I'm an avid reader and reviewer of romance books, especially m-m and erotica. You can find me on http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4669232-baba-marcus-tyler-tate-dan-ty-hunter
3.75 stars.****Review completed October 20, 2013
"May I hold your hand?"
He unlinked his fingers and offered his hand. Merry took it in her own, on the edge of the cushion. She let her body's awareness swim in the warm, strong weight of him, the softness of his palm, the roughness of his knuckles, the heat where his fingertips had touched his mug.
"Here, when I'm alone, there's nothing in there. Just silence, and a sense of what my next task is, based on the simplest human needs. It's very peaceful. Very Zen."
"Don't be offended if I don't invite you to come deer-stalking, then."
"Fine. I'll stick to tree-stalking. Easier to chase."
"The chase is the best part."
That gave her pause.
Merry watched his face as he fiddled with the straps, thinking he was the rarest kind of handsome, the sort of male beauty that could too easily be overlooked, hiding behind his beard and untamed hair. But when he smiled, there was no mistaking it. Like the way shadows fled behind the trees and buildings when the sun burst through the clouds.
After losing almost 100 pounds, Merry decides to go on a trip across her mother's homeland Scotland. She's determined to hike through the Scottish Highlands to arrive in Inverness within a timeframe of three weeks. Unfortunately though, the perfect idyll is getting disturbed when she starts feeling nauseous. Merry needs help and ends up on the threshold of Rob's cottage. Rob acts anything but cheery, yet he can't deny her the help she needs. Rob is a man who screwed up his life completely, and he's living a secluded life as a hermit by his own choice. Merry isn't privy to his past yet and only sees Rob's exterior. What she's absorbing, however, is appealing enough. A man with gruff looks who features too long, untamed hair and a beard and a strong body. Overall he's a very attractive package, albeit not overly welcoming.
I liked Unbound a lot but it's not Cara McKenna's best work to date. My ranking:
After Hours 4.5 stars
Willing Victim 4 stars
Unbound 3.75 stars
I gotta dedicate that gif to Rob. It's so darn apt.
What didn't work for me
That's me after reading the anticlimactic ending…
Maybe it's silly to say this but I feel kinda cheated. Granted, I get it (view spoiler) but…but…this…? I mean…really? Seriously? It doesn't get any more abrupt and I'm sorry that I didn't like it.
I just couldn't warm up to their weird names. Rob (view spoiler)and Merry (view spoiler) are BEYOND ridiculous.
The second half of the story did stagnate a bit, IMO, and fell somewhat flat, i.e. their (view spoiler) That was flat out boring. Before as well as in the aftermath of Rob being revealed as (view spoiler) a lot fizzled out. Besides, I was so irritated because I wanted them to have that specific talk rather sooner than later. In fact, I really didn't get it why we had to wait almost till the end.
To be honest, I’ve had a hard time getting used to the image of Merry (view spoiler) Sure, she is a rather outspoken and chatty woman but on the other hand, she was kinda shy and reluctant with quite a bit of insecurities. (view spoiler) came as a surprise to me and was contradictory to her character.
The heroine got somewhat on my nerves with her need for reassurance. "Do you think I'm beautiful?" For God's sake, stand in front of a mirror, look at you and then tell yourself you like what you see. If anyone doesn't appreciate you, then it's their loss. You have to love yourself before anyone else can love you.
Merry telling me one too many times how beautiful Rob is, made me almost roll my eyes.
The positive summary
This was yet again different. The author’s voice sucked me in, although not quite from the beginning but I’d say I was really hooked when my suspicions were confirmed that (view spoiler)As I see it, it was a rather crucial moment when they started to get more personal. I really liked how Cara told the story. In fact, I felt enveloped by Rob's stillness and the gorgeous landscape. Rob and the remote and ascetic cabin fused perfectly with the fabulous setting. On the other hand, the chatty Merry was the counterpoint to the lonely and taciturn Rob and brightened the somber spirit.
While I didn't really fell for the characters, I enjoyed the book as a whole. What made Unbound so worthwhile was the beautiful setting, the not so common hero with his secretive past, the different atmosphere and 'tone' of the story, the really good writing as well as the kinky sex. Call me shallow but I'm always looking forward to immersing myself in Cara's eroticism. While enough authors write amateurish and awkward sex scenes, the sex à la Cara happens to be a panty melter on a regular basis. Also, what I very much enjoyed about Unbound was the transition from kinkery to reticence, tenderness and care. It was well done. Overall the good outweighed the not so good easily, and I think I gave you more than enough incentive to read Unbound. And last but not least I must give the author some well deserved credit for writing different stories and characters.
If you don't feel comfortable reading stories that provide a certain degree of kink and (view spoiler), then do not read Unbound. On the other hand, Unbound is not a BDSM book.
If you want to read the spoilers then check out the GR link below.