Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Don’t make me use my Kung Fu on you.”
Amery Harwick has fallen hard for sensei master, Ronin Black. The pleasure he brings her drugs her mind and seduces her body, making her his willing slave. There is nothing Ronin wouldn’t do for Amery, except open up his heart and soul to her. When Amery discovers Ronin’s secret, she walks away from the relationship…and him. But Ronin won’t let her go that easily. He needs her in his life and will do anything to keep her there. To regain her trust, Ronin has to let go of his past and welcome his future with open arms.
Though book one of this series, Bound, didn’t blow me away as I had hoped, I was pleasantly surprised by book two. Unwound gives readers what Bound didn’t deliver in my opinion. Told from Ronin’s point of view, we get all the passion, emotions, witty dialogue, character development, and humor I found missing from Bound. I connected with our protagonists and that made all the difference when reading this installment.
Smooth writing with premium character and plot line development had me glued to my e reader till the end. This is the Lorelei James that keeps me coming back for more. Ronin and Amery grew by leaps and bounds (heh) both mentally and emotionally. Ronin’s point of view opens the floodgate that provides readers with the strong connection that was so desperately missing from book one.
Every issue that I had with Ronin and Amery in book one is addressed and expanded upon in here. Ronin’s anger issues go nuclear after Amery leaves and we find Ronin back to fighting in the ring; punishing himself in order to assuage his guilt over his part in Amery leaving. When one fight leaves him severely damaged, he unconsciously makes his way to Amery for help. This opens the door towards forgiveness on Amery’s part and the reasons he uses pain to stop feeling. Amery does well in not allowing Ronin to hide his emotions or perceived failings from her. She pushes Ronin into acknowledging and accepting that without complete openness from both of them, their relationship will never be anything but casual. Other issues-the rope play, Ronin’s and Amery’s family conflicts, Ronin’s psycho ex girlfriend, and Ronin’s extracurricular activities are brought into the light and resolved in a somewhat realistic and engaging manner. If I were to hazard a guess, Bound was the set up and Unwound is the actual story. I was extremely happy that James resolve their love story in here and doesn’t choose to drag it out in the manner many similar authors choose to.
The love scenes were at a premium and I felt the connection and chemistry between our lovers. It wasn’t just sexual anymore…you can feel the love and emotion that guides them. There were a few things that happened that had me raising my eyebrows but as I thought about them, I could understand why they felt the need to make love at that moment. Sometimes the act itself is a connection that is needed at a particular time; especially after a traumatic or emotional event.
The secondary characters that wandered around in Bound explode in here with a shower of vibrant color as their personalities and respective roles are expertly developed and merged into the story. Each one is characterized to the point where they could and probably will hold their own storyline in the future. Hints at romantic and professional entanglements makes me eager to see where James will take them. Ronin’s relationship with his sister morphs into an actual friendship as they actually talk to one another and clear up old misconceptions. Her reasons for being in America are explained fully and I liked how James uses her to help Amery understand her fears towards Ronin’s dominant needs and voice them to Ronin. My favorite character? The Russian mob boss. I do hope we see much more of him in future installments.
The ending wraps up Ronin and Amery’s numerous conflicts and gives us strong hope that these two will be very happy together. As I stated earlier, I enjoyed this installment much more than the first one and as long as James continues along this vein for this series, this fan will keep reading.