9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2013
* ARC provided by Harper Collins UK, Avon via Netgalley for my honest review
The Silver Chain is the first part in the new Unbreakable trilogy and Primula Bond is a new to me author.
When I first started reading this book I must admit I was a tad confuddled. I felt it touched on a paranormal feel and therefore totally not what I was expecting to be reading. But after awhile it finally clicked - it was Halloween in London! Once I got into the writing style of the author I was intrigued, especially by the wonderfully dark, dominant and mysterious, Gustav Levi.
Serena Folkes is a young woman who has had a rough start in her life but she has been given a chance to start over and she does this by moving from her coastal home in Devon to the bright lights of London. Here she hopes to kick start her career as a photography artist. By coincidence, on that eerie Halloween night, she is confronted by Gustav who just happens to own an art gallery. They both feel an invisible binding taking place and from this, Gustav makes her an offer it would appear she cannot refuse.
Gustav is hiding his own demons he wants to forget and he feels the offer he makes to Serena, for her to be his for the duration of the showing and selling of her art, is one step in the right direction of making this happen.
I did find the meeting a little weird at first and the coincidence of Serena running into a man that could give her the chance at the big time a little stretching but hey stranger things have happened in real life. However I loved that Gustav was 20 years her senior, a man of the World, who could teach her so much but what he didn't bank on was how much he would actually learn from her.
The gradual build-up of the chemistry went from strength the strength between the two and I actually liked that it was not rushed, especially as it is not a standalone book.
The symbolic chain was a little hard to take in at certain points, especially when she was given free rein to wander around the house whilst attached to a hook in the wall in the top floor bedroom. How long was this chain and how big was this house? I got the being chained to him when they were together and I found that quite endearing but the other times - huh? Why did nobody in the very public art showing comment on it when he put it on in front of them, no raised eyebrows or nervous titters were made (which I would have expected from `nillas - although it's not BDSM, just a little dip here and there!)
I did enjoy this book, even after finding the initial quarter hard to get into and then the issue with the chain in public (and in that house.) How this was compared to FSOG I'm not really sure as it was a more in depth and mature experience for me. I liked both main characters and the secondary characters just added to the ambiance of the read. One thing I would point out to the publishers is the cover. These kinds of covers are becoming quite repetitive on the shelves in WH Smiths (and other good bookshops) and they all look the same. I think something much more original would have been better.
So did I like this book? Yes. Do I want to read the next instalment? Yes - it has the potential to be a really good series. Therefore I would recommend this as a good read
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2014
For those who aren't generally into trashy romance or erotica, but enjoyed 50 Shades, steer well clear of this. It starts promisingly enough, the heroine has an interesting background, the first meeting is intriguing and after that things rapidly go downhill. We are supposed to believe that a genuinely talented photographer would sign a contract of that kind on her second day of showing her portfolio around London? If she was really the strong character she is supposed to be then she would have told Mr Levi where he could wrap his silver chain. Let's suppose that she did it for kicks, you'd expect them to have a snog before page 315.
And what kind of silver chain is this? Well she cannot take it off, so no clasp - no it has a padlock on it only Mr Levi can undo. This chain is SO strong that it will not break, yet it looks delicate - this isn't silver, it must be titanium or some insanely strong alloy AND it has a house key attached to it for almost the entire story, not like a charm bracelet, but an actual FULL SIZE house key. Does it dangle down so low that she can use her hand to open his front door or does she have to contort herself and dislocate her elbow in order to turn they key in the lock?
There's the usual undressing of the heroine while she's in an apparently coma like state, only to wake and find that her clothes are replaced by a series of cashmere jumper dresses or silky negligees. In fact by the end of the story, Serena's confidence has dwindled so much that she actually needs a personal assistant to pick her outfits and brush her hair. Mind you I wouldn't want to go clothes shopping with a house key on my wrist either, nightmare for trying things on, you can see why she is limited to the stretchy jumpers.
She does wear Jodhpurs once, with thermals underneath, so that's erotic. Oh and then there's the highly amusing scene in the ex-wifes room where she's stretching latex over her ample figure and then can't remove any of it - funny, mortifying, not sexy, just stupid.
Later that day he chains her with a chain so long that she can roam around the entire house - where does this guy buy chains that long? Maybe he has shares in B&Q and it's actually a bath chain.
