Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Publication Date: 4/1/14
Rating: 2.5 stars
She can whip up something sweet
Allie LeClair has finally returned to the sultry city of New Orleans. After ten years of studying and working as a pastry chef in San Francisco and all over Europe—and feeding her submissive side at BDSM clubs—Allie is home, and she has something to prove to the man who once fueled her desires. She’s not a child anymore.
But with two in the kitchen
When security specialist Mick Reid hears that Allie is back in town, he knows he won’t be able to stay away for long. Ever since he discovered his darker side, Mick has tried to protect Allie from the aggressive beast within him—but that power and wildness is exactly what she wants.
Can they take the heat?
Allie has made the first move, but now it’s up to Mick. The game has begun, and playing has never been so rough.
Dangerously Bound...it just didn't really work for me, for two reasons: the hero, Mick, and the plot. The story begins with Allie coming home to New Orleans after more than a decade of traveling and working around the world. Her first order of business is to reconnect with her high school boyfriend Mick, the man she still gets off on-literally-after all these years. Mick is a well-respected Dom, and Allie wants him to know she is a sub and has joined his club. But not only that, in order to get any awkwardness out of the way, she wants to him to top her at the club, because nothing says "Hey, it's so nice to see you again!" like a little bit of spanking, and rope play, yes? And so begins the story of the reluctant Dom/lover and the sub who can't let go.
Back when they were together, for some unknown reason, well, I guess because he thought his urges were too dark and she was too good for him, Mick put Allie on a pedestal. Deemed her too good or fragile for his choice in lifestyle. Even in the present, knowing Allie is in the BDSM scene, Mick is still determined to protect her from his darkness. What darkness, though? A motorcycle accident that left him with a bit of a limp and unable to be a firefighter like the other men in his family? I get that Mick was devastated that his injury caused a change in his direction, but to be so dramatic about it and blame it for everything bad in his life was too much. I had a hard time seeing it. Mick does begin to finally see Allie as a strong and determined woman who craves the hand of a Dom, thankfully. Believe me, that causes his head to spin, causing him to continually goes back and forth with his feelings, dragging Allie along. Oh, and of course Mick is also a fighter, needs the pounding fists to channel his rage fire. His term of endearment for Allie, "baby girl", drove me bananas, especially while he was pounding her.
Allie is still fixated on Mick over a decade after their break-up. I guess I can see the continued wondering about the first love, but as a woman who's mentality is "I don't want someone who doesn't want me", I had a hard time seeing why she was so desperate for the reconnection, especially with him insisting she doesn't know her own mind, telling her she couldn't possibly want what she clearly does. But honestly, her family still treats her as a child too, so I guess it makes sense that she takes it. I was definitely more invested in her story of finding her voice and being taken seriously, though I wish the story would have focused more on Allie as an individual, furthering her career and reconnecting with her former home, instead of Allie obsessing over her relationship with Mick.
I will give Allie and Mick a bit of credit in that, towards the end (meaning, almost the very end) of the book, the both began to change. Allie finally realizes she doesn't need Mick to keep stringing her along, going back-and-forth on what he wants, and breaking her heart. And Mick, he also realizes big changes are in order if he can win his girl back.
I went into Dangerously Bound looking for a sexy, smart story. I always hope to enjoy the books I read, and I try to find the positives. Here, though, I found a story with a frustrating hero, and a plot with fairly contrived conflict that dragged on too long for my taste. On the upside, the story has a likable heroine whom I wanted the best for, and it has a lot of sexy times. Plot aside, I also found the writing to be very good. So while I didn't get the story I wanted, others may find exactly what they need.
The fantasy of her here...it was some small epiphany. Small, but enough to cause a crack in the glass wall he'd erected around his memory of who and what she was to him, like some fucking fairy princess in a castle. Maybe he was the one who'd put her there, but it had always seemed to make sense. Until now. Now he might have to question his perceptions. Because this Allie was real. This moment was real.
(covers lead to GoodReads)
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