REVIEW: “Bound to Me” by Christy Pastore

Christy Pastore consistently has the best couple meet ups I’ve read, they’re intriguing, clever, and sexy as hell.  “Bound to Me” is pure romance with a dangerous threat running throughout.  This novel intertwines with the main couple in her Scripted series.  The Heroine, Ella’s a fashion entrepreneur and the sister of the famous movie star Ronan Connolly.  She’s intelligent, emotionally strong, and ambitious.  Ella’s in New York looking for a location for her second shop now that her London shop is a success.  Alex Robertsen, is ex-military and owns a security company.  Alex’s an Alpha Protector, but damaged.  He feels as though he’s never been successful at protecting those he loves.  Something always happens and it ends poorly.  “Bound to Me” has an incredibly lush story with multi-faceted characters who only develop more as the narrative progresses.  The tone undulates between enjoyable romance and stress filled danger.

The Prologue recounts a mission which occurred when Alex was in the military.  This was the first incident in which he lost someone he loved while they were under his protection.  Flash-forward a few years, to the anniversary of the tragedy.  Alex is trying to drink the pain and guilt into numbness but leaves before he’s drunk.  He leaves the bar to walk to his Manhattan hotel when he is approached by a beautiful blonde.  The woman asks Alex to pretend that he knows her and they are together.  There is a sketchy looking guy hanging out near her.  They then enter a pub and drink, talk, in general just enjoying the evening.  They have rules for the evening, they don’t use their real names nor share any personal information.  The evening ends with hot anonymous sex and when Alex awakes his mystery girl is gone.

The next morning Alex has a meeting with another security colleague whose client wants a bodyguard for his sister.  The client is the high profile actor Ronan Connolly, who wants his sister, Ella, under protection.  The sister in question arrives and it is the prior nights nameless girl.  Ella’s brother believes she just arrived from England that morning, so she and Alex pretend as though they’ve never met.  Even though Ronan has hired a bodyguard for Ella, she isn’t in any danger at the moment.  It’s a precaution because Ronan’s girlfriend, Holliday’s safety has been in danger recently.  Alex has conflicted feelings.  There’s an undeniable attraction between him and Ella but, as a professional, he must keep himself at a distance.  Their chemistry cannot be denied.  Alex finds himself acting proprietary over Ella.  They are unable to resist each other and find themselves falling back into bed.

They run into someone who Ella knows from England, he’s a man with whom she has an antagonistic relationship.  Alex senses that the man, Charlie, is a threat to Ella’s safety, though Ella says he’s all talk.  Never the less, Alex relays the encounter to Dean who informs Ronan.  Apparently, Charlie is tied to a terrible event in Ella’s past involving her ex-boyfriend.  Charlie is a former paparazzo.  It’s because of Ella that he has been banned from selling his photos to London tabloids.  He blames her for his having to move to the US and take straight news photos.  It turns out that Alex’s hunch is correct and Charlie poses a larger and more dangerous threat that Ella imagined.  Now Ella’s under 24 hour security.  This works out perfectly because she and Alex have been staying at his home in the Hamptons.

Alex and Ella’s relationship has progressed well beyond client and bodyguard.  There’s an incident which results in Ella ending up in the hospital while she was under Alex’s protection.  Alex feels that since he and Ella have fallen in love with each other that he became too complacent.  Therefore he decides to extricate himself as her bodyguard.  He leaves Ella behind in the Hamptons while he goes away to take some time to think.  Alex is concerned about his terrible track record of not being able to keep those he loves safe.  Even though Ella is under the capable scrutiny of a new bodyguard, one of Alex’s employees the unthinkable happens.  Alex returns desperate to find Ella.  But when he returns to New York there are no clues as to where she might be.  Or if she’s even still alive.

“Bound to Me” has the perfect balance of Danger and Romance.  Christie Pastore creates wonderfully engaging couples you care about and are invested in.  There are many characters from Ms. Pastore’s other novels who appear in “Bound to Me”.  So if you have enjoyed her other works you will find many old friends in this book.  Ella and Alex’s first meeting is fated, fun and incredibly sexy.  I love the main characters meeting in “Unscripted” too, so I contend she has a immense talent for first encounters.  Alex’s time away feels as though he takes way too long being sulky and angsty.  However, it’s understandable considering how traumatic his first loss was, and for which he totally shoulders the blame.  Ella’s emotional strength is incredible and her devout belief that her and Alex’s love will triumph is fabulous.  I can’t wait for the next book in The Harbor series!

I’m giving “Bound to Me” 5 Lightning Bolts and a Storm Warning.

 

This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed

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