Bound by Your Touch Mass Market Paperback – June 30, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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- Publisher : Pocket Books (June 30, 2009)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1416592636
- ISBN-13 : 978-1416592631
- Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.19 x 1 x 6.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,913,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Bound by Your Touch is almost a 5 star book. Since I enjoyed it so much I’ve rated it 5 stars despite the flaws.
** Spoiler Alert**
The title makes no sense. Yes, the hero and heroine, James and Lydia, are attracted to each other. But what is special is their friendship and how they come to trust each other.
After an intriguing Prologue, the book starts off too slow. I almost thought I wouldn't like it at all. But give it a chance, the pace picks up.
The biggest flaw in the book is the parallel plots. Lydia was far too smart to not realize her father was a smuggler. As for James, he is too smart and honorable to not find out how his sister is being cared for. And his father and sister would have set him straight long ago.
The funny flaw was the main lovemaking scene. It takes place in a raging thunderstorm. Now why would Lydia, a scientist, go out in a storm and stand on a pier with lightening flashing? She wouldn’t be that stupid. Yes, James would go after her. But the love scene that follows is rather hilarious when picturing how soaked they both are. I don’t think that was the author’s intent. Plus they can see each other as if it’s daylight. Was the lightening that frequent to illuminate the little boat house? Hard to believe.
Even with these flaws, the story worked. The friendship and love story were moving. I wished there was more to read when it ended. One of the lower star reviewers didn’t like stories of spinsters and bluestockings. I respect that opinion. As for me, I love the bluestocking spinster. I enjoy Cinderella stories too. And what about wallflowers relegated to sit with the chaperones? These sweet ladies are finally noticed by the handsome hero. They get to bloom. They fall in love. It is so romantic. Lydia and James got their HEA.
Lydia Boyce has had a less than fulfilling personal past. Having set her hopes on a gentleman a few years earlier, thinking he would propose - imagine her surprise when, instead of asking for her hand, he asked for her sister's hand in marriage. Since that time, Lydia has made a life for herself as her father's "Man of Business" so to speak. Her father pretty much lives in Egypt, rarely coming home to England, as he sifts through Egypt's treasures, continually sending Lydia pieces home to sell for him. Considered a spinster, bluestocking by society, the backstory of exactly how she came to be in this position is the basis for her mindset about her life, looks and her future.
She's quite the expert on treasures from Egypt. However, when she decides to publicly call out Viscount Sanburne (James) for revealing a forgery at a public meeting, the proverbial fat is in the fire. James had believed the forgery to be the real thing so decides to investigate exactly how he came to be in possession of a forgery. In the process, he comes to believe Lydia's dear old dad is dealing in forgeries, for indeed, it seems the forgery can be traced to a shipment from Egypt made by Mr. Boyce.
Although wealthy, James is a "ne'er-do-well" and spends his time on useless pursuits with the Marlborough Set. There's a reason he leads a useless life. He has some deep grief in his past having to do with what he perceives a failure to protect a loved one. In addition, he's convinced his father mishandled the situation with this loved one and harbors a deep grievance to the point he continually does whatever he can to set his father's teeth on edge, including living a scandalous and somewhat reprobate life.
Although Lydia believes herself to be "less-than-attractive" and actually has difficulties not seeing herself a "dried up" spinster, James comes into her life and begins to dramatically change the way she feels about herself. For no other reason, James will endear himself to the reader for the way he sees Lydia, whose self-esteem has been battered to he!! and back. For any woman who has ever suffered a heartrending rejection and who believes their physical appearance was part of the reason for the rejection, the way back to a healthy self-esteem can be a rough and rocky road.
James and Lydia clash big time. She considers him a useless fribble while he tries to get her to relax and just take some chances. Of course, they're both extreme opposites so they must somehow find a way to meet halfway. This journey is fun. As usual, what goes on inside the minds of these two individuals is dealt with ad infinitum by Ms. Duran - to the point, some of it may have gotten away from me. Her characters are complicated and when one is inclined to speed read through these books - as I am - it's really easy to miss out on some of the complex parts of her characters. At any rate, James thinks Lydia's dad may not be all he's cut out to be, but Lydia is loyal to the bone. She won't consider that her dad might be involved in marketing fakes. Their inter-personal relationship growth takes place as they investigate the matter together. Along the way, he tells her his back story. Although she sympathizes, she will give him no excuses for his frivolous lifestyle. "James, meet the woman who will help you straighten your life out." And - "Lydia, meet the man who will show you that you are an attractive woman who has many admirable attributes."
Interestingly enough, relative to timeline, the happenings in this book take place at the same time as Phin's and Mina's book in Written on Your Skin. Don't you simply love the titles of these books - "Written on Your Skin" and "Bound by Your Touch?" I really like the males in Ms. Duran's books. Four stars as opposed to five stars for this book primarily because there was simply too much analysis of the thinking of James and Lydia to suit me. Still a book worthy of a re-read now and then.
Eventually started skimming and DNF'd it. (did not finish it)
Then saw the awards it won (again) -& went back- started speed reading it, eventually skimming again- till I got to any ACTUAL story or chemistry.
Prior to page 50 or so- it was just a lot of unnecessary filler.
Once h/h met and really interacted- there was solid heat & great chemistry.
Unfortunately- it didn't hold past first 2 encounters.
Started skimming again till I finally gave up around 80%.
I wasn't even willing to keep reading it for a possible hot sex scene, or the seduction leading to it (and I LOVE sex and seduction!).... after several possible encounters went flat- it just wasn't worth wasting time on it.
I didn't understand why the author would tell us inner dialog and thought processes- and the heroine would act or think or feel in complete opposition to what she's led us to believe about her. It wasn't that her character had changed or she had a new take on the hero... She just made no sense.
Neither did the author.
Top reviews from other countries
Viscount Sanburne is a tortured hero indeed, a rake who takes drugs and drinks to excess and Lydia Boyce is an acknowledged spinster/blue stocking. I do think one of the strengths of this book, despite the stereo typical nature of their characters, was the way their relationship builds and their love for each other is more believable for it. Bound by Your Touch
Lydia Boyce may be a spinster and a bluestocking, but she works hard to supply funding for her father's archaeological work in Egypt. So when her vital paper to the Archaeological Institute is interrupted by an inebriated fool, she's only too happy to tell James that his valuable find is a fake.
And this is just the beginning of their encounters as James' anger and Lydia's indignation uncover a serious plot that not only deals in forgeries, but threatens the integrity and reputation of Lydia's whole family.
Along the way, James and Lydia strike sensual sparks off each other as they challenge and constantly reassess each others expectations. Both have been in someway betrayed by their families, yet they cling to their loyalties. But can James sit back and watch another woman self-destruct in her blind loyalty? And can Lydia ever heal James when he refuses to accept the truth and limitations of the past?
Emotionally intense, evocative and exciting, Duran takes the standard tropes of the wastrel and the bluestocking and fills them with life. Her characters are powerfully engaging (I was fully on Lydia's side before I even finished the prologue), fully matched by the elegant, well-researched Victorian setting.
Submerge yourself in her intriguing world, and enjoy another excellent take from a rising star.