Title: Bound and Unbroken
Author: Skye Callahan
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Lena is about to discover pleasure in the things she can’t control.
To get even with her roommate for dragging her to a sports bar on a Friday night, Lena begins flirting with the handsome stranger who sits at the bar next to her. Their anonymous conversation leads to a shared cab ride, but Lena’s conscience puts a damper on the evening—leaving the near-fling to become a memory. Until she finds him roaming the halls of the school where she teaches.
Will she submit to his desires?
Eric’s only reason for returning to his hometown is to care for his recently orphaned nephew. He knew the return would involve dredging up his past with family and friends, but he didn’t expect a lone girl to capture his interest and offer an escape within his new life.
Will his binds be enough to keep her?
Note: This book contains explicit sexual content (including BDSM themes), graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: M/f anal play, bondage, spanking, exhibitionism.
Length: approx. 223 pages
First Line: “This was the last place Lena wanted to be on a Friday night.”
Review: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
HUGE first note, this book contains self-harm. If I had known that beforehand, I wouldn’t have read it. Self-harm is a big trigger for me. When the marketing for this novel was going on lots of stuff was mentioned like the BDSM, anal play, etc. Never the self-harm or past rape. Feel like that should have been mentioned somewhere. Oh well. I had to take this book slowly because of that. If you have trigger issues of self-harm or rape, just stay away from this novel. I’m sorry to say that but it’s completely true.
Callahan was brave to write this novel. You can tell this issue was close to her heart. She get major kudos for that. I believe one of her goals of this novel was to get BDSM romance out there, you know? I think she did a good job doing just that. The chemistry between Eric and Lena is solid, even though I thought it progressed too fast but that issue comes up in the novel. Cade, who is Eric’s best friend was a wonderful character. Callahan said she someday might center a novel around him, which I look forward to, I must admit.
When I wrote down all of the cons I had for Bound and Unbroken, I realized it all boiled down to that it could have been written better. Yes, the book is over 200 pages long but it has editing issues (quick note: I got an ARC). Transitions were jarring and words could have been used less frequent (ie: Loner is used 57 times. I got tired seeing it on the page very quickly). Some plot lines and even characters could have been removed from the story entirely to make it more smoother. There was really no point in the tornado subplot. It literally came out of the blue and wasn’t mentioned again. Eric’s mute nephew could have been axed. Charlie didn’t play any role in this novel except as a conversation piece and as a way for Eric and Lena to meet outside of their one night stand. Plus, Charlie is totally mute in the beginning of the novel and by the end he’s a chatterbox? Why? The characters needed more development in general, for their backgrounds to be explored. Lena’s was explored but what about Eric’s? He had a mute nephew and discovered BDSM in high school. Okay. What else? That’s why, I know this novel was over 200 pages but honestly I think it had the potential to be more.
I had some consent issues with this story too. In the beginning of the novel, Lena has no knowledge of BDSM or the ‘culture’, yet she falls into way too easily. She instantly calls Eric ‘sir’ and ‘master’ even outside the bedroom. It bothered me a lot that she was afraid to got to a BDSM club and Eric basically pressured her to go during the first couple weeks of their relationship. In the club scene, Lena has a bit of a threesome with Eric and Cade and there’s some clothespin kink involved (she isn’t given warning beforehand and the clothespin appear out of nowhere… like out of some mysterious bucket I guess). But at the end, she is very pleased, sated from an orgasmic high. Eric asked her how she is feeling, and she responded:
“Good. Fuzzy. Did you drug me?”
Okay, I know it was meant it jest because she feels really good but when I read that line I was like WTF!? I found it as a trust issue, like it went through your brain that he could have drugged you?? It’s an overreaction, I know. But it still bothers me.
Here’s some quotes I enjoyed by the way:
“I believe this is your facade.”
That one made me gasp. I just love it. Such a short sentence but what it implies! That her normal, everyday self is a lie.
