Bound by Love by T. A. Chase

Blurb: Two cowboys fall in love. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.

Tyler Newsome is heading home to the Lazy N, tired of the rodeo and tired of always being his charismatic twin’s shadow. It’s time he gets a life of his own—and maybe the man he’s always dreamed of, too.

Ren Alston’s always been attracted to Tyler, but never made a move because of his own mental and emotional baggage. But after years spent taming his demons and gaining control in every aspect of his life, Ren sees the younger man’s return as a sign of good things to come.

But first, they have to deal with Tyler’s twin, past indiscretions and Ren’s brothers. Will these cowboys manage to build a strong foundation of trust and love? Or will their problems be too much for them?

Review: Val from Obsidian Bookshelf read and reviewed this book recently. It sounded like a fun book, so I got it. Unfortunately I was disappointed with it. From Val’s review I knew that there was some potential for conflict that never developed fully. I don’t mind if conflict is only hinted at but put out of the way quickly in favour of focussing on the two main protags. In this case, the conflict that the blurb hinted at were practically non-existent and the romance between Ren and Tyler left me cold.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Tyler and Ren get into BDSM rather quickly. I’m not a big fan of BDSM, but I knew from Val that this was going to happen, so no complaints here. But I felt that this all happened way too fast. One time Ren orders Tyler to get naked and the next thing you know is that Tyler has always looked for a dominant in bed (which had never been even implied before). From there it is only a short time until Tyler gets tied up and whipped. It was just like they flipped a switch and from then on it was mostly sex BDSM style. That was too rushed for me. I just couldn’t get connected with those two guys.

The conflicts that were mentioned in the blurb? Not there.

OK, Tyler’s twin JT was a pain at first. He had seduced Ren at an earlier date just to hurt Tyler, but was used himself by Ren in the process, who didn’t feel worthy of Tyler and settled for the second best. He got on Tyler’s nerves quite a bit when he repeatedly came up with that old story, hinting that Ren only hooked up with Tyler, since JT was out of reach now. That got old pretty quickly, and all of a sudden JT apologizes for his bad behaviour, saying a friend has put him on the right track. What friend? It would have been good to see who it was who made JT see what an ass he is. The friend is never mentioned again, he’s a deus-ex-machina to get rid of the JT problem.

Ren’s brothers? Conveniently moved out of the way before they could pose any problem. Not that they would have; for two veterans suffering from PTSD they seemed uncomplicated enough. Isaiah supported Ren anyway and Keith was too wrapped up in his own world to oppose Ren’s plans. I didn’t even feel a need for them to be removed from the scene, but just to make sure no obstacle kept Tyler from moving in with Ren, they were dispatched to San Diego without opposition from their part.

The romance just wasn’t romantic enough for me. Ren and Tyler had been in love for a long time without acknowledging it loud and there was not much to develop. They more or less jumped into bed with each other, the BDSM didn’t do it for me, no conflict (internal or external) in sight, somehow there was nothing for me to get excited about.

Available at Samhain Publishing

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