Monday, October 5, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Chained: A Bad Boy Romance by Leah Holt & Nora Flite


I've been knocked up by a killer 
I've never been the rule breaking type. Being professional meant everything to me. 
Then I met Owen. 
Inked, powerful, sexy beyond belief... 
And a convicted murderer. 
I was just supposed to talk to him, that was all. But things got out of control. 
When his hard muscles wrapped around my body, hands gripping every curve... my mind melted. There were no thoughts, no questions about what I was doing. 
I knew it was wrong, I should have said no, but I didn't. 
The way he f*cked me in my office was beyond explosive. 
I had become his in every way. 
Just like he wanted. 
And I needed. 
Now, I'm pregnant. 
I didn't expect to get knocked up by this bad boy. 
How do you tell the man you should want to run from that he's a father? 
I need time to think. 
Too bad he just got out of prison. 
And I can't hide from him any longer. 

~Book Review~
4 Stars

Charlotte “Charlie” Laroche is a therapist, having taken a new job at a prison in New England. Owen Jenkins is serving time for murder he was convicted of at age 18. Now 28, he’s completed his reduced term for manslaughter.

Owen hasn’t seen a woman in ten years and the first one he sees— his rehabilitation therapist— he can’t get her out of his head. Charlotte also can’t stop thinking about Owen, nor can she get a grasp on the attraction she feels for him. When the desire becomes too undeniable, they give into this passion.

Though the story, told from their dual 1st person POV, is on the shorter side, it has a bit of a slow build as the two wrestle with their temptation to each other while he’s in prison.  There are plenty of forbidden romances on the market to choose from and while some have become so common that the taboo has lost its stigma, this isn’t really the case with Chained.  I think the danger of caving to temptation is easily felt, the risks heady, and holy cow is their first encounter hot and forbidden, not to mention unethical as Charlie well knows.
The guards. They’re probably right outside the door. I want to moan loudly, yell for him to fuck me.”
Yep it happens in prison, and they don’t exactly let the ties that bind get in the way. ;-)
“Confined to his seat he thrust his pelvis upward, using every bit of inertia he could get. Our breathing was the only noise that surrounded us. No words, no whispers, we just moaned liked animals in heat.”
The bound and shackled conjugal therapy session gets major points for originality. Another plus, the romance focuses solely on Charlie and Owen, and Owen’s determination to make her his. The drama is mostly internal for 2/3 of the book and then external in the last 1/3 as Owen’s past catches up with him.

Overall, I liked both Charlie and Owen. Owen has been given a raw deal in life. He’s a little alpha when it comes to Charlie or even in general in the prison population, but he’s not over the top and Charlie knows how to handle herself. He appreciates her as a strong woman, and when the climax played out with Charlie being resourceful and keeping her wits, I thought she was too.  I was a little disappointed in her reluctance about mid-way, but thankfully it didn’t last long. Owen’s integrity was very commendable. He’s a good example of not letting labels define the person underneath.

I really appreciated the low angst nature of the story. There were a few places I thought maybe the illicit aspect of it, specifically issues raised with her job, could have been cultivated further for a little deeper story. But for a hot forbidden tale with a bad boy who is NOT a manwhore and a pleasant (and steamy) HEA, this is one to feel safe about 1-clicking.

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