Layla Jennings is a fiery, independent and level headed nineteen year old. Always playing by the rules and doing what’s right, she has been the apple of her father’s eye and her mother’s treasure. But moving to college in Long Beach is about to turn Layla’s world upside down. With the gorgeous, pierced, guitar playing, wannabe rock star Oliver living across the hall, Layla finds herself thrown into a world of music, money, torn friendships and blood simmering sexual tension.
But on taking a job in a local coffee shop she meets the deliciously handsome Jared Garrett. Convincing herself that he is a waste of oxygen she tries to put the young successful business man out of her mind. But when he continues to show up she finds herself constantly thinking of him. Dazzled by his boyish good looks and discovering a whole new world of carnal and erotic pleasures, Layla finds herself falling head over heels in love but with Jared hiding a vital secret can she ever truly trust him?
I had this book and the novella (Last Christmas) that follows it, for quite a while on my kindle without actually getting around to reading them. When I was offered an arc of the sequel Burning Up, I thought this was the perfect chance to read the previous releases, and so started the Holly’s Hot Reads Marie Coulson Week, in which I read each book, back to back.
In Bound Together we have Layla, the girl who has just gone away to college where she meets hot rock star Ollie, and sexy dominant billionaire Jared. “How on earth do you choose between them?” you may ask. Well, Layla had the same problem and soon finds herself in the middle of a very messy love triangle.
Oh good Lord. Layla, Layla, Layla . . . She drove me mad. She made me laugh. I wanted to slap her. I wanted to hug her. I guess you could say it was a bit of a rocky ride with our heroine, and the majority of the time, my feelings for her changed depending on who she was with at that moment in time.
Like Jared. At the start, I loved him. He was sexy. Mysterious. Loaded. And did I mention sexy? But he acted way too old for his age. The way he spoke and the way he carried himself and lived his life was that of someone much older and with much more life experience than he had. I understand that he had been through a lot in his young age and had to grow up quickly, but let’s not forget that he is just 22 years old. And as time went on, his relationship with Layla frustrated the heck out of me.
There’s a very fine line between a dominant personality and an A-hole. Unfortunately, for me, he was leaping and bounding into the A-hole section. He was arrogant, rude, obsessive, and at times seemed just plain crazy! I was definitely not a fan of him as much as I tried, though at times, he was incredibly sweet and romantic. And super hot! I did mention the kink, right? Jared and Layla also has had major problems with trust and being deceitful. Which brings me to Ollie . . .
Holy-hottness. I. Am. In. Love. Honestly, what’s not to love about this guy? He’s practically a rock star, he’s super hot, fun, caring, laid back . . . Basically, he’s everything that Jared. isn’t and so much more. When Layla was around him, she was completely different to how she was when she was with Jared. There was no pulling my hair out in frustration. It was just nice, clean fun. Well, it is Ollie we’re talking about so it wasn’t always clean but it was most definitely fun.
Bound Together is very Fifty Shades Of Grey. Now, when I say that, I don’t mean it just because Jared is dominant and kinky. I mean that because a lot of stuff that happens in FSOG, also happens in Bound Together. I kept hoping that it would stray from the Fifty storyline and shine on it’s own, but for me, it just didn’t. It was all too similar.
Now, as I’ve pointed out, this is a love triangle. Layla goes back and forth between these guys like a yoyo because she can’t decide which one she wants more and it creates a LOT of unnecessary heartache. If I was one of the guys I would have just told her to do one as she was too much trouble. But of course, in book world, that wouldn’t happen for our leading lady, and as much at it both pained me and filled me with nervous excitement, we don’t find out who she chooses until the very end. And I mean, the VERY last words. I kept trying to guess who she would pick, and at one point I was convinced I had cracked it. But no.
My feelings with this book came very mixed. While I loved some parts, I really didn’t like others. In my honest opinion, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more had Jared been toned down a bit. He needs to act more like a young man in love and less like . . . well, Jared. The ending was always going to be either love or hate for me, but if you want to know which it was, you will just have read the book for yourselves. I’m sure you can guess who I want for her HEA.