Book Review: Lorelei James’ Unwound

Posted March 14, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Lorelei James’ Unwound



Lorelei James

erotica, romance in eBook edition that was published by New American Library (NAL) on March 25, 2014 and has 384 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Corralled, Saddled and Spurred, Rode Hard, Put Up Wet, Wrangled and Tangled, Long Hard Ride, Cowgirl Up and Ride, Rough, Raw and Ready, Tied Up, Tied Down, Wild Ride, Branded as Trouble, Shoulda Been a Cowboy, All Jacked Up, Raising Kane, Cowgirls Don't Cry, Chasin' Eight, One Night Rodeo, Casanova Cowboy, Kissin' Tell, Gone Country, Mistress Christmas, Miss Firecracker, Bound, Redneck Romeo, Turn and Burn, Hillbilly Rockstar, "Schooled", Wrapped and Strapped, Unraveled, What You Need, Just What I Needed

Second in the Mastered romantic erotica series set in Denver and revolving around Ronin and Amery.

Takes place six weeks after Amery dumped him.

My Take

I do love how James can write erotica and include an interesting story along with it; I do wish she had involved more show however.

Whoa. Ronin is really going for the pain, and I gotta agree with him, his sister has no right to beat on him (metaphorically speaking). She screwed things up big time in Bound, 1.

Oh, gimme a break. He was calling Amery sixteen times a day for a week, and she claims she hasn’t heard from him? What? No caller ID on her phone? I can sort of see her being annoyed that Ronin didn’t leave a message, but…I ain’t buyin’ the rest of her story, and it is her fault she didn’t pick up any time that first week.

“The only strings that should come with a gift are on the outside of the package when you open it.”

That said, it is so sweet how much Ronin is sucking up to Amery. He needs her in so many ways and can’t stand to be away from her. He’s so lucky to have gotten a second chance with her. Now, on the trust side, Ronin expects her to trust him, aaannnd what’s good for the gander should be good for the goose. Ronin will have to suck it up and trust Amery. And Amery does take advantage, lol.

James makes the contract negotiations so real, and there are some tough choices in here for Amery, just as there would be in the real world. Another good bit of job news is that Cherry Starr is thrilled with that cover Amery did in Bound, and so are some other writer friends!

Ooh, we get some background information on Ronin’s past, um, business endeavors. The ones that are not on the up-and-up. He also gets a few opportunities to reflect on his behavior, especially after a meeting with TP. Then there are Ronin’s thoughts about his childhood. Jesus. All kids need to have a childhood and not live out their parents’ dreams! I do have to admire him. In spite of his family’s money, Ronin was a self-starter and built his business up on his own. Even if I do want to take aspirins as I read about his injuries.

That name Amery comes up with for Ronin and Blue’s new promotional company is just great: Black and Blue. Lord knows they both sport the “company” colors often enough.

Life gets funnier when TP foists his ditzy daughter onto Ronin. This self-absorbed, girl has no clue in so many ways, and yet, she does have some surprises in store. I was torn between dumbfounded and laughter when she shows up way too soon without being asked and expects to be head of the business. It’s too much like kids getting out of high school and expecting to be VP of the company, lol. On the other hand, even adults aren’t very wise as exhibited by Amery’s reaction to Katie and we get slapped upside the head. I really hate it when women leap to conclusions and don’t give their guy a chance to explain.

I wanna smack Amery about every 20 pages or so. She is so pissy when negative things happen, and she reacts so badly. I think she’s worse than Ronin. At least he doesn’t run off pouting. He is judgmental about his sister, but considering what she did to him a few years back, I can’t blame him. As for Amery’s secret…she is being a hypocrite and a weasel.

Amery’s concerns about Ronin’s not being completely open and forthright are reasonable, but I don’t see why she expects him to blather on about everything. People have their pride, misplaced as it might be. When Ronin confesses to the type of favors he did for TP, I’m shocked that Amery accepts it, as uptight as she’s been.

