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Monday, September 21, 2015

Review: Bonded by Laura Wright

*sighs* I had higher hopes for this book to be honest. Of course, I always have reservations about the accidental baby troupe and I thought that would be my only issue. Sadly it wasn't.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW
Release Date: September 1, 2015

Ranch hand Blue Perez's once simple life is spinning out of control. He's discovered he has three half-brothers, and they're not ready to accept his claim on the ranch. Also, Blue's girlfriend may have betrayed him in the worst way possible. And after one evening of drowning his sorrows at the bar, there's someone he can't get out of his mind, a woman who says she's carrying his child.

Following a night of breathtaking passion in the arms of a man who now rules her dreams, waitress Emily Shiver is contemplating her next step. Blue is determined to be a part of her life, yet she would rather raise the baby on her own. But when she becomes the target of someone's dark obsession, Emily must let Blue in—to both her heart and her future.

Blue Perez’s once calm life has been turned upside down and inside out. He has just discovered that his mother lied about his father’s identity, and that he now has three half-brothers who are just as stunned as he is. On top of that big whopper of a revelation comes a betrayal from a girlfriend and a one night stand with a beautiful woman that has serious consequences.

Emily Shiver’s had her eye on the handsome cowboy for some time, yet there was always something that held her back. After one night with Blue, Emily finds herself pregnant and contemplating a future as a single mom even as Blue is determined to be part of their baby’s life. Unfortunately someone is now targeting Emily and the only choice she has is to let Blue into her own life and hope that nothing gets shattered in the process.

The final Cavanaugh gets his story. I liked this “Accidental Baby” romance but I didn’t love it. I can’t stand the accidental baby bit and Bonded didn’t manage to change my mind about the trope either. There were a few gems in this story that had me smiling but overall, I was pretty underwhelmed by the series finale.

Blue’s struggle to come to terms with the fact that he is actually a Cavanaugh is interesting. People who have known him don’t know whether to refer to him as “Blue Perez” or “Blue Cavanaugh” and at times even he doesn’t know what last name to use. It was a good way for author Laura Wright to emphasize that particular struggle for him. He is understandably angry at his mother for keeping such a secret from him but I thought he overdid it just a tad. He had every reason to be angry at his mother but not to be as cruel as he was to not just her but to Mac, who was his best friend for so long. He was not only punishing himself but those around him in a way that, had they given up on him I wouldn’t have blamed them. Blue was a bit childish in that way and I did want to smack him several times for behaving like such a jerk. He acted like he was the only person in the world to ever have had such a revelation.

Then there was the heroine. For a brief moment, Bonded had me worried that Emily was from a 1950s era “Girls don’t leave momma’s house until you’re married/No living with a guy unless you’re married” family. I may have even hyperventilated a bit with some of the dialogue between her and her parents but in the end, Emily put on her big girl pants and kindly but firmly told her parents that the only one who was a good judge of what was best for her was her. From there Emily just grew stronger and stronger. She was the only one who stood in front of Blue and told him to get over his pity party for one. I’d like to think that it was all in Emily’s personality and not just the baby hormones though. I did feel like she was punishing Blue for something though. She had a pretty good idea of what Blue’s history was yet sometimes it felt like she was specifically using that to hurt the guy.

While Blue and Emily spent most of the book figuring out just what they were to one another, the author gave readers something else to chew on: The answer to who killed Cassandra Cavanaugh and why. While these big questions are finally answered in Bonded I have to say I felt that they were glossed over in favor of Blue and Emily’s happy ending, which I totally get, the story should end on a happy note but this was so important to the Cavanaughs that I think it should have had a more solid conclusion than just a mention of Cassandra at the end. Her death was something that traumatized and changed Deac, James and Cole drastically and these men should have had I don’t know, some real closure or something instead of treating it like an afterthought.

I also felt that Blue never really resolved anything with his half brothers. These men had a lot of things to discuss and some hurt feelings to soothe so to speak. I wanted to see some kind of male bonding. Something that would let me know as a reader that these four were going to be better than okay, they were going to be a family.

Overall, Bonded was an okay read for me. It wasn’t the best one out of the series and it didn’t have a solid conclusion but there was still a good story with likable characters. Having the previous characters come in and have a hand in the way things turned out for Blue didn’t hurt either and it was nice to see how the Deac, James and Cole were getting along.

Final Verdict: Bonded didn't really close out the series the way I felt it should have. It has its little gem scenes but most of it is kind of just, there.

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