Review: "Bound By Honor", by SE Jakes

Filed in Review , SE Jakes , The Danger Lover Posted on April 12, 2011 @ 10:41 am 6 comments

Format Read: e-ARC submitted by Novel Sidekick courtesy of Author
Length: 158 Pages
Genre: Contemporary, GLBT, BDSM
Series: Men of Honor Book #1
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Formats Available: eBook, Kindle, Nook
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher, Goodreads, All Romance Ebooks, Kindle, Nook

Book Blurb:

A promise forces two men to bare themselves…completely.

One year ago on a mission gone wrong, Tanner James failed to save the life of Jesse, his Army Ranger teammate. Before dying in that South American jungle, Jesse extracted a promise that won’t let Tanner rest until it’s fulfilled—no matter what it costs him.

Damon Price loved Jesse, but problems in their relationship had come to a head right before Jesse left on his final mission. Now a reluctant Dom and a man still in mourning, he’s not happy when Tanner appears at his BDSM club. And even less happy with Jesse’s last request—that Tanner sub for him for one night.

After a rough start, Damon realizes that the tough soldier, despite his protests, aches for someone to take control. And Tanner senses a hesitance, an insecurity in Damon that makes him wonder if he’s simply a placeholder for Jesse, or if their tentative connection could grow into something more.

For Jesse’s sake, they agree to try one weekend together. Then duty calls, and a series of attacks that have been happening near the club hits too close to home, making both men wonder if giving their hearts is a maneuver fraught with too much risk…

Product Warnings
Contains rough language, rougher sex and warriors who fall hard for each other.


My Thoughts:

One of my top favorite genres is military romantic suspense, especially when it involves characters who are part of elite ops. While Bound by Honor doesn’t depict scenes involving elite ops military missions per se, the story revolves around two men whose personas have been shaped by serving the Army special forces. I thought SE Jakes characterized previous Delta Operative Damon and current Army Ranger Tanner extremely well.

As the synopsis indicates, the catalyst that brings these two men together is a promise concerning Damon that Tanner made to his friend and teammate, Jesse at the time of his death in the field during a military mission. Damon and Tanner shoulder tremendous guilt concerning Jesse’s death for different reasons, and are grieving his loss. In addition, neither of them have been able to find love and happiness because they have been unable to deal with personal issues that were festering long before Jesse was killed.

Damon and his best friend LC (who is like a brother) own and operate a BDSM club for gay men. They pride themselves on offering a safe haven for their patrons. Damon is known as a very strong dominate and is respected within the community. However, since losing Jesse a year earlier he has barely functioned and has leaned on LC for support and guidance. Then Tanner walks into the club and turns Damon’s world on end.

I have to admit, I had trouble liking Damon at first, his treatment of Tanner was cruel and I did struggle through a couple of the early scenes in the book. However, as the plot progressed and more of Damon’s history and personality is revealed he does redeem himself and proves to be a good guy who is very complex and lugging around considerable personal baggage which he has been unable to deal with for a variety of reasons.

Tanner is a tough military man destined for the elite Delta Force, while readers don’t see him in action there was enough background information provided to reveal when called to duty his is focused and mission ready. He thrives on the grueling physical challenges required to attain his goal of making a Delta Force team. Tanner believes himself as a strong dominant in regard to his sexual relationships with other men.

As a reader, I saw both these men as strong alpha males and they both have to work to break through emotional barriers as their relationship progresses and solidifies. This is SE Jakes debut novel and I found the way Damon and Tanner slowly work through their issues, each recognizing the other’s needs, then helping each other extremely touching. There are numerous graphic m/m erotic scenes including bondage and submission in this story, but for Damon and Tanner their sexual encounters assisted their communication and understanding of one another which leads to trust.

There is a subplot in this story concerning LC, who I also really liked. LC meets Paulo an undercover detective who is an extremely appealing character. They have a relationship of sorts and I’m hoping readers will see more of Paulo in the next book in SE Jakes’ series Bound by Law.

Bound by Honor was at times an emotional read for me, I found the two men involved in the relationship to be so complicated and conflicted and it was satisfying to see Tanner and Damon attain relationship fulfillment and love after travelling such a bumpy road.I will say, the ending of the story wasn’t entirely conventional, but IMHO it was fitting considering the characters involved in the relationship. I enjoyed Bound by Honor very much and will look forward to reading more of SE Jakes work.

I give Bound by Honor 4/5 Bookies


***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Lea

Lea is an animal loving, tree hugging vegetarian who lives in Toronto, Canada with her family, which includes three dogs. She is a prolific reader and has been blogging and reviewing since 2008. Lea is a contributor at the USA Today HEA Blog and an active member at Goodreads.

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Join the Discussion
  • Blodeuedd April 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Nice review, and awesome warning as always 😀

  • Chris April 12, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Oh, it's not easy to redeem the character who stars out as a jerk. Hmm…

  • Sharon S. April 12, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    squeee! I have been looking for another book like this. I love me some alpha, put two of them together…paradise 😉

  • Lea April 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks B:

    🙂 Gotta love those Samhain warnings.

  • Lea April 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Chris:

    No it isn't but Damon is really scarred for a number of reasons and it takes Tanner to turn things around for him.

    Good read. 🙂


  • Lea April 13, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Sharon!

    Yep, definitely two alphas so if you read it I hope you enjoy.

    Thank you 🙂

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