Book review: Shiver by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott

Shiver (Unbreakable Bonds, #1)

I first read Psycho Romeo by this author, and I enjoyed it.  I was, however, shocked to see that it was the first in a series (the Ward Security series).  I thought ‘How awesome that the author has put so much development into the secondary characters, but also how sad that I can’t read their books!’  Some of the secondary characters were awesome and seemed like they had fabulous stories.  Well, when I got to the end of Psycho Romeo, there was a mention of a different series where some of those characters featured.  Needless to say, I immediately hunted it down!  That’s how I ended up reading Shiver, which is the first in the Unbreakable Bonds series.  Although I did enjoy Psycho Romeo, I think you’d get a LOT more out of the Ward Security series if you’d read the Unbreakable Bonds series first.  Which I’m now doing.

Shiver tells the story of Lucas Vallois and Andrei Hadeon.  In some ways it’s kinda cliche, with the bodyguard and the person he’s protecting falling in love.  But in other ways it’s fucking awesome, and those ways are the secondary characters.  Unbreakable Bonds refers to the four primary characters – Lucas, Snow, Rowe and Ian.  They have an unbreakable bond, forged through hardships.  Lucas and Snow have known each other since childhood, they met Rowe in the military, and they met Ian after that.  They’re all quite different personalities.  Lucas is the protector and a businessman.  Snow is dark and lost, and a surgeon.  Rowe is the military man (and later the owner of Ward Security) and I’m still trying to figure out his personality, but he seems impulsive and reckless and gung ho.  Ian is sweet and caring, and a chef.  While this book is about Lucas and Andrei, it’s also about the four friends and they all play a big part in the book.  And it’s impossible to read this book and not want to read the books of the others.

Andrei didn’t feel quite as developed as the other characters, but enough.  There was hesitation on parts of both men in terms of their sexuality.  Lucas considered himself bisexual but preferred to portray as straight in his wealthy business circles.  Andrei considered himself bi-curious with little experience of men.  They both had to move past their hesitations, but honestly, that wasn’t a belaboured point in the book, just something that both characters worked through but it didn’t stop the relationship developing.

Despite the bodyguard cliche, there were definitely parts I found unpredictable.  Lucas’s reaction to Andrei being fired was out of character for Lucas in a way that shocked his friends but fit brilliantly into the storyline.  There were parts that became predictable, such as the need for rescue after the undercover operation.  But this was definitely a character-driven book, not a plot-driven book, and it was easy to read and very enjoyable.  I’ve already started the next book, which is Snow’s.

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