Laurie Gold's Reviews > Bonds of Trust

Bonds of Trust by Lynda Aicher
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Oct 23, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: contemp-erotic-rom

If you like erotic romance with a BDSM bent, Bonds of Trust ought to do it for you.

Cali Reynolds ended her 20+ year marriage after raising two children with a husband whose lack of sexual desire she could no longer tolerate. He could barely do vanilla, let alone the nasty things she fantasized about. Though she's convinced it's time to act on her desires, her fears of discovery are always just below the surface.

Jake McAllister owns The Den with his two childhood friends. All were saved from a life of despair from a man who took them in, fed them, clothed them, and nurtured their self-esteem. But this man was no Ray Quinn (Chesapeake Bay quartet, Nora Roberts); he owned a BDSM club. He did nothing untoward...this is also no Men of August series...but after they achieved adulthood (and my guess is that each of them served their country in an elite fashion), they created The Den. But Jake, always the wanderer, agreed only to stay on and actively participate in the club's running for five years. His time is almost up, and his wanderlust is back, big time.

Seth assigns Jake to do a follow-up interview with Cali; he tells Jake there's something about her that needs additional analysis. It doesn't take long for Jake to decide that Cali's pent-up desires for domination are real. She's no cougar. She also calls to him in both a primal and nurturing way. Rather than assign her to some other master, he takes her on for the night. It doesn't take long for him to start breaking rules for her, beginning with a kiss. Soon he's taking her upstairs to his private apartment. His feelings for Cali don't jibe with his need to head out of town, nor does it fit his M.O. He's never taken a club submissive before. Instead he's kind of a Master for Hire, acting out Scenes with female club members but never getting involved.

What makes this a different sort of BDSM story begins with that first night. Now, I'm no expert on these things, but every other First BDSM Club (or Dungeon) Scene I've read follows the Start As You Mean To Go On school of domination. The woman's first experience is intense, and very formalized. This is not how Jake indoctrinates Cali. It's far more of a seduction, and as a reader I found that, well, seductive. Eventually the formal Scenes between Jake and Cali become increasingly intense, particularly the scene in which Jake plans to turn her over to another Master.

While the interplay between Jake and Cali is unique compared to my other reading in this sub-genre--he wants her to call him Jake rather than Master, they become a couple rather quickly, and Cali doesn't quite understand that this is not how D/s relationships generally work--the book does suffer from the same writing problems that tend to plague erotic romance. In this particular instance the non-sexual content has a stilted quality that manifests itself most of the time when Cali is the focus. She wants to explore her sexuality but her general mein and fears of discovery give her a slight case of "stick up the ass." And while Jake's scenes with his friends add to the story, Cali's issues mean that her scenes with friends and family don't work as well,

That criticism aside, Bonds of Trust is an ebook you won't want to put down your Kindle (or nook, or iPad) for while reading. Indeed, I read it in one sitting, staying up late into the night to see how it all was going to work out. I rarely do that when reading an erotic romance. I look forward to the planned sequel, Bonds of Need, out in March next year, featuring one of Cali's friends and another of The Den's three owners.

Look for Bonds of Trust in late November from Carina Press (digital only). My digital copy came via Netgalley.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Shayera Tangri Preordering based on your rec.

Laurie Gold Let me know what you think.

Shayera Tangri I will. I've been reading a lot of Cherise Sinclair lately. So this should go nicely with them.

Laurie Gold I really like Sinclair.

Shayera Tangri Me too. I'm glad I stumbled upon her books.

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