March 7, 2014

REVIEW: Unwound (Mastered #2)

Unwound (Mastered #2), by Lorelei James
To Be Published March 25, 2014
Berkley Romance/NAL
e-book, provided by NetGalley
adult erotic contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  4 STARS

(From Goodreads)
When sensei Ronin Black first encounters Amery Hardwick, the fire in her eyes ignites a sexual spark a thousand times better than the primal rush he used to get from mixed martial arts matches. She accepts his darker edges and admits to him that her desires aren’t as wholesome as he believed. And before long Ronin is grappling with emotions he’s never felt before….

Yet despite demanding Amery bare her body and soul to him, Ronin holds a part of himself back. When she learns Ronin’s secret and walks out, his life begins to unravel.  To regain her trust he must let go of his pride and prove to her that it’s more than passion binding them together. But after their private pleasures are made public, Ronin is unsure if he’s the right man for Amery. Can they face the consequences together? Or will their differences rip them apart?

Unwound was different from Bound. Whereas Bound focused on the art of the binding that Ronin performed on Amery, in Unwound, that aspect of their relationship took a backseat.

Ronin is getting older and is having a very hard time coming to terms with that fact. His fighting days are likely over and he needs to shift his focus to more of the management side of things. But, how is he supposed to relieve his stress now, when throwing punches is the only way he's ever done that in the past?

Ronin was awesome in Unwound. It was easy to see the difficulty he had in coming to terms with his limitations. It's not something he's ever had to worry about before. And he really struggles. It was such a dichotomy from what we already know of this strong man. He has only ever allowed the outside world to see him as extremely capable, strong and intelligent. Even his best of friends and Amery, the woman he loves, only ever saw him completely in control. So, it was incredibly refreshing to see how Ronin had to come to a place where accepting help from others did not equate to weakness. He came a very long way over the course of the book.

Amery, however, made me absolutely stabby. She spent most of the book turning her judging gaze on Ronin and calling him out for his lies and secrets that spilled out at the end of Bound. And, yet, in Unwound, Amery kept just as many secrets as Ronin did. Where Ronin made real efforts to change in order to keep Amery in his life, she seemed more interested in watching him wallow and apologize repeatedly than in truly making forward strides in their relationship.

Luckily, Ronin is still the strong, amazing man we were introduced to in Bound, and when he calls her out, that is when the book took a really awesome turn. The end was incredible, and I closed the book feeling very satisfied.

Although the binding wasn't as much of a part of Unwound as it was in Bound, it was still there, and I loved those moments as much as I did in the previous book. I also really loved the glimpse into the business end of MMA fighting - it was a unique perspective.

I'm hoping this isn't the end of this series, even if it is the end of Ronin's and Amery's story. There are still plenty of other intriguing characters that I want to know more about (Knox! Shiori! Blue!). Please, Lorelei, write more!!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

As much as I love a good stand alone, when I fall in love with a world/characters, I am always hoping that the author writes more in a series. I hope she does for your sake. :)