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Ella Drake – Silver Bound

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Sometimes you might get what you always wanted, but you’ll have to fight for it first.

Publisher: Carina Press (Harlequin)
Pages: 191
Type: Fiction
Age: Adult
ISBN: 978-1-426890-79-6 (only avaliable as an ebook)
First Published: 22nd November 2010
Date Reviewed: 20th February 2011
Rating: 3.5/5

When Jewel attempts to run away from her evil husband, taking their son with her, she’s caught and her memories are wiped. Prepared to become a sexual slave, no one thought that it would be her much-loved ex-boyfriend who would come to claim her as his, the motive being to save her.

This was pushing the boat for me. Even though I didn’t think my venture into Mills & Boon too shabby an experience, it hadn’t been what I thought it would be. I was therefore still lacking in what I’d set out to gain – experience in a genre far removed from what I usually read. The summary of Drake’s Silver Bound found it’s way to me through one of the statuses of the author’s Twitter account, and I knew without a doubt that this was it.

Silver Bound deals with a deprived subject but although Drake uses it for erotic purposes she doesn’t let the storyline sink to such levels as you may imagine. Indeed the space, western, and escape elements are just as important, and it’s obvious that time has been spent just as much on them as the romance.

What Drake does is present the situation but makes it so that the man, Guy, who claims the slave, Jewel, is a lover from her past who regrets their parting and is thus wanting to save her from her predicament. There is actually less sex than you might think because the love Guy has for Jewel does not permit him to use her to his advantage. Guy makes for a very worthy hero.

All that said I can’t really shy away from describing the sex. It’s hot, it’s in a variety of flavours, and it goes back and forth in control depending on Jewel’s recovery of memories at any given time.

Another point of interest is the growth of Jewel, the enslaved woman. Before her enslavement, upon which her memories are wiped, she is a sassy and confident woman despite her horrible situation. After her enslavement, especially when she meets Guy, she begins to regain them so that the story doesn’t remain as much about Guy’s feelings and it becomes a story of two equals. That’s not to say that Jewel’s thoughts are given no time, indeed they are included in all sections of the story.

I couldn’t write about this book and not talk about the mix of living in space and the realm of the cowboy. Silver Bound isn’t so much futuristic as it is fantasy, the people inhabit and use space stations, journey through the universe in “hoppers” and have futuristic technology – but they appear to have lived on their different planets for ever. The western aspect blends into this flawlessly, as Drake explains how the ranchers use the older ways of living – the cowboy ways – to keep their patch of land fresh. Guy can use a technologically advanced weapon, but he’ll just as often bring out the lasso.

The writing is good but there is a sense of the short story in that many times the scene switches suddenly, sometimes it’s very confusing what is happening. The book could have done with a little more development to keep the transitions between sections of the plot smooth.

I can’t say that my comfort zone in romance overall has changed, even if after the third time my boyfriend asked me what I was reading on my phone and the answer came back, sensationalised for maximum effect, “a dirty erotic novel”, he no longer blinked an eye lid, quashed further by my reminder that men have had access to porn for centuries – but having read Silver Bound I feel less daunted by the genre and see that if you choose wisely you don’t have to land yourself with something that is stereotypical or badly written.

Drake drops an original mix into the pot and shows that a combination of genres at opposite ends of the scale can be blended to good effect, even when the least of details in the blend is examined. The universe created could support a vast number of interesting stories of many types – and as a small slice from this massive universe, Silver Bound does not disappoint.

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