Grabbing a free ebook is always a gamble, am I right? I know my palms get all sweaty whenever I download one, thanks to all the bombs I’ve come across. But you know, I think it’s still worth it because occasionally you get a winner. Like Bonded, the first novel in the Law of the Lycans series, by Nicky Charles. Turns out, it’s rather good and since the rest of the series was also free on Amazon, I grabbed them all up.
Reno’s a tough Enforcer for Lycan Link who finds himself drawn to Brandi but duty rules his life. Brandi, just on the edge of starting her career as a Disaster Control officer, falls for Reno at first sight, but are they really meant to be? Is it love or lust and does it really even matter? Enforcers and DCs don’t get along…unless fate forces them to.
I’m going to be honest, this wasn’t like OMG awesome but it was still very entertaining. Enough that, like I said, I downloaded the rest of the series. Charles style of descriptions as far as scene and character set up goes, is really in-depth which I loved. It’s not the usual over description of what the characters are wearing or the scenery around them, it’s the inner thoughts and processing of events or their surroundings that the author brings to life. But, it does bog down the storyline occasionally. I ended up skipping ahead a few times because it was just too much in the middle of the action. I also really loved that Bonded doesn’t take place in a weekend, it’s a space of like three years. Things aren’t crazy rushed because of this skipping ahead, which makes the foundation of Reno and Brandi’s relationship more believable. However, time flies in a chaotic fashion, a month here, four there, and then two and a half years. Charles does make things flow nicely together when she speeds up time, but it’s an odd speed and I’m not sure it was necessary. I get that it’s to show how they grow as individuals and the level of their chaotic relationship. Which it does, I just don’t think it had to take three years to get the job done. There were a few other things that I didn’t care for, like Reno and Brandi having a love/hate relationship with one of them being in love and the other not having a clue. I’m not a fan of that set up. Also, at one point Brandi decides that to save the world she must lie to Reno, make him leave and somehow fight the bad guys all alone. Not a fan of that either, it’s a dumb move for a smart character in my opinion. When it comes down to the backbones of the novel though, it is really good, but it does have it’s negatives.
I really enjoyed the world that Reno and Brandi live in. Weres have packs, educational systems, laws, etc. which I always love to read about. They even have blood bonds, where the couples are in tune with each other making relationships permanent. I really liked this concept but it also has it’s draw backs if you blood bond to someone you don’t like. Of course there are the bad guys who cling to the old ways that mess things up. They are called the Purists and they believe that only pureblood weres are worthy existing. They hunt down the halfbloods, who are either killed or turned into slaves. Lycon Link, an organization that assists Lycans in co-existing with humans, also has the job of stopping the Purists. So, instead of it being a war between weres and vampires or weres and humans, this series is a war within the Lycan community that threatens to expose them all. It’s Reno’s job as an Enforcer for Lycon Link to hunt down those not following the law. Brandi is a Damage Control officer, or DC, her job is to clean up the mess’ the Enforcers tend to leave behind, and keep the humans from learning about what happened. The bad guys keep popping up everywhere, so these two are constantly in a battle to protect their kind. It’s really interesting, and I’m excited to see where this series ends up.
Like I mentioned above, you really see a foundation between Reno and Brandi, although I hate to say I didn’t like them as a couple. Oh I like Brandi, she’s sweet but spunky and doesn’t take Reno’s crap. Which is just about every time he’s in the spotlight. Reno comes across as an asshole to me; I don’t care for that kind of character. I get that is because he’s an Enforcer and that is their usual attitude, but he’s rude and hateful toward her really for no reason. The explanation for why mainly is because she’s a DC officer, he thinks her job is nothing more than a paid liar while his job is more important. He wasn’t so bad near the end, but I already had a bad impression of him that I didn’t really care. I hope that the farther the series goes, we get to see glimpses of him becoming better. But the rest of the series is based on other characters, so we may not see these two again.
Scary or not, it pays off to give free ebooks a chance, you never know what you will find. Bonded (and the series itself) is a couple years old, but I’d still recommend giving it a try anyway. I really enjoyed the world Ms. Charles created, even though it had it’s bumpy spots. I found it romantic but not oversexed. It’s not overly dramatic or dangerous, there is just enough to keep things interesting. I really loved her technique of describing the scene as it unfolded, even if it did slow things down sometimes. I also thought it was touching that at the end of the novel, Ms. Charles asks for any donations for her work be sent to your local animal shelter. How sweet is she? I’m really glad that I gave Bonded a chance, and I think you will be to.