Rating: 4.25 stars
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Length: Novel

When Everard Drake’s brother gets an unsanctioned omega pregnant, Everard needs to help with damage control. His first order of business is to eliminate Nate’s roommate, Harry Lessardi, who witnessed Nate lay the dragon eggs. The dragons fear otherwise Harry will spread word about their existence. But when Everard gets to their apartment, he can’t bear to harm Harry. Not only does he come across as totally naive and innocent, he is also hot. So Everard does the next best thing and takes Harry home with him to keep him out of trouble.

Harry is a scientist studying reptiles, so seeing his best friend lay dragon eggs was pretty much the best thing that ever happened to him. While he figures he should be concerned about this strange dragon shifter kidnapping him, Harry mostly just sees it as an adventure and a chance to get up close and personal with dragons and learn more about them. As long as he has his trusty iguana, Steve, with him, Harry is happy.

At first Harry is nothing but a pretty face to Everard (albeit one who won’t stop stop asking questions), but soon he comes to really care for Harry, despite all his quirks. In fact, Everard likes Harry so much, he is having trouble imagining separating from him. For his part, after years of having no interest in sex or romance, Harry is finding himself drawn to Everard as well. What’s more, there seems to be a connection between Harry and Everard that no one could have ever expected, one that may change everything that is known about dragons and their mates.

Bond is the second book in the Forbidden Desires series, following the really enjoyable Clutch. This book actually overlaps the timeline of that story almost completely, beginning when Nate lays his eggs and continuing until shortly after he gives birth. Some of the same events are touched upon, only from Harry or Everard’s POV, like when Harry witnesses Perry’s eggs hatch, but there is a lot of new story here as well. So I definitely think you will benefit from having read that first book, both to keep up with the events we see here, and also to be familiar with the world these authors have created.

As I mentioned in my review of Clutch, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from a series with dragon shifters and mpreg, but I was really impressed with the world building and character development, and that continues here with this story. Without giving anything away, the world building really takes off here as a result of Harry’s scientific brain and some research he and Everard conduct at the behest of Everard’s father into bonded mates. So as the guys discover more about this world, we do as well, and I think the authors continue to really build an interesting and engaging world here that is unique even among omegaverse stories. This is one of the strongest aspects of this book for me and I think it is done quite well.

I’ll admit this one started off a little rocky for me on the relationship end. That is because Harry, for all his adorable quirkiness, is just so incredibly naive and wide eyed and, frankly, so socially clueless early in the story that is was hard to see him as anything other than childlike. Now, I loved Harry in Clutch, and was really excited for his story here. But there is a difference between being an over-the-top side character and taking a leading role and things didn’t work for me right away here. Harry is just oblivious about so many things. He cheerfully accepts being kidnapped because it is an adventure. He seems to have no idea what is going on half the time, misses all subtly or nuance, or honestly, even things blasted right in his face. I love a geeky hero, especially one where there is a juxtaposition between scientifically smart but socially clueless. But Harry just starts off so extreme, it is hard to imagine how he even functions in the world, let alone to imagine him in an adult sexual and romantic relationship. It also led to some uncomfortable moments for me in terms of consent. The first time the guys get together, Harry thinks Everard is going to kill and eat him (and he pretty much cheerfully accepts that as well in the name of scientific curiosity). So he somehow mistakes Everard’s blow job/hand job for his attempts to “kill” Harry (and then believes that Everard needs Harry’s spunk as food to survive). So aside from the fact that he is literally the most naive man alive, he also isn’t really understanding the sexual acts he is involved in at first.

Fortunately, things improve and Harry slowly grows to feel like a much more of an equal partner to Everard. After the first portion of the story, he is still Harry, but not nearly as extreme and that went a long way to helping me see these guys as having a real relationship that could actually work. Everard becomes adorably doting on Harry, almost despite himself. He also has a never ending supply of food-related terms of endearment for Harry (“oh, my little chicken wing”). If this bugs you, this story may make you nuts, but I found it amusing. I love the way the authors combine the relationship with the world building here in such clever ways, creating a far more interesting partnership than I had imagined for them. The story really kept me engaged and I loved how these guys go from at odd to all mushily in love.

So I am really enjoy this series and finding it lots of fun, with some great world building to balance out the more crazy elements. The tease we got for the next book is SO tempting, so I really can’t wait for more.