There's no love here, there's no tension, there's no erotic sex (unless everyone else finds blusher brushes particularly sexy and I'm missing a trick) and there's very little storyline, although I'll admit the background COULD make an interesting story.
What you get is an irritating young girl who can't decide whether she's a victim or not, bounce from strong woman to pathetically useless girl and back again with the odd tantrum and completely irrational jealous rages. She is paired with an older man, who looks like Count Dracula but with better teeth, who has an ex who was a Dominatrix that he couldn't handle and is completely incapable of expressing himself verbally or physically, let alone emotionally, although he is able to run a multi million pound empire.
I got this book for Christmas, it's not a difficult read, a couple of hours on a rainy afternoon with nothing more interesting to do. Had it not been the holidays, or if I'd had an alternative I would have ditched it and I won't be getting the next in the series.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2013
With thanks to Netgalley for providing an early reading copy of the ebook.
What a book! I loved it from start to finish, from the amazingly atmospheric opening all the way to the very last page. So beautifully written, this really felt like it was erotic romance with a difference. The love story was memorable, but never contrived, and the sex was as good as you'd expect it to be. I found the characters to be well-rounded and believable, although my favourite has to be Gustav - he's definitely someone I'd want to bump into on a cold dark night!
It's been compared to 50 Shades of Grey, but I think this does it a disservice - it's a brilliant book that is far, far better written than the Grey trilogy. Yes, it might not be so pacey, but Gustav and Serena's love story is one I believed in from the moment they met, and as they get to know each other more and more, it delivered all the heat and excitement you could want! Definitely recommended - get your hands on this book now!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
In The Silver Chain, we meet Serena and Gustav. Serena is a photographer who one night decides to do a night time shoot, but what she doesn't realise is that someone is watching her, and that when they meet, Serena's life will be changed. Serena is drawn to Gustav, a mysterious man who owns the Levi Gallery. As sparks fly between them, Gustav promises to launch Serena's career, but on the condition that Serena is his exclusive companion. As a mark of their agreement, Serena is given a bracelet by Gustav to wear at all times, a silver chain of which he is the keeper, a sign that she is under his power. But as their relationship develops and becomes increasingly passionate, will Gustav's hold on the chain grow? And what is so mysterious about him?
I LOVED The Silver Chain, it was very well-written and I was hooked from the beginning pages. I became so involved in the story and what was happening that I found it impossible to put the novel down. I was even sat up late at night racing through the pages because the writing was so addictive to read - I'm now very exhausted from the lack of sleep but it was definitely worth it to devour more of the book!
The characters were very-well developed. I believed in them straight away, they were realistic, true to life, and I was very interested in their lives and the actions that they took. I warmed to Serena straight away, I loved her personality and by the end of the book I felt as though I had known her for years. I particularly liked that both Gustav and Serena had a lot of depth as characters, they both had fascinating backgrounds and many layers to them which began to slowly unravel during the course of the novel. I was very interested in their pasts and eagerly looked forward to learning more about them. Gustav...well he is sexy! Where had my life been without him?! He is mysterious, very sexy and I always wanted to know more about him, he fascinated me. If you are reading this novel make sure you have a cold drink or a fan because like me you'll be left breathless and needing a cool down!
I loved the connection between Serena and Gustav...I could literally feel electricity shooting between them and sparks flying everywhere. I very much enjoyed the build-up of the story, I enjoyed the fact that the plotline wasn't rushed and that Primula Bond took time to build everything up for us, such as the relationship between Serena and Gustav growing stronger throughout the course of the book...the build-up made it so much more enjoyable and gave me something to look forward to. This is a HOT read - but it is so more than that - it is sexy, it is sensual and you'll lose yourself in the words. The descriptions are very well written and the chemistry between them was sizzling. I loved every scene that they were together in and I was always racing through the pages in a frenzy to reach the next part!
I was absolutely captivated by the story of Serena and Gustav, they made me want to read more and I genuinely cared about what happened to them. The Silver Chain is a very intriguing, compelling and addictive story, and once you pick it up, you won't want to put it down. The Silver Chain is sexy, sizzling and it is thrilling...wow! This is a fantastic novel from Primula Bond, and I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series!
on 24 June 2014
This was the third book I had read by this author and I feel this is more of an erotic romance than just straight-forward erotica. At first I wasn’t quite sure what I thought, it seems to start off slowly but by the end I was right there with the characters. I cried, laughed, gasped……and yes got that fun tingly feeling at the ‘sparky’ parts.
