Note: This ARC was provided by InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.
I've been looking forward to reading the first book in bestselling author Laura Kaye's Blasphemy series ever since she introduced the private sex club and several characters of the recurring characters in the prequel novella, Hard to Serve. There are twelve Masters in Blasphemy, and I'm assuming each one of them has a story to tell, so I'm guessing this is going to be lengthy series, which I'm quite excited about since I'm a fan of the author's writing. The first Master readers met was Kyler Vance and he was partnered with Mia Breslin, and while their story may have been short, it was packed with heart and heat, so my expectations for the next one were high. In Bound to Submit, we are re-introduced to a Master who played an important role in the prequel, Griffin Hudson, a furniture maker by trade and the former Dominant to submissive Kenna Sloane, both sharing an intense D/s relationship for a year before Kenna's confession of love and Griffin's rejection led to Kenna leaving her old life behind by enlisting to become a US Marine.
It's been two years since Kenna Sloane lost part of her arm in an IED explosion in Afghanistan, and while she's gotten used to her prosthetic limb, she still experiences nightmares and pain--both physical and phantom. She needs to get out of her head, to simply let go of everything that's overwhelming her and just be. The only time she's ever been able to do that was when she was with Griffin Hudson, the man who became her Dominant for a year, but never her Master, turning her and her feelings of love down five years ago. Kenna isn't sure if Blasphemy, the BDSM club Griffin co-owned with eleven other Masters, was still around, but this could be her one chance to experience something other than guilt, hurt, and anger. If she can find Griffin and convince him to do a scene with her, she'll be able to find out if this is what she needs. This time, though, it'll only be about sex, nothing more. She already put herself out there once and was rejected, leading her to make changes and enlist. But can she really set aside her feelings for Griffin?
Griffin Hudson knew he made a mistake when he told Kenna Sloane he wasn't interested in a committed relationship. When he tried to make up for it, she was nowhere to be found. Five years on and he's never been able to forget her. And then he spies her across the floor in Blasphemy. She's still as beautiful as ever, but there's a wariness in her eyes, a detachment in how she interacts with him. Her prosthetic makes it clear that she's experienced something horrific during their time apart, but as much as he wants to ask his questions, he knows he'll have to tread carefully if he wants to get her answers. He needs to earn her love and trust again, because while the physical part of their old relationship doesn't seem to have changed, Kenna isn't the same woman she was the last time he saw her. When he finds out what pushed her to sign up for the Corps, will Griffin be able to handle the inevitable guilt that he's the reason she got hurt? And will he be able to show and prove to her that this time around, he has no intention of letting go?
I loved Griffin and Kenna's second chance love story. They're not only dealing with the emotional issues left behind by the ending of their previous relationship, but they're also facing on the remnants of what Kenna went through in Afghanistan and how she hasn't been able to fully let go of her guilt in the death of her best friend. I liked how the book presents the BDSM lifestyle as an alternative way for Kenna to deal with her PTSD and yet stresses that it isn't an end all and be all. Talking about that traumatizing event and everything that happened afterward is brought to the forefront, so it isn't as if her decision to seek out Griffin again solved all her problems. Her moment with her best friend's mother was touching and brought a tear to my eye and her open and honest talk with her older sister was a definite highlight in the story. We also get a bit more of a peek at a few of the other Masters, but I don't think we've met all of them at the same time yet, so I'm hoping to encounter more in the second book. Bound to Submit gets five stars. ♥
Read my reviews for the Blasphemy series:
Hard to Serve (prequel novella) - five stars - My Review
Bound to Submit (book one) - five stars - My Review (posted above)
Date Read: 15 October 2016