Friday, November 8, 2013


Sexy Saturdays with Andrea and Autumn is a weekly meme created to spread the word about spicy reads. 

Participating blogs:
The Autumn Review

**If you would like to participate, let us know and we will happily add you on.**

UnboundGenre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Intermix
Publication Date: 10/15/13
Format: eARC
Pages: 294
Source: Received from publisher for review
Rating: 5 stars

An all-new novel from the author of After Hours.

She set out to find herself, and discovered the darker side of desire.

Merry’s lost a lot recently—first her mother, then close to a hundred pounds. Feeling adrift, she strikes out in search of perspective. A three-week hike through the Scottish Highlands was supposed to challenge her new body and refocus her priorities, but when disaster strikes, she’s forced to seek refuge in the remote home of a brooding, handsome stranger…

Rob exiled himself to the Highlands years ago, desperate to escape his own self-destruction. Haunted by regrets, he avoids human contact at all costs…but when Merry turns up injured, he can’t very well run her off. And as he nurses her back to health, Rob can’t resist his guest’s sweet demeanor—or her flirtatious advances. The igniting passion between them rouses a secret appetite Rob has long struggled to keep hidden. But Merry craves nothing more than to help Rob surrender to his desires, and the journey draws the lovers into an entirely different kind of wilderness.
First things first...Why the hell is this my first Cara McKenna book? Seriously. Approximately halfway through Unbound, I started pushing it on my friends. As soon as I finished, I emailed my book group, telling them they must read it ASAP. Then, one of them emailed me back, gently reminding me that she's been telling me to read McKenna for months. So then I felt like an idiot. But now all is well, because I have seen the error of my ways.

As you may have inferred from the opening paragraph, I loved Unbound. But not only did I love it on a squealy, fan-girl level, I also loved and appreciated it on a much deeper, profound level. This was a beautifully written and constructed story that appealed to me on all levels.

Besides the author's name recognition, the hint at a hero with a penchant for the taboo is what drew me in. But what exactly are Rob Rush's "issues"? The blurb is ambiguous, and I love that. I wanted to know, no, I was dying to know what it was that had sent Rob into exile. What could have possibly driven a man to become a recluse, shun society. I was hoping the reason would be something really juicy, but also meaningful. There's nothing worse than thinking you're digging into a character with heavy, heavy issues, then learning it was superficial. That is not the case in Unbound. McKenna did a brilliant job of creating a deep and complex hero who is also exceedingly alluring. In the opening chapters, it seems we're being led to a conclusion in regards to Rob's pleasure. But in a move that makes me want to jump up to cheer and praise McKenna to anyone who will listen, we soon learn that all is not what it seems. What gets Rob twisted into knots sexually, is out of the "norm", even in kink. It was definitely unexpected, in the most excellent way, but also...really, really hot.

Going with Rob on the emotional and physical journey is Merry. As much as I felt endeared to him, I also became attached to Merry. She is on an emotional and physical journey of her own, to discover more about and pay tribute to her deceased mother in her homeland of Scotland. Merry has recently shed one hundred pounds, and is coming to terms with her new life, the feelings and issues that come with literally transforming into a new person. As much as I initially liked her, when Merry and Rob's paths cross, she became even more heroic in my eyes. Her strength of character, her unflinching acceptance and appreciation for Rob made her into a heroine that should be admired. She was thoughtful, yet prodding, bringing this man who'd left society, back. Her inquisitive nature gently broke down Rob's walls, and helped create a new man. One who can accept, even embrace, himself.

Unbound, from the beginning to end, is an exceeding thoughtful, intense, and brilliant story. I would even say that it is by far one of my favorite erotic romances, and definitely would make my Favorites of 2013 List (if I made one). Cara McKenna not only pulled me in with a sexually charged and emotionally intense story, but she also won me with her gorgeous prose. The Scottish Highlands, a cabin hidden in the woods, two people forming an intense physical and emotional bond that will transform both....have rarely been so enchanting.

