Thursday, April 14, 2011

Swiftly Dusted: Review of Trusted Bond by Mary Calmes

Author:Mary Calmes
Title: Trusted Bond
Series: Book #2 in Change of Heart series
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Date: December 10, 2010
Length: 282 pages

Backblurb/Goodreads link | author's website | buy link

Genre & keywords:
M/M, Romance, Paranormal, Cat shifters, Tribe hierarchy, Abduction, Torture, Violence, Tests & challenges, Family, Egypt

Synopsis in short:
Jin and Logan’s story continues in this sequel to Change of Heart, therefore it’s highly recommended to read the first book in this series before reading this second book.
Jin is trying to adapt to being the mate of the tribe leader and to accept that Logan’s love is authentic even though he was straight before they met and fell in love. Then, Jin is abducted and a string of events happen. Danger and life-threatening violence have to be survived first before Logan and Jin can be together again.

Setting: The main part of the story takes place in Sobek/Egypt and surrounding places. Sobek is the capital city of the werepanthers and it’s where the most important tribe in the hierarchy of werepanther tribes resides.

POV: The whole story is told in first person from Jin’s point of view.

H/H & characterization: Jin and Logan are mates and more so, Logan is the leader of a tribe (semel) and Jin is a so-called reah, which means a true mate of a semel. Reahs are very rare and it’s even rarer for a semel to find his reah. This makes them rather unique in itself, but furthermore, Jin is the only male reah anyone has ever heard of. Logan is pretty comfortable with all this, because for him the fact that he has found his reah is far more important than the fact that his reah is a man.
Both heroes’ characterization is pretty much determined by their roles as semel and reah and their uniqueness. They suffer a bit from being stereotypical powerful, unique and perfect. They are so evidently the good guys, the strongest ones and the survivors that it borders on becoming boring. But their adventures are so engaging and well-written that they’re saved from that fate.

Empathy level: It was easy to empathize with Jin since we were more or less in his head from beginning to end. Because of this one-sided perspective, we had to stay with Jin all the time, even when the heroes were separated from each other for quite a long time. Especially during this separation I would’ve liked to see more of Logan, since that must’ve been a terrible period for him too. Only I couldn’t ‘feel’ it because of the lack of his point of view at that moment. It could’ve also taken off some of the intensity from the feelings caused by Jin’s suffering.

Heat level: Although a large part of the book has to do without, there’s still plenty of smexy scenes left and they are hotter than hot. This probably has a lot to do with Jin and Logan being ultra masculine and having a fixed role of top and bottom. And they are also rather verbal and say the hottest things to each other during these scenes. Their special connection always shines through as well. 2.5 out of 3 flames

Angst level: The heart gripping moments in this book are more often caused by external elements than by relational or inner struggles. I would’ve liked to see more focus on an emotional conflict between Jin and Logan which was nearly absent now or too easily resolved at best. Still, there were some good angsty moments in the shape of truly bad guys causing hurt and raising obstacles. 1 out of 3 hankies

Overall entertainment level: The unparalleled world building is complex but not in an overwhelming way, so it’s easy to enjoy its richness. New information is added when the story asks for it and not sooner. All the (new) rules that come with the tribe hierarchy and all the challenges and tests are somewhat unsettling at times because as a reader you’re not informed in advance about the rules. Aside from that, the author has a compelling writing style and knows how to build an enticing plot. She throws her readers into a rapture with her engaging narrative and loveable characters. It's hard to take your eyes off the pages.

Final judgment:
Almost too perfect, hotter-than-hot werepanther heroes survive the worst of challenges in an unparalleled, hierarchic world with unsettling rules, to find happiness and ‘normalcy’ in each other’s arms/paws again.
4.5 out of 5 stars


  1. I am a bit confused by the whole tribes and Egypt thing...but oh well, I would just have to read and catch up

  2. @Blodeuedd: I can see how that's confusing, but I tried to keep the review spoiler-free. Yeah, maybe you should just read this one! :)

  3. I think your review is spot on for this one, Janna!

  4. I think I have this one and I maybe have the first. I'll have to get on it. Sounds like a good duo.

  5. I really liked both books. Great review, Janna! :)

  6. Thank you Janna! I have the first, but haven't read it yet *blushes* Well...I've read certain bits *blushes harder* I must try. Perhaps it should be on The List, although The List is in danger of toppling over it is so big!

    Did any characters from the first book put in an appearance please? There were a couple who really intrigued me...

  7. @Tam: This is a great duo. I think I even liked the first book slightly better than this second book. :)

    @Lily: Thanks, Lily! :D

    @orannia: LOL, no need to blush. I do that too. ;)
    Yeah, these are good candidates for The List, but I understand that you can only read so many books in one week. :)
    Actually, all characters from the first book return in this second one. Well, maybe not *all*, not the minor ones obviously, but all the family members and friends do re-appear. Which ones in particular were you interested in?

  8. *grin* Yes, only so many reading hours in a week.

    I can't remember the names of the characters. I might have to read the first book and then come back and post :)

  9. @orannia: You're always welcome to ask me later. Doesn't matter how long it takes, hon! Happy reading week. :D


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...