Souls in Bondage Books 1-2.5 by Lex Valentine ~ Review by Brandilyn

I first listened to the Audio version of Broken Bonds about 5 months ago.  It broke my heart then and it broke me heart again.  This time, however, I followed it up with books 2 and 2.5. Both were a bit more up beat, while still dealing with damaged pasts.

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Titles: Broken Bonds (#1), Bitter Bonds (#2), Subs for Lunch (#2.5)

Author: Lex Valentine

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the Publisher:

Broken Bonds (Book #1)

The one thing Haven Noel wants for his Christmas birthday is for his master, Kellen, to love him. But the wonderful Christmas Eve Haven plans for his master goes awry and instead of receiving his master’s love, Haven ends up on the street without his collar. Heartbroken, Haven heads to the club where he and Kellen originally met, only to find it closed.

With a blizzard descending and nowhere to go, Haven curls up on the club doorstep, courting death. Hopeless and shattered, on the verge of losing consciousness, he makes a wish for Kellen to find happiness some day. Two angels with a vested interest in Haven and Kellen’s happiness hear his wish and conspire with Kellen’s family to save Haven’s life, bring love back to Kellen’s heart and give them both the best kinky Christmas ever.

Bitter Bonds (Book #2)

Dominant Jake Conrad isn’t going to get involved in another relationship with a submissive. Burned by two former submissives, Jake vows never to collar one again. Then his best friend Ray brings him a sub like no other. Finn is damaged and bitter, although not as bitter as Jake. The white haired submissive has secrets and talents Jake never dreamed of and the lure of Finn’s need to submit calls to Jake’s soul.

Everyone Finn has ever loved walked away from him. He fears caring for anyone when he knows the outcome will shatter his heart again. When Finn falls for Jake, he gives his lover the ultimate gift, a chance to have the dreams he set aside years before even though he knows that if Jake accepts the gift, he’ll walk out of Finn’s life forever. A slave to his love for his Dominant, the submissive finds his true strength in easing Jake’s bitterness even at the cost of his own happiness.

Subs for Lunch (Book #2.5)

Best friends Micah, Haven and Finn find a new sandwich shop called Mouthwatering Subs. When they talk the owners into selling them some T-shirts, naughtiness ensues. The three submissives invite their dominants out to their favorite club, Darkness, for a night of fun jumpstarted by the suggestive T-shirts. A worried Finn just wants Jake, his overworked dominant, to relax. Haven is looking to bring some laughter to his usually serious Dom, Kellen. And mischievous Micah has the tallest order to fill. He’s hoping for a public spanking. Will his normally possessive Dom, Nick, bare Micah’s ass in the club for all to see? It’s a night of fun and frolic for the three subs and their sexy Doms.

 

My View

Broken Bonds

I re-listened to this one to catch up on Haven and Kellen before starting bitter bonds.  This is what I had to say the first time through:

Don’t read this while driving! I teared up a few times while listening to the audiobook of this story. It was a nice inspirational Christmas tale, but first you had to have your heart torn out so Ms. Valentine could put it back together. It is also a nice take on Dicken’s classic Christmas Story. Oh and the narrator for the audiobook version has a delicious voice!

I think that about covers it.  I just wanted to take Haven in my arms and mother the poor boy.  He had some pretty crappy luck interspersed an otherwise decent life.  He has such a positive spirit.  He is completely in love with Kellen, but Kellen is completely unable to love him in return.  Things have to get pretty dire to pull Kellen’s head out if its very dark home.

Bitter Bonds

Jake and Finn.  Finn and jake.  Finn has been used, abused, and abandoned by everyone who has ever been in his life.  Nick has been taken advantage of and had his choices questioned by everyone in his.  Sounds like a perfectly dysfunctional relationship.  There is an instant attraction, but it scares Jake to the point of him trying to suppress who he really is.

In a longer format we could have explored deeper the damage that had been wrought by his abusive former Dom.  However, this story wasn’t about overcoming the specific programming so much as overcoming the fears brought about by the unceremonious way he was tossed aside by both his parent and his former Dom.

Subs for Lunch

Subs for Lunch was  a fun little romp to revisit the 3 main pairs from the first 2 books. Kellan/Haven and Nick/Micah from Broken Bonds as well as Jake/Finn from Bitter Bonds.   the subs get a little bratty all in the name of fun and their Doms’ happiness.  It is fun.  It is hot.  It is a quick little read.  If you are a fan of the series, I highly recommend it.

Overall Impressions

So what did I think of the series so far?  I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to further entries in the series.  None of the stories are terribly in-depth, as they are each novella length or shorter, but they still manage to pack a punch.  If you are looking for hardcore BDSM, these won’t be for you.  They focus mostly on the dominance and submission aspect of the relationships, but they each include a smokin’ hot scene or three.   You can’t help but commiserate with the subs in each instance.  Haven and Finn have both been dealt such crappy hands, you want to slap their Doms up-side the head and tell them to wake the heck up.

Haven still has my heart, but I like Nick and Micah a lot as well.  I believe Ray and Canaan (both introduced in Bitter Bonds) will be the next pairing, followed by Gavin and Alex.  At least, that is what this reader is hoping to see.

Buy Links:

Amazon
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank Lex Valentine for providing me with the eARC of Bitter Bonds and Subs for Lunch in exchange for my honest opinion. The review of Broken Bonds is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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3 thoughts on “Souls in Bondage Books 1-2.5 by Lex Valentine ~ Review by Brandilyn

  1. I’m not usually into reading BDSM stuff (I do have my moments though) but this really appeals to me. I think I’m going to give it a try.

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