Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Bound Together
Author: Aiden Bates
Genre: MM Paranormal
Length: 172 Pages
Publisher: Aiden Bates
Release Date: May 22, 2016
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Jesse is an unclaimed omega. He’s also been a member of an exceptionally nasty drug cartel in California who’s been wanting to go legit for a long time.
Connor was a mid-level drug runner who turned on his bosses when he found out they were involved with something he couldn’t accept. He’s also a single alpha.
U. S. Marshall Max Sandoval knows that Jesse and Connor’s enemies are all looking for single men. Pairing them up should throw people off their scent, and it saves the Marshalls on housing. Having Connor claim Jesse also ensures that Connor will always have a bodyguard on hand, because Jesse’s skills are valuable and their bond will force Jesse to stay by Connor’s side.
Unfortunately, neither the omega nor the alpha is initially enthusiastic. Neither of them has ever wanted to be part of a claimed pair, and Connor is terrified of forcing himself on an unwilling omega. Mutual reluctance and unfamiliarity leads to misunderstandings, caused by powerful attraction, high stakes and the constant threat of danger.
Review: The main reason I’d read this book was because it had gotten quite a few low ratings, and some of the reviews were just so awful that I needed to see what all the hoopla was about. For some odd reason, I am one of those readers who tend to like books that many others hate. The only thing I can think of is that I am rating the actual story, the writing, and the emotional (good or bad) impact it has on me, and not rating the likability of any one character. For instance, I love watching The Walking Dead, but I would never one star an episode or the series because I hated an actual character. I understand this is a “romance”, per se, but not all romances start off on a lovey dovey playing field. That was the case here and you need to let the story completely play out before you judge, in my opinion.
All that being said, I can completely say with certainty that this story between Connor and Jesse will not be for some people. There is an element of perceived cheating, even though I personally did not view it that way. Connor and Jesse are complete strangers, who for their own protection within the witness protection program, are forced to be mated and claimed. This is a lifelong commitment between two men who 1) don’t know each other, and 2) don’t like each other, either. Considering the paranormal aspect of this book, Jesse, an Omega, is linked to Connor and only to Connor, his new alpha, for life. The rules suck in this alpha-omega world because it’s the omega whose life is forever changed. Hence all the hatred toward Connor and his infidelity.
I admit, Connor and Jesse were their own worst enemies in many ways, but Connor was simply awful at times, and his claims of not understanding the alpha-omega dynamics, more than once, rang a little shallow…just like Connor was in some ways. In this book, the alpha is the one being protected and is smaller in stature. Jesse is the lowly omega but could kick ass and towered over most at six foot four. This played a bit on Connor’s insecurities, and if it wasn’t for Max, Jesse’s U.S. Marshall brother, Connor would have just let Jesse die of neglect. Yeah, I can see how others would hate this man and this book, but like all things, you have to let the story play out.
In addition to the mating and claiming of Jesse and Connor, we can’t forget that they are in witness protection and that there is more to the story than this not-so-romantic, forced union between these two men. Someone is trying to kill Connor, and Jesse is coerced to protect him or go to prison. Both men are in a bad spot, and that is not completely brought to light until close to the end. What I will say is that Max is not as bad as he seems, and I was thrilled when Marisa went packing. One of the things that was crystal clear in this story is that omegas are considered beneath everyone else and not worthy of love nor respect. It was truly an awful feeling to hear such condemnation placed on a man due to his biology.
If I could say anything to prospective readers, or to those who did not finish this book, please give it a chance and look at it from a different perspective. Realize that these men did not choose each other and were true to their own characters. It takes a while but eventually they end up in a better place and the future is much brighter. I left this book feeling like I’d went through a terrible battle but at the end I’d won the war.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*