Ties That Tether

Berkley. Oct. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9780593101940. pap. $16. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
DEBUT Azere has been caught between two worlds since promising her dying father at age 12 that she would marry a Nigerian Edo man even after her family moved to Toronto, Canada. She wants to honor her culture and her family’s wishes, even if it means reluctantly agreeing to go on a string of terrible dates with men her mother has carefully selected for her. After an awful evening with one of her mother’s picks, Azere finds consolation in the form of a handsome stranger at the bar. Azere knows that anything other than a one-night stand with Rafael is impossible since he isn’t the man her family dreams of. When an unexpected circumstance intertwines Rafael and Azere together forever, Azere faces the decision of continuing to honor her parents’ wishes even if it means sacrificing her own happiness.
VERDICT Igharo’s debut beautifully depicts the tension between self-determination and the desire to live up to family expectations. Favorite tropes such as a secret baby and a love triangle are reimagined through clever and heart-warming storytelling. Readers will be rooting for Azere from the very first page. [See “A Full Fall,” p. 16 ff.]
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