Lara Johnson is coping with the emotional scars of losing both parents in a tragic incident and facing the challenges of starting a new school. Getting involved in a relationship isn't on her priority list. Certainly not this illicit desire for a man, who demands the best from her, yet leaves her breathless in his presence. All Ike Thomas wants to do is to keep out of trouble and get through the one year internship required for his degree program. But trouble finds him, in the form of an intelligent and brave girl who turns his world upside down. Falling in love is forbidden. So why does it feel so right? A love like theirs cannot be denied. But catastrophe lies in wait and one night changes their lives forever. Bound to Fate is a story about surviving tragedy, forgiveness, and the overwhelming love that pulls through against the odds. Content warning: This book contains scenes that might be triggering for some readers.
I really enjoyed this book because the location and culture resonated within me. The storytelling was vivid and descriptive, that I felt like I was watching a film. I can’t say that I considered this story a love story as much as a story about growth, hope, survival and second chances.
Lara Johnson moved to live with her Aunt in Enugu (Nigeria) with her younger sister after a tragic car accident left them orphans. The transition was rough for the introverted Lara, who was still having nightmare from the crash. She was in a new state, a new home and was beginning a new college. But she found comfort in a teacher, Ike Thomas, who was suffering from loss of his older brother. Their mutual grief and physical attraction soon turned into a relationship. Ike and Lara were young so there was physical intimacy but not much emotional intimacy. So when some devastating events occurred at a college party, Lara and Ike’s infatuation didn’t survive those issues. Lara and Ike’s lack of communication resulted in Ike breaking things off. Lara was heartbroken but they their separate ways.
Five years later, Lara got a job working at a company owned by Ike’s family and they resumed their physical relationship despite the fact that Ike was engaged to be married. Lara was still suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder so she was still having anxiety attacks regularly.
This time around with the support of her best friend, Lara was able to get the help she needed and finally decide make her move to get what her heart has always desired, Ike Thomas.
But Ike is engaged to another and his family expects his compliance as this union has business implications for the family empire. The decision is very complicated for Ike because following his heart will mean disappointing his family again.
I have to be honest here. I didn’t like Ike Thomas. I felt as the older one in the relationship, he was selfish and self-centered. If he loved Lara, he would have noticed that something was very wrong after the house party incidents. In addition, Ike lacked remorse about his infidelity which turned out to be multiple incidents with different women. Ike’s fiancee was a piece of work. That’s another reason I questioned his character. How could he live with such a devious person and have no idea what a malicious person she was. I just couldn’t get past all of that.
I felt bad for Lara and hoped she would find a man better than Ike. She was a survivor and she was a hard worker. I wished that Ike had been as loyal as Lara was. Lara made me proud, not because she always made the best decisions, but how she rebounded if she made a wrong turn.
The author did a great job developing Lara as a heroine and making the reader empathize with her. This is my first book by the author and I am definitely going to check out more of her work.
*Special Thanks to KT Press via Netgalley for the e-book given in exchange for an honest review.