Bound (The Mastered Series, Book 1)

Author: Lorelei James

Publisher: New American Library

Release Date: January 28, 2014

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5


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Avery Hardwick is extremely busy trying to make her graphic design company a success so there’s not much time for anything else in her life.  However, when a friend signs up for a self-defense class following an attack and asks her to go with her, Avery agrees.  The whole idea is to help Molly gain a sense of security and self-confidence.  What Avery doesn’t expect is to become the focus of Ronin Black, the owner of the dojo. 

Ronin Black is the proud owner of Black Arts dojo, but prefers to keep the majority of background aside from his knowledge of karate to himself.  Normally he doesn’t take a personal interest in any of the clientele that frequent the dojo but something about Avery captures his attention.  Not only does he become enamored of the enchanting, argumentative woman, he also begins putting her through her paces on self-defense techniques.   


Avery is used to handling her problems on her own so she isn’t prepared for Ronin’s brand of dominance, even if it is a freeing experience to be able to let go of her worries.  As trust builds between them and Avery begins to feel free to allow him more control over her, she can’t help but feel that he’s hiding something from her – and in her opinion, a lie by omission is still a lie so how could she possibly stay with him?


BOUND is the first title in Lorelei James’ MASTERED series.  I thoroughly enjoyed this story and loved the martial arts aspect of it.  Ronin and Avery seem to complement each other extremely well though both have an overabundance of pride and refuse to accept help even when it’s obviously needed.  Avery’s friends play a key role in her identity and lack of romantic relationships so I was fascinated by how Ronin takes it upon himself to ‘show’ her just how desirable she truly is and then introduces her to the different aspects of BDSM.  Ms. James’ does an amazing job delving into the human psyche and bringing out those characteristics in her storylines and BOUND is certainly no exception.  That’s probably why I was so frustrated when I read the end of this story and discovered there is no closure yet.


The follow up book in this series, UNWOUND, releases March 25, 2014.  After being left hanging at the end of BOUND I’ll definitely be nabbing a copy to find out what happens next between Ronin and Avery.


By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne

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