Dangerously Bound (A Dangerous Romance)
Berkley / April 1, 2014 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital
Allie LeClair has finally returned to the sultry city of New Orleans. After ten years of studying and working as a pastry chef in San Francisco and all over Europe—and feeding her submissive side at BDSM clubs—Allie is home, and she has something to prove to the man who once fueled her desires. She’s not a child anymore.
When security specialist Mick Reid hears that Allie is back in town, he knows he won’t be able to stay away for long. Ever since he discovered his darker side, Mick has tried to protect Allie from the aggressive beast within him—but that power and wildness is exactly what she wants.
Can they take the heat?
Allie has made the first move, but now it’s up to Mick. The game has begun, and playing has never been so rough.
BDSM has been all the rage in romance the last few years. Whether it's bondage, a particular focus on the dominance and submission or sadism and masochism aspects, the hardcore Dom or more elusive female Domme, a look at the nuances of power exchange, switching, or the psychological aspects of a relationship on the spectrum, a little bit of everything has been represented. But in Dangerously Bound, Eden Bradley introduces the first in a new series set around the Bastille Club in sultry New Orleans and exposes a theme not often found in mainstream romance: pain play.
Mick and Allie have a history. This is not only one of the best things about their story, but it's front and center throughout, a smart move that provides a forensic look at a relationship undergoing every stage. Not understanding the darker urges in his younger years, Mick can't imagine that it's anything Allie would be on board with. So that, coupled with a bad accident that shattered not only his leg but any chance to enter into the noble family business of firefighting, has him convinced he's the black sheep in every way. But in an apt parallel, just as Mick was pushing her away, Allie was discovering too that even before she had the experience to understand it, there was a darker side to her own sexual preferences.
After years of hiding in careers and clubs all over the world, Allie returns home to confront Mick once and for all: it's time to face what they could be when there's no holds barred. One of the best scenes finds Allie dropping the bomb on Mick that it's time he's the one who ties her up and makes her hurt in the way she wants.
Jesus Christ. He was going to have Allie – Allie! – in his ropes. Under his hands. His body... his mind... both were in some sort of slowly building turmoil. That and a hard buzz of desire like a pulsebeat beneath his flesh.
“Mick, don't you want to go over your limits as a Top?” Jamie prompted.
“That's easy enough. Don't fail to use your safe words if you need to. Total honesty with me about what you need, what you want, what you don't. Total honesty after a scene if something didn't work for you. Don't ever try to play if you're sick – I don't want you pushing yourself too hard. And I won't draw blood on purpose, so if that's something you're looking for –”
“It's not.” Allie's brown gaze was on his, smoldering with heat. A heat that went through him like a small electric shock. Jesus – she wanted him. Wanted him in the same way he wanted her.
Despite his arguments, this was about to get interesting.
“But you intend to push me,” she said. It wasn't a question.
He smiled. “If you've done your research, then you know I'm a sadist, Allesandra.”
She smiled. “That's why I'm here.”
Bradley is able to shine a light on the elements of BDSM that may seem the most taboo to the uninitiated, where pain is a craving and biting is erotic. Mick and Allie are on the same page when it comes to what they want in kink. Though years of hang-ups could never resolve themselves overnight, and both characters have to process their deepening relationship once all cards are on the table, when they're in the scenes, Mick and Allie are perfectly in sync.
“Is it too much? Tell me.”
“It's...” She was panting hard from the pain, from the pleasure. “It's almost too much. And not enough. Please, Mick. I need more.”
His voice was a guttural growl, rasping steel on gravel. “Do you have any idea what it does to me to hear you say these things?” He grabbed her by the waist and picked her up, shoved her farther up the bed. “Do you know how fucking rock-hard I am for you right now?” He got on his knees, sitting back on his heels, shoved her legs apart and yanked her body in, his arms wrapping around her back as he lifted her until she was straddling his lap, his fingers digging into her flesh. She grabbed onto his arms to steady herself.
“This is why,” he gasped as he pressed her hips into his, her open, soaking wet sex coming up against his solid shaft. “This is why I was always so damn careful with you. Because with you... Fuck... You unleash the beast inside of me, Allie girl. And now it's been pushed too far to contain.”
“Please,” she whispered, her arms winding around his neck.
He paused, his breath coming in ragged pants. “I'm going to hurt you.”
Her body was on fire. His pulsing cock pressed against her pussy lips, his hard chest crushed her breasts, and every inch of her skin needed him to touch, bite, strike, scratch.
“Yes. Do it, Mick.”
This new series promises shocking new ventures into the BDSM lifestyle and the many ways it can be expressed. Yet at the core is a classic Bradley love story: where intelligent and mature relationships develop between flawed, struggling people and real love may be imperfect but still whole. Here, in the perfect setting for the forbidden, knowing that there's more to come has us all in.
Learn more or order a copy of Dangerously Bound by Eden Bradley, out now:
Tiffany Tyer is a writer and editor who loves reading and analyzing all things romance. She also works as a vocalist, a tutor, and a non-profit ministry assistant, and she loves it that way. Her book reviews can be found at Happy Endings Reviews, a blog she co-founded.