The story’s tension builds perfectly, I felt a strong connection to Serena almost immediately, and as the story progresses you really see her character develop. When we first meet Serena she seems fragile and almost innocent….or maybe more naive than innocent, and as the book continues we don’t see her character change we just see more of her that was hidden at the beginning, we get glimpses into why she behaves the way she does. While Gustav’s character seems to be a bundle of contradictions wrapped up in a very controlling package, it is only as the story goes on, we find that he is not at all what he seems, and like Serena is very much a product of his past.
That was one of the things I loved about this book, the characters were very believable, they were so well-developed that you felt they could be people you knew, and as the story progressed you truly wanted to know what happened to them, to find out how their lives continued. I was very glad when I came to the end of The Silver Chain that I already had the second book in the series, because I really wanted to keep reading. If you’re thinking of a purchase would definitely suggest you buy the whole trilogy at the same time.
There will probably be comparisons to the Fifty Shades books, however I feel it is a comparison that does THIS trilogy a disservice; these books are smart, well-written, carefully thought-out, and show a master-slave relationship as a mutual relationship involving trust and respect. I can only hope they become even half as popular.
on 5 May 2014
I received the Silver Chain from Harper Collins (via NetGalley) in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I had not read anything by Primula Bond prior to this book and have to say that she is a great find. It is refreshing to read a book in this genre that is well written with a story line that does not just depend on the sex (although that is very hot!) but is believable and really allows the characters to be more than just one dimensional; giving time for them to develop both separately and together.
Whilst, at the beginning, I thought the way in which Serena and Gustav met was a little unrealistic, once I put that aside I was drawn totally into the story and the relationship as it progresses between Serena and Gustav. The age difference did not matter and Serena is certainly a match for Gustav.
As the story unfolds I was totally enthralled with the love story between Serena and Gustav and could not put the book down wanting to know how it would end. Being the first book in a Trilogy though it was clear that the story would progress to the next book. However, I was not prepared for the ending. What a clever and unexpected twist. I will not explain what happened at the end, any more than giving away the storyline throughout the book. Suffice to say that this a great book and one that lovers of this genre really need to read. I am looking forward to reading the second in the trilogy and discovering just what the author has in store for Serena and Gustav.
on 28 April 2014
A very quick review is, wow, half way through the book I downloaded book 2 and pre-ordered book 3. If you want to know more, then read on.
I can see I have a very different view to majority of people in that I loved the book. I'm glad I read it before I read other reviews so my judgement wasn't clouded.
Gustav and Serena are the main characters and they keep you guessing throughout, the darkness surrounding both of them is almost surreal. I still don't think I understand them completely, they're both closed off and mysterious for different reasons, each of them has so many layers. Crystal and Dickson are also interesting characters, very mysterious and tied into Gustav's past.
Gustav is reserved, doesn't express himself well and doesn't give much away. At first I think he's only interest in her photography is to get to her but as the story continued I understood he appreciated her talent. His ex-wife Margot is gradually explained but we still don't know exactly how the relationship came to end, I'm hoping the next book explains, but, Crystal tells Serena that when he tells her everything about it she will finally be trusted. Serena is just about to ask at the end before her friend Polly and her boyfriend leave us on a cliffhanger at the end of the book. He appears to test Serena's loyalty saying "all the tests I had planned for you, all the ruses to keep you at a distance, you kept overcoming all the obstacles like an Olympic hurdler", Dickson even says so " he's testing your patience, Miss Serena. And your stamina". He's hard to read and often leaves Serena confused and not knowing how she feels "submission, because he's caught me doing something wrong and he's enraged. Relief, because he's here, taking charge. Lust, because there's animal fire in his eyes. Creeping despair, because i don't know who he sees".
Serena is painted as an outwardly innocent woman but with the soul of a siren. I started to picture her as the demonic temptress who appears in 'The Ninth Gate'. Despite the romantic classical descriptions, Serena isn't portrayed as a love struck, naive young woman, she's full of lust, and tells him at one point that she will catch him and get him in bed. She's in touch with her emotions and sexuality and openly expresses herself and her desires to him. He seems to be a desperate and confused soul. After their first night together he immediately becomes closed off, cold and sends her to bed alone.
