Read with: iBooks for iPad
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Silhouette Desire
Hero: Gabriel Dumont
Heroine: Jess Randall
Date of Publication: October 1, 2005
Started On: August 7, 2013
Finished On: August 9, 2013
I have been so engrossed with reading the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh that I have never even wondered whether Nalini has strayed into writing any other genres in the world of romance. So while I was doing some random searching on the Internet, imagine my surprise when this little number came up, and that too with the uber interesting marriage of convenience trope that can really make for superb reads!
Bound by Marriage takes place in New Zealand and is told from both the hero and heroine’s point of views in the third person. While wealthy rancher Gabriel Dumont and Jess Randall enter into a marriage of convenience knowing fully well what they both are getting into, neither of them factors in the searing passion that lights up the sheets between them and of course plays havoc with the general order of things or how they both perceive their joint lives would turn out to be.
Jess never thought that her heart would be capable of loving anyone else, much less a man like Gabriel who is so withdrawn that he opens up to her only when they are in bed together, him drawing out responses from her that she would never have thought possible. But even then the times that Gabriel does let her see that tender side of his, although it is very rarely with the situations that continue to develop and put further strains on their already fragile bond, Jess finds herself inexorably drawn towards the man she calls as her husband.
I seriously thought that I would have a hard time liking Gabriel by the time the book was half way through. Yes, he is that stubborn and set in his ways that if it weren’t for his emotions that are as much in turmoil as that of Jess’s I wouldn’t have thought that he felt anything for the woman he had married. But lo and behold, I should have trusted Nalini a bit more and waited for the bombshell when it hit and yes, I was blown away with the compassion and love that filled my heart for the little boy Gabriel had been when he had lost vital pieces of his heart in a way that they would never be regained.
For some readers, Jess might seem to be putting up with much more than they would have liked. But I think Gabriel needed someone just as equally stubborn as him, willing to give until those impenetrable shields of his that he wears around himself like an armor were all but shattered around him. I loved the ending, the glimpse into the man Gabriel later turns into, not completely tamed, no never that, but a man who is at least a little bit at peace with his past and smiling in the arms of the woman who loves him like there is no tomorrow.
Final Verdict: Sensual & heart wrenching; Silhouette Desire at its best!
Gabriel’s hand was rough against her skin, the hand of a man who worked the land. But on her neck, his lips were almost velvet soft—a seductive contrast. She lost her breath as he closed his teeth over a pulse point, then released with exquisite deliberation, scraping those same strong teeth along the sensitive flesh.
“I’m damn glad you’re a rider, Jess,” he almost growled as he filled her, going so deep that she could feel his heartbeat in her body.
Not aware enough to understand what he was referring to, she squeezed intimate muscles around him in a reaction as old as time itself. Throwing back his head, he tightened his hold on her and began to move. His rhythm was fast, his strokes deep. She screamed and screamed as he pushed her over the edge in a tempest of hot breaths and powerful thrusts.
And when she fell, it was as a marked woman. Gabriel Dumont’s woman.
And then she heard the zipper being lowered.
Even that warning wasn’t enough. She screamed as he pushed into her. Hard. Fast. Deep. Her body accepted him, welcomed his driving thrusts, but he was merciless in the intensity of what he asked of her, pushing her so far that she lost all traces of civilization and surrendered to her most primal heart.
“So I did,” he murmured, reclaiming her lips even as his hand pushed aside the gusset of her panties to thrust two fingers deep into a body more than primed by the slow seduction. Pleasure erupted inside her almost instantaneously. Pulling away from the ravaging fury of his mouth, she threw back her head and rode his fingers, feeling herself clench and unclench with vicious strength.
Gabe’s arm came around her waist and his teeth scraped lightly over the sensitive skin of her neck. “Now, Jess. Now!”
She fractured under the command, everything female in her glorying in the wildness of that harsh masculine voice. At the last second, their eyes met in the mirror and Jess knew they’d crossed a line. The question was, what lay on the other side?