Publication date: 15th October 2013
I’m pretty sure I’ll be adding Cara McKenna to my list of favourite authors after devouring her latest offering Unbound which had me shedding more than just a few tears. Unbound is now guaranteed to be up there as one of my favourite reads of 2013, I loved it.
After losing her mother and a life changing amount of weight in a year and a half Merry who’s always put others first and herself last, has no clue what she’s doing with her life but is determined to find herself whilst walking 170 miles from Glasgow to Inverness the town her mother grew up in. When disaster strikes and she develops an icky water-borne illness after swimming in a loch Merry just about manages to collapse in a heap at the only cottage around for miles throwing herself at the mercy of its inhabitant.
Rob isn’t exactly the welcoming committee that Merry hoped for. Living deliberately alone and miles from civilisation he isn’t exactly very hospitable towards Merry and only grudgingly allows her to stay in his remote cottage for the initial night despite her ill health. Although he knows he really should drive her to the nearest hospital and get rid of her he doesn't because Rob hasn’t been in the city for a long time and for a very good reason.
Having read a few of her books now I love Cara McKenna’s very character driven stories, her characters to me seem like normal and average kind of people, they aren’t blessed with superstar looks or amazing talents but their story always and I mean always, suck me right in. Rob’s character absolutely destroyed me. He broke my heart into a million tiny pieces and his story had me sobbing like a baby. Living in self-imposed exile he’s hiding from the many demons in his past. Merry gets him to open up ever so slightly to talk a little about his hermit like existence without really telling her in so many words that years of alcoholism have driven everyone away from him and that his exile from civilisation is to ensure he isn’t tempted to drink again. His feelings of self-loathing don’t end there however, but Merry's attraction to him isn’t lessened by his confessions and she quickly learns his real and darkest secret. What Rob wants and needs Merry who is on her own voyage of self-discovery is happy to give him.
What really broke my heart was that Rob knows that he can only be with this amazing and accepting woman in the bubble he lives in here and now. He can’t go back to city living with all of its temptations and triggers even for her, he also doesn’t want to tell her the truth about his alcoholic past instead he wants her to remember him exactly how he is in his isolated cottage. The incurable romantic in me craved their happy ever after but I really wasn’t sure I would ever get for this lost woman who wants a man to look at her with adoration and love for the first time ever and a lonely man who wants to be accepted by a woman kinks and all. In the end Unbound was absolutely perfect. 5 out of 5.
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