Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bound By Honor

I sat down to read Colette Gale's Bound by Honor last night and couldn't put it down.  I read the first 190 pages before 1 a.m. rolled around and I had to go to bed.  The first thing I did when I climbed out of bed this morning, after getting cleaned up, was to pick up the book and finish reading it.  I absolutely loved this book!

So, onto the review, shall we?

From Amazon:
"Maid Marian, now Lady of [Morlaix], is sent to the court of Prince John-not to take part in the debauchery of his Court of Pleasure, but to spy on him for his mother. Little does she know that her secret mission will thrust her into a whirlwind of intrigue, terror, and carnal temptations.

At court, Marian is torn between her duty to the queen and her desire for two men: one, the mysterious highwayman the peasants call Robin Hood, and the other, the dark, cold Sheriff of Nottingham. Given an impossible choice, she must submit to the carnality of Prince John's court in order to fulfill her duty and maintain her honor. But in the end, there is only one man for whom she will risk her life and give her heart."

My Review:

From the very beginning, I felt like I was reading historical romance.  Gale has excellent historical voice, while leaving enough room for modern understanding.   The familiarity of the characters renders this novel comfortable, and Gale expertly takes an original turn on the whole story that left me extremely satisfied.  The subtitle, "An Erotic Novel of Maid Marian" is very much the truth.  This is Marian's story, not Robins of Locksley's and not William de Wendeval's (Sheriff of Nottingham).  There is no mistaking this novel, however, this book is very much erotica.  There is explicit sex involved and if that's not your thing, this is not your book.  For those who enjoy it, or are at the very least not offended by it, Gale has sensuality down to an art.

The narration is third person and jumps around frequently -- following Marian, Robin, Will, and Alys.  Still, it's extremely easy to follow and lends a multi-dimensionality the story couldn't have had, had it followed Marian alone.  It allows us to understand all of the characters and how they feel, which is important to how the story turns out in the end.  Had readers not been able to see things from more than Marian's perspective, the way things unfold simply wouldn't have worked as well as it does.

I simply cannot say enough good about this novel. I found myself smiling like an idiot more often than not, and when I closed the back cover, the smile didn't go away.  I love that this story isn't traditional, that it's not predictable, and that the characters are original despite their historical relevance.  Unfortunately, to say too much more would utterly and completely give the story away which is simply not something I would want to do.  I recommend this book, but only to adults, and only those who don't get insulted by erotica.  While the book is technically considered historical fiction, it skirts all the way to the brink of what's allowable as romance.

When I bought this book, I also got Master: An Erotic Novel of The Count of Monte Cristo by Colette Gale and after reading Bound by Honor: An Erotic Novel of Maid Marian, I simply cannot wait to pick that one up and see what Gale does with it, too!!  If I like it, I'll be getting her first historical romance, Unmasked: An Erotic Novel of The Phantom of the Opera.

One last note of interest, now that I've told you how much I loved Bound by Honor.   I've always been skeptical of romance, indeed scoffed at it.  Then, last year, I began listening to Michele Bekemeyer's Trapping a Duchess and every apprehension I had about romance went out the window.  Her amazing work, which I say listened to because she podcasted it, opened my opinion to a whole new genre.  Without Trapping a Duchess, I might never have read Bound by Honor, which I truly loved.   Michele Bekemeyer will be podcasting the second novel in the series, At Journey's End, sometime later this year and I simply cannot wait.  Now, go and listen to Trapping a Duchess, it's excellent!


  1. I don't generally read romance novels, because the erotic scenes tend to be embarrassingly cliche. There's only so many budding flowers of passion, creamy white globes, and throbbing manhoods I can tolerate before I'm rolling my eyes and tossing the book aside. Based on your review though, I'm actually tempted to give this book a chance. Maybe it would actually restore my faith in this particular genre.

  2. I completely understand. I never was a fan of romance. I always felt it was cliche and uninventive. This story is really good. I will be honest with you, she does say "quim" (*cough*) a lot and there are very, very graphic references to manhood. But, the story is pretty good, I really enjoyed it.

    Maybe I have a hopeless romantic deep inside me somewhere?

    Still, even if you don't read Bound, I highly recommend listening to Trapping a Duchess. I loved it!!

  3. Is "Trapping a Duchess" only available through podcast, or is there a text version out there?

    I'm going to need some new reading material over summer break, so I'll keep both of these in mind. I have to place an Amazon order this week, so I'll probably just go ahead and add Bound by Honor to the list, that way I can get the supersaver shipping. :-) Plus I know after reading the Olympian series, I am going to be craving something more "grown-up," even if that means sufferng through a few throbbing manhoods, LOL.

  4. Trapping a Duchess is only available though podcast. It's worth a listen. When I first started listening to podcasted novels, I had trouble paying attention. I'd tone them out and realize I'd missed a bunch of stuff. Then, I got used to it and it was all good.

    I have to say, Bound by Honor is definitely grown-up and it's really inexpensive! I have some tawdry tastes about these things that don't suit everyone. lol

    Oh, and if you're looking for summer reading that's grown up, I highly recommend the "Kushiel's Legacy" series. The first book is Kushiel's Dart, which is fantastic. I'm on the fourth book, but I haven't started yet, because they're not quick reading. It's technically historical fantasy, but it's really very good. Also, if you like fantasy/sci-fi then "The Coldfire Trilogy" is awesome, too, the first book is Black Sun Rising and it's much more fantasy than Sci-Fi, but it's not high fantasy, per se. I absolutely devoured these books! I love the bad-good guy!

  5. Ooh, I love both fantasies and sci-fi's! Thanks for the recommendations. :-)

  6. I'm going to throw up over the use of the word "quim". LOL!

  7. Not just one use, a LOT of them! ;) It's actually a really good book, I thought. Romance doesn't always come with a good plot.

  8. Glad to pass them along! I really, really, really loved those series, so if you read them let me know what you think.