Zach Logan and Sebastian Gage have defied the odds by surviving a wild jungle and desperate mercenaries to reach the City. A win for Zach means claiming his place at the head of the family fortune. For Sebastian, it means he’ll be seen as an Alpha and that no one will be able to use his birth status as an omega to control him again. But now Zach has started to shift into his wolf form and it gives him both a reputation and paints a target on his back, as he and Sebastian tackle the next stage of the Top Dog Challenge.
As Zach and Logan begin to discover their true allies and a growing group of enemies, they try to navigate the realities of their new relationship and what the bond they share truly means. When Sebastian is viciously attacked, it’s up to Zach to protect his mate and to finally embrace his role as Alpha.
Bonded is the second in the Latent series, following Fever, and they really need to be read in order to fully appreciate the storyline. As silly as Fever was, I rather enjoyed the story overall. Unfortunately, in Bonded I found myself more bored than anything else.
Zach and Sebastian have made it to the City and it feels as though the first half of the book is basically a series of business transactions with a vacation thrown in for good measure. Nothing really happens. We see Zach and Sebastian building points, which they need for the challenge, but that’s about it. There’s a bit of bonding between Zach and Sebastian, but without the intensity of the jungle challenge that we had in Fever, things seemed flat between them. There was less passion, at least to me, and it started to feel like a more ordinary and rote “fated” romance.
The second half of the book is better from a pacing perspective, but reads as a jumbled collection of pit fights, hurt/comfort scenes, and randomly menacing baddies. The hurt/comfort I appreciated and that’s usually a favorite of mine, but within the wider context, it just didn’t mesh well. Unrelated, Sebastian and Zach both have names for their wolf counterparts and refer to them almost as third parties. This didn’t make much sense to me and it was jarring to see them changing “characters” despite being the same entity. Others may not be bothered by this, but it was one of those things that didn’t work for me.
Bonded isn’t a particularly bad book, but it is a weaker sequel to Fever and never quite feels as connected or as emotionally tense as the first in the series. The stakes just didn’t read as realistic and it was harder to stay attached to the characters. There is a third book in the series coming, so I’m hoping that will pull things back on track.