My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review at Seductive Musings.
In a genre filled with dominant billionaire alpha heroes, Cara McKenna’s UNBOUND bucks the current trend with one of the most wonderfully developed beta heroes I’ve ever read and a fully realized heroine more than capable of giving him exactly what he needs, even at possible cost to her own future happiness.
Merry’s life has been turned upside down by the death of her beloved mother and her own dramatic weight loss. Not knowing what to do next, she decides that a solo hike through her mother’s home country of Scotland will be an excellent way to make a break between the old and the new, and perhaps come to some conclusions about her future. Everything is going great until Merry drinks the wrong sort of water and in her weakened state, literally stumbles across the cottage in the middle of nowhere where Rob is hiding from the world.
Rob has a whole list of very good reasons why he’s deliberately isolated himself from everything and everyone, and those reasons don’t go away just because a nosy and overly talkative young lass from America can’t leave him be. But Merry likes his looks and demeanor, and is determined to discover why such a soft spoken and good looking man would want to be a hermit. As their mutual curiosity soon grows into desire, it’s not certain whether Rob and Merry are prepared to handle the aftermath when all the secrets he’d hoped were buried forever begin to emerge.
I’m not sure how I can discuss how much I loved this book without sounding like the worst sort of fangirl. Cara McKenna is near the top of my auto-buy list and when I found out she was writing the story of a beta hero who was also a hermit, I knew this was a story I needed to read. One of the things I loved about UNBOUND was that although Merry’s extreme weight loss was part of the motivation for her trek through Scotland, it wasn’t a major focal point in the book, as so often happens with this type of character development. Compared to Rob, Merry is actually in a good place emotionally, which is how she’s able to recognize Rob’s melancholy and help him get past his sense of shame in confronting his deepest desires. It’s Rob who ultimately makes this a five star read for me, as Cara McKenna slowly uncovers why he needed to hide and how Merry helps him see that it’s time to embrace civilization — and love — once again. Their love story is both passionate and poignant, and the ending made me cry. UNBOUND is a perfect example of why Cara McKenna continues to be one of the best writers working in any genre today.
Sensuality level: 4 (D/s role play including light bondage and verbal humiliation)