BOOK REVIEW: UNBOUND (FORBIDDEN BOND, #1)

UNBOUND (Forbidden Bond, #1)

Author: Cat Miller
Published on: April 1, 2014
Genre:
 Fantasy, contemporary romance

Published by: Montlake Romance
Formats: E-book, paperback, Audible

Girl gone wild…

College is supposed to be a time of discovery, but Danielle Vaughn never imaged it would be like this: heightened senses, supernatural powers, and a sudden craving for human blood. Dani is a demi-vamp, the daughter of a human psychic and a vampire noble, a living secret kept hidden for twenty-one years.

As Dani’s heritage manifests itself, her thirst for blood is matched only by her hunger for Chase Diedrick. But as the son of the Vampire Council’s most powerful ruling family, Chase is already promised to another. Dani saw Council politics destroy her mother’s life; she won’t let the same thing happen to her. Besides, there’s no shortage of men who are eager to satisfy her every need, including the alluring vampire Kayden.

Unfortunately, Dani also has no shortage of enemies. Her heightened powers of telepathy and telekinesis attract the attention of a rogue vamp who preys on gifted vampires, absorbing their skills along with their lifeblood. Now, Dani must seek the Council’s help to quickly master her new vampire life…or risk losing it.

Revised edition: This edition of Unbound includes editorial revisions.

REVIEW

I found this title after searching for more books in the vampire genre. The popularity of that fiction has mostly subsided, but I haven’t read many such books. Unbound is one of the best I’ve come across. The book starts with a prologue that shows the reader what sets into motion the events that come later. The main character is Danielle Vaughn. She’s a seemingly ordinary but very attractive young woman. Dani (as others call her) has no idea what she is, or that she comes from a noble family. She lives with her mother, Tessa, in a small town. Dani is about to transfer to college in New York, but she dreads the move. She doesn’t want to leave her boyfriend Lucas behind. They’ve been together for the past two years.

As Dani comes of age, she starts going through changes that confuse her. After one heated moment with Lucas, she feels the need to put distance from him. Dani quickly moves to New York, where she makes new friends. One of them is Olivia, her roommate. She’s a really pleasant girl, and definitely best friend material. Dani and Olivia later go with their friends to a club called Thirst. There, the group receives VIP treatment for an unknown reason. Dani soon meets Chase Deidrick, the handsome and charming son of the club’s owner. Unbound is told in omniscient third-person POV, so you find out that Chase knows something about Dani that she is oblivious about.

Dani tries to resist her powerful attraction toward Chase, as she’s still with Lucas. Those two aren’t going to last, though. Things don’t go well at their first frat party. Chase ends up having to come to Dani’s aid. Kayden Paris, Chase’s friend, helps them too. They are both appalled at how little Lucas seems to care about his girlfriend. The betrayal hurts Dani enough that she has to return to her hometown. When Dani attempts to salvage her relationship with Lucas, she surprises him having sex with another girl. Dani goes back to New York, but not before Lucas tries to explain himself.

Dani’s suspicions are soon confirmed: she has changed into a vampire. Her first feeding is, unfortunately, disastrous. Dani unknowingly drank from a human who had a paralyzing agent in his blood. He works for a rogue vampire who hunts for gifted young vampires. Dani manages to resist being kidnapped thanks to her newly discovered telekinetic abilities. Once she recovers, Dani is put into contact with people who tell her more about the vampire world. They live in hiding amongst humans, and are ruled by a council. Chase is from one of the three ruling houses. Dani is told that there’s been trouble going on for some time. Dani is not the only young vampire the rogue has tried to kidnap. Everyone is on alert because of this. Danielle’s father Griffin (who is oblivious to their relationship) assigns protection detail for her.

Kayden, a well-known playboy, enters the vampire’s warrior class so he can be appointed as Danielle’s guard. He’s the second of several men who develop serious feelings toward Dani. It seemed almost laughable to me. Danielle is powerful and highly beautiful, yes, but did every single young guy have to lose his head over her? No less than four vampires and two humans fall for Dani throughout the book. Of these, Chase and Kayden are the most persistent suitors. Dani feels much more attracted toward Chase, and ends up falling in love with him. Unfortunately, Chase’s parents expect him to bond (the vampire term for marry) with a girl from another of the ruling houses. Chase kept this from Dani by omission, which damages her trust in him.

I really liked Unbound. Despite the almost comical number of suitors Dani has, I thought the characters were properly fleshed-out. Danielle is a bright and powerful woman, but she recklessly puts herself in danger a couple of times. That annoyed me about her. In one of those instances, Dani slips away after Chase upsets her. The relationship between Chase and Kayden is also one of the more interesting parts of the book. They’re two best friends who suddenly clash over the same woman. The vampire’s society was also well developed. I particularly liked their warrior class, which has an elite response group called Wrath. I thought the name was cool. Not all the characters get so much “page time,” though. The main antagonist mostly lets others do his dirty work. I also hoped to see more of Olivia. She is virtually forgotten about once Dani stops attending school. Dani is forced to cut ties with her human friends to avoid putting them in danger.

Despite its few flaws, Unbound was an excellent book. I really enjoyed reading it. If you’re looking for a book in the vampire genre that won’t disappoint you, this is it. There’s plenty of romance and suspense, too. Although this is a book about vampires, there’s no true horror here, so don’t overlook this book if you are wary of being frightened. It’ll leave you eager to sink your fangs into the sequel.

This book is recommended to readers 17+ due to sex scenes and nudity, and some mild horror.

MY RATING

A stunning page turner!

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