The other day someone asked me about the Bound series and the reading order. They wanted to know if they could just read the books in any particular order.
While that's doable (reading the books out of order) there is a risk of spoilers and getting confused about the events.
I try to write my stories in sequence, meaning that generally book 1 is written before book 2, etc and so the activities in book 1 precede the events in book 2, and so on.
However, that's not always the case. The muse does it's own thing sometimes.
For example, while I had the original story idea for Bound to Fate back in 2010 (It was actually a novella I posted online in December 2010. Some of you may remember the story, Reunited), the first story in the series to be signed by a publisher was Bound to Passion (published as Island Bound in 2013 by Decadent Publishing).
So Joshua and Christy Inemi-Spiff who appear throughout the rest of the Bound series were the first fully formed characters.
And next to become loud in my mind were Henry and Gloria. But I couldn't write their story without revisiting the series 'origin' story which meant starting with and thoroughly revising Ike's and Lara's story. Their journey to love is the foundation of the series, because if what happened didn't happen in Bound to Fate, Henry and Gloria would not have happened in Bound to Ransom.
Those who read Bound to Fate first understand how crucial it is to fully establish Henry's and especially Gloria's character development arc. If you read those two stories out of sequence, you miss out on the nuances and won't understand why the characters behave the way they did.
So we've established:
You have to read Bound to Fate (book 1) before you read Bound to Ransom (book 2).
Bound to Passion (book 3) is a floating book, so does not disrupt the sequencing, Can be read at any point in the series.
Now onto book 4, Bound to Favor. This introduces more Danladi family members and the main story takes place after the end of Bound to Ransom. In fact, it is triggered by a key event in Henry's and Gloria's lives. So highly recommended that you read Bound to Ransom before you read Bound to Favor. Also, it's the story that introduced Ethan to the series, so read it before book 5.
As for book 5, Bound to Liberty. This is James's story and we first meet him in book 2, where he played a crucial role in Henry's and Gloria's lives. Also a lot of his back story is grounded in book 2. We also see him again book 4 as we explore more of his relationship with the Danladis. So my recommendation is to read all the previous books before you read this one.
So Bound series reading order:
1. Bound to Fate (This book is free to download as eBook so there's no reason you shouldn't read it first)
Main characters: Ike Thomas, Lara Johnson.
Key secondary characters: Henry, Gloria, Dr Jocelyn, Ada, Christy, Malcolm
Timeline spans five years
Main characters: Henry Coker, Gloria Rawlins
Key secondary characters: Ike, James, Dr Jocelyn, Christy, Joshua, Jibril, Musa
Honourable mentions: Mrs Coker Snr, Kola Banks, Faiza, Amina, Aisha
Timeline spans two years. Start of chapter one happens two years after end of book 1
Main characters: Joshua and Christy Inemi-Spiff
Key secondary characters: Gloria, Mrs Godson
Honorable mentions: Ike
Main characters: Ebun Forson, Kamali Danladi
Key secondary characters: Henry, Ike, Gloria, Dr Jocelyn, Ethan, Tunji, Mrs Danladi Snr
Honorable mentions: Ada, Christy, Joshua, Lara, Fahima, Yasmin, Laila, Fari, Musa, Ify, Kezie and Gozie
Timeline spans six months. Start of chapter one happens a few weeks after the end of book 2.
Main characters: James Coker, Ethan Eze
Key secondary characters: Kezie, Henry, Gloria, Dr Jocelyn, Kamali, Ebun, Malik, Jibril, Musa, Mrs Coker Snr
Honorable mentions: Gozie, Damola, TJ, Seun, Funke, Lota, Christy, Joshua, Ify, Lara, Ike
Timeline spans six months. Start of chapter one happens one year after the end of book 4.
As you can see, a lot of the characters in the Bound Series Universe feature across most if not all of the stories.
There are familiar locations like Reams restaurant (from the Essien series) which features in Bound to Ransom and Bound to Favor.
Also I love when characters cross series to make cameo appearances, like Kola Banks (Essien series) showing up in Bound to Ransom and Ethan Eze (Bound to Liberty) making an appearance in Freddie Entangled (Essien series).
If you're still wondering why you should read this series; Bound series introduced the world to the Danladis, the family who put the 'dys' into dysfunctional.
Yet, unconditional love blooms amongst the chaos and each story's happy-ever-after is worth the fight to get there.
The books are available as eBooks, paperbacks and audiobooks.
There are two more planned stories in the series:
Bound to Sin - Malik Danladi's story
Bound to Bliss - Dr Jocelyn's story
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CHARACTER FROM THE SERIES?