Favorite Quotes:

  Scary as this was...telling her these things was like a bloodletting. The initial cut hurt like hell, but with it done he could feel the toxins escaping, making room for relief. And all at once he wanted to give in. With a blinding bolt of understanding, he realized he'd had it all wrong, blaming his fetish all this time, thinking of it as some twisted, fucked-up force that lived inside him. A thing to be drowned in liquor, glass by glass, night by night, year after year. It wasn't his desire that had poisoned him. It was his shame.   ~eARC, 38%

  “I love your body, for everything it's given to me," he murmured. "For letting me...letting me inside you. After all that time. And your hands, for touching me, and your soft skin, for letting me touch you. For your mouth. And kissing you, and for the things you asked me. For your ears, for being willing to hear my answers.”   ~eARC, 50%

  The intensity echoed through her, the same excitement he felt. He knew what she wanted -- he'd sensed it. He could please her.
  She wants your voice, as well as your body. And he didn't even need to think to find the right words to say. He simply let them fall from his lips to her ears. "I can't believe you're here," he murmured. "That you're real."    ~eARC, 67%

Purchase Unbound

About the author
Cara McKennaCara McKenna writes smart erotica—sexy stories with depth. A little dark, a little funny, always emotional. She also writes red-hot romance under the name Meg Maguire. Her wonderful publishers are Ellora's Cave, Harlequin Blaze, Loose-Id, Penguin / Intermix, and Samhain. She loves writing sexy, character-driven stories about strong-willed men and women who keep each other on their toes, and bring one another to their knees.

Cara was a 2010 Golden Heart finalist, a 2012 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award nominee, and a 2012 Golden Leaf finalist.

Cara is represented by Laura Bradford, of the Bradford Literary Agency.

Before becoming a purveyor of red-hot romance and smart erotica, Cara was a record store bitch, a lousy barista, a decent designer, and an overly enthusiastic penguin handler.

Cara now writes full-time and lives north of Boston with her bearded husband. When she's not trapped in her own head she can usually be found in the kitchen, the coffee shop, or jogging around the nearest duck-filled pond. She is a very proud member of the Romance Writers of America® and her local New England Chapter.

Website  |  Twitter  |  GoodReads



  1. Oh my! Sounds like a great read and with quotes like those I would be crazy not to go add it to my tbr list stat. Thanks for the review :)

  2. Wow, it's so good to see you loved this one so much! I haven't even heard of this author before. Thanks for drawing her to my attention! It definitely sounds like this is the sort of story that leaves an impression, and I'm glad that the author managed to get the characterisation right. Lovely review, Andrea! :)

  3. Sounds wicked, glad you loved it so much :)

  4. I'm glad you FINALLY picked up her books lol

    McKenna is my favorite erotica author. Her books are always about more than just the sex. (although that's pretty hot!)

    1. It's so easy to see now why she's your favorite!

  5. Exactly HOW did you read this book? I'd be stuck staring at the cover and never get the page opened. Hehe. Glad you enjoyed.

  6. Ok! Color me intrigued! I want to meet Rob now! And that cover! WHEW! I'm glad you enjoyed this so much! I love those books you can't get enough of and want everyone to know about and read! Adding this to my TBR now!

  7. Okay, I have this and now I want to start it like next. You have convinced me. Great review!!

  8. I have actually never heard of this author. Have I been living in a cave? This sounds awesome!! I definitely am going to have to read this one now. ;)

  9. OMG! This is an incredible review, Andrea. Your passion for the world and characters the author has created is evident. Who wouldn't want to read after reading your review?? I want to meet Merry and Rob ~ and visit the Scottish Highlands, too. Thanks for introducing me to a new author! Ms. McKenna's going on my short list. ;)

  10. Wow! I seriously have to get this book! Sounds yummy to me :-)

    1. There are some books that I don't mind having on Kindle, but then there are some I have to have in paperback. This book one of them. Is it available in stores or do I need to order from Amazon?

    2. I wish I could have a paperback too! It looks like it's only available in digital formats, ebook and audio. Bummer.

  11. I have not read her books yet either but I have looked at this one, was very curious and now even more curious. Glad to know the author knows how to write her deep characters!

  12. Yes! "First things first...Why the hell is this my first Cara McKenna book?" Babe...why? We are missing out. NO LONGER! Great review. Ditto your thoughts.

  13. I love a complex, deep, and alluring male character. Your review has sparked my interest. The ambiguity, taboo subject, and everything not being what it seems has me very curious! I love your review! This one was amazing, as usual :)


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