Rating: 4.25 stars
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Jason Kennly is a college student, working for free at a science fiction convention in order to pay for his price of admission. While he’s setting up, Jason is drawn to a gray collar, and then meets the owner of the booth, Henry Durand, who is just as intriguing. While they only talk for a short time, Henry invites Jason to his bondage demo. Jason decides to attend, only to find out that Henry wants him to be his model for the demonstration, and his inexpert submissive tendencies come to the surface. Jason flies in sub space for the first time in his life. Both Henry and Jason want to further explore their Dom/Sub relationship, so they agree to play for the weekend, knowing at the end they will go their separate ways.
They both return to their real lives — Henry working the conventions and Jason as an aimless, unmotivated, financially-strapped student who really only wants to be an artist. Jason’s held back by his father, who seems more concerned with his fiancee and her family than Jason. He realized before he even left the convention that he wanted to be with Henry, and once he works up the courage to call him a couple of weeks after he returns, they continue their relationship on the phone. Henry wants to be a mentor to Jason as he begins to explore and accept his submissive side, but feelings get a little messy when Jason’s ex, Terry, starts to pursue him again. Both Jason and Henry have to decide what they want and if they’re willing to try to make it work in the long-term.
There are a lot of things to like about Bound: Forget Me Knot. For one, the writing is really good. The plot flows smoothly and kept me interested. So interested, in fact, that it was very difficult to put down. The sex scenes, as they explored their relationship as Dom and Sub, were hot. The chemistry between Jason and Henry was intense, right from the start. It is easy to see why they are drawn to each other and want to continue their relationship, despite the significant age difference.
Pattskyn creates characters that are really well-developed and likable. Even Henry, who is a fairly strong Dominant, has a soft side that makes him approachable. Jason is a doll. He’s going through a very difficult period in his life. College is difficult for him, since he’s not enjoying the direction of his studies. His friends are trying to discourage him from exploring his submissive side, which he’s now understanding is a big part of who he is. His father finds fault with everything that he does. He basically feels like a freak. With Henry’s support, he’s able to begin to accept himself for who he is. I felt a compulsive need to protect Jason.
In the same vein, this vulnerability led to the book’s biggest weakness. Jason is new to the scene and is still trying to decide if he really is a submissive, yet Henry starts off by pushing Jason beyond his limits. Henry introduces Jason to unbearable amounts of pain and more or less forces him to take it. There is no easing into things here. And for someone like Jason, who knows very little about what he’s getting into, this seems irresponsible. Henry takes care of him, and Jason seems ultimately pleased by their scenes, but to me it felt dangerous.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it, noting that it is contains fairly extreme BDSM play. Unlike some books of it’s kind, though, it really is a love story. It is sweet to see two people fall in love while exploring a relationship that may seem strange to mainstream society but works for them. It made for a very charming and convincing happily ever after.