Early Review: Bound by Lies by Hanna Peach

Kitten. Princess. We never know her name, but we become pretty damn well acquainted with her fear.

We first meet our nameless narrator at a club, where she meets Caden Thain for the first time. Caden saves her from a guy who isn’t too keen on “no” as the answer, and when she tries to come on to Caden, he refuses. He sees her home safely, then asks her to meet him at a bar a few days later.

That’s when the notes start.

It’s the only contact they have outside of the times they’re together, and it takes several months for them to actually have sex. When they do, she’s always blindfolded and her hands are always tied. She’s not allowed to touch him. She’s not allowed to see him naked. She doesn’t lack for pleasure, but after a while, what they share is no longer enough. So she follows Caden, and realizes she should have run far, far away when she had the chance.

There’s a clear dividing line with Bound by Lies. The first half reads like an erotic romance, full of uncertainty and lust, but you feel her frustration rising the longer she goes without being able to so much as touch Caden while they’re fucking. It’s painful, not being able to hold him tight, not knowing what his chest feels like under her hands. The second half is when her life has spun out of control and she realizes that Caden is even less than what she’d thought he was. The pace picks up and jerks back and forth between her past (and what a horrible past it is) and the present.

If that’s a little vague, it’s on purpose. We learn what she’s hiding, and why, and what she’s done to save herself. We learn who Caden really is, but by the time the story’s over, there actually isn’t much that we do know. But there’s only so much you can say about Lies before you start to spoil the story, and I’d rather you read it yourself. C’mon. You know you want to.

It’s a quick read, and I found myself doing the “just one more chapter” justification a few times. She, whoever she is, is strong and sassy, determined to make up for the events that broke her years ago and sent her on the run. I liked her resolve. But while on some level I could understand why she gave in to Caden so quickly and so often, I wish she’d stood her ground a bit more. And even though Caden insisted she be restrained, he wasn’t one of those uber-alphaholes so popular today (thank GOD). By the end, though, we ultimately end up knowing more about her by default, since she’s our guide through this story. As I said before, we do learn who Caden really is, but what we learn is his true identity – the kind of thing you’d find on paper. She expresses her frustration with this, wanting to know if he ate eggs in the morning or read the paper. The man is a mystery wrapped in an enigma cloaked in a puzzle, and I hope in the next book she untangles more of him and who his and who he is to her and why.

Suspend reality for a while and curl up with Bound by Lies, and before you know it, it’s a few hours later and you’re done. It’s that kind of book.

Copy of Bound by Lies provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Releases January 20, 2014.

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