My rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
The title is “Bound for Trouble” and the lovely young man on the gorgeous cover is indeed bound and in trouble. The main action of the story centers around a BDSM club called Dungeon 69, where Ryan, former prostitute and stripper, and Deke, former top dog FBI agent, have fallen.
A little misinformation on a previously untouchable Russian gangster—Ryan’s revenge for the murder of a friend—backfires on Ryan and lands him a job at the club as a civilian informant for Deke and the FBI. Deke heads the case to find the weapons Ryan has lied about and hangs out at the club where Ryan has been planted to get close to the target, Russian gangster Petrov.
What had started out as Ryan’s need for justice for his friend and Deke’s need to get back to his former position of trust with the FBI becomes a heady mix of crossing lines neither had expected.
The story is a slow and complicated build, which is what I also liked about Lynley’s “Out of the Gate,” a richly detailed story centered on horseracing. I highly recommend this novel, also.
Step by step Deke is building a real case against Petrov using Ryan to get close to the gangster, and Deke is becoming more interested in what happens in the Dungeon’s playrooms. He’s also attracted to Ryan, which puts them in a precarious position, as the feelings between them deepen with every encounter in and out of Dungeon 69.
This is a difficult world to portray, in my opinion. BDSM fiction is not my first choice of subgenre, but I love it when it’s done well, and Lynley shows the psychological and emotional depths of the lifestyle very well through Deke and Ryan.
The deeper Ryan gets in with Petrov, the more Deke fears for his safety and Ryan fears for Deke’s heart, as well as his own.