What to read Wednesday – Unbound by Cara McKenna

Unbound by Cara McKennaShe set out to find herself, and discovered the darker side of desire.

Merry’s lost a lot recently—first her mother, then close to a hundred pounds. Feeling adrift, she strikes out in search of perspective. A three-week hike through the Scottish Highlands was supposed to challenge her new body and refocus her priorities, but when disaster strikes, she’s forced to seek refuge in the remote home of a brooding, handsome stranger…

Rob exiled himself to the Highlands years ago, desperate to escape his own self-destruction. Haunted by regrets, he avoids human contact at all costs…but when Merry turns up injured, he can’t very well run her off. And as he nurses her back to health, Rob can’t resist his guest’s sweet demeanor—or her flirtatious advances. The igniting passion between them rouses a secret appetite Rob has long struggled to keep hidden. But Merry craves nothing more than to help Rob surrender to his desires, and the journey draws the lovers into an entirelydifferent kind of wilderness.

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What I thought pink

I have the biggest girl-crush on Cara Mckenna. Since I first read another of her books, Willing Victim, she’s been on my list of must-read authors. Whenever she has a new book coming out I find myself eyeing up the calendar like it’s my birthday. It’s fair to say that as soon as I opened the book, I was expecting it to be great.

I’m delighted to say McKenna didn’t disappoint. While the hero—Rob Rush—deviates from her usual, built, alpha male, (in attitude if not in physique) he was a beautifully depicted character. His flaws and problems have led him to hole himself up in a shack in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, far away from civilized society.

It’s here that the heroine—Merry—first encounters him. She’s been hiking in the Scottish hills and has been struck down by a vomiting bug. In need of shelter and medical help, she finds herself hammering at Rob’s ramshackle door.

What follows is a journey into the unknown for the both of them. At first they are wary of each other, Rob is taciturn and stoic, Merry over-talkative and grating. But gradually they become attracted to each other, leading to a hot encounter with a bed and a length of rope.

But the path of true love, or lust, never did run smooth. For Rob is a recovering alcoholic, and Merry is intent on returning to civilization and dragging him with her. When they both reach Inverness, he is confronted by the easy acquisition of alcohol for the first time in years. What follows is cataclysmic for them both.

An erotic romance that reaches deep into the psyche of both protagonists, Unbound isn’t always the easiest read. For those who prefer their men to be the dominants in a BDSM encounter, this may be challenging. For me, though, I loved the way the story made me question what I found attractive in a man, and made me realize that a hero doesn’t have to be an alpha to be hot as hell. It’s a testament to Cara McKenna’s excellent writing that I found myself falling a little in love with Rob Rush right alongside Merry.

I’d give this story five, rope-burned, hot as hell stars.

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