by J. Bree
Book 3 in The Bonds That Tie series
After three years on the run, I’m back in a Resistance camp, chained to a chair as the resident monster.
Everything I ran from, all of the villains of my past, they’re all here to take another bite out of me. But this time, I’m not alone.
With my Bonds desperately trying to reach me and new friendships I never expected, I start to believe that maybe I won't become the weapon they want me to be. Maybe I’ll be a monster of my own creation.
When loyalties are questioned and Bonds are tested, everything I thought I knew gets turned upside down. Who are my friends, and who are my enemies?
Are Bond ties stronger than blood?
Blood Bonds by J. Bree is the third book in her The Bonds That Tie series. It continues the story of Oli, and her Bonded, their ties to one another, and their battle with the Resistance. Oli has been captured. Back to where she started, strapped to a chair in the middle of a Resistance camp. But this time she has more to fight for ... and more to lose. Maybe everything she has believed about her power getting stronger is wrong. Maybe she can harness it for her, and not the enemies that try to weaponize her. But as secrets are brought to light, she is left wondering, are the ties with her Bonds as strong as she thought they were? What is stronger - the ties between blood family, or chosen family?
So as much as I am adoring this series, and flying through it, there are problems that keep me from giving it a full 5 stars - mainly, the lack of world building, and how certain conversations that the reader should be privy to, are skipped over. I'm three books in, and I'm still questioning the politics of this world. I think I have it nailed down, but I can't be sure. And, spoiler alert ahead, but as for the missed moments, the glaring obvious one to me, is Oli and her Bonds discussing the revelation of Atlas's family being a part of the Resistance. That until recently, he was a member of the Resistance, and that is how he know so much about Oli and her gifts. I feel like that was an important discussion we should have got, and instead, its glazed over. Oli escapes the camp, comes homes, and we learn that Atlas is confined to his quarters, and that is that.
Aside from those issues above, I do really enjoy this series. I like Oli, and how cocky she is. I enjoy the guys, and how different they are. Gabe is like a tough best friend. Atlas is supportive and devoted, no matter the cost. North is refined, mature, most definitely a leader. Gryphon is protective, strong, but with a soft side for Oli. And Nox is ... well, right now he is still a jerk, but I feel like that is just the tip of the iceberg for him. There is obviously a part of Nox that craves her - Brutus' presence is proof of that. And while I am still unforgiving for the incident in book 1, I'm reserving judgement. I love a redemption arc, after all. Spoiler alert ahead - I am totally surprised by the order that these bonds have happened in. Gryphon being first was a fluke because Oli's bond took over. But North being next was surprising. I was so sure Gabe or Atlas would be next, but despite his controlling tendencies, I like North. Total dom. I wasn't surprised that Oli finally bonded with Atlas though. I'm shocked it hasn't happened sooner. Atlas is the only one who has been on her side since day 1. Only two left to go. Gabe will happen soon ... I know it. But Nox is so against being Bonded and seems to hate Oli ... we'll see. I'm interested to see how THAT plays out.
Despite the world building lacking (I need to know the political structure of this world, damn it!), and seemingly important scenes glazed over, Blood Bonds was great. Oli is not only continuing to strengthen her ties to her Bonds, but they are all getting stronger because of it, which will be essential to the fight to come. No joke, so far, The Bonds That Tie series is hands down one of the best reverse harems I have read. I can't wait for the next book!
Oli: “Welcome to VIP life in the camps, Black. As my Bond, you’ll be fed three hot meals a day. You won’t be beaten or attacked in the showers, and if anyone attempts to incapacitate you, they'll answer straight to the top man himself. All it will cost you is daily torture sessions and being forced to put up with lines of questioning that will have you considering suicide just to get it to end.” Guy: “For the infamous IW, you look kind of pathetic,”
Oli: “It doesn’t really matter how I look though, does it? You’ll still be the first to die when I take this camp. Next will be mouthy Zarah. Then, whoever the fuck broke my Bond’s leg will go next. He kinda needs it to keep up with me.” Azrael looks up at me with soft eyes, ones he should not be so open about showing in mixed company, and whines like a pup. She’s ruining him. The more time he spends with her, the more he craves the gentle and loving tones she gives him. All of the belly scratches and soft pets… he’ll be useless in a fight soon. He whines again and I roll my eyes.
