Unbound by Cara McKenna
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
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She set out to find herself, and discovered the darker side of desire.
Merry’s lost a lot recently—first her mother, then close to a hundred pounds. Feeling adrift, she strikes out in search of perspective. A three-week hike through the Scottish Highlands was supposed to challenge her new body and refocus her priorities, but when disaster strikes, she’s forced to seek refuge in the remote home of a brooding, handsome stranger…
Rob exiled himself to the Highlands years ago, desperate to escape his own self-destruction. Haunted by regrets, he avoids human contact at all costs…but when Merry turns up injured, he can’t very well run her off. And as he nurses her back to health, Rob can’t resist his guest’s sweet demeanor—or her flirtatious advances. The igniting passion between them rouses a secret appetite Rob has long struggled to keep hidden. But Merry craves nothing more than to help Rob surrender to his desires, and the journey draws the lovers into an entirely different kind of wilderness.
Merry is so exited about her trek across Scotland. It’s her mother’s homeland and since her mother passed recently she’s feels it’s a lovely tribute to her. She’s also excited because she’s just lost 100 pounds and with all of her exercising she feels confident she can do the trek with no issue. She does manage to do it with no problem until about 2 weeks in. She gets extremely sick and ends up seeking help from a man in a small cottage in the middle of nowhere.
The man, Rob, takes care of Merry and though he’s gruff and a bit put out by her appearance he can’t deny her his help. After a couple of days Merry is recovered enough to start getting to know Rob. When that happens she finds almost a completely different person stuck under his gruff exterior. Not only is he a sexy man but he hides a kink that up until then he’d been incredibly ashamed of. He likes being tied up, used, degraded. Merry manages to get Rob to tell her his fantasies and Merry makes them happen – enjoying them thoroughly herself. The pair have a wonderful time together and Merry talks Rob into hiking the rest of the way to Inverness with her.
What Rob didn’t tell Merry was that he’s an alcoholic. Not necessarily a recovering one, either. He just walked away from life and the temptation but never dealt with everything that was the cause. Never dealt with the outcome of his alcoholism. When he reaches Inverness the truth comes out but neither one knows if this something they can deal with – especially Rob.
I have to say this book was not what I had expected when I picked it up. I guess by the title I expected some bdsm but I didn’t expect Rob to be as submissive as he was in the bedroom (because it was really only in the bedroom). I had no problem with the rope, the tying up, the fantasies – any of that, but I definitely couldn’t get into his desire to be demeaned – for degradation. That kind of steps over a line for me but luckily the author kept that to a minimum so it wasn’t so much it made me want to put the book down.
Merry was a great with Rob. I loved that she got him and didn’t think less of him for his sexual kink but was right there with him. She was a very understanding person and I loved that about her. Rob was obviously a harder person to read but I ended up liking him a whole lot as well – even after hearing about his past.
The end of the book did have Rob and Merry telling each other “I love you” but there was no actual HEA and frankly that bugged the crap outta me! I figured after everything that the pair had been through that they deserved it but we were left with what amounted to a “maybe they’ll be together someday” kind of thing and that didn’t work for me at all. Was I glad that they worked out their issues and found love? Absolutely. I wanted decisions to be made, though, and instead it was left up in the air. That was an incredibly unsatisfying ending for me and it definitely brought the rating of this one down significantly. Overall I liked the story and the writing. It was a darker book than I expected but one I enjoyed reading.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5