Bound To Please

Hope Tarr
2008, Series Romance (1450s [Medieval] Scotland)
Harl Blaze [Historicals] #407, $4.99, 217 pages, Amazon ASIN 0373794118

Grade: B-
Sensuality: Hot

The first historical in the Harlequin Blaze line is certainly an historical-set book that meets series romance requirements of telling a streamlined story in a streamlined space. If it doesn’t break new storytelling ground, Bound To Please is a fun read crafted by an author who knows what she’s doing.

In 1450 Scotland, 15-year old Brianna, only daughter of a Laird, meets Ewan, the younger twin son of a rival Laird and, after an acquaintance of only minutes, the two vow to marry later. Flash forward 10 years and Brianna is a widow who blames Ewan’s older brother for the murder of her husband and her subsequent miscarriage. She vows to even the score by kidnapping Ewan and forcing him to get her pregnant, at which point she will release him.

Ewan, quite understandably, is pissed. He blames Brianna for not following through on their betrothal. Not to even mention the fact that he spends the majority of the book chained to Brianna’s bed forced to perform stud service.

Now, I certainly had some logic problems. In the first place, Brianna was already betrothed by the time she met Ewan and, considering the fact that they didn’t get to know each other before jumping the engagement gun, Ewan’s sense of deep-seated betrayal just didn’t ring true. The author also introduces further plot complications and outside characters that are really too much to cover in just 217 pages.

Still, when the story is confined to Brianna and Ewan and the chains and the bed, this one is certainly an entertaining read well suited for a summer afternoon. But then again, there is that whole been-there-done-that aspect to the plot to take into consideration. You've probably read this one already. More than once, as a matter of fact.

Hope Tarr is a talented author of historical romance and one of the better series writers out there, too. If Bound To Please didn’t wow me, it did keep me interested for a few hours. Hey, it is what it is – and, on the whole, that ain’t bad.

-- Sandy Coleman

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