Nox: “Fine, you can go find her. Don’t eat anyone on the way.” He leans down to press our foreheads together, and then his voice sounds in my head.
North: I have been waiting for you forever, little Bonded.
My pussy tightens around him because there’s nothing so arousing as a sex-drenched confession straight into your very consciousness.
Oli: I waited for you too. I waited for all of you. The end of the bed opens and a TV slowly rises up out of freaking nowhere.
Oli: “You have too much money. Seriously, that is ridiculous! Why not just have it on the wall like the rest of the bedrooms?”
He shrugs and goes about meticulously stripping out of his suit, firmly distracting me from my outrage.
North: “It would ruin the room. Besides, it’s fun to watch you freak out about simple things.” Felix: “You can’t complain about being stuck here and in the same breath, say you want a fucking snake following you around. Jesus Christ, Oli, that’s pushing it. Even for you.”
I giggle at the strain in his voice.
Oli: “Scared of a widdle snakey? This changes everything I thought of you, Felix. Seriously. He’s cute, and he ripped some guys' arms off for me. If that isn’t the most precious thing I’ve ever seen, I don’t know what is.” North: “They don’t really have taste buds or stomachs. You’re just wasting food,”
drawls North, cutting his own steak up like an aristocrat. I roll my eyes at him and snark,
Oli: “You have a magic TV in your room that appears out of thin air. We can feed the babies steaks without worrying about the food bill.” Oli: “So what are the plans here, long term? I’m about ready to start tearing walls down if I’m holed up for much longer.”
Gryphon raises an eyebrow at me.
Gryphon: “Training starts again at five a.m. tomorrow. Do you still need me to come get you, or can you make it to the gym on your own now?”
Oh, that’s definitely not what I was after. Gabe roars with laughter at the horrified look on my face while I struggle to think of a good reason to get out of it.
Gryphon: If you’re healed enough to fuck North and I at once, then you can train
Although I want to murder the asshole for saying it, I can acknowledge that at least he didn’t make it public. The tiniest amount of brownie points to him.
North: Nothing that will strain her legs. Go easy on her.
My cheeks heat, because of course they’re both happy to run free in my head while I’m trying to eat my goddamned seafood.
Gabe: “Why are you the exact shade of tomato soup right now, Bond?”
Gabe murmurs, and I startle back into myself, looking around the table like a criminal who’s been caught with her hand in the cookie jar.
Oli: “Gryphon has no table manners, and that’s all I’m saying." Gryphon: “You’re assuming that I’m going to shower, but I’m going to smell like you all fucking day, Bonded. I’m going to sit in that stupid fucking meeting with your pussy all over my face, and it’ll be the only thing that gets me through the day.” The Everlasting One leans down to kiss my cheek, murmuring to me,
Atlas: “You’re glowing. It’s cute as fuck, but Black is sweating in the front over it, so you might want to work on it.”
I shake my head.
Oli: “He can work to get over it. I’m perfect as I am.” Gryphon: “Your secrets are safe with me. Even the ones in your head.”
He glances up as though he’s checking the door for anyone coming in to spy on us both, then leans down to whisper my deepest, darkest fantasies to me.
Gryphon: “Like how much you want that orgy you’ve been dreaming of.” Atlas: “Oli, I need you to listen to me right now, because I’ve never been so fucking serious about anything in my life. You’re my Bond. If you get stronger and burn the whole world to the ground, then I’ll be there at your side, watching it burn. I’m not the good guy, Oli. I’m not one of the Dravens or Shores of the world. It’s you and me, and nothing else matters to me.”