Reviewed by Tori
For five years, Viktor Prakenskii has put his life on hold in order to take down the world’s most feared motorcycle club from the inside. But carrying out the insane violence and seeing the club’s exploitation of the innocent has brought his traumatic past roaring back. And there’s only one cure: to see the wife he left behind…
Blythe Daniels thought she’d never see Viktor again after he murdered her stepfather and left without a word. She rebuilt her life without him, becoming a personal trainer and physical therapist…becoming strong enough for others to lean on. But when Viktor comes back to Sea Haven, he’ll make Blythe question everything she thought she knew about good and evil—and the dark desires of the heart… (Goodreads)
Feehan’s Sea Haven–Sisters of the Heart series is a direct spin-off her Drake Sisters series. This series is based on six sisters of the heart rather than blood who bonded in tragedy and stayed out of love. Now they all live in Sea Haven with their respective husbands who all happen to be brothers. Bound Together is the sixth and final book in this series that finally introduces us to the last and most secretive Prakenskii brother while laying to rest a series of ongoing long-running storylines that originated from the last book in the Drake Sisters series-Hidden Currents. While this series has a long overreaching arc, the low-level advancement allows for each book to be read comfortably as a stand-alone. Feehan has a gift for recapping that doesn’t feel intrusive and it’s easy to sink into the story wherever you choose to start.
I’ve waited so long for this book. Everything leads back to Sea Haven and the Drake/Prakenskii families. Ever since Elle Drake’s kidnapping and abuse at the hands of a madman, I’ve been waiting to see the confrontation between her husband, Jackson, and the bodyguard/undercover spy, Lev Prakenskii. The series has hinted with every book of the battle that will rage once Jackson and Elle return to Sea Haven from their honeymoon and learn that the man who could have saved Elle now lives on the island with his wife. We also learn that the brother of the man who kidnapped Elle is coming back to settle an old score.
Bound Together picks up where Fire Bound left off. Blythe Daniels has built a life on Sea Haven with her sisters. She is shocked when the man she fell in love with and married suddenly reappears after he disappearing five years ago and is ready to resume a life with her. His claims of a note explaining everything and hidden messages fall on deaf ears. It took Blythe years to put herself back together after Viktor’s disappearance and her mother’s betrayal and she isn’t willing to open herself back up to that kind of pain again.
Viktor Prakenskii is the eldest of the seven brothers. When their parents were murdered and they were separated, Viktor’s time in captivity was the harshest as his compliance kept his siblings alive. He and the only other survivors of the “school’ were trained as assassins and used to extract revenge on anyone who crossed their handlers. Blythe was just supposed to be a means to an end but Viktor fell in love with her. When a friend’s mission is compromised, Viktor is forced to leave Blythe, never suspecting his next mission would keep him away for five long years. Now he’s back. His last mission is to destroy the Swords MC, kill its president, and finally claim his wife.
Bound Together not only ends this series but sets up a possible new spin-off featuring Torpedo Inc-the MC Viktor heads with the men and women who survived Hell with him. As with almost every other character in this series, each person possesses a gift of some sort and has been unbelievably abused. Though this story contains the requisite supernatural elements, action, humor, intrigue, and romance; I found it all very low key. This book is built primarily on emotion. We learn how Blythe and Vikor met and why he left. We learn about Viktor and Blythe’s childhoods. We also learn about his adopted brothers and sisters. Each story point is fueled and saturated with emotion.
I have always had love/hate relationship with Feehan’s heroes. Either they respect and treat their heroine like an equal or they are jerks who manipulate their women to get what their way. Luckily, Viktor is of the former alphas. While there is no denying Viktor, like the rest of the Prakenskii brothers, is an uber-alpha, he adores Blythe and recognizes the strength and intelligence she possesses. She is his everything and all he wants to do find his way home to her.
While Feehan does a good job of introducing us the main protagonists and sets up the main plotline, it takes us about a 20-30% in to get to that point. The beginning is a mess of repetition as we are stuck in Viktor’s head while he figuratively spins his wheels. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times Viktor repeats himself over and over about how he hates leading his brothers into danger, how Reaper is always cold and never laughs, and how he has spent five years trying to kill Evan Shackler-Gratsos. Once Viktor arrives in Sea Haven and we are out of his head, the story settles and the narrative smooths out.
Blythe and Vikor are a well-matched couple even though they aren’t similar or even complementary with their gifts. This second chance romance is the strength of this story. Feehan does a fabulous job of giving this couple a realistic chance at getting back together. Viktor grovels quite well and once Blythe learns the whole story, she forgives him. Their chemistry is off the charts and the love scenes are quite steamy and lush. Seems Viktor (and his MC) have no real boundaries and he coaxes Blythe into reuniting outside quite a lot. *wink*
The main conflict and subsequent subplots fail on multiple levels. I found the inclusion of the new ‘brothers’ and possible spin-off overreaching. The violence and childhood abuse (rape and molestation) is discussed in great detail and I felt these new characters and their issues take the reader out the story quite a few times. Feehan rushes around trying to tie everything up and we end up with Jackson and Lev never have their day of reckoning, Viktor spends almost no time reuniting with his blood brothers, and the battle with the Storm MC and Evan Shackler-Gratsos is over within a few pages. Such a disappointment for any fan who has waited the whole series to see these issues resolved.
While not my favorite in this series, Feehan does end it on a hopeful note that this may not be our final visit to Sea Haven.