Bound by His Oath

Rated 4.50/5 based on 2 reviews
There are many historical romance novels where the feisty heroine is forced into marriage with the alpha male hero. Eventually she learns to love and submit to her new lord, and they live happily every after. In a distant future, this story is playing out again -- with one minor difference. More
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About Jess Mahler

Jess’ weird fish-out-of-water life has left them with an enduring love/hate affair with common tropes. The relationship counselor recommended they break it off, but they just keeps coming back to play with tropes (and fuck them up) some more.

In between their tropic indulgences, they write queer fantasy with aromantic, neurodivergent, and generally ‘weird’ characters, take care of their family, argue halakha, and try to do a bit of educational activism on the side.

Their website ‘digital garden’ updates semi regularly, and they're active on Tumblr, Mastodon, and a few other spots around the web.

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Reviews of Bound by His Oath by Jess Mahler

Greenling reviewed on June 22, 2022

First off: this is not a book about kink, per se, or even a romance necessarily. This is a story about navigating a relationship under deeply suboptimal circumstances and going from making the best of things to being stronger together. It's an emotional story, and both main characters are lovable people despite starting at odds; the world-building is interesting and gives hints as to the SF/F nature of the world, but the writing is mostly character-focused. It's a fun (assuming no issues with the CWs) and relatively quick read.

The only thing that really loses a star for me is that the book feels like it cuts off in the middle of the plot- it doesn't exactly, because it ends after the resolution of the character-centric premise, but there's definitely space for a lot more book here and I don't even know if the author plans a sequel. I'd love a much longer book in this world!
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
L.J. Lee reviewed on May 21, 2022

You're in for a treat with this one if you like low- or no-magic European medieval-style fantasy that gives full respect and agency to women and non-combatant characters, while confronting and subverting the tropes of period romance (starting with the "romance" part)! The story deals with some heavy issues like misogyny, conquest, power relations, and consent, but its underlying humanity and humor keeps it an easy read and I adored the developing relationship between the two main characters.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
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