AR Declerck first caught my attention with her new steampunk series beginning with The Alchemist’s Kiss. The second of that series is out soon, Enchanter’s Embrace. Steampunk is a challenging write. It requires both historical research and serious imagination. Naturally, I wanted to see what she could do with space opera which is how I classify Bound to You, broadly, very broadly.
Blurb: Jackson Baine was a man with a gift, and he had no trouble selling it to the highest bidder. His newest job was for one of the biggest terraforming companies in the universe, and the money he stood to make would be enough to buy retirement for him and his crew on any planet in any galaxy they chose. His problem? Ferrell Terraforming Inc. has assigned him a company liaison, whose primary goal is to make his life a living hell. His only option is to agree to take her on, or he loses the contract. And that’s not his only problem. Lia Bernardi is smart, beautiful and just enough trouble to turn his head like no other woman ever has. Their attraction is a distraction he cannot afford.
Anatolia Bernardi wants to climb the corporate ladder, get out from under her irritating boss, and finally impress her overbearing father. All she has to do is turn one dead, empty planet into an oasis. The only way she can accomplish that is with the help of Jacks Baine. The man gets under her skin, and threatens to break down every wall she’s placed between herself and the world.
On the surface of an empty planet, far to the edge of the December Quadrant, Jacks and Lia will have to come to terms with their attraction. Sometimes the dead aren’t forgotten, and they have secrets to tell. Only one thing is certain: the past never really goes away.
The blurb kind of gives you the idea. I started this thinking, huh? It’s Indiana Jones meets scifi meets paranormal meets the best romance you ever could imagine. It’s sexy, but still very sweet. It’s all over the place.
And, I loved it. There are reads you devour and reads you savor. This was a savor read. I worked hard to keep it from being over, and that’s a rec. I’m usually a devourer of the written word.
The connection between heroine and hero was quick. I mean quick, and the author does this with unbelievable skill. The bond between the two primary protagonists is nothing short of magical. How often in paranormal trope do we see the female medium? Here, it’s the man, and he’s a very manly man. In spite of that, Declerck treats the reader to one of the most sensitive and simultaneously sexy heroes I’ve ever seen. His devotion to Lia grows realistically, but, once it engages, he’s all in.
The minor characters here could be expanded upon. They don’t show up in force until well into the book, and, by the time you’re attached, it’s over, but that in itself is still a recommendation because I wanted more. I wanted to get to know all of them. I’m hoping the author has some series ideas stashed away because I definitely wasn’t ready to let go yet.