About the Author
Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released more than 30 books and has been featured on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists on multiple occasions.
A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.
Sawyer likes her Bloody Mary’s strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active toddler, as well as full-time servant to two adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or a combination of the two.
I have been waiting (impatiently) for Bridger Payne, and I was so excited to get my hands on this wicked cowboy. If you’ve been following the Wicked Horse series, you know that the central theme is one of sexual freedom and exploration. It also follows the standard damsel in distress trope. I’m not a big fan of this style, but I am a big fan of Sawyer Bennett and a good story. While I still love Bennett, I didn’t connect with this one. While Bridger has popped up in every Wicked Horse story, he has always been a bit cryptic, and while we learn a little bit of his backstory I don’t feel like I know him any better after this reading.
It starts off promisingly with dark secrets, an undercover op, torture and a mysterious woman. I love a whodunit, but Wicked Bond fails to build any intrigue or tension. Told in alternating points of view it becomes repetitive and tedious. Meandering details about breakfast and interior design minutia bogged down the story. However, Bridger and Maggie are so plain and one dimensional that it became a real slog to get through. Bennett usually shines with her male characters, but while Bridger may be secretive, he doesn’t exude the charm I’ve come to expect. The character development quickly delves into cliche and the generic. The damsel in distress doesn’t work as the heroine is so empty and flat it is hard to identify what makes her so special that Bridger would risk everything for her. I believe in true love and love at first sight, but I need to feel chemistry or connection if I’m going to buy it. Sadly I did not and the rude and crude pillow talk/sex scenes do not help. Bennett does try to convince, but I need more than lip service. There’s a lot of telling and not enough showing. The mystery, good versus evil element is comical as it is scattered. Primarily because Bridger tells everyone he runs into about the pending sting going down at the old motorcycle club. Secrets are supposed to stay secret, aren’t they? Loose lips sink ships, etc. The rough and obvious exposition slows the pace, and I was hard pressed to find any flow.
Awkward tone, unbelievable male voice, weak female character, and plot holes that the entire state of Wyoming could fit through are the major problems with this story. I do appreciate the spotlight on abuse especially confronting male sexual abuse. However, it feels half-hearted, unbelievable and doesn’t go far enough. There is little thought to recovery, treatment, or counseling (a half-hearted visit to Father Andre doesn’t cut it). The ending and epilogue are so tidy that they fail to mention what happened with all the bad guys. Disappointing.
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