by J. Bree
Book 5 in The Bonds That Tie series
Nothing will ever be the same again.
Our Bonded Group has been torn apart, and the monsters are now the prey.
But we’re not going to just wait around for our enemy to strike; the blood on his hands is unforgivable, and the god living inside of me wants her revenge paid in blood.
And a thousand souls.
We have been pushed to the limit, tested in ways that have devastating outcomes, and paid the ultimate price. Can we recover from such losses? Is the promise of a world without our enemy worth the sacrifices we’ve made?
Can we prove to everyone, and ourselves, that together our bonds are unbroken?
Tragic Bonds by J. Bree is the fifth book in her The Ties That Bind series. The book picks up right where we left off in Forced Bonds. Oli's Bonded group has been torn apart, but she and the god inside of her will do anything to save her Bonded and have her group together again. No more underestimated the enemy. Oli wants revenge, and there will be nothing that gets in her way.
This was a rough read for me. Not because it was bad. Tragic Bonds was great. It was just heartbreaking. I will get to that. Tragic Bonds doesn't improve on the world building issues, but everything else about it is great. The relationship between Oli and her Bonded were wonderful. Oli with Sage and the rest of her friends - awesome. The knowledge we now have of the entities in Oli and her Bonded enhance the story. The Resistance is proving to be a strong opponent, but we get some satisfying moments for Oli in regards to them. But what made it hard to read, I have to get into spoilers to explain to you, and most important of all, give you all a trigger warning.
Trigger Warning: Memories of sexual assault to a child. It's not descriptive. You are just aware that its happening. Still horrible, and hard to read.
We finally get some much needed answers about Nox's past, his trauma, and why he is the way he is. It's truly horrific. I had a hard time getting through it. But its important for Oli to know. For us to know. To understand Nox. And she does. She supports and protects him, and doesn't make him feel less. She gives him what he needs, and because of it, you can feel the true love and respect between them. Do I like what Nox did in the first book? Nope. In fact, he should know better. But Oli repeats over and over, while she was fighting it, she wanted it, so I have to let it go. Because in all honesty, I like Nox. As traumatized as he is, and his asshole persona, he is the intellectual of the group. He is powerful when it comes to his gift. He is essential in Oli's Bonded group. And now that Oli and Nox have figured out their issues, it seems like everyone benefits from it. Happy home, happy life and all that. Discovering the gods in them and learning their powers and limits. Almost unbeatable. You know ... until that fucking cliffhanger. And while I suspected that Senator Oldham was going to be a problem, I didn't expect that.
So now I, along with all of you, must wait to the final book. Luckily, J. Bree is pumping these books out crazy fast, and its expected to release September 28th, 2022. What do you think is going to happen in Unbroken Bonds? Let me know in the comments!
I try because I don't want him to wait until next time to figure out how we can love each other. I want to figure it out in this lifetime. I want to know everything. I want to see everything and accept whatever it is that I need to accept. I want to learn how someone like Nox Draven can be loved and accepted, and then I want to spend the rest of my life doing it. Nox: “You saw every part of me, and I, you. I have no questions left, no unknowns. You can leave now if you want to, but don’t go for my sake because… I’d rather have you in here.” There's no healing the things that were done to him, in the same way that there's no healing the things that were done to me. Recovery isn't about wiping the board clean. Recovery is learning how to function around all of the scars and open wounds inside of us. Nox: “Not even death can keep us apart. Every part of you belongs to me, and I will tear any man apart who dares to get in my way. Bond or not.” Gryphon: “Stop trying to die early, Bonded. Can we just have a few weeks of you not trying to die and kill us all with you? Because I had a full five minutes of knowing what life felt like without your heart beating, and I am never going to live in that world.” I always knew Kieran was a good guy… except for that one time he tackled me in a cafe and dragged me back to my Bonds, kicking and screaming.
That one time, he was a complete dick. North: I can’t right now, Bonded. Not with everyone here, because if I look at you right now, after what you did for my brother… after what he did for me… I will make an absolute fool of myself. I’m supposed to be the strong one for us all. August butts up against my leg as though he's reassuring me as well, and Jericho’s eyes flick down to stare at North’s shadow creature as though the Doberman-like creature has come from the depths of hell itself. Kinda rude considering August is the sweetest boy ever at my side, a living embodiment of North’s protective love for me.
He doesn’t even attempt to eat anyone around me anymore. North: “I cannot live without you, Oleander. I won’t. I thought Nox dying was the worst thing that could’ve happened and then your heart stopped beating, and I knew that I couldn’t go on without you at my side. I love you too much to do that. It was only my bond keeping me from going after you.”
Going after me. As in…
Oli: “North, don’t talk like that. I’m never going to leave you, we’re all going to be okay. My bond just proved that. Death can’t part a Soul Render from her Death Dealers. Or any of my other Bonded, no matter what.” Atlas blinks at him for a second before he smiles, punching Gabe affectionately in the shoulder.
Atlas: “You're a lot smarter than any of us give you credit for, Ardern.”
Gabe smiles back at him.
Gabe: “It's not my fault that none of you can see past my pretty face.” Davies: “If you think killing me is going to end this, you’re fucking stupid, Draven!”
Nox: “I don’t want you to die. I want you screaming,”