I'm just another Goodreads refugee and this is my back up plan. Please be patient with me while I find my legs on here.
I haven’t read a BDSM novel for some time and this one has left me questioning why I actually like this genre in the first place. Not because it’s an awful book but there is a sense of awkwardness to it that made me itch with unease. So bare with me while I remind myself why it is that I read BDSM again.
Oh yeah: I love the dominant man, I love the power and control he exudes and the game he plays to win my trust. When I place myself in the bonds of a fictional submissive it’s like letting go of all responsibility without judgement (even in my imagination). That, is the overall feeling that I crave when I read BDSM. The plots are important too – the set up is there to make it function – to give it credibility. I can’t say that I’ve always been able to relate to every Dom or sub in my novels – but that’s subjective. All BDSM novels vary in their intensity and we all establish our own definition of soft and hard limits as we go, that’s part of the fun and the challenge.
Bound By Lies was a hard limit for me, but not for the reasons that you may think. The problem lies with the Dom in ‘control’ here. To me, he was never ‘in’ control. Jenner Parrish was not ready to be a Dom. He made too many crucial mistakes to redeem my trust. He made me nervous and the early dub-con scene made me white-knuckle mad. Every scene after (and there where loads) prickled – like ants scuttling under my skin. So it’s safe to say I had issues with Jenner Parrish – despite his remorse and sacrificing – he never won me over. But then I’m a stubborn bitch, and you might like him.
Initially Brayden Clare’s need for submission was not credible but the author deliberately reveals the motive at her own pace. While there is no explanation for Brayden’s exceedingly uncharacteristic appearance at Jenner’s BDSM club, it does prove to be the catalyst for their D/s relationship. Handy that, after weeks and weeks of UST and secrets.
This is my first book by Lynn Kelling and admittedly her style threw me. Present tense formatting I can deal with – just. But when it’s from a third person perspective and the focus swings between characters? Not so much – it was very off-putting.
But you know what? I have a soft spot for coming-out tropes and this book is no exception. I also have a soft spot for those who have suffered loss and experienced an abusive past and this is where I was able to empathise with Brayden who suffers from debilitating self-esteem issues. The author did a great job in echoing his fears – I felt his panic and spiking paranoia as if it where my own. I also grew tiresome of it – most probably because it inevitably led to another …scene.
It’s no secret that I don’t like the too neat happy-ever-after, and the whole redemption angle where Jenner finds his, was too easy. Overall this book suffered from my ambivalence toward Jenner – the sex, the declarations of love, the heartfelt emotion … it all suffered.
But that’s not to say it won’t work for you. I’m certainly not giving up on this author yet. I see potential and believe that this is one of her lighter efforts so perhaps I’ll seek out her dark side (Deliver Us) where the Dom has ALL the control. I think I shall find my place there. Fingers crossed.