Review: Strapped Down by Nina G. Jones

Strapped Down

5 sinful Stars

“It’s that moment when you realize that the thing that makes others squirm is the thing that takes you to your height. It makes you come out of yourself and be free in a way you never could otherwise. And somehow, it makes you feel powerful.”

This book is that moment. And it’s not always pretty. In fact that moment when you step outside of the all confines is rarely a moment later looked upon for it’s ease or fond memories. It’s often messy, gritty and very, very real. Coated in blood and sweat and tears. And it’s worth every minute. Because that’s what we’re all after, isn’t it? That freedom?

Taylor Holden is an excavator of human nature. He is a force to be reckoned with and in this book we see him come fully alive. That moment he says those three words for the first time in his life, and says “I love you,” to Shyla is his moment. When he sloughs the last of his ropes and soars. And the gift of being able to watch that happen is both my wildest dream and an excruciating nightmare. He has moments of such heartbreaking tenderness and then can just as easily sweep into stone cold ruthlessness depending on what is called for. He is the ultimate chameleon and with Shyla by his side? He is invincible.

Shyla continues her journey down into her darker sides but she keeps her huge heart with her at all times, even when it’s grossly out of place. She has her moments in this book where we can see her unfettered potential and she is glorious to be sure. But they are only glimpses and I cannot wait to watch this woman relinquish her self-imposed constraints and fly.

Together they have several intense and incredible moments in this book. There is a perfect combination of trust, letting go, power, love and devotion that all comes together to let these two characters come together in a way that you rarely see. It’s that transfer of power, that absolute, flayed wide-open connection that happens that absolutely guts me. Every single time.

Nina G. Jones continues to prove herself a master storyteller with this book. Her pacing is a stroke of genius. There are several bombs to be dropped in this book and she takes her time with every single one of them setting them up perfectly and then gently places them right in your lap, wrapped up in a pretty black bow.

Her dialogue is even more of a joy to read in this book as she introduces a higher level of humor that serves to balance all of the other emotions running wild throughout the story.  And her feast of the senses continues only amped up 11.

There are two scenes in this book that completely undid me because of their stark honesty and because the author doesn’t cringe away from pushing her characters’ boundaries all the way so that we have no choice but to go all the way right along with them.

And that is the ultimate brilliance of this book. I didn’t just watch the characters have their moments of transcendence; I got to have them with them. For a moment, totally suspended in bliss, love and trust.

Plus it’s just a bloody good story.

*This review was originally published for Wicked Women Book Blog.*

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