Title: Legally Bound
Author: J.R. Gray
Series: Bound #1
Release Date: March 24, 2014
The last thing Daniel, a hard-working public defender, expected to see the morning after a one night stand was his hook-up staring back at him from the wrong side of the law. Assigned to work his case, Daniel vows to keep things professional with Rafael but has a hard time controlling his craving for dominance, the control, and the connection they shared.
Rafael, a paid Dominant in the Chicago underworld, has been dealing with a cop problem for far too long. Used to sex with no emotion, he’s entranced with Daniel’s submission, his innocence, and…could there be something more?
Can Daniel clear Rafael’s name, keeping him out of jail and in his life, with the odds, a cop, and the mounting evidence against them?
Legally Bound was my first introduction to author JR Gray and I definitely enjoyed discovering this author’s writing. This m/m romance is a sexy, suspenseful adventure full of humor with a surprisingly sweet twist. Lawyers Jesse and Daniel are more than just partners, they’re best friends. Their easy relationship and inappropriate conversations make for an absolutely hilarious work environment that is both entertaining and addictive. Their relationship totally stole the show for me, keeping me riveted to the pages with their constant volley of sarcasm and innuendo. When their client Rafael turns out to be the man Daniel is currently lusting after things get complicated and JR Gray takes this quirky crew on a journey of ups and downs. Legally Bound is well written, descriptive, and emotional – a promising series starter that is definitely worth checking out.
“But so help me God, you two better keep it on the down low. If I see you on YouTube at a pride parade during the trial, I’m going to skin you both alive and use you as rugs for my office.”
Daniel and Rafael, the lawyer and alleged criminal, certainly make for an interesting match. From the start, their chemistry is obvious. JR Gray writes this couple with an unrestrained lust that drips off the pages. Whether they’re flirting, arguing, pushing each other’s buttons, or giving in to the heat between them, Daniel and Rafael navigate a palpable tension that gave this story a degree of intensity. While I definitely enjoyed their interactions, conversations, and physicality, I didn’t feel a deeper connection forming between them. We did get bits and pieces of Rafael’s history in relation to his case, but there was never a mutual moment of full disclosure where they completely handed themselves over to one another. So much of a D/s relationship functions around that unrestrained honesty and deep understanding of each other, so without that emotional vulnerability, the depth of their relationship felt limited.
“You know, I’m really attracted to how logical you are.”
Legally Bound had a very intriguing storyline. The unexpected twists and turns kept me on my toes as JR Gray took this story in surprising directions. The first part of the book read a little slower than I would have liked as the author set up the Legally Bound world. After a while the action picked up and the pacing definitely improved. I appreciated the authenticity of the environment JR Gray was creating, but I could see how someone without a legal background might have become disconnected from the story with all of the legal jargon in the first several chapters. Once things became less technical the story read a lot smoother. I absolutely loved all of the vibrant characters and the colorful relationships that developed between them. I’m looking forward to getting to know some of them more as the series continues. JR Gray did a good job setting up the end of this book to shift gears towards a new main character leading into the next novel. It definitely has me intrigued to see what happens next in the Bound series.
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Don’t miss the rest of the Bound series:
Breach of Contract (Bound #2)
Illicit Activity (Bound #3)
Damages Incurred (Bound #4)