Ties That Bind by Heather Huffman



About Ties that Bind (from Amazon):

Author Heather Huffman delivers a romantic comedy of friendship, love and family ties in this vibrant city adventure as a fiercely independent yet vulnerable woman with a weakness for shoes – and sexy British accents – forges a new path that will leave her forever changed.

Kate Yager never had a father, and she never minded – until her mom died. Now, acting on the name called out on her mother’s deathbed, Kate has moved to San Francisco and gotten herself hired by the man she suspects to be her dad. As if a new job, new apartment, and new parent weren’t enough, Kate finds herself head-over-heels in lust with a complete stranger she met at an art show. A stranger who, she later finds out, happens to work in her office.

As her relationships with her friends and father grow stronger, Kate has to confront the decisions of her past to find out whether she can love the man who gave her up, love the man who loves her truly, and even whether she can love herself.

About Heather Huffman (from Amazon):

Heather Huffman lives in Missouri with her husband and their three sons. In addition to writing, she enjoys spending time with their growing alpaca herd, the family horse, and their pack of rescued dogs. A firm believer that life is more than the act of taking up air, Heather is always on the lookout for an adventure that will become fodder for the next novel.

You can connect with her on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

My Review:

I give Ties that Bind by Heather Huffman 4 out of 5 stars.

I love me some chick lit.

I’ll be honest: I picked out this book as part of my Booktrope #PreFunk haul because of the cover.  Aren’t those purple heels to die for? And I don’t even wear heels… I mean, I read the synopsis before I downloaded it, of course, but my mind was already made up.

I settled into Kate Yager’s story with a bowl of ice cream late on Saturday night after watching Down with Love (with Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor), and finished it late last night. I would have read straight through if I could have, but … sleep. And church. And the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. (Yes, I am most definitely in a mood.)

Anyway, I really enjoyed Kate’s struggle as she gets to know new friends, a love interest, and her estranged father.

There are certain character clichés in chick lit, but I found the characters were unexpected and refreshing. For example, Kate’s stepmother encourages her relationship with her newly-found father, although she is only slightly older than Kate, and she’s an artist, not some trophy wife.  Kate’s two new friends, Jessica and Liz, are beautiful and successful, but not at all catty or threatened by her. Even Kate’s father didn’t respond how I thought he would upon learning Kate is his daughter.

I loved the chemistry between Kate and Gavin, but then I’m a sucker for great chemistry. (See Down with Love and Pride and Prejudice.) I like when there’s tension over whether or not a couple will get together and stay together, and Huffman certainly delivers that. Although it was never expressly mentioned, and there were many “near misses”, Kate and Gavin practiced abstinence until marriage, or at least, that’s the vibe I got. Please don’t get me wrong: I’m the biggest proponent of waiting until marriage, but…I didn’t understand it for these characters. At first, they talked about taking things slow physically, and the next thing I understood (much, much later in the story) was that they were waiting for their wedding. I wanted to understand why they were waiting – what values prompted that decision? Granted, the “near misses” were entertaining and heightened the tension.

Huffman also knows just when to end a chapter. Saturday night, I found myself saying, “Just one more chapter,” way too many times, and she works in a suspenseful, serious element into the mix as well.

If you’re in the mood for a some good chick lit, I highly recommend Ties that Bind with a bowl of ice cream. Or chocolate. Or a glass of wine. Or whatever your poison is. It’s a fun story.

Full Disclosure: Heather Huffman is my managing director at Vox Dei Publishing. This review was not solicited or coerced, and contains my unadulterated opinion.