UNBOUND by Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan
Unbound by Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan
St. Martin’s Griffin
Historical and Contemporary
Reviewed by Shayna
In the nineteenth century, the men of London were held in thrall by the beautiful, uninhibited courtesan known as The Blackbird.
In the twenty-first century, the men of Boston tend to look right through slightly-awkward museum curator Piper Chase-Pierpont.
What do these women have in common? Nothing. Or so Piper thinks when she first discovers the courtesan’s explicitly detailed journals. The Blackbird is as free and sensual as they come and Piper is anything but; she couldn’t even capture the interest of Mick Malloy, the one man she wanted more than anything. When Mick comes back into Piper’s life, she begins to wonder: can she use the Blackbird’s account of her courtesan training as a guide to seducing Mick? Piper’s determined to find out. But the Blackbird’s diaries hold more than a courtesan’s erotic secrets…
Two women grab life by the reins in the wildly entertaining Unbound. Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan deftly weave together two tales from two different times to deliver a dynamic story of love, loss, liberation, and lust.
Unbound follows both Ophelia Harrington’s – aka The Blackbird – and Piper’s journeys. Ophelia’s story is the more emotional of the two. It begins as erotic intrigue, but changes along the way into something more as Ophelia grows and changes, experiences moments of heartbreak and intense vulnerability. I won’t give spoilers, but I admit that I was on the edge of my seat for much of Unbound, for I wasn’t sure how Ophelia’s story would come full circle. While Piper’s story is the more lighthearted of the two, it’s equally as endearing and important. Piper’s less-than-polished nature was a great counterbalance for Ophelia and her awkwardness endeared her to me. Piper is brilliant and kind and it’s impossible not to adore her. And don’t think that the courtesan gets all the action in this story. The twenty-first century lovers heat up Unbound in their own right.
Mses. Bradley and Donovan have knocked it out of the park with Unbound. Piper and Ophelia’s stories are each fascinating, but the more they become intertwined the better the book gets. With something for everyone in this charmer of a novel, Unbound is sure to please.
Note: Unbound was previously published as A Courtesan’s Guide to Getting Your Man.