Title: Together Bound (Sentries #2)
Author: Elizabeth Noble
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Amazon.com Together Bound
Genre: Paranormal, BDSM, Fantasy
Length: Novel (200 pages)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Larissa
Review Summary: Todd and Nick’s story continues in a grueling sequel that was equal parts gross, scary, hot and sweet.
Sequel to Marked Yours
Sentries: Book Two
Todd and Nick Ruger have settled into their life and work, the master/slave bond in New Colorado tying them together in a sacred rite of service, protection, and—in their case—love. But out of the blue, Todd receives a letter from the vice chancellor of New Colorado threatening their bond, demanding ownership of Nick under eminent domain.
It turns out Vice Chancellor Clarke desperately needs the help of the sentries, especially Nick, to investigate a problem involving the Chancellor. With New Colorado on the verge of war with West Caldera, a rift in the government would be disastrous. Todd and Nick agree to help, and Nick enters the orphan slave compound while Todd joins the Estate security force.
They don’t expect the danger they discover. Now the target of an unimaginable threat, Nick and Todd will face terrors that lead to murder, imprisonment, and the threat of separation forever as the hopeless battle escalates into full-scale war.
Together Bound is the second book in the Sentries series (Marked Yours is reviewed here) and continues the story of Nick and Todd. In a way this second installment is much better than the first, because the relationship between Nick and Todd is now established and the focus is now on the hunting and the world at large. Plus, in the first part the reader only got hints of the world of slavery and it’s expanded in Together Bound.
Nick and Todd have settled nicely into their relationship and Nick into the world of sentries and hunting. Their quiet world is roughly disturbed when Todd received a letter which demands he hands Nick over to the Vice-Chancellor of New Colorado.
As it turns out, Vice-Chancellor Clarke has a sensitive job for Nick and Todd. There’s something not quite right with the Chancellor. So Nick and Todd go undercover at a slave orphan compound and that’s where the real story starts.
The thing that is now the Chancellor is something nasty and by nasty I don’t just mean a psychotic, no good, evil rat bastard, but something that also comes with tentacles or something resembling that? As I said. Nasty. And our poor Nick bears the brunt of the evil that inhabits the Chancellor. In a way Together Bound is also a set up for the third installment.
Parallel to the story is the growing relationship between Nick and Todd and the bumps it receives during this assignment. The separation is not easy for them, but especially not for Nick. While Nick is strong, he’s also deathly afraid of losing Todd. Not only because of their love, but because of Nick’s status. This is underscored with his cover as an “orphan slave.”
There is a lot of character growth in this story. There is no “getting to know each other” in this story, but working on an established relationship. It’s nice to see how much they care for each other and how much they want to protect the other. Throughout the story I did wonder if their relationship doesn’t stand in the way of doing their job. For both Nick and Todd it’s a first instinct to protect the other and make sure they are alright, everything else comes second.
This causes several instances of miscommunications between them. It was a bit on the frustrating side to read (think hair pulling and growling) and I wanted to yell at Nick and Todd several times or maybe whack them with a shoe (though I have a feeling Nick would enjoy that ;-)) Fortunately for the reader, they do get it right eventually and as a result their relationship becomes stronger. Rest assured though, there is no BM (big misunderstanding). The miscommunications are a part of wanting to protect each other.
My main complaint in the first book was the lack of world building and the lack of expounding on the slavery in this post-apocalyptic world. In Together Bound there is not a whole lot more background on slavery. The author relies heavily on an established world, but there is more background on the current slavery and thoughts by people now. Therefor it’s easier to establish a view on slavery in this world. However, the focus remains on the nasty and Todd and Nick.
While there is no real depth, Together Bound is a good, addictive, fast paced, hot, sweet and thrilling story that is well written. The ending is open, but not in such a way that leaves the reader on the edge of a cliff.