Bound to Surrender
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Pages: 80
Goes Well With: Ice-cold sangria and fuzzy pink handcuffs

Bound to Surrender by Tess Lamont is a story about—you guessed it—surrender. Not only do the two main characters surrender to their lust for each other, but they surrender to the idea of no longer being alone. The result is a surprisingly sweet love story with some awfully kinky love scenes along the way.

Christina Welch is a single mom who feels that her shot at love walked out the door when her husband left five years ago. She works as a librarian at her son’s school, and she has the “sexy librarian” thing down pat. Between trying to raise her son, working, and keeping up her home, Christina believes not only that she doesn’t have time for love but also that there are more important things in her life. Still, she can’t drop the nagging feeling that something is missing—something she desires. She wants nothing more in this world than to be able to fully and completely surrender to someone else—body, mind, and soul.

For the past year, Bryce Walker has been hot for teacher—or, rather, librarian. An English teacher at the school where Christina works, he’s gotten to know her as her son’s baseball coach. Bryce enjoys being in control, both in and out of the bedroom, and he can tell that Christina has an answering need to be controlled. She needs to surrender, and he needs to make her surrender.

One steamy afternoon, Bryce and Christina finally give in to their needs and desires. The love scenes are not for the faint of heart, especially if the idea of Bondage, Domination, Submission, and Masochism (BDSM) squick you out. BDSM isn’t for everybody—this humble reviewer isn’t quite sold on it herself—though the bondage scenes aren’t the most outrageous I’ve ever read. Lamont uses some awfully graphic terminology, though, which is actually par for the course in erotica. But seeing body parts described in a way other than “love’s sweetest channel” or “the pulsing evidence of his desire” might take some getting used to if you usually read more traditional romance novels.

My main complaint with the book has to do with one of the final scenes: Christina and Bryce have just come back from a romantic weekend that kept them, ahem, all tied up and have this huge argument out of the blue. Christina begins to worry that all the BDSM is interfering with her relationship with Bryce. Does he love her for who she is or because of what she lets him to do to her in bed? She fears that “vanilla” sex will never be part of the deal ever again, and sometimes a girl just wants some vanilla. I felt that the tension seemed to be thrown in haphazardly; Christina never even hints that she might be having second thoughts. I found that a bit off-putting, but I eventually realized that, when a book is only 80 pages long, sometimes the tension doesn’t have much time to build or make itself known.

All in all, Bound to Surrender (witty double entendre, that) wasn’t quite my cup of tea, but at least it didn’t really gross me out—like some other bondage-themed books have. I most likely will trot it out again at some point, if I find myself in need of a little variety in my romance reads.

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