Author: J.R. Gray
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 265 Pages
At a Glance: Anyone who’s been following this series from the beginning will find all Damages Incurred’s loose ends really do is leave you ready for book five.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Their world is crumbling on the King’s shoulders.
Elliot is gone.
George has failed, and his demons are threatening to swallow him whole. Jesse’s life is slipping through his fingers. He feels like he’s losing George, whom he has just gotten back. The search for Elliot is taking its toll on the pair of them, and the strain shows the cracks in their trust.
Zac is doing everything he can, but he’s been plagued with flashbacks of a life he can’t remember. Even his iron constitution must break sometime, and the search for Elliot can’t wait. Each minute could be the difference between life and death.
Can they get it together to save themselves or Elliot?
Review: Fans of J.R. Gray’s Bound series will find plenty of answers and a lot more questions in Damages Incurred, the fourth installment in the series. A word of caution to the curious, though: don’t try to read this book as a standalone. This series is told in episodic form, so not only is there a sizeable cast of characters and their story threads to keep track of, but some of those threads pick up in the middle of their arcs, so if you’re not familiar, you won’t get as much enjoyment out of the reading. As such, I felt this installment took some time to catch a good head of steam in getting to the core plot, but once it did, it was a fast paced and emotionally turbulent ride to a cliffhanger finish.
In its BDSM setting, Damages Incurred opens with its King, George, laying a clear claim to Jesse, his submissive, after it’s revealed that duplicity has played a role in Jesse’s marriage. The focus from this point on is the reestablishing of their relationship as Master and sub, and how George’s deep well of guilt and his seemingly endless secrets weigh against Jesse’s ability to trust that he won’t end up hurt and cast aside. Their storyline provides much of the angst and darker emotional moments in the plot, and left me with more unanswered than answered questions. Thus, the cliffhanger ending, which involves what we can’t help but see as a justifiable homicide.
Where the action and suspense come into play in the novel is in a kidnapping for which George feels responsible, adding a layer of overwhelming guilt to the already heavy cloud hanging over his and Jesse’s relationship. Elliot’s disappearance is where the substance of this story takes shape, as not only does George feel he failed his sub in every possible way, but Elliot’s kidnapping also introduces a concurring storyline with Zac and Jared, the two men who are invested in finding the one man they both want to lay claim to. The tension between Zac and Jared is palpable—not only their mutual animosity and competition but also the frisson of sexual tension that, unless I miss my mark, Gray may be setting up as an exploration of a three-way with Elliot yet to come. The jury’s still out on that one, though, and Elliot surely has a long recovery ahead, but I, for one, wouldn’t mind seeing it play out, as I liked the banter and buildup between the two men who want to claim him—although, Zac also has a storyline brewing, involving his own mysterious past that’s sure to cause more than a little drama for himself and anyone involved.
Dark, gritty, angsty, and suspenseful, I think anyone who’s been following this series from the beginning will find all Damages Incurred‘s loose ends really do is leave you ready and waiting for book five.
You can buy Damages Incurred here: