Soulbound by Kristen Callihan #Review

Soulbound by Kristen Callihan  #ReviewSoulbound by Kristen Callihan

Series: #6 Darkest London
Genres: Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Steampunk Romance
Published by Forever on February 24, 2015
Pages: 372
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-half-stars  

That last installment in the series left Adam, King of the GIM (Ghosts in the Machine) in a really bad place. It was hard to be patient for the release of this book so I could find out what happened after the Queen of the Faeries stole away his soulmate and called in his curse. Adam has been a side character through much of the series and more than a little on the mysterious side along with his GIM people. This has left me salivating to finally get the up close and personal on his story. And blessed be it was so worth the wait.

When he finally faced her, she wondered if she’d ever become accustomed to the impact of him. He saw too much, made her feel too much. Always. Her stomach clenched, a hot, pleasurable, yet achy sensation that had her breath catching.  Loc 3011 Eliza from Soulbound

Before I move on, this is a series that truly must be read in order. It builds on the books before it assuming the reader is familiar with the Darkest London world and the story lines of the previous characters. In fact this book not only does that, it reveals some interesting things about Lord Archer from book one along with a bit about all the Evernight relations that have come since then. Incidentally, that reveal about Lord Archer was quite the delightful surprise.

So, this one jumps in after Queen Mab “rescues” Eliza May from Adam and Eliza has enjoyed the decadent lifestyle of the fae for long enough to realize that beneath the veneer of beauty, wealth and sensuality, Mab and the others are shallow, cruel and self-seeking with an agenda to bring all the other races to their knees. It is then that she discovers her previous captor is now himself in chains, tortured, humiliated and an object of fun for Mab. Eliza can’t understand what this means and she doesn’t trust Adam’s words even though he tries to warn her to get away and that she doesn’t understand the supernatural world she now inhabits. Eliza’s conscience forces her to realize that as angry as she is at Adam for keeping her captive, she doesn’t hate him and she wants him free. That being said, she enters into a bargain with him that she will free him if he will help her escape Mab and Mab’s new plans to marry Eliza to her cruel brother, Mellon.

Adam could withstand Mab’s torture and her desire for him to give up his secrets and himself to her, but it is degradation to have his soulmate, Eliza, see him as a dog under Mab’s foot that causes him to act. Eliza doesn’t believe in soulmates and particularly that she is his and she certainly makes every effort to keep her distance. Adam will do what he must to keep his soulmate and pry the secrets she keeps from him. In the meantime, he must keep them out of fae hands, get to his sword so he can break the chains that bind his power and figure out how to help his people. Ever since his capture, the GIM are slowly dying and their souls are leaving. Adam has always thought that he was alone until he learns that he can rely on his people, on others of his acquaintance and on Eliza May. Eliza is strong and he must trust her if he ever hopes to keep her. Adam has to navigate he and Eliza’s way through so much danger while at the same time convincing her she is his and he is hers.

St. John hates himself and the chains of his blood bond. He hates the betrayal he must serve to his own family at the sadistic Mab’s orders and most of all he hates Mab most of all because of what she has forced him to do. He loves his family and he’s given his heart to the girl from his childhood, but both are out of reach after what he has done. But he is offered a chance at a new path.

Alright, this one is an enemies to lovers romance with an exciting escape and partner to survive plot, but it is set against the brilliant supernatural world of Victorian London. Each story includes all the worldbuilding from before and paints in a few more details each new installment. In this case, its details about the fae and the GIM along with a whole new supernatural reveal. The last one, I’ll keep mum about since its a pretty exciting one with roots back to the first book and ramifications for when Sin’s book is told (and please let the next book be Sin’s).

There is a lot going on, but I love that the author took the time to develop her characters and her plots. Adam and Eliza have interesting backstories that have bearing on the present. One thing I really liked and that many authors of speculative fiction gloss over is that Adam is an old being and the ramifications of that are teased out- heaviness of long-carried responsibility, weight of years, sadness at outliving people and starting over and over. I also appreciated that there is no apology for flaws and there are consequences. Adam screwed up the way he handled discovering his soul mate and the heroine doesn’t give in easily. She can’t just flip a switch, forgive and forget even though she can tell that he genuinely feels regret.

You are life, Adam. I suspect that’s why you chose the name you did, even if you weren’t aware of doing so. You are life,” she said again with greater emphasis. “You simply don’t know how to live.” Loc. 3020 Eliza from Soulbound

There are also no easy solutions and many times suffering and pain occur. Adam overcomes many barriers to winning over Eliza, but in the end he is forced to make a decision whether he will sacrifice the lives of all his people just to be with Eliza or if he will give her up.

All in all, this one delivered a strong story and a hard-won romance that was absolutely superb. It’s set in a historical period, but I think that a wide range of historical romance, historical paranormal romance, and steampunk fans would appreciate these.

My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Literary Pickers #88 Houseplant

Romance Roundabout #86 SP

Cliché Klatch #23 ‘Under My Thumb’

Historical Romance #25

Books N Tunes #20 Angie Miller’s You Set Me Free

About Kristen Callihan

Kristen Callihan is a child of the 80’s, which means she’s worn neon skirts, black-lace gloves, and combat boots (although never all at once) and can quote John Hughes movies with the best of them. A life long daydreamer, she finally realized that the characters in her head needed a proper home and thus hit the keyboard. She believes that falling in love is one of the headiest experiences a person can have, so naturally she writes romance. Her love of superheroes, action movies, and history led her to write historical paranormals. She lives in the Washington D.C. area and, when not writing, looks after two children, one husband, and a dog — the fish can fend for themselves.

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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.
  • Jennifer

    I really enjoyed this one too. I loved the way that Callihan depicted Adam’s loneliness and that she didn’t have Eliza forgive him right away. Definitely can’t wait to read Sin’s book next (I hope)!

    • Yes, she knows just how much tension to put into the relationship.

      Bring on Sin!!!!

  • *hangs head in sadness* I haven’t read these. You and Braine and a couple others just kill me with these. I really really need to start them.

    • No, no! This is a no shame zone. Let’s make a pact. I won’t feel guilty on the fab series you have dangled in front of me that I can’t get to just yet and you do the same. These are great, but they will keep. 😉 Her stories are delicious for sure. Some more than others, but this was definitely one of the stronger ones.

      • LOL deal! Heh. We need one of those sci-fi bee hive brains that we could all read individual books and just instantly know the stories everyone else we’re sharing with reads.

        • Oh, now that is good! I like this idea of yours. 😉

  • I recently posted that cover in my Lusting for covers/Top off tuesday meme ! And I long to read that series, I do ! I’ll get there !

    • Oh you absolutely must! This one and the last one along with the first were probably my favorites, but I am chomping at the bit for the next book.
      Gorgeous covers!

  • Oh wow, that sounds amazing. I haven’t read this series or knew about them. I must fix this now.

    • Oh yes, Mary! You must definitely give them a try. They are great historical fantasy romance with lots of action and passion.

  • Lola R

    I don’t think I heard about this series before, it sounds interesting. I skimmed your review as I didn’t want to be spoiled. The Victorian London setting sounds fun and the characters well developed.

    • It has a little of everything. It is historical, steampunk, romance, suspense, paranormal all rolled together. Hope you get a chance to read them!

  • OMG that’s so much love for this book! I didn’t like Winterblaze or Shadowdance, unfortunately, so I wasn’t planning on reading this one… but I think on my Shadowdance review, you said this one was really good (and it appears so!). I might just give it a shot! Because Adam <3

    Awesome review, Sophia!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • You might want to get Evernight at the library or something to catch up on the plot first, Alyssa since the beginnings of this story thread start there, but yeah, I’d love to see what you think of this one. I really liked Adam too even if he did screw up bad with his love life. 😉