*I received a free copy of Wicked Bond from Big Dog Books via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Series: The Wicked Horse #5
Published by Big Dog Books on 13 September 2016
Genres: Adult, BDSM, Contemporary, Erotica, Romance
Reading Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge
Bridger Payne is an enigma that no one can figure out. Wise beyond his years, eerily intuitive and sexy as hell, every woman in The Silo wants him.
None can have him.
Not the real man, anyway.
He might wield the lash for you if you ask prettily, but he’ll get no gratification from it. He’ll definitely make you scream, but he won’t think twice about you when he walks away.
Bridger carries the darkest of secrets. He’s filled with too much pain.
He’s utterly untouchable.
Until she came along.
Wicked Bond is (finally) Bridger’s story – and man, he’s had a tough life! But then again, most of the characters in this series have a dark, dark past, but still cannot help but hope for a bright future.
Bridger’s backstory might be the darkest and most difficult to read about in the whole series! Wicked Bond showed how he was bound – to his past and the abuse he had suffered. How that colored so many of his decisions and relationships in the present. Maggie’s story was bleak as well, especially with how she arrived at Bridger’s doorstep and the fight she still had in front of her at that moment. For Bridger to feel something real about a woman was already a big step forward, even if he tried to tell both himself and Maggie that it was nothing important. I really enjoyed how all the characters from the prior books were present for parts of Wicked Bond, they made the plot fuller in a way.
The danger in Wicked Bond comes from different directions – for Maggie and in part for Bridger, it comes from the MC club she barely managed to escape alive. For Bridger, the biggest danger is his past and all the hangups he has to live with because he thinks it’s the only way to deal with things and still stay sane. Salvation means more than just getting over the past though, it means dealing with both the past and the present, and daring to open up and be honest. Be vulnerable. Be open. But in order to do that, Bridger first has to be all those things with himself – not push everything to the back of his mind and hope he’ll ever have to deal with it.
Dealing with the demons of his past, while also dealing with the demons who are after Maggie and Belle, Bridger has a lot on his plate in Wicked Bond. So much that he reaches a breaking point that seems to be impossible to get past. And that is partly why the story was so intriguing and captivating – Bridger always seemed like the aloof, cold and distant character in the other The Wicked Horse stories, and to see him up close and personal added so much depth to him it was really incredible. The character growth made the whole story even fuller, and I was definitely more invested in the outcome because of it.
Written in first person present tense, dual perspectives with chapters from either Bridger or Maggie’s point of view, the story was both dark and sweet, but not at the same time. Both of the characters were strong, and they were able to bring their everything to the table in order to move forward and try to make a better future for themselves.
Not too muscular but not skinny either. I’d guess he’s in his late forties, early fifties, but it’s hard to tell. His face is haggard and his dark, braided ponytail is streaked with silver, as is his beard. I’ve always thought his eyes were ice cold despite being a warm brown, and the thing that makes him somewhat intimidating is that they are filled with intelligence.
Maggie Waylon is the opposite of comfort. She’s intrigue, danger, and possible redemption wrapped up in one killer, sexy package that makes my dick act on its own accord.
But it does for some reason, and I think it’s because she stands there proudly as a mother who bore a daughter and doesn’t give a fuck what it did to her body. It’s a perfect imperfection to my mind.