I received this book for free from Brilliance Audio in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Double Bound was released by Brilliance Audio at the same time as Strings Attached, so I requested them both. While I wasn’t exactly impressed with Strings Attached, I did like Arthur, so I decided to listen to Double Bound anyway.
Double Bound is Arthur’s story. It begins with brief flashes of his life prior to Jeremy’s arrival in Belena Beach, but quickly returns to the present. As he, Jeremy, and Carlo travel to Brazil to work out a deal with some luxury hotels, Arthur starts to confront his own feelings for Jeremy. There’s not much time to worry about feelings when they all find themselves in trouble in an unfamiliar country.
An immediate problem I had with this book was the way the expository information was presented. I think it was important to understand Arthur’s background, but I think it would have been better had it been fleshed out throughout the novel, instead of introduced in weird little sections at the beginning. Despite that, I liked learning more about Arthur and really getting to the core of why he acts the way he does sometimes. When it got to the core conflict of the story, I became a little disinterested. Honestly, I was more interested in the romantic subplot, and that’s a problem. The mystery-esque suspense story just wasn’t doing it for me. I knew where things were going the whole time. Sometimes that doesn’t bother me, but I like being surprised by suspense stories, and I never felt that. The story was okay for me, but I can’t think of many things to give high praise. One thing I do appreciate about both Double Bound and Strings Attached is the relationship between Jeremy and Carlo. It’s so rare that I read a book with an interracial couple. Most of time if I do, it feels forced or like it’s a tool to teach a lesson. Their relationship never felt that way. It felt natural and I wish I could come across more books (or TV or movies) that achieve that because it’s reality. I get sick of watching and reading about white people hanging out with other white people. That’s an entirely different subject though.
I think Luke Daniels is an excellent voice actor. He gives fully-voiced performances with character voices that very recognizable. He did a few Mexican and Brazilian accents, and I thought they sounded pretty authentic. He has great syntax and pacing, and he does a good job getting emotionally invested in the performance. My problem is that I didn’t like his voice for this book. I can’t explain why, I just didn’t, and that cost the narration a better rating. The production was great, though I wasn’t crazy about the music choice for the title and credits. Still, I’m always impressed by the quality audiobooks Brilliance produces. They’re one of my favorite audiobook publishers.
I was interested to find that some people had shelved this as M/M Romance on Goodreads. For those of you who don’t know, that stands for male-on-male. I can kind of see why someone might do that. There is a romantic subplot, and there are relatively explicit sexual scenes (though not many). Still, when choosing genres, I try to look for “the main point.” This book really isn’t about Arthur falling in love with someone. That’s a part of the story, but it’s not what everything revolves around. Also, in my experience, M/M Romance is MUCH more explicit than this book. All that said, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this to anyone under the age of 18.