Friday, August 30, 2013


TIES by Liz Reinhardt and Steph Campbell:

Ties is a companion book in the Lengths series NOT a sequel. It was written as a stand-alone title. The other books do not need to be read prior to Ties in order to follow the story.

When a shiny new convertible arrives for her twenty-first birthday, Hattie Beckett has had enough of her absent dad trying to buy a place in her life. It’s time for him to face her--or get out of her life forever. 

She tosses some clothes in a bag, looks up her father’s last known address, and sets her GPS for Silver Stand, California.

When she arrives at a beach-bum paradise that’s totally foreign to her New England upbringing and finds nothing but an empty lot where her dad maybe once lived, her immediate instinct is to pack up her car and head right back to Connecticut.

But she also finds... Deo. The half-brother she never knew she had. He and his hippy-dippy mom insist that Hattie stick around—at least for the summer. And with all of her friends spending the summer abroad, what else does she have to do? 

Her ideas about family are blown wide open as Deo and Marigold pull her in with their charm and love. But there’s still a huge question mark where her dad is concerned, and that question mark definitely looms over her ideas about love and relationships. 

When Hattie meets Ryan, the college dropout turned competitive sailor, her perspective flips with her heart. Like it or not, Hattie is falling fast and hard for Ryan... even if it’s the last thing that she expected - and the last thing her newly found brother wants for her.

Our Review:
I thought this novel moved very swiftly, so if you are looking for a quick read with dual pov's, this might be a good book for you! It starts with an introduction to our protagonist, Hattie Beckett, and all of her quirky ways. I'm not sure if 'uptight' is quite descriptive enough to describe how tightly wound this woman is. She is so focused on everything going as planned that she's completely lost sight of how to cut loose and relax a little. You can imagine, then, how surprised everyone is when she decides to leave the East Coast to hunt down her father in California. You see, she's supremely pissed off with him and his extravagant gifts and his less than zero interest in actually knowing her. So she takes a summer road trip to confront him and what she gets in return is a summer full of family and love.

Yes, Hattie is a very difficult girl to get to know and like. Really, really difficult. I still am not 110% sure how I feel about her, but I loved the premise of the story. She is twenty one years old and has never met her father. I thought it was very brave of her to drive cross-country to meet him and confront him for trying to basically buy her love...and obviously things don't work out quite like she planned. And boy, does she love her plans.

When she arrives in California she is quickly enveloped into her brother's family and soon discovers what belonging to a family means. She's invited and expected to attend lots of family functions and gatherings and Deo (her brother) and all of his friends immediately take her in as one of them. It's on one particular outing with a new friend that she meets Ryan Bryne. 

I have to say, that while the story with Ryan is really really forefront and important the things I loved about this book the most are the secondary characters of Deo, Grandpa, Whit, Gen, Deo's mother, and Ryan's mom and brother. (His brother is seriously funny, over the top and fantastic..I really liked a lot of his advice no matter how flawed.) The families in this book were tight knit and together all of the time (a lot like my own) and for someone like Hattie that was hard to adjust to since it had always just been mostly her and her mom. 

Ryan is this super sweet, reformed manwhore who is determined to do what he loves (in this case sailing). He has a free and loving spirit and couldn't be more different than Hattie if he tried. So of course, the sparks and clothes start flying very soon after they meet. Haha! The more he tries to foster a deeper connection with her, the more she tries to push him away because he doesn't fit the plan she has in mind for her future. (So frustrating to him..and me!) To his credit, he keeps trying and trying to be a 'good' guy and to show her that it's okay to deviate from plans and rules. He had the patience of a saint; he had to because she was so obstinate about her plan and rules.

Ryan. Just simply poor Ryan. I admire his persistence but sometimes wanted to tell him to move on from this one. Hattie reserved all of her poisonous words for him and I didn't get why she was so awful to him. 

Ryan was my favorite in this book. I had a hard time connecting with Hattie, even though by the end I had a better understanding of why she was so cruel to Ryan, I just didn't like her. She seemed so judgmental and inflexible even when everything and everyone was telling her to give this thing with Ryan a chance. I think she redeemed herself at the end but it was a long time coming. I definitely have to credit the writers for creating a female character that evoked such a strong reaction from me because she definitely got under my skin.

Yes! As things go on it becomes more clear why she is the way she is, but it was almost too late when this information was revealed to us. Almost. I usually try my damndest to withhold true judgement on characters until the very end and try to connect with them (because for us, they become like friends...and I don't want to not like them). It was a success, and especially satisfying when Ryan starts standing up for himself. 

The epilogue finished things off nicely but I can see that there is room for these two to develop into another book, if the authors were so inclined. Yep. Although, if these two appeared in a continuation of a story featuring Ryan's brother I wouldn't be opposed to that as well! 

Shelley: 3 Stars
Courtney: 3 Stars

Author Bios:
Steph Campbell grew up in Southern California, but now calls Southwest Louisiana home. She has one husband, four children and a serious nail polish obsession.

Steph's works include Delicate, Grounding Quinn and Beautiful Things Never Last; My Heart for Yours and My Fate for Yours (with Jolene Perry); A Toast to the Good Times (with Liz Reinhardt) and the bestselling new adult LENGTHS series with Liz Reinhardt: Lengths, Depths, Limits, Ties & Riptides.

Liz Reinhardt was born and raised in the idyllic beauty of northwest NJ. A move to the subtropics of coastal Georgia with her daughter and husband left her with a newly realized taste for the beach and a bloated sunscreen budget. Right alongside these new loves is her old, steadfast affection and longing for bagels and the fast-talking foul mouths of her youth.

She loves Raisinettes, even if they aren't really candy, the Oxford comma, movies that are hilarious or feature zombies, any and all books, but especially romance (the smarter and hotter, the better), the sound of her daughter's incessantly wise and entertaining chatter, and watching her husband work on cars in the driveway.

She is the author of the Brenna Blixen series (Double Clutch, Junk Miles, Slow Twitch), the Youngblood series (Fall Guy, Perfectly Unmatched), and co-writes with the awesome Steph Campbell in the Lengths series (Lengths, Depths, Limits, Ties, Riptides).

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