Review: Bound for the Forest
Bound for the Forest by Kay Berrisford
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
What do a former military captain and an orphan boy have in common? They are brought together by a magical force compelling them to protect the ancient Greenwood forest. Brien is the heir to his ancestral home in Greenwood. His parents are deceased and his fey sister is on a loony binge. Brien can't stand the magical talks of the Green Man and how there are forces out there he can't comprehend. He's a man in the real world and he just wants to sell his home for some money to fund his wandering travels, preferably with a woman on his arm.
Scarlet is a young woodman ransacking Brien's home. Brien accuses Scarlet for being a thief and wants to punish him. From here, we fall down a rabbit hole with Brien. He's dragged into a world with druidesses and forest spirits. They try to convince him of his power inherited through his family line. Brien doesn't want to hear any of it. His focus is on Scarlet's tasty ass. He wants to turn Scarlet's bottom into his namesake – scarlet.
I have to confess, this story was bizarre to me. Usually I'm good with stories involving the fey. I like stories with magic involved. This one was out there for me. It was a bit too convoluted for me in the world building. After a while, I gave up trying to figure out how each character related to each other in the story. There were a few too many secondary characters which didn't enhance the story for me. The conflicts were coming through on several fronts. Sometimes authors bring all the loose strings together into a cohesive threat. In this one, the sister, Hastings family and Lord of Hazel seemed to fight to be in center stage. Instead of supporting one theme, I felt pulled in multiple directions which ended in a fizzle.
What I would have liked to see, was the Lord of Hazel shown as the clear mastermind behind the Hastings taking over the ancestral home. I would have recommended more sinister acts of sabotage from Brien's sister. Her motive was sound; it just felt downplayed and showed up at the end as if to explain "this should now make sense".
The sex in this story was decent though. I enjoyed the deviance and rough quality to it. At points of the story, I felt as though I fell into a twisted version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. I think I was just as frustrated as Brien trying to understand the magic and the mythology. He didn't believe in it; I gave up trying to figure out the mythology.
I do want to state Ms. Berrisford did provide decent imagery. I could see the forest, the rundown cottage and Arden. I could also visualize the characters even if I couldn't remember their names. This book may appeal to m/m romance lovers who enjoy historical romances paired with magical fey mythology.
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