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.
For as HUGE of a fan as I am of Steph and Liz, Ties would be my least fave of the bunch. But that’s not bad because I still totally dug the story. They can’t all tie for first. Ha. See what I did there?
Honestly, though, my thought on this just comes from disconnect with Hattie. I tried, many times, to relate to her, and I just wanted her to be nicer. I could understand wanting a plan, and sticking to that plan (hello, my name is Madison and I’m extremely Type A), but more than that, she just always felt kinda mean girl to me. I loved Ryan. Totally reminded me of Jake Kelly (Yay, Team Jake!). And really, Hattie was kind of a bitchier Brenna. I knew Hattie meant well, but I just thought she shouldn’t have been quite so hard on Ryan. And damn, Ryan, grow a pair. He sort of let her walk all over him. Ryan … Whit … Ryan … Hattie … whoa. Added a whole other complication to the story, and I totally liked it! :)
Anyway, in terms of the story, the relationship between Hattie and Ryan gave me an ulcer. They were hot. Then cold. Then HOT. Ryan was hot. Is hot. Yum! It was great to see so many of my favorite other characters: Gen, Deo, Whit, Marigold! I loved how they helped Hattie on her journey, and provided plenty of advice, but also different challenges. She really grew up a lot on her trip, and I think, overall, she became stronger, but also softened.
Okay, well in all my verbosity, my point is this: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The writing was great, as usual, and the relationships were well-developed, and while Hattie drove me bananas, she was believable. More so than probably most fictional characters. And that’s a reason I like reading so much. You don’t have to like or relate to every character. Why would you want to? Part of reading is getting outside yourself … so I prefer to be challenged. Hattie did that for me. She made me want to figure out what the hell was up her butt! :)
Reading these characters makes you feel like you belong in this totally rad extended family. It’s like reading a perfect rom-com. Everyone has their place in the group, and adding Hattie and Ryan to this mix was no different. It added another dimension, which I thought was great. So technically, this isn’t a ‘sequel’ in the series, rather a companion—but really, just read the whole damn series. There’s no reason not to. They’re all fabulous.
I’m super stoked to read Enzo’s novella next … and to figure out the mystery as to why it’s a novella!
25 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT LIZ REINHARDT!
“I made my mistakes,” I grit out, tired of defending what I did. It’s been a full year, and I’ve changed my ways completely, but no one seems to notice. “But here’s where you and I are different: if Megan had let me, I would have done everything for her. Anything for her.
Sure, I slept around, I never committed. But it was because none of them were Megan. I was trying to get over the girl I loved. You had your shot with Jen, and you blew it.”
“I’m gonna remember how much better you make me feel next time I’m spiraling into a drunk depression.” Tommy tries to catch the bartender’s attention, but it’s not that easy, now that the place is getting packed.
“Do that. You know, I have better shit to do with my nights than listen to you feel sorry for yourself because you screwed up.” I stand up to go, and Tommy grabs my arm.
“How did you know? With Megan? How did you know she was the one?”
His grip on my arm is tight, and, even though his words slur a little, his eyes are intense.
“I didn’t know shit, Tommy. Megan broke my heart.” I clap him on the back. “Forget what I said. Next time you need to drink with an asshole who knows nothing about being in love, give me a call. Maybe it’s a family curse.”
Tommy nods slowly. “The Byrne men struggle with soft hearts and enormous wangs. It’s our cross to bear.”
Several girls swivel around to see who could have said something so crass, but Tommy’s goofy smile has most of them laughing and shaking their heads and a few edging closer. I have a feeling my little brother won’t be nursing his broken heart alone tonight.
“Take a cab home,” I say. “And remember your parachute.” I notice a girl with a tiny little animal print dress and way too much makeup sauntering over to Tommy’s side.
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).