She has a dark personality with hidden desires. On the train in a full carriage, people talking around her, she plays with herself secretly while imagining Gustav. As she describes the pictures in the gallery opening that she took in a Venetian nunnery, she is excited and we're told how her experience there made her feel, she didn't tell the public at the gallery this but Gustav worked it out, plus, he went through all her property and found the whip she took from the nunnery. When pleasuring herself in his house and no one is around she is excited by a strange man she thinks she sees looking through the window, she enjoys exhibitionism.
Her ex boyfriend Jake says since she left home for London she has turned into a goddess. Gustav and Serena are portrayed as polar opposites throughout.
Serena is described frequently in such classical ways and innocent ways: Rapunzel; a vestal virgin; a mermaid; a woodland nymph; a Grecian goddess; Boadicea; "something Dracula would happily snack on"; "a Hitchcock damsel in distress".
Gustav however is described as dark and dangerous: " a modern-day Dracula"; a wolf; "an assassin lurking...... A rejected love....."; "his stance, the angle of his gaze, is straight out of a film noir publicity still"; like the Godfather. She is warned about him by Crystal and Dickson "you should never play games with him. Either you're with him, or you're against him", "whether you like it or not he'll hunt you down". He sees himself as a bad person too "I'm a monster. You see?..... All I ever do is hurt people".
He says he knows everything, it's more sinister than simple curiosity. He says 'they' went through her possessions, I think he means Dickson and himself as later Dickson finds her childhood diaries and passes them to him. Why is Dickson so loyal and involved in his life? Dickson tells Serena he knows about the passion filled night the had in Switzerland and that it's his job to know everything.
At the end of the book we still don't have an explanation as to how he knows everything that goes on. He calls her a peeping Tom (or Thomissina once he realises who she is) but he is equally nosey. When she arrives in Switzerland he is watching her from afar from his telescope only being given away by the reflection from the lens attracting Dickson. We find out he has cameras in his Mayfair house when he films himself whipping Serena but does he have cameras turned on throughout his properties, is that how he knows what is happening? He discovers she blackmailed the chauffeur into helping her leave Switzerland, but how? It's as if he has eyes everywhere. He needs to know everything about her possibly because he feels he can't trust people after his damaging break up with his ex wife Margot. He paints Margot as and evil temptress who lured him in "like the snow queen of Narnia seduces Edmund with Turkish delight"
He presents her with a bracelet which he locks onto her wrist and when with her, publicly and privately, he attaches a hair think chain between her bracelet and his watch strap, saying it "permanently pulls at us, even when we're at opposite ends of the country". In his Swiss property, she awakes to find he's attached her to a chain so long she can move all through his property. He also uses the chain as a restraint, wrapping it around her or furniture to ties her in place during sex.
She says in the gallery opening it gives her a sense of safety, "seeing him hook me up like that has become matter of fact now. But the instant I'm chained to him, I'm anchored. He's strong, but so am I". but in Switzerland " no longer feels like a safety net.... It's becoming a shackle" and she breaks free from it to escape and get back to London.
He admits that "maybe it was more of a security chain" for him.
She is convinced he is not over his wife and that is confirmed to her even more by the dominatrix paraphernalia and clothing she finds in the attic room and the wall to wall sketches of Margot in the master bedroom in Switzerland, she feels like a "reluctant voyeur in the forbidden room..... a trespasser in Bluebeard's castle", like "a foil, squirming bait to tempt her back, a snippet of solace until he comes to heel".
By the end of the book she is convinced Margot is the past but still doesn't have all the answers. He tells Serena that she's "the only one who can handle me".
The book ends on a frustrating cliffhanger (I suppose that's the point!) and I was not expecting it. Polly's boyfriend is more important to this story than I could have guessed. I'm going to move onto the next book straight away to get answers.
on 23 March 2014
Serena Folkes, who has had an abusive upbringing, leaves her home town and first boyfriend behind for the bright lights and promise of London. On one of her first nights in town, she literarily bumps into
mysterious entrepreneur Gustav Levi. Serena doesn’t know it yet, but this handsome stranger will change her life forever. Gustav promises to launch Serena’s photographic career at his gallery, but only if Serena agrees to become his exclusive companion. To mark their agreement, Gustav gives Serena a bracelet to wear at all times. At first the chain on her wrist represents his control, but later is representative of their growing bond.
The Silver Chain was an interesting book that at first didn't feel like most stories in this genre. Serena's departure from Devon was an obvious place to start the story, but it took a few chapters for me to understand the significance of that first scene. Once in London, the story begins quite slowly as the author lyrically describes what Serena sees through her camera lens on brisk Halloween night. I have to admit that at first, I found it to be boring, but the detail of what Serena captures on film becomes far more interesting later in the story.
