Bonded by Laura Wright #Review

Bonded by Laura Wright #ReviewBonded by Laura Wright

Series: #4 Cavanaugh Brothers
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Signet on September 1, 2015
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Purchased
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three-half-stars  

The fourth and most controversial Cavanaugh Brother gets his story and I settled in prepared to devour the story as I had the last few. I knew it wouldn’t be easy especially with Blue’s head all messed up the way it is. I feel like there should be a warning label like ‘Caution: there be dragons ahead’. And no I’m not being overly dramatic after getting Blue’s thoughts every now and then and seeing him in action throughout the rest of the series (and yes, that means that this series really should be read in order). But even with all that, I wasn’t expecting what I got in this book.

Alright, so this one picks up nearly where the last book left off with that huge, huge revelation at the end of the last book. ‘There be series spoilers ahead so precede with caution’.

Blue has just confronted ‘Cowgirl’, his on-line relationship, in person discovering who she really is and finding his murdered sister’s diary in her possession. Unfortunately, there is no real evidence so the woman walks away free. His life is at a true low. He’s still processing his mother’s secrets, his relationship to the Cavanaughs as their ‘wrong side of the blanket’ half-brother, and that he has a quarter share in the ranch that has everyone fighting for what they want. So he drinks and that leads to something unexpected.

Emily Shiver has been crushing on Blue Perez from afar for a while and it hurts to see him drinking and alone. She can see the misery and pain in him and just wants to help. This leads to her back at his place. Right in the middle of her ecstasy she hears words that no woman wants to hear while with a man. His thoughts seem to be along the lines of forgetting some other woman. She runs off shamed and sorry that she didn’t use better sense, but then the home pregnancy test comes back positive and her actions of that night now have lasting consequences. A baby? Her family’s reaction? How to tell Blue? Her head is swirling and the truth comes out long before she is done processing.

Blue’s desire to stay detached and cold is confronted by a situation he never saw coming. He is forced back into the game, but he clings to his anger and mistrust like a lifeline. He will do his duty toward his unborn child and the mother of that child, but that is all. Only, he suddenly wants more with Emily, but she wants it all or nothing. And then there is ‘Cowgirl’ still waiting in the shadows to have him all back to herself.

This book got off on the wrong foot from the beginning with me and never really got squared away. I ended up growing fed up with Blue, with Emily, and with the two together along with feeling sad how Cass’ murder and the family situation played out. Right when I wanted to be close to the action, to the romance, and to Blue healing, I felt like I was kept at a distance and couldn’t quite get in rhythm with this story.

Blue’s anger and betrayal issues, I got even if I was ready for him to get past it the way he was bringing pain to himself, his mom, and Mac. Emily, however, was one confusing chick and I never warmed up to her.

Emily is described one way, but her words and actions spoke differently. The only description that was truly apt was the stubbornness. Most of the time she dove into words or actions without thinking and didn’t seem to care (though she claimed to) about hurting her family or Blue. She was big on avoiding and manipulative and came across as being ‘it’s all about me’ sort of girl. She wants to be treated like an adult, to be independent, yadda yadda, but she couldn’t be upfront with anyone, not once even if it was just to explain that she wanted her own place to her parents and then later to be upfront with all involved about the baby. There were several times when she took shots at Blue knowing his weak and hurting areas and tried on some verbal blackmail when it came to him and the baby even though he constantly tried to do right by her. ‘You’ve got issues yet you want time with your child? You only get to see your child if…’. Not a fan, Em!

Which was largely why I wasn’t a fan of their sudden love. They go from perfect strangers, to having a baby, to battling each other and their issues, and suddenly love. There were no grounds for it and not much there to love, to be frank.

As to the suspense line of the story, that happened as quickly as Blue and Em’s ‘I love yous’. After all the build-up over the series, there was a little fizzle and pop it was over. And the strained situation with the Cavanaughs, again, it was handled quickly from a distance. I love stories with family and particularly brothers, but never got the big or little scenes of these guys coming together. Sadly. I did not bond with ‘Bonded’ and I’m disappointed about that because I wanted to very much.

But, I will say, that the one storyline that did satisfy was seeing Blue work through his anger and emotions so that he could be restored with his mother, Mac, and eventually his brothers. Mostly, I was glad that he was healing for his own sake. He was a good guy that got hit by a lot of hurt and it was good to see him come out of it.

