Review: Legally Bound
Legally Bound by J.R. Gray
My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars
Mixing business with pleasure usually results in a bad ending. In LEGALLY BOUND, it's not the ending in question. It's the journey to the ending which is fraught with nearly insurmountable obstacles.
Daniel is a public defender who enjoys one-night stands. His last one night stand rocks him and as he's thinking about the sexy lover, Daniel is surprised to see him again, under arrest. Rafael is a professional dominant. Hooking up with Daniel is purely for his own pleasure, not for pay. So when he's picked up for solicitation again, Rafael is in trouble. Apparently he hasn't heard of the three strikes and you're out concept.
This story is all sorts of messed up. It is a mishmash of kinky erotica, stalker scorned and pseudo-lawyer theme. The part which is enjoyable is the kinky erotica. The BDSM in this story is mixed from an m/m smexy point of view. It isn't that kinky. The one main BDSM scene is a horrendous perversion of the lifestyle. It gives BDSM a hostile vibe which may not go down well with kinky readers. It's not that it's dark which is the issue. In fact, the torture in itself isn't so bad if this story's theme is supposed to be dark and non-con. This story is a contemporary romance between two men on opposite sides of the law. While the main characters are not practicing non-con BDSM, the rape scene makes little sense. It's added in almost for shock value.
The main characters in this story are issues for me. Both Daniel and Rafael are too stupid to live (TSTL). They keep committing acts which are beyond foolish. It's one thing if these two are horny adolescences who don't know any better, but both of these men are old enough to control themselves. Both lack impulse control which just boggles my mind. Rafael is a dominant for pay and he can't control himself. This doesn't jive with his profession and it's just dangerous. Can this happen in real life? Yes. But then this would indicate the dominant is not someone to scene with because he can't be trusted.
This is what it comes down to--Rafael as a character can't be trusted. He makes so many bad choices it's frustrating. At every point, his decision will make readers rail and throw their hands up in frustration. He thinks he can take care of everything himself. He can't. He's a moron. Daniel is dragged down with Rafael. This entire book is filled with annoying situations broken up by lust filled buggery.
The only characters which make this book readable are George and Jesse. Forget about Daniel and Rafael, let's learn more about George! He's supposed to be quite the dominant and he does have many connections. In fact, it's his connections that magically resolves all of Rafael's issue. The way the conflicts are removed feels too far-fetched. The ending is too pat. If George came into the picture more with his influence, the ending would have been easier to swallow. Jesse meeting up with George earlier would have also helped. The chemistry between Jesse and George is more potent than Daniel and Rafael. This is because it comes across as more sexually charged seduction while Daniel and Rafael are hormonal teenagers humping each other's leg. Perhaps the next book featuring Jesse and George will flow better and be filled with erotic goodness.
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