Guest Review by Dr Clare Horrocks
I was sent this book as part of a bundle to review for Kelly, to catch up on a delicious backlog of books requiring review. What a fantastic job! Inside the book was a personalised letter from the author explaining how the book had been conceived, apologising that it has been reviewed as Erotic Fiction but to try and enjoy the narrative of the book too. At this point, I really did wonder what Kelly had sent me!! However, it was so much more and really is a good example of not judging a book by its cover or indeed its genre!
The book was described by The Wishing Shelf Books Awards as a “romantic thriller” and I think that is certainly a more apt description. Behind the romance of Alex and Gabriel is a mafia-style whodunit that weaves its way through the evolving romance of the two main characters. The characterisation is rich and the characters very likeable. Whilst the sex scenes are very detailed, they are tastefully accomplished however I really don’t think the novel needed them to develop the narrative. I have seen this before in other writers where their early works are full of sex but as they become established as a writer they concentrate more on the main plot. I feel like this is true for Chissick. At 479 pages it is a long book, pruning some of the sex scenes would not have detracted from the pace of the thriller and would still have left a sizeable book to challenge and engage its readers.
The Italian-American Mafia-style narrative would appeal to readers of Puzo’s The Godfather but the romance part softens the harder edges of the more familiar Mafia plot. The violence in the novel is not gratuitous and works well with the Romance thread of the story. I’m really trying hard not to give anything away, so I will conclude by saying, give it a go, it really will surprise you!
Back of the Book
Alexandra Dinapoli has everything she could ever wish for, except what she really wants. Leaving her family behind, she heads for New York City and starts on a journey to make her own way in the word. Whilst there, she bumps into Gabriel Harland, an enigmatic Chief Assistant District Attorney with whom she begins a love affair that is cruelly cut short when someone from her past surfaces in Gabriel’s life. Will their relationship be worth fighting for or will the truth tear them apart? Join Alexandra on her journey as she discovers the tenderness of new love, the sorrow of losing someone close, the pulse racing suspense of running from the past, the anger of not being in control and the admission that some sacrifices have to be made for the sake of others. Ties That Bind is a story of love and life, light and shade, a story told from both sides.