Review: Bound by Lorelei James

(Mastered, #1)
By: Lorelei James
Publisher: NAL Trade
Published: Feb. 4, 2014
Genre: Erotica

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Former small-town girl Amery Hardwick is living her dream as a graphic designer in Denver, Colorado. She’s focused on building her business, which leaves little time for dating—not that she needs a romantic entanglement to fulfill her. When her friend signs up for a self-defense class as part of her recovery after an attack, Amery joins her for support. That’s where she meets him.

Ronin Black, owner of the dojo, is so drawn to Amery that he takes over her training—in public and in private. The enigmatic Ronin pushes Amery’s boundaries from the start, and with each new tryst, Amery becomes addicted to the pleasure and to him. But when Amery senses Ronin is hiding something, she questions her total trust in him, despite the undeniable thrill of his possession.


1thoughtsAvery decides to accompany her friend to a self-defense class as moral support. Only when she gets there she finds out that observers are not allowed and must sign up for the class to be allowed entry into the building. Of course, because she wasn’t preparing to partake in the class, she isn’t dressed adequately enough. With her sudden appearance, lack of appropriate attire and all around disruption to the class she gains the attention of the dojo master, Ronin Black. He’s the dark and mysterious dojo master who always seems to have on a blank mask when he’s dealing with people. That is, except when he’s dealing with Avery.

I was really interested in the whole dojo scene since you don’t get that too often in novels. I liked that the story started off in the dojo and the author incorporated Japanese elements to the story (Ronin is a quarter Japanese). His background story was intriguing with the whole training, monastery, and rope training which led him into bondage. You could really see the connection that led to his lifestyle.

However, Ronin was so tight lipped about anything personal that I didn’t connect with him at all. He was just this guy who popped into the picture who required Avery’s full attention and submission but never really gave anything in return. With the book being in Avery’s POV, we pretty much know her inside and out. We know all her boring thoughts, her non-sense internal babble, and her never-ending fears over Ronin. Some of them I understood and others I just didn’t get. For instance she didn’t feel like she knew him simply because she’d never seen him fight before, other then during their self-defense classes. So when she sees him throw down some fighting moves, she’s taken back by how little she knows of him and fears how much damage he can do to a person. My husband is in the military and I’ve never seen him fight before either, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know him. I felt like there were other things Avery needed to be focusing her attentions on with their crappy relationship, and that wasn’t one of them.

Regardless of my hang ups, I still enjoyed the story. It does end on a cliffhanger which is a bit strange given the size of the book (400 pgs) but whatever. I honestly felt like the story was a little too long and winded to be honest, especially since nothing gets resolved. I still have no idea who Ronin is as a person and Avery still doesn’t think she can trust him. So there was no real meaning to the story other than building up the story for the next book. Will I still read the next one? Sure, I mean I would like to know Ronin more and figure him out. I’m really hoping we see that in the next book and it’s not another cliffhanger.


1favequote“Bold is not only an action. Bold is an attitude. Bold is a state of mind. Sometimes the boldest choice is to let go. It takes more courage to trust someone else to give you what you need than it does to just rely on getting it yourself.”


2 Thoughts on “Review: Bound by Lorelei James

  1. I think this is one book I am going to skip out on reading. I like the idea of the dojo thing as well for the reason you mentioned – it’s unique! I just don’t like the idea of a character you can’t really relate to and a main character who isn’t anything too special. Nonetheless, great review!

  2. I’m only familiar with her cowboys and since I don’t really enjoy cowboys I skipped it. I do like the dojo part too and Ronin’s mixed heritage. I’m not sure if this is erotica that I will enjoy though, I’ve become very picky when it comes to this genre.

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