I've loved romance novels since...like forever. I read across most subgenres of romance. I also write fantasy/paranormal and new adult romance.
I had been looking forward to this book since I read Cara McKenna's blog about it a few months ago. Basically, Rob, the hero is a pretty messed up dude. Like, really messed up. And part of what I love about McKenna is how "messed up" her characters can be. And, yes, they fall in love, but there isn't the sense that they are "fixed" by it.
Such was the case for Unbound, where, actually, both Merry and Rob have issues, find each other inexplicably, and fall in love. There's a subtlety and beauty to McKenna's writing style. I thought she handled a couple who struggled with body image, binge-eating, alcoholism, and a pretty intense set of kinks, with grace. Merry and Rob worked well together for me as a couple. The sexy scenes were scorching too.
The only problem I had was the pacing. It was slow. Very slow. To be fair, the entire focus of the book is on the couple and their relationship. There really was no subplot, which might have served to ratchet up the action. However, that wasn't the intent, necessarily, and this is just my reaction. Other than a series of texts, the characters don't really interact with anyone else. So for folks who want their romance to focus on just the romance, McKenna does that with this book.
Plus, and this is clearly subjective, I thought her handling of Rob's particular preferences was very well done. I don't read a lot of BDSM, and am not a fan of a masochism-element in particular, BUT, McKenna wrote it in a way that worked for me. I felt like I understood what it meant for Rob too, when in the past that type of scene would leave me scratching my head a bit. (You like what you like and I'm all for that.)
Not for the faint of heart, but definitely a book that was well thought out in terms of being out there with characters and then making it work.