“It’s time you stop running, little Loner.”
Worst part: The editing & writing issue.
Best part: Can I say Cade?
Recommend For: Fans of Pepper Winters ‘Monster in the Dark’ series.
Other Books by This Author: Fractured Legacy
Her muscles seized under his hot grasp. “Let me go,” she whispered through gritted teeth.
“Let yourself go.”
She met his gaze expecting anger to swirl around his eyes as well, but his face was relaxed—a stark contrast to the tight grip he had on her wrist.
“What do you want?” As soon as she stopped trying to pull away, he loosened her grip.
He turned his hand over so that it rested palm up on the table. “A nice evening out with you.”
“And after that?”
“I like you, Lena. And, I suspect there’s far more to you than you’re willing to accept.”
She folded her arms across her chest, making sure he wouldn’t have the opportunity to grab her again. “I’m sure you say that to all the girls you pick up at sports bars.”
His eyes widened, but he still didn’t move his hand from where it stretched across the table toward her in an invitation. “Now that you mention it, I do.”
Lena’s jaw dropped. It wasn’t that she expected him to deny it, but an outright admission was even more disturbing.
“You’re the first,” he clarified.
“I don’t buy that.”
Eric shrugged, “Believe it or not, I don’t usually pick up girls at bars.”
“Then where do you usually pick them up?”
Eric’s smile widened, and he rubbed his lips together. “Most of the girls I’ve dated I either met through mutual friends or at BDSM clubs.”
Lena’s breath echoed in her ears, and she wondered if she heard him wrong. The roar drowned out any thought to move or respond.
“I didn’t expect it to freak you out that much.”
Good morning, Skye! Are you comfortable?
Mostly… *looks around* Where are you hiding the chocolate covered cherries?
1. How much of Bound and Unbroken is based on real life?
I think all characters and situations are in some ways based on an author’s life, just greatly exaggerated and put in a different context. There are a lot of aspects of Lena that I relate to, especially in dealing with her pat trauma, and the reluctance to talk about it. Eric has to push her pretty hard to get her to deal with it, and that’s very much based on my experience—although, as I said, in a different context.
2. What is your favorite scene of Bound and Bound Unbroken?
The clothespin scene at the club, because it was the hardest scene to write, and the last scene I wrote. When it finally came together and clicked, it was an awesome moment for me.
3. How would you describe the relationship between Eric and Lena?
It’s not easy by any stretch, but they can each offer what the other needs. That exchange and balance was an important aspect within their D/s relationship.
4. Who’s in your dream cast?
The question I always dread! All I’ve really deduced for certain is that Cade would be Richard Armitage, because his picture was sitting on my desktop prompting me to write J (And Cade should be thankful, originally he was a stalky bald guy who played no real part in the story). Eric and Lena…. I haven’t managed to find anyone who really suits them as I’d like. But if anyone wants to send me suggestions, I’d love to see them!
5. Without any spoilers, what can fans expect in the sequel?
I don’t even know what I expect for the sequel—my characters have a way of throwing me into things I don’t predict. But, Lena and Eric will be around as secondary characters. And, I haven’t quite figured out who the main characters will be, but it will definitely revolve around someone who was introduced in the first book. Cade will be there, but I don’t think he’s ready to step into the spotlight and tell me his whole story. I know he has gained a lot of fans who want to hear his story, but I don’t feel like I can get him close to a resolution yet.
Thank you, Skye, for spending time with us today!
About the Author
Skye Callahan has been coming up with stories for as long as she can remember, and by elementary school she was writing them down to share with friends and teachers. Ghosts and vampires were always her favorite beings to write about and those interests led to her debut novella Fractured Legacy in 2013. With Bound and Unbroken, her characters led her on a departure from the paranormal world and into the realm of BDSM romance.
When she isn’t spending time with the voices in her head, she works to help other women design their own style of freedom as a consultant for Jamberry Nails, and spends time with her Husband and ferrets.
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