Genre(s): Contemporary, Gay, Romance, BDSM
Brayden Clare never wanted to return to small town life. Blond, athletic, and struggling with his sexual identity, a casual relationship on the beach in Florida suits him much better. When a family emergency calls him home, he is forced to trade his personal freedom for a job as a bartender in a town where everybody thinks they know who he is, and nobody has a clue—including Brayden. Jenner Parrish is the owner and operator of Parrish Pub, the social hub of Robertsville, Pennsylvania. Jenner is charming, dominant, and popular since they were both in high school together. Brayden finds his new boss intimidating, and is daunted to find that turns him on. Jenner finds his new recruit intriguing but mustn’t dare to ask an employee to submit to him. The two men find what they’re seeking at a masked BDSM ball in the next town over, and are startled to discover their desires rest much, much closer to home. (M/M – For content labels and excerpt, see details on publisher’s site.
Reviewed by Gitte
Gitte: 4.5 Stars
I didn’t know much about this book going in. I was immediately hooked though and have to say that this storyline is absolutely flawlessly written. I found it to be gritty, the emotions stripped backed to the basic of raw human emotion. It was ugly in places yet in most it was breathtakingly beautiful. Now I’m not a squeamish reader at all. I will read the darkest of the dark and my boundaries are pretty non – existent. However, at times I struggled in this story. Not because it covered aspects of storyline I haven’t read before but because this Author gave such an honest and un-romanticised view of a lifestyle and ‘a pure broken heart that finds love’ which more often than not is prettified for the reader.
“It’s okay to be weak and damaged because Jenner is strong.” – Braden
This story is about Brayden and Jenner, and what a story theirs was. It had just about every emotion you could wish for or feel. It had me in fits of tears one minute, laughing out loud and covering my face the next as I swallowed every word like a reader starved. But it was long, very long and that was the only drawback for me. A few times I found it dragged and the intensity waned, I guess in my opinion it was too descriptive at times when it didn’t need to be, their story was too all-encompassing and overwhelmingly beautiful I completely got it without the superfluous. My other struggle was the present tense written in third person. It took me a long while to get used to it and I have to say if it hadn’t been for the fact that I loved the characters and the storyline I would have put it down unable to continue reading.
The characters of Brayden and Jenner were individually written with pure perfection and I completely got the extreme need they each had of each other. One completed the other, both were a contradiction, but they worked. They were meant to be, I suppose you could say that one offered the strength the other needed to be true to themselves and live the life they were meant to live.
“Gripping the bar’s edge, leaning forward against it, a switch gets flipped in Jenner. He goes into predatory mode as his target, his prey, comes steadily closer, their eyes locked. Everything in Jenner screams at him to take, to plunder, to fuck, and it does so with such force he gets lightheaded with the strength of the need. But as Brayden approaches, something strange happens to his expression. Briefly, upon seeing Jenner, heartache so profound and poignant crosses Brayden’s face…”
The lifestyle which Jenner and Brayden chose to live was written in such detail and with such intensity that yes, at first I thought this is a ‘lamb to slaughter’ type scenario. However, even though it got a bit too much for me at times and I wanted to kick Jenner’s arse really hard, I did understand that this was two consenting adults who both needed and wanted this no matter my feelings on the degree to which they went. Brayden and Jenner are two pretty fucked up people, so broken and hurt that I cried like a baby at times. I fell in love with both. I wanted to climb into my kindle and give comfort and hugs. Each were facing struggles that made life really hard for them.
“Someone hurt you.”
“Are you kidding? My life was hurt. Everything hurt…”
Bound By Lies is M/M BDSM and is not necessarily an easy read at times, especially if you struggle with this genre. However, it was heart-breaking, hot and sexy, beautiful and funny too so the balance was pretty spot on I thought. If you enjoy this type of story I would strongly suggest adding Bound By Lies to your ‘to read list’!