Thursday, March 5, 2015

Soulbound (Darkest London #6) by Kristen Callihan

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Once two souls are joined...

When Adam's soul mate rejected him, there was more at stake than his heart. After seven hundred years of searching, his true match would have ended the curse that keeps his spirit in chains. But beautiful, stubborn Eliza May fled—and now Adam is doomed to an eternity of anguish, his only hope for salvation gone...

Their hearts will beat together forever...

No matter how devilishly irresistible Adam was, Eliza couldn't stand the thought of relinquishing her freedom forever. So she escaped. But she soon discovers she is being hunted—by someone far more dangerous. The only man who can help is the one man she vowed never to see again. Now Adam's kindness is an unexpected refuge, and Eliza finds that some vows are made to be broken...

Soulbound is the sixth in the Darkest London series and if you have any worries about picking this up out of order, let me assure you that you needn’t be concerned. I myself am quite a bit behind as I'd only read the first one, Firelight. Normally, I don’t like to read a series out of order but I just couldn’t resist breaking my rule when it came to Soulbound. It’s so fascinating and imaginative that it’s hard not to get into it from the get go.

Eliza is on the verge of death after an attak when Adam comes along and saves her. Instead of freeing her, he keeps her chained to him because he believes that he has finally met his soulmate after centuries on his own. This arrangement hardly endears him towards her, instead resulting in bitterness. Who wouldn't be? She is ultimately rescued by her “aunt” Mab who is a powerful fae queen. Once she is rescued, Adam doesn’t see her for many years until one day, Eliza comes across him chained in a cell at her aunt’s house. He is now her aunt's personal plaything. How things have turned! Despite her hatred of him, Eliza can’t help but feel pity for Adam.

Between visits to Adam and interactions with her aunt, Eliza suspects that she isn't as free as she thought but instead is a pawn used by her aunt Mab and also Mellan, a man from her embarrassing past with whom she has some gruesome history. It’s up to Eliza to decide whether she should trust the unholy alliance of Mab and Mellan or trust Adam, the very man she grew to hate. At first it may seem she’s choosing between the lesser of two evils but she's also considering who will treat her as an equal. She chooses Adam and as you can guess, all hell breaks loose.

It’s valid to be outraged by how Adam kept Eliza. And later she reveals a very personal reason for why it hurt her to her core. What made my day was Adam's personal back story. His partnership with Eliza and their developing romance offer a surprising role reversal in regards to typical male female roles in romances. I liked that I didn’t expect it and that it levelled the playing field between the two of them. Their regard for each other grows stronger through the pages and I was delighted that they were experiencing some kind of happiness however brief it may appear to be.

Reading Soulbound was a nice reminder of how fantastic Callihan’s writing is. This is the same author who also wrote the excellent new adult romance The Hook Up. In the Darkest London series, she effortlessly draws you in with these amazing images, creative story arcs and connections. The language sets you back in time. This is a world where strong women govern their own minds and hearts, demanding a say in their own fates. And don’t get me started on how sexy the intimate encounters are! Sometimes the buildup is all you need. If anything, Soulbound has made me want to read the previous books so that I can revisit this paranormal world full of history, spells, intrigue and deals. Yes, you should read this too!

~ Bel

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