In the end, I’m glad I read the series even if this last book was somewhat disappointing. I guess it was okay, but I really wanted more. I would still recommend this series for those who like their sexy, hot cowboy brothers and a compelling mystery, but some books might be more engaging than others.

My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Discussion Starter

We all go into books with expectations particularly if it’s a series finale. I had them for this one. I expected it to be tough on the emotions, but expected to see healing and dare I say bonding? Based on the title I was waiting for personal healing for the hero, family healing for the group as the murderer was brought to justice and they got past the past. I got a very little of that so was left wanting. What about you? Had any series finales fall flat for you? Was it you and your expectations or was it the story not quite getting there? Had a finale that took you to new heights and was awesome? Do tell.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Sorry book 4 didn’t meet your expectations. I am curious about Blue though, I do love a twisted character when I can stand them! lol Great review, I’ll have to check this series out 🙂

    • Yes, Blue is definitely a complicated guy. He is strongly present through the other books even before his own. I felt like right about the time the complications were getting settled that the book turned to a quick summary near the end. Not awful, just not what I wanted in the final book. Hope you get the chance to check them out, Sarah.

  • Hey Sophia! It’s a shame this book didn’t meet your expectations because I can tell his excited you were. Blue sounds like a manipulative *insert bad word here* I can’t stand characters like that. And….YES, sad to say I’ve actually been met down a couple of times by a series ending. Not because it was bad but because my vision for the book just didn’t quite go that way?

    • Maybe it was a bit of my expectations and enthusiasm being too high. I really wanted to feel this one. Em was probably the more annoying of the pair as the manipulator, but he held his anger and pushed away the wrong people.

      I guess we all have it happen once in a while. Hope it stays few and far between for you, Keionda.

  • I like it when a series finale wraps u and I don’t feel as though I’ve missed something. I also like it when one series ends but the author starts another and continues the story using characters from the series that ended.

    • Yes, those are both very nice end scenarios. I agree, Mary.

  • Oh that sounds like a difficult situation with the baby and them not really wantign to be together. Emily doesn’t sound like a likeable character with how she speaks first before thinking of how it might hurt others. And that verbal blackmail sounds nasty. It does sound like a good series even though this last book was a bit disapointing.

    It’s sad when a book feels flat or doesn’t live up to your emotions. I had some good luck with series enders recently, like the last Daemons in the Mist series which was a great ending. I always feel like I expect a bit more of the last book as it needs to wrap everything up, but also being interesting as a book itself.

    • Yeah, the way she made demands on him and threatened to keep his child from him really turned me off especially since it wasn’t like she was a put together person or really could stand on her own.

      That series sounds good and I, too, have more expectation on the last book in a series, but I try not to expect too much.

  • From y’all who are following this series, it seems this is the least favorite. And it’s a bummer because this is the last? I hope there’s a novella to “fix” stuff or even it up a bit.

    • Yes, that seems to be true of some. I read a few reviews after I finished it and saw that I wasn’t alone. I’m not sure a novella would fix it, but maybe.

  • Cowboy cowboy! I like those

    • Woot for the delicious cowboy Cavanaugh Brothers!

  • Hmmm … well, I know to start with the first book at least. Stinks wasn’t as goo though, especially since it’s the finale.

    • Yeah, I really wanted it to shine, Christy. But yes, definitely start with book one.

  • Ya know I was sent a copy, and then saw early reviews that made me nervous. I probably will eventually read it..but it sounds like it was lackluster 🙁

    • It’s definitely worth the read if you’ve already read the first three especially since you already have this one, Kimberly, but I would advise keeping modest expectations so you don’t end up like me in the disappointment department.

  • You were much nicer about this one than I was. lol I was so disappointed with it and that this was how the series ended. Blue was my only saving grace for it really but was firmly meh on the rest. Crazy after how fantastic the previous two were.

    • I was nice on the outside, but on the inside I was pretty ranty. Yes, just crazy and so disappointing to have it over with a meh story.

  • oh this sounds just awful!! I do hate it when that happens. Most of the time the last book is pretty great. But this is how I feel for the BDB series, the first 5-6 books were fantastic, but then after that I just had a difficult time. So I understand, some series turn out like this which can be very disappointing.

    • Most definitely, Renee! Yep, the way you feel about BDB would probably be a fitting description. I shook my head so many times seeing the wheels fall of and wishing that it went another direction.