Blue Ribbon Rating: 5 out of 5Original Review Link
The moment she met him, Calleigh Stuart wanted David Shalvington. But despite her advances, David has rebuffed her over and over again. Just when she’s about had it, David finally reveals the reason for his seeming indifference; he’s a Dom. Calleigh isn’t at all familiar with the world of dominance and submission, and what David will ask of her – if she embraces his lifestyle – is anathema to everything she’s ever known. Calleigh isn’t sure that she’s a submissive, but the more she learns about herself and David, the more intrigued she is. Will Calleigh be able to let go of her reservations and give herself over to David and the dark, sensual pleasures he offers?
BOUND HEARTS is one of the best books I’ve read this year! I loved author C.C. Galloway’s first PORTLAND TIDE book, HAIL MARY, but BOUND HEARTS managed to flat-out sweep me off my feet!
David is a sexy-as-hell Dom who’s alternately firm, patient and understanding. He recognizes Calleigh’s reticence to give into her submissive desires and though he’s not what I would call a gentle soul, he is tender with Calleigh. That doesn’t mean he’s perfect. David makes mistakes with Calleigh outside of the bedroom; mistakes that humanize him and serve to make him a realistic hero.
Calleigh, in turn, is definitely on the list of my favorite romance heroines. She’s just as smart, sharp, successful, funny and caring as David – they’re equals in every respect. But Calleigh is new to the world of D/s, and Ms. Galloway, very wisely, doesn’t make Calleigh’s journey of sexual discovery an obstacle-free course. One thing that has always bothered me in BDSM romance is how heroines who had never before considered themselves submissive almost always throw themselves in without reservation or uncertainty. Calleigh isn’t like that. She loves what happens between her and David in bed, but she has moments of confusion as she sorts out who she is and what she likes. She, too, makes mistakes and I absolutely loved that about her because it furthers the sense of realism in BOUND HEARTS. Something else I loved about Calleigh was her flaws. She’s tightly wound, thanks in no small part to her mother, and her problems seem to centralize on her fixation with food and weight. Ms. Galloway deftly handles this plotline and I think it adds to the relatability of Calleigh’s character, as this is a problem many women face.
As a pair, Calleigh and David are fantastic. I’ve already mentioned how they fit one another, but I cannot write about BOUND HEARTS without mentioning the steamy hot sex. Ms. Galloway proved herself to be an excellent author of football romance in HAIL MARY, and in BOUND HEARTS, she proves equal to the task when it comes to D/s romance. Calleigh and David steam up the pages like nobody’s business, so keep a fan handy when reading BOUND HEARTS!
BOUND HEARTS is Ms. Galloway’s second PORTLAND TIDE book, but you don’t have to have read HAIL MARY to enjoy David and Calleigh’s story. However, the beginning of BOUND HEARTS interweaves with parts of HAIL MARY. It was a delight to see some of the events from book one from David and Calleigh’s perspectives. Fans of HAIL MARY will also be delighted to learn that Michael and Mary appear later in the book as well, which is no surprise considering that Mary is Calleigh’s best friend and co-worker and David is the Tide’s general manager.
If I had one complaint about BOUND HEARTS, it would be that I finished it, immediately wanting another PORTLAND TIDE book. I absolutely loved BOUND HEARTS, and I’m hooked on Ms. Galloway’s writing. With its engaging plot, unique characters and sizzling romance, BOUND HEARTS is an absolute winner of a book, and I can’t wait to read more of Ms. Galloway’s work!
Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here courtesy of Romance Junkies.