Review: Bound by Lorelei James

Posted February 3, 2014 by Shari in Reviews / 10 Comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Bound by Lorelei James

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Mastered,
Genres: BDSM Romance, Contemporary Romance
Published by Penguin Group
Released on February 4, 2014
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Get it at: add to goodreads

There ain’t no cowboys in this story. Ok, no I don’t talk that way. Heck, I correct my kids left and right on double negatives. For real, there isn’t a cowboy in sight in this book and that is what I came to know about Lorelei James. She stepped right out of that genre and hit a home run, but also made me want to throw my Kindle at the wall leaving me in a cliffhanger. Bound is a drama filled erotic story of Ronin and Amery, separated by 10 years of age, some maturity and dark secrets that will bite them in the ass at the end of this book.

The story is about 99% told from Amery Hardwick’s perspective with just a little bit from Ronin’s at the end, but it is told in third person point of view…thank you!!!! Amery is a young woman who grew up in an ultra religious family with one sibling. Moving to Denver with a boyfriend , Amery is stepping slowly away from her background roots. She live separately from her boyfriend, unable to totally break that religious background she grew up with. When she finds her boyfriend cheating on her, she breaks up, losing most of her friends except for Chaz, a gay guy who rents space from her building. Oh, she owns a building where she runs a graphics business, has one intern and rents space to two friends…one is gay and the other is a lesbian.

The story opens up with Amery being the moral support for her intern attending self-defense training. There is no “watching” at this dojo, so Amery has to take the class too where she butts heads with the owner, Ronin, over her attire. Bold, she undresses in front of him, which is totally out of her element. Intrigued with Amery, Ronin takes over Amery’s training both inside and outside of the dojo. Slowly over time Ronin pushes Amery beyond her boundaries. But as Ronin draws Amery out of her shell and opens her up to a totally new erotic world, he holds himself back only doling out little pieces of himself and his past to Amery. But deep secrets start to unravel a little over time causing upheaval to their relationship.

Amery is innocent, but I would not say naive. She knows what is going on in the world, but has no understanding of BDSM or erotic works. Ronin slowly introduces her to bondage, Shibari, Kinbaku and further darker Japanese bondage traditions. While it excites Amery it also terrifies her to hand over so much power to Ronin. Little by little Ronin’s secrets and desires start to unravel putting up walls around Amery that Ronin will have a tough time climbing.

The emotional turmoil this book caused me never ended and I wasn’t prepared for it to end in the cliffhanger it did. Know that this is a two book series and hopefully not more. Amery provides a wonderful choice in a heroine who is tough, has pulled herself away from a family setting that is negative and made choices best for her. Ronin pulls her sexually. He is older, darker and charismatic, but she can never seem to really get to know him. He is ultra rich, but she thinks it comes from the dojo, though her friends hear rumors he is into dark things. Fighting with her friends, she picks Ronin’s side even though she doesn’t really know his side.

There were times I wanted to tell Amery to run. Run far away from this man who expects such honesty and commitment from her, but doesn’t return it. Drawing Amery into his world, I was happy to see her stand up for herself and not let him totally walk all over her.

Ronin is a dark enigma. He treasures Amery. He bends over backwards to make her happy, but he draws her into his darkness without really telling her what he wants or needs. I formed a cautious feel for him in that I couldn’t tell if he walked on the dark side of the law or not. If he was just a dojo owner who once fought in competitions for money. He was a puzzle through much of the book and even at the end, there was a wealth of knowledge we still didn’t have on him.

Shibari has fascinated me, but not enough to really investigate it. I got a lot of knowledge of it and how beautiful it is. It isn’t just erotica it is a way of creating art, controlling a part of someone. There is a lot of Japanese history to this story that both fascinates and repels parts of me. Please note that this is mostly bondage and some control, not a BDSM relationship. He’s not going around spanking her, dominating her with protocol or having sex with her in a club. It is strictly bondage and the control he feels when creating art on her body and some control he feels when she can’t get away.

Bound is a dark look into a world of kink from a different perspective that isn’t all about protocols and orgasm denials. It deals with the beauty of rope, how it binds a person, controls the person and brings them both to a orgasmic heaven. It’s deep, but quiet. Peaceful and riot filled. The story brings out a rainbow of emotions from highs to lows. And yes, I wanted to throw my Kindle when I was left wondering what happens next. Kudos to Lorelei James for writing a story that evoked deep emotions from me.

What draws you to BDSM? The spankings? Ropes? Dark dreams?
Secrets seem to be the problem in BDSM lately…do you agree?

Delighted Reader Giveaway

About Lorelei James

Lorelei James is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Blacktop Cowboys and Rough Riders series as well as the steamy new Mastered series. She lives in the Black Hills of western South Dakota with her family. Visit her online at,, and

The following two tabs change content below.
Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!


10 responses to “Review: Bound by Lorelei James

  1. You should know this doesn’t have a cowboy in it. Her publicity picture is now minus her usual cowboy hat. Haha!

    Well written review! You sold me on this one. I’m curious about the shibari and now Ronin’s secrets. I’ll wait though since there’s a cliffhanger. Anna was frustrated by that one too when I read her review.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I just finished the second book, Unwound. It completes Amery and Ronin’s story, but I am hoping get some secondary characters romances like Molly, Amery’s assistant, Ronin’s sister, Deacon (MMA fighter Ronin is training), Zack, and many more.

      • That’s good that it is tied up (yuk, yuk) in two books. Those cliffhangers can wreck havoc when you have to wait only to get another one.

  2. Susan T.

    Can’t wait to read Lorelei James’ new series. Can’t wait to learn more about Ronin and Amery.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I finished the second part of this one over the weekend called Unwound. Thank goodness I didn’t have to wait too long or I would have wanted to smash things, lol.

  3. Texas Book Lover

    I like the sound of this one…well except for the cliff hanger. I’m not a huge fan of those from any author but love everything I have read of Lorelei’s to date and have no doubt I will love this too!