Thanks for joining me on my blog tour stop for Jane Igharo's Ties that Tether!
(For an #ownvoices review, you might check out Jite’s @now_booking. She's one of my favorite reviewers & I appreciated her insights on this book in particular.)
One night Azere Izoduwa acts impulsively & has a one night stand with a handsome stranger. Then she learns that said stranger is her new co-worker. *Then* she learns that she’s pregnant & she’ll have to inform her Nigerian mother (of Edo heritage), a woman who strictly upholds the traditions & behaviors of their old village & demands that Azere do the same, that the father of her illegitimate child is white.
Jane Igharo’s Ties that Tether compellingly & thoughtfully considers Azere’s predicament: after having immigrated to Canada when she was 12, she’s tried to take on aspects of Canadian life & culture while also respecting & honoring her Nigerian history & culture, the latter of which often seems to necessitate that she act in specific ways her parents dictate.
Not only does she feel a need to have her mother’s approval; Azere lives with the deathbed promise she made to her father, to not marry a white man. To make her life & family with an Edo man.
But against these pressures & wants Azere weighs her attraction toward the father of her baby, Rafael Castellano, who grows more enticing.
I really enjoyed this book, how Igharo portrays Azere’s conflict between her family, her own fears about the erasure of Edo culture from her life, & her feelings for Rafael. Also lovely? Writing a hero & heroine who are imperfect but who respect one another, who offer forgiveness & grace to each other.
I was a little less enamored with how quickly their feelings seem to develop for the other, his deception plotline, & a love triangle aspect of the plot which detracts somewhat from the central romance arc for me—although it is nicely related to Azere’s internal conflict.
All things considered, I really enjoyed this debut. Sensitive heroes, sensitively rendered conflicts, characters who grow, plus some steam=a giant yes please.
a difficult labor, including a placenta complication.
3.5⭐️. Ties that Tether is out today. Thanks to Berkley Publishing & Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Adriana Herrera is becoming one of my fave contemporary romance authors. Her books sweep me off my feet & the hero of her upcoming release Here to Stay is so heart-grabbing, the heroine so inspiring, that I wanted more than one Epilogue. Or for the Epilogue to be longer. I just wanted more .
Julia del Mar Ortiz is very close to her family but she moved to Dallas from NY so that she could support her boyfriend. & then he broke up with her.
In the time since she’s thrown herself into her rewarding job as Program Director for the philanthropic arm of a major department store. Now she wants to make friends, specifically with other former NYers in her work orbit.
Unfortunately that includes Rocco Quinn, the gorgeous analyst who’s come to assess her company & determine what can be jettisoned before it goes public.
As Julia discovers, Rocco is secretly a big mushy marshmallow. Despite his confidence & sometimes performance of confidence, she notes that he’s also occasionally shy, uncomfortable, etc & in each of those moments my heart is as touched as hers. Rocco’s never had someone take care of him the way that he feels compelled to take care of others (cue the tears ).
And Julia is fantastic. She’s brave, confident, into fashion, & as she reveals to Rocco, passionate about her role in providing safe spaces for children who are undocumented immigrants and/or have parents who are. Throughout the romance Julia has to learn how to negotiate fighting for herself & making a potential compromise for a beloved.
I kinda wanted more specific introspection on the ethicality of them pursuing a relationship when so much is on the line, but otherwise their relationship plays out beautifully. There’s a lot of yearning, a lovely slow burn, & it’s ultimately super sexy.
Add to all of this a nuanced & often loving portrayal of family life (especially Julia’s Dominican mother & Puerto Rican father), humor, & shared bonding over Queens, & Here to Stay gives me nearly everything I could ask for.
Here to Stay is out on 08/25. Thanks to @harlequinpublicityteam & Netgalley for my complimentary copies of the book; all opinions provided my own.
Give me that HEA, please.
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