Bound For TroubleRating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novel

FBI agent Daniel “Deke” Kane made a mistake that ended in tragedy.  Four months later, he’s riding a desk and on the edge of a breakdown.  His supervisor gives him a second chance to prove himself: get a confidential informant to infiltrate the Russian drug smuggler Petrov’s inner circle to prove that the man is running drugs.  Deke finds the perfect CI, Ryan Griffiths, and uses the man’s past to get him to agree.

Ryan’s life hasn’t been great, but he’s finally on a path to see himself clear of selling his body to keep himself fed and a roof of over his head.  He has no choice but to agree to the FBI’s request, and soon finds himself as a server as a BDSM club.  He begins training as a submissive in order to keep his cover, and eventually draws the attention of Petrov, the man he is supposed to be enticing.  He gains Petrov’s trust, and soon begins to get the information the FBI needs.

As Deke keeps a close eye on Ryan, the two begin developing a relationship.  But Ryan cares for Petrov too, and likes the way the man makes him feel.  Torn between what he feels and what he knows is right, Ryan doesn’t always make the best choices.  But the case against Petrov is building.  When Petrov reveals his true colors, Ryan flees straight into the Deke’s arms.  Deke takes Ryan on the run to keep him safe.  The web of secrets and lies is bigger than anyone imagined, and now Deke needs to put together the missing pieces or no one will be safe.

I had a really hard time connecting to this book.  This story was told really well.  There’s no doubt that Lynley has talent.  The writing itself is what saved this story for me.  If it hadn’t been told so well, I would have put it down about fifty percent through the book.  But I wanted to know where the author would take it and how she would resolve the plot, and the great writing kept me reading.

The characters of Ryan and Deke are really well drawn, and I felt that I could see them clearly.  Deke was easier to connect with.  I saw his pain and desperation in the beginning of the book, and I loved his determination to redeem himself.  I appreciated that he was willing to do whatever it took to get his life and career back on track.  He is a truly stand-up guy and I, in particular, loved the way he looked out for Ryan.  There were times when Ryan and Deke were together that their chemistry practically leapt off the page.  But they were too few and too far between for me to accept that they would get their HEA.

But Ryan, on the other hand, was a lot harder for me to connect to.  In the beginning, I could understand where he was coming from.  But as the story progressed, I just couldn’t accept some of his motivation.  It just didn’t make sense to me that he’d continue to be with Petrov if his feelings were so strong for Deke.  I had a really hard time accepting his connection with Petrov, as well.  Ryan knew what the guy was capable of, and suspected him of some very bad things, and yet he was willing to forget about that because he craved acceptance.  It just didn’t ring true to me, the way he fluctuated back and forth between his feelings for the two men, and there were times when I found this irritating.  He seemed almost fickle, and that made him a little unlikable for me.

If I’m completely honest, I found the plot to be a little too farfetched as well.  There were some really great action sequences, and little twists to the plotline that I really enjoyed.  Parts were handled very well, including who all was really involved with the drug or weapons smuggling operation, but some other elements I found unbelievable.  Namely the whole BDSM element.  Neither Deke nor Ryan had ever had an interest in the lifestyle before, and they wouldn’t now except for this intelligence gathering mission.  But they both take to it very quickly, with Ryan training to be a sub and finding that he needs submission, while Deke finds his natural Dom tendencies.  I did like that Deke had moments of true questioning as to whether it was right or good for him to engage in the lifestyle.  But I would have liked to have seen this explored more, and from Ryan’s perspective as well.

Overall, I think that Bound For Trouble was a really well written tale.  Though, personally, I didn’t connect with the characters and plot as much as I would have liked, it wasn’t a bad book and would be worth a read if it sounds like your kind of story.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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