Jane Stewart's Reviews > Bound and Determined

Bound and Determined by Shelley Bradley
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's review
Dec 13, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: contempry-romance-mystery-suspense

I wanted more interesting characters. Not enough “showing” of the mystery and suspense part of the plot.

Someone with deep computer skills stole money from a bank, transferred it to the Cayman Islands, and framed Mark who worked at the bank. He is in jail awaiting trial. His sister Kerry called Rafe to ask for his help to find evidence to free Mark. She was too emotional, babbled, and didn’t make sense, so he hung up on her and wouldn’t take any more of her calls.

Rafe is coming to Mark’s bank to do some computer consulting work. Kerry holds a sign at the airport with Rafe’s name. He doesn’t know she’s the phone caller. Kerry takes Rafe to a limo. Her friend Jason is the driver. She gives Rafe a drugged drink, and he falls asleep. Kerry and Jason take Rafe to a friend’s remote cottage which has lots of sex toys. They handcuff Rafe with chains that are long enough for him to walk between the bed and bathroom. When he wakes, he learns what Kerry wants. He talks her into having sex with him. She is a virgin, but she desires him. He is able to tie her hands, free himself, and then switch places with her. They now negotiate. She will be his sex plaything for 48 hours, and he will investigate the theft.

Most of the book – maybe 75 % is about Rafe and Kerry being with each other, lots of sex, lots of pondering and worries about their relationship. I was impatient to get to the story about computer hacking and the bad guys. The mystery and suspense felt empty – like summarizing after the fact. I didn’t get into the minds, motives, details, and actions of the bad guys. I wanted to see bad guys doing things with conversation and thoughts as they did them. For example: a bad guy kills someone. We didn’t see how it was done or the conversation during it. It was told after the fact, not shown. Also, the bad guy had a connection with organized crime that wasn’t described at all. It was sort of tacked on. I wanted to get into that at least a little bit. However at the end we do get one scene being shown – the one where the bad guy gets caught. However that scene was unbelievable. The police and friends just stood outside listening instead of going in to help. The bad guy was in the process of killing someone.

Kerry is a waitress putting herself through school. Her thinking and actions range from not very smart to stupid. She doesn’t bring anything interesting to the story other than being a size 12 knock out that Rafe and other men desire. Her main quality is loyalty to her brother – willing to do anything and everything to help him. Rafe describes her as sunshine – warm and gives with her whole heart. Ok she sounds lovely, but I didn’t like her enough to want to read a whole book about her. I’m not sure what was missing. She just didn’t interest me.

Rafe is smart and talented. I liked his computer hacking skills and brains which helped solve the mystery. He never wanted emotional relationships with women in the past. He was too much into his computers and work.

Kerry really likes Rafe and wants to be with him. So why after having sex, does she go off to be by herself in the bathroom? She locks the door and showers. The next time they have sex, again she is cold and distant afterwards. He doesn’t know why. She doesn’t give him a reason. There’s another scene (p 193) where Kerry realizes she’s falling in love with Rafe, so she tells herself “she had to get away from him soon, before she did something really stupid, like beg him to stay with her forever.” To me that’s just more unentertaining pondering. At one point Rafe tells her he must leave her and stay in a hotel for a day – for her own safety. That causes her to be mad, thinking he doesn’t like her. Rafe tells Kerry not to tell anyone where he is staying. Kerry knows they have three suspects. One of the suspects calls Kerry asking her where Rafe is, and Kerry stupidly tells that person.

I enjoy sex scenes as much as anyone. But I was surprised that I skimmed most of the sex scenes. I’m not sure if I can explain what was wrong with them. They were too drawn out and filled with unrelated conversation. They were doing all the things that most sex scenes do, but I wasn’t interested or emotionally moved.

This book has been published under two different author names: Shelley Bradley and Shayla Black – the same person.

Story length: 327 pages. Swearing language: strong, including religious swear words. Sexual language: strong. Number of sex scenes: 11. Estimated number of sex scene pages: 65. Setting: 2005 Tampa area, Florida. Copyright: 2006. Genre: contemporary romance with mystery suspense.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
December 13, 2010 – Shelved
December 13, 2010 – Shelved as: contempry-romance-mystery-suspense
December 13, 2010 – Finished Reading

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