Once Serena meets the enigmatic and mysterious Gustav, the story starts to take shape. There is an almost mystical feel to Gustav that would definitely appeal to the young and rather sheltered Serena who is looking to have adventures. Gustav's business arrangement with Serena certainly enables her to experience a more adventurous life.
Among other things, Gustav is an artist and gallery owner. At their first meeting at the gallery, Gustav shows off replicas of erotic frescoes from Pompeii (displayed as a menu of sorts in the city's lupanare (bordello). Given the nature of the proposed business deal, it very much feels like a comparison to the arrangement that Serena is considering with Gustav.
The sensuousness and seductiveness of their relationship is described poetically by Primula Bond. The difficult pasts of both characters are explored as their barriers to a "normal", fulfilling relationship.
There are multiple graphic sex scenes--some of which are rather dark.
Good quality writing and character development, but the pace was too slow.
You could read this book as a stand alone, however, the cliff hanger at the end does provide a tempting hook to the next book in this trilogy (and good news, it is already published so you don't have to wait).
on 5 March 2014
It is hard to review a book like this one ……I’m going to call it a Marmite book….. You are either going to love it of hate it!
This book did take me a while to get through, and I did have to put it down for a for a day or two and then start again from the beginning as I just couldn’t get to grips with all the sometimes unnecessarily over descriptive scenes and sudden changes of scene.
The writing style is quite poetic and sometimes I was gripped by the story other times I was bored. The book wasn’t rushed at all, maybe at times a little slow and even the main male just went missing from the book for a few chapters! To be honest after I finished the book it took me a while to actually get my feelings of it straight……
Having said all that The sliver chain was an ok book, once I got a handle on the Authors style of writing and the characters!
The two main characters were not your typical hottie and wet young girl but an older handsome art entrepreneur called Gustave Levi who has issues from his past to deal with and a strong yet damaged young lady Serena Folkes.
After ditching her horrid and broken life in Devon and moving to London Serena had a random meeting in a small town square at Halloween with Gustave, the connection was made between Gustave and Serena. Gustave gave Serena the big break she was looking for but the deal wasn’t as straight forward as Senna was hoping for…….
Was more a romance than erotic book for me, I also had issues……how long was that chain?! And drinking warm drinks after just falling off a horse…. go to hospital! And although Serena was supposed to be strong I found her quite childish at times.
The books ending did have a good cliffhanger so I will be reading the next book.
Reviewed by Rachel
*** This book was given free for an honest review***
on 13 September 2013
Firstly I'd like to thank the publishers for sending me this eBook to read and give an honest review. The Silver Chain is the first in the Unbreakable Trilogy by Primula Bond who I recently interviewed on Me, My Books and I.
The first few pages indicated that Serena was boarding a train to run away from something or someone, this raised all sorts of questions in my mind which were mostly answered in the following pages. She was attempting to chase her dreams of being a photographer and I really admired her for it.
A meeting on a dark Halloween night was eerie but exciting, I wanted to know more about the intriguing stranger and it was pretty clear that Serena did too. I have to admit that I was surprised by how quickly everything progressed after this but it certainly managed to capture my interest with its fast pace so I suppose it wasn't a bad thing!
For me it got really interesting when the agreement was being discussed (this is the part that fascinates me the most with books of this genre), I was keen to see Serena's reaction to Gustav's demands and enjoyed this crucial scene very much. I also enjoyed the photography side of the story because I felt that it put a different spin on things.
I liked Serena most of the time, she had a difficult upbringing which was gradually revealed throughout the book. Something I particularly enjoyed about her was her wandering mind - she often drifted off into fantasies even in the most inappropriate of places! My opinion of Gustav also varied, I couldn't quite figure him out but I was keen to uncover his secrets because he really intrigued me.
The author has a very atmospheric style of writing and, although it took a little getting used to, I thought it created an almost magical feeling. The author also knows how to write a fabulously teasing cliffhanger - I absolutely couldn't have predicted the twist at the end and now I'm left desperately wondering what happens next!
Warning: The Silver Chain contained strong language and sexual scenes so if you are likely to be offended by this then it probably isn't a book for you.
This was a sexy, intriguing book with a wonderful atmosphere. I look forward to reading more from this author.