The sexual aspects — in bed and in the bindings — are hot. Even though I don’t get the excitement about the rope tricks. Nor can I get excited about Naomi. What. A. Bitch. It’s well worth reading on to find out how beautifully Ronin’s reaction in the past screwed with the “lovely” Naomi, and we gain some fascinating insight into Naomi’s motivations. Oh, brother.

Oh, boy. That scene where Amery is photographing some “toys” for a brochure for a client and her parents show up? Well, I can see why she wants nothing to do with them.

The Story

Ronin has been taking on fights, hoping to dull the pain of losing Amery. This latest one? His health is endangered.

As for Shiori, she’s eating crow and offering up jobs.

The Characters

Amery Hardwick is a graphics designer with her own company, Hardwick Designs, one that’s struggling in today’s economy. The shy Molly Calloway is her part-time receptionist pursuing her master’s degree. Aiden is Amery’s brother, and her parents, Marion and James, are the worst sort of Christians: judgmental and too worried about appearances.

Master Ronin Black is a mixed martial arts champion with a Hachidan status, an instructor, a rope master of the art of shinbari and kinbaku , and has an unwanted interest in the family food business. Shiori “She-Cat” Hirano is his sister and at the Rokudan level. She’s also the bitch who introduced Naomi to Ronin, screwed up his relationship with Amery, and is a vice-president with the Okada Food Conglomerate. Jenko, a former Sumo wrestler, is her bodyguard. Grandfather, Nureki Okada, is the CEO of Okada. His daughter is Ronin and Shiori’s mother, their okasan. Maggie Arnold runs the Seattle office.

Black Arts dojo
Shihan Knox Lofgren is the dojo general manager, and he has achieved the level of Godan. Sandan Zach. Yondan Deacon McConnell is Ronin’ s third-in-command and is called away by complications resulting from his grandfather’s death. Jon will be moved up to instructor level. Ito is another instructor. Clint owes Ronin a favor.

ABC is…
…a Brazilian jujitsu dojo owned by Alvares “Blue” Curacao who is supposed to be fighting Deacon. Blue and Ronin are discussing a merger. Sophia, a.k.a., Stinger, is one of his instructors, Blue’s sister, and handles the business end. I’m not sure, but I think Terrel is one of Blue’s. I think Gil is a student.

Emmylou Simmons rents part of Amery’s building for her massage studio but is currently traveling with the Colorado Rockies. Chaz rents the center section for his artistic enterprises which includes illustrating manga.

Naomi is a scheming psycho who needs to be taken out. Hiko Tamagachi is the sick bugger who plays bodyguard for Naomi. Kiki is Naomi’s friend.

Thaddeus Pettigrew is a rich man with very shady connections with whom Ronin has done business in the past. Bambi is his latest personal assistant. Katie Pettigrew Gardiner is his daughter and insists on being Black Arts’ new promotional manager.

The bulldozing Max Stanislovsky, one of TP’s friendly rivals, has a son, Ivan, and needs a similar favor. Ivan wants to train as an MMA fighter. Max runs high-end escort services and keeps a team of Russian construction workers/enforcers on hand.

Cherry Starr writes erotica and loves that cover Amery did for the first book in her trilogy. Merrick McBride runs Twisted, a sex club where Ronin demonstrates his rope mastery.

Masaman was Ronin’s sensei in Japan; Shiori is training with him now. Martel is the UPS carrier who delivers to Black Arts. Dr. Dainsworth is Ronin’s neurologist. Gigi is Amery’s favorite server at the bistro. Inichi Matso works for Satzu, so far.

The Cover and Title

The cover looks like the silk ribbon Amery talks about in one scene, yellows shifting through the color spectrum to deep reds that make her appear to be a living flame. On the cover, that ribbon spans the background diagonally in all its varying shades.

I’m thinking the title is the ease Ronin and Amery finally achieve with each other as they come Unwound.