Unbridled by D. Jackson Leigh is a steamy contemporary romance with hints of erotica and a solid mystery. I enjoyed this book in spite of a few minor flaws to the story.
Lauren Everhart is an accomplished mystery writer who feels she is finally at the point where she has complete control of her life, both professionally and personally. Then she meets Marsh Langston, the owner of a horse ranch where her niece is taking riding lessons. Lauren has an almost instant and very strong sexual attraction to Marsh. She is also intrigued by the mystery surrounding Marsh’s former career in equestrian show jumping, and how that career ended so suddenly.
We see the story through the eyes of Lauren in first person POV. This works well in the story. The mystery in the tale is intriguing and well written. Actually, I think the “who-done-it” is one of my favorite parts of the novel.
I connected with Marsh quickly, especially as I learned more about her history. I had more trouble with Lauren. At the beginning of the novel she presents as a very controlling person and somewhat of a player with a new conquest at every book signing. Then she meets Marsh and suddenly we see her more as a submissive. Her attraction to Marsh also bordered on obsessive at first. Both things felt very inconsistent with the Lauren at the beginning of the book. I came to see that her family history and how she was raised had something to do with this. Perhaps if we had seen some examples of her childhood, it might have been easier to understand her actions. I normally dislike flashbacks, but one or two here might have helped the reader understand Lauren’s behavior better and more quickly.
Other than taking a while to understand and connect with Lauren, I really did enjoy this book. It has a great erotic romance, an interesting mystery, and a very satisfying ending. I’m glad I read this novel, and will be looking for more from this author.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.