by J. Bree
Book 4 in The Bonds That Tie series
They say to keep your friends close but your enemies closer;
What if they’re one and the same?
The stable foundation I thought I’d built in the Sanctuary has been ripped away, and I find myself on the front lines of the war against the Resistance. I might have my Bonds on my side, but there are darker schemes in motion.
Can I prove myself and turn the tide to protect our most vulnerable, or am I nothing more than the monster they’ve always claimed I am?
Will we make it out of this without tragic consequences?
Forced Bonds by J. Bree is the fourth book in her The Bonds That Tie series. It continues the story of Oleander - Oli - and her Bonds, Gryphon, North, Nox, Gabe and Atlas. After the reveal at the end of the last book, Oli is shaken. Who can she trust, if not her best friends? The Sanctuary that was supposed to keep them safe from the Resistance has been infiltrated, and Oli finds herself and her Bonds on the front lines of the war. But with war, there is tragedy. Can they avoid the consequences?
So with the title called Forced Bonds, I won't lie, I was fucking nervous, but it was okay. Nothing was truly forced. Thankfully. This book continues the flaws in this series, in regards to world building, but I'm pretty sure I have put enough information together to know how this world works. I'm not sure how North fits into it with his position, how high in the hierarchy he is, but I guess its not important? I'm assuming pretty high, considering all he gets away with. This series' strength is the bonds that tie these characters together. All of their individual histories and personalities, and how strong they are when they bring all together. For a reverse harem, it truly focuses on the relationships between Oli and the Bonds, and not just the sex. While the steam takes a STEP UP in this book, it doesn't distract from the plot. And now, a spoiler alert for the rest of this review, because I can't help it. The more she completes her bonds, the more steam we are going to get, and now that she has completed the bonds to all five men, we are going to get a lot of it.
So, speaking of completing bonds, Gabe FINALLY get to complete the bond with Oli. I've been rooting for that sweetheart. And knowing that he saved himself for her, makes their bond all the better. I had a feeling with the title that Nox would be forced to complete the bond, despite him not wanting to. That Oli wouold be forced to complete all her bonds, despite her fear. And I mean ... that's kind of the case? I'm not sure. He definitely wanted the power boost of being Bonded, but he didn't want the rest of it. But the way it happened, left the final decision up to him, and he chose to do it. And Oli was all for it. And I gotta say ... it was weirdly hot.
But the real meat of this book was learning what the hell is with these "bonds", or beings inside of them. Oli has been aware of her bond as a separate entity within her. Not that she ever actually thought it was a god, but with her powers, and who here bonds are, it makes sense. North and Nox also are aware that their bonds are separate from them, but they aren't able to speak to them the way Oli can talk with her own god. It makes sense that all of her bonds have gods in them as well, even if some of them are dormant at the moment. I'm glad we are finally getting around to learning more about this entities inside of them.
I know J. Bree warns all of her readers that each of these books ends on a cliffhanger, but I gotta say, Forced Bonds so far is the ULTIMATE cliffhanger, than had me a crying mess. I didn't care that I was tired. I started that next book right away because I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED! I'm so glad I didn't have to wait, but I'm scared with this next one that it will end similarly, and the final book isn't out yet! Doesn't matter. If you love reverse harem, and fantasy, read this series asap!
North: “Impossible. There’s no one, not my bond or any of the other Bonds you’re tied to, who loves you more than I do, Oleander. I will argue that point until I die, vehemently and with great pride. You’re the reason my heart beats, and even if I don’t deserve you, I’ll go to my grave doing everything I can to be the man you do deserve. I know I’ve done a shitty job of it so far, but I’ll prove myself to you.”
I swallow roughly and nod slowly, leaning forward just a little to press our lips together softly.
Oli: “You’re already doing a great job proving it. I love you too. All of you; your bond and your shadows too. None of that stuff scares me or worries me. I’m proud to call you mine… even if we’re both terrifying monsters.” Gabe: “Let’s leave Sawyer to his creeper ways, Bond. I have something I want to show you.”
Sawyer: “Spoiler alert! It’s his dick!” She frowns deeper at me and blusters,
Senator Oldham: “We live in a society in which people are responsible for taking care of themselves. I owe them nothing.”
I nod slowly to her.
North: “Yes, and my community is at war with itself, as well as members of your own community who have chosen to pick a side. So, instead of running away with my money to somewhere safer, I have chosen to stay and protect as many people as I can. I've put my money where my mouth is. I will not be told by some half-bred hick that I am incapable of doing my job. Someday, when you choose a cause that actually means something to you, and you do put your money behind it, then maybe I'll listen. But I don't foresee that day coming anytime soon, do you?” The moment our eyes meet, he blurts out,
Alistair: “You can't take my Joseph with you. They're not going to get through the walls. He's the safest here.”
Nox’s head whips towards Alistair and he snaps,
Nox: “He’s not staying here.”
Jesus Christ, I think we're about to kidnap a kid. Man: “He’s my Bonded. I would rip your heart out of your throat without a second thought, but Bonds cannot hurt one another. He was made for me, perfection incarnate… even when he’s being difficult.” Gryphon: “Spread that pretty pussy open for me, Bonded. It’s been too long. I need to remind it of who it belongs to.” Oli frowns and makes a grumbling noise, turning around to send a glare Gryphon's way as he opens the front door, jerking his head at us all.
Gryphon: “We're losing daylight. Let's go.”
Atlas: “There isn't any fucking daylight. The sun isn’t up yet,”
I mutter under my breath, and Oli giggles as she sets off down the front steps at a slow jog. Unser: “An honest-to-God Soul Render. I never thought I'd see it.”
Oli: “I go by she/her, not it, but lovely to meet you." Gabe: “I have clearance. You and Atlas don’t yet, but I do.”
Oli: “I listen in on North’s council meetings. I’m fucking great at keeping secrets! What do I have to do to get clearance? Clearly sleeping my way to the top isn’t working!” Nox: I’ll see you in the next life, Bonded. Maybe I can love you right there.