This is my second book by Lorelei James. I’ve read one other book in her Rough Rider series that I thought was okay. I always wonder what I’m missing when I see the hype and excitement so I decided to give this one a try. There are a couple of things I expected based on the blurb and the title. I expected something that binds the characters, not necessarily literally, and I expect a series. This might be a bit naive of me, but I didn’t get what expected. This story is epitomizes why I don’t like to read the first book in a series without knowing when the follow up is being released. For those of you who like to have an HEA at the end of your story, this isn’t going to be for you.
After leaving her hometown and the stifling restrictions that her parents inflicted on her, Amery Hardwick is now living in Denver, Colorado. Running her own business as a graphic designer, she’s finally living the life she’s dreamed of. There’s a price to pay for everything and Amery knows a little about that already. For her, the downside to living on her own and being self employed without any help from friend or family is her social life: finding that certain someone to make it worth going home to. On the other hand, for Amery, success is paramount. She has to show her parents that she can be successful without them. After her only employee, Molly, is assaulted, does Amery agree to go to a self-defense class with her. The dojo, Black Arts, is owned by Ronin Black and after his first interaction, during a spirited exchange with Amery, he’s on the chase.
These two quickly jump into bed… well not necessarily bed, but you know what I mean. It’s quick, like one night stand quick. I was okay with that, with this being erotica and all, but then the bondage starts right away too – during their first interlude. Then I wonder how Amery’s going to deal with that, but her small town naivety shines through because she had no clue that she’s being put into a submissive role. As a matter of fact, she goes with it because it allows her some sort of freedom from the way that she was raised. Um, okay. She’s a preacher’s kid and a lot of the negative stereotypes of PKs described a lot of Amery actions.
Ronin is handsome, exotic (he’s part Japanese), and mysterious –or is it just secretive? You’d think he was undercover for the CIA with the way he couldn’t/wouldn’t answer a question. That’s what I really didn’t get. Amery’s easy acceptance of whatever Ronin did. She would ask a question. He wouldn’t answer. She leaves. He comes after her with some BS explanation. He’d tie her up – Kinbaku or shibari style. They have sex. She forgives and the cycle repeats (many times). They were even having unprotected sex by consent and she couldn’t get him to answer a question. Really, I don’t care what background Amery is from – who just accepts crap like that and thinks it’s okay?
Along the way, Amery finds out more about Ronin, but very little of it is from him directly. It’s through other people and again, how is that okay? I was hoping for some bad guy to come along just to take my attention away from Amery, but alas, this isn’t that kind of a story. All the action is between Ronin and Amery. There’s some character development that I could see from Amery with her tenants/friends, but that was the only time I saw her with a back-bone. The burgeoning friendship that she had with Molly could be made into a true friendship if given the chance, I doubt that will happen.
Ronin’s right-hand men, Knox and Deacon, could prove to be interesting characters and maybe they’ll have their own stories, or not, as I’m not sure what direction this series will take. I really wanted to like these characters much more than I did. The storyline is actually pretty interesting but these two characters just don’t do it for me which made this a ‘meh’ for me.
Happy Reading Folks!
*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Lorelei James
Release Date: February 4, 2014