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Friday, July 11, 2014

ARC Review: Bonds of Courage by Lynda Aicher

Bonds of Courage is the 6th book in Lynda Aicher's Wicked Play series. These can easily be read as standalones and do not require you to have read the rest. The characters in these books are interconnected, and it was great to see how the different character's stories are intertwined. Bonds of Courage is Vanessa Delcour (Mistress V) and Holden Hauke's story, and I really enjoyed it. Lynda Aicher's writing style was really great, and I was instantly drawn into the story. I didn't want to put this one down, and I thought that it was really well done.

Pro hockey player Holden Hauke has recently relocated after being traded for a picture of him tied to a spanking bench was released. Even though it felt right for him to give up control and be submissive, the backlash on his career wasn't worth it. Ever since he has been trying to clean up his image and avoid being the subject of any type of rumor. When he feels the need to give in to his desires, he applies for membership at The Den. The exclusive sex club is the one place he can explore his desires and keep a low profile. But when he comes face to face with the woman who helped orchestrate his trade, he begins to worry he has been found out. Vanessa Delcour is part owner of The Den and is an experienced Domme. She immediately is against taking Holden as her sub, but once he figures out what she is doing at The Den he won't take no for an answer. He sets out to prove to her that he belongs to her and that he is exactly the type of sub she needs. As they begin to explore the passion between them, they realize that the other fulfills their needs in a way no one else ever has. But Vanessa has been betrayed in the past and isn't convinced that Holden is any different than every other guy out there. Can Holden prove to Vanessa that what they have together is worth fighting for?

I really liked Holden. He was such an easy going guy, and he had complete trust in Vanessa. He gave in to his desires and didn't question what he enjoyed. I loved how comfortable he was with his sexuality, and how he was able to just lose himself in the moment. He was also really sweet and caring, and knew exactly what Vanessa needed. He was the perfect balance for her uptight personality and I thought that he brought out such a different side to her. I liked that she was able to open up to him and really be different with him than she was with anyone else. Vanessa was harder to warm up to though, and at first she definitely held up to her reputation of being an ice queen. But as the story progressed it was clear that she had been hurt and felt betrayed and it had made her put up walls and have such a tough exterior. She was just trying to protect herself from getting hurt, and I love that Holden was able to crack through her tough shell and get to the person underneath. I thought that they had really great chemistry and the sex between them was smoking hot! These two had the physical connection, but they also had the intense emotional bond as well and that is what made them work so great together.

Overall, I thought that this was a really great story. Sometimes with a BDSM story things get really dark and heavy, and it makes the story drag. But I didn't feel that way at all about Bonds of Courage, and I thought that despite it being an intense relationship that there were plenty of light hearted moments to balance the book out. Holden and Vanessa's relationship had its ups and downs, but I really felt like these two belonged together and that they worked extremely well. I loved the secondary characters, and I thought that they all added a lot to the story. I am really looking forward to seeing what happens next for Noah and Vanessa's sister Liv. I would highly recommend this book if you are looking for a sexy story with BDSM elements to it that doesn't feel as though it is super dark or heavy. I liked that this one wasn't weighed down with a ton of punishments and pain, but rather focused on the beauty of a sub giving themselves to a Domme that took care of them and looked out for them. I look forward to reading more from Lynda Aicher in the future and can't wait for more in this series.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |


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