be missing anything good. I will be returning it for a refund.
4.25 Stars Quick Descriptions: BDSM/Bondage- Alpha Male- Female learning to be strong- Erotic Romance- Hot sex scenes- Cliff Hanger Series- Silent Hero (The ending is a cliffhanger leading to the next book in the series but it leaves off in an appropriate spot.)
Bound is the inaugural book in Lorelei James' new series, Mastered.
If you haven't read Lorelei James’ Rough Riders series start immediately! I had read them years ago when they came out and loved them.
Ronin is a strong sexual alpha that keeps himself completely closed off from everyone. He’s very secretive and this causes the obvious issues within their relationship.
Amery is a slight doormat that wants to be a strong female. They both have ex's that did a number on them. Amery has the added benefit of having a strict religious upbringing. She struggles with the feeling of being 'dirty' and unworthy when it comes to certain things specifically sex.
Side cast: Amery's so called friends didn't seem like very good friends to me and more often than not pissed me right the hell off! They got mad if she suggested a change in venue for their night out and all but attacked her about Ronin. Not cool! However Ronin's friends were what you would expect from a strong silent hero.
BDSM/bondage has been done redone and done again. Reading Bound was a more refreshing version to an old tune. His big secret seemed obvious to me but I didn't expect the twist, very nice.
They stared at each other, the attraction between them getting stronger each time they were together "you think it’s a good idea for us to be alone in your penthouse?" "Yes, because the first time I fuck you I'll need more than an hour."
A nice build-up of sexual tension in the beginning then BAM they combust into a hot sexual meeting that curled my toes. There was the right amount of sex to keep you hot and bothered but not detract from the story.
"The other reason I like your hair down is that I've fantasized about having these silken tresses wrapped around my fist as I'm fucking you"
The ending is a bit of a letdown but I have some hope the story will redeem itself since there is a sequel Unwound. This kept it from being a higher rated read for me. It's hard for me to pinpoint what it was that frustrated me about the ending. Maybe the way she approached him about it, I'm just not sure and can't hash it out without giving away too much of the story.
Bottom line if you enjoy hot alpha-BDSM/bondage-romance books then this will satisfy your craving!
I listened to the Audible.com version. Narrator: 4 stars very well done!
I enjoyed the narrator's take on the voices, so I'm sure I'd actually enjoy the audio version better. I've read some mixed reviews for the narrator, but she did a pretty good job in my opinion.
You know, I have to be honest. I really didn't have a favorite character. This book is just so neutral to me that I have no opinion one way or another. The characters just seemed like vessels to move the story along while not really leaving a lasting impression on the reader. It's still a mildly fun ride, so I don't regret spending my credit here.
This book reminded me - a lot - of 50 Shades of Gray. What I can say about this is that, though the subject matter did seem similar (strong male lead with need for sexual control, docile female lead willing to meet those needs), the characters were far less flipping annoying in this book. Oh, the female lead didn't make me want to gouge my eyes out with a rolled up feminist magazine either, which was a major plus..
As for notable negatives -- There is a lot of sex in this book. I'm not a prude, I swear, but I would have loved to have more plot. Also, there is a lot of graphic language, and before you say "Well, duh", what I mean is that most books like this will use cutesy words to mask the nitty gritty. This book doesn't have a problem letting you know EXACTLY what is happening while using a colorful vocabulary. If that makes you uncomfortable, you'll want to skip this for sure.
Say something about yourself!
It had potential, it did but both the story and the female narrator ruined it!
The owner of the Dojo is hot and appealing but he also uses these awkward phrases to try to be all Zen-like and it comes across as fake and ridiculous, partly due to the narrator over pronouncing things and lack of emotion at key points....when the guy asks the girl do you want me to do blank to you and she answers "yes" it should probably be a moaning yes not a robotic yes like someone asked you if you took milk in your coffee!
it simply was not as gripping as I had hoped. Yes, the story got better towards the end of the book but Amery was a truly pathetic character who started the relationship in awe of the hero and made no mystery of it. Who would ever be interested with a pathetic person who is a self proclaimed looser? So pppppllllease !!! I could not see these two together. The hero is a closed person who just knows how to please a woman. Whoop de doo.
