Rating: 4 stars
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Sins That Bind Us is the second book in E.M. Lindsey’s Madly Ever After trilogy. The books read as one long story and so this review will have spoilers for events in Sins That Find Us.
Phoenix could only listen in with horror as he heard Kane get into a car accident. After Kane’s meeting with Romano, it is clear the accident was really a calculated attack and now Romano’s men have Kane. Phoenix, Ari, and James are willing to do whatever it takes to find their man, even if they have to torture one Romano minion after another until they find someone who knows where Kane is being held. Though Alice hasn’t been with the men for long, she finds herself terrified for Kane as well. They all know what is likely happening to him at the Romano hands.
When the men are finally able to rescue Kane, he needs some time to recover, something that frustrates him to no end. While his mind is whirring, planning the next steps in his plot for revenge, his body is taking more time to cooperate. But there are some steps that the men can take to move their plan forward, including Kane and Alice getting engaged, as well as their attempt for Alice to get pregnant with James’ baby. Things seem to be moving forward well as plans fall into place, and the four men and Alice are finding an increasing emotional and physical bond. But not everyone wants to see the marriage or Kane’s plan succeed, and it will take all they have to stay one step ahead.
This second book in the trilogy picks up right as the first one ends, with Phoenix on the phone with Kane as his car is struck by the SUV. So the first portion of the story jumps us right into the action as the men work to track down where Kane has been taken. Unsurprisingly, we get a lot of violence here as the guys grab various underlings and torture them for answers (though as with the first book, the details are mostly off page). I liked that this story really opens with the action and it helped keep this second book moving. The first story had a lot of set up, so here we start to see some movement in various aspects of their plan.
Once the guys find Kane, they have to deal with the aftermath of his recovery. It was nice to get a little more of the vulnerable side of Kane here, as he has always been the one who is in total control. Yet this is still Kane, a hard man who makes the rules and his lovers follow. Once he gets better, they are ready to move onto the next stage of the plan and we start to see the plans play out.
As with the first book, these are hard men who love one another in their own way, but this isn’t a hearts and flowers romance. These guys live and breathe violence, but they have a spot spot for each other and, increasingly, for Alice as well. For her part, Alice is settling in here. She is finding the fearsomeness of her lovers as more of a turn on than something scary, and she stands up for herself more. I think Alice is an interesting character, someone who has been a pawn in her own life and is finally able to take some control, even if it is not the life she could have ever imagined for herself. The way she interacts with the men is an interesting dynamic and I like how her relationships with each of them are slightly different. I still miss seeing more of the on page sexual relationship between the men that we got in the prequel, versus with each of them and Alice. But I am enjoying seeing how all these connections develop among them. I am also intrigued by some things that happen with Alice late in the book and look forward to seeing how it plays out in the third one.
So this was an engaging installment that moved things forward nicely in the series arc. The final book comes out in a couple of weeks and I am eager to see how the story all comes together.