The last few chapters she finally gained some confidence and the story got better but the book ended with the reader hanging, needing to purchase the next books in the series to find out how things are resolved. I did not like the book enough to subject myself to another few hours of similar babble to find out what happens to their argument, but my guess is I predict survival.
Nurse, mom, loved to read....but now I love to listen. When I retire I hope to hear waves crashing in 1 ear and audible in the other!
This story was....no words to describe except...ew!, eyerolling!, silly!, never happening! It was just over the top how this dominant male wooed his female. I rolled my eyes so many times. The story without the sex was not bad but there was very little of it, I may listen to #2....if it is free! The narrator was not bad with what she had to work with.
All business but contemporary fun!
The most interesting thing about this book was the introduction to martial art and rope terms which were new to my vocabulary. The writing style is clean and simple but the dialogues between the characters are very unimpressive. I think my biggest issue with the book is the heroine's character which is not fully developed. She could have had many shades in her personality given her constraint uprising compared to where she is now.
TOTAL HOT BOUNDING! .
I loved how Sen Black and Amery where getting to know each other! He is so strong but holds himself back for fear of getting hurt again. You can feel the love coming out of the book and I can not wait till the next book comes out
I love that there are two different voices. I listen to alot of these books and sometimes I have to cringe with the voices that come out.
I did laugh in the beginning where Amery was so strong, when she was first entering the DO JO. I could so see myself acting like that. But I wanted to cry when at the end of the book things fell apart. I am not a big fan of cliffhangers!
I really enjoy the world of books! Narration just add layers to that world... don't u think? :)
The ice to cool my overheated body and ropes to join in on the fun!
This book was amazing! Ok.. first, this I s not really dual narration which I loved because I hate dual narration... the book is read by Vivette until the very last chapter which is told from Ronin POV and read by Daniels...
The sexual chemistry between Ronin and Amstry is WOWAH..KAZAWA! Being a sensei and 8th degree black belt only add to Ronin's sex appeal... but the rope master kicked it up like 4 more degrees...The first scene in the dojo with Ronin and the pants was so cute and smexy at the same time...
Amstry was the perfect female for Ronin, strong and smart but somewhat submissive when she needed to be... great great...
I have to say Ronin was so secretive, I was a bit shocked like Amstry when only a small part of his background was reviled...
The smex was hot and tingly which double checked all my boxes, and the story kept me entertained... when it ended I was surprised and actually looked at my K. FIRE like it had brokenen down...
Well worth the credit...it's a bit pricey... but so worth it... there has to be a book 2, which from the last chapter implies will be from Ronin's POV...
Narration was great... I hope book 2 is read by Vivette... she was actually better than Daniels.. both narrators was still great though... Great book...great story, great drama... a credit well spent!
NO, it was just not up to LJ's usual expertise. I've read and listened to all of LJ's western themed books- they have dominant men, wonderful character development, lots of smoking' hot sex and EMOTION! There is a cultural representation and familial development in those books. I will give her credit for a different approach to all the BDSM books that are coming out since FSOG (which were flawed as well). In this series, LJ is using Japanese rope bondage( an ancient art- and it IS an art) to provide the structure of the 'kink'. The thing is, the way the lead male is portrayed- he is 'dominant' but not a Dominant, per se. So if that is what you are looking for you will not find it in this book. A book that better portrays the D/S experience and psychology is 'Honor Bound' by Joey W. Hill- sadly it doesn't come out in audio. The female in the story annoyed me- she was supposed to be 'city-smart' after living in Denver for many years despite a small town fundamentalist Christian upbringing- but too naive to know that if you are getting jacked by four guys in a street on the seedy side of town- you are probably not going to get out of it unscathed even if you cooperate. The whining really got on my nerves.
It provides a segue into the next book, which is what many of the writers are doing these days. Though to give LJ credit- at least her book is a full sized novel at over 8 hrs and not two or three novellas that eventually make up a whole book.
The narrators did the best they can- Luke Daniels is always a professional and this is the first time I've heard anything by Rachel Vivette, but thought she did a good job on an odd accent.
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