Release Date: June 21, 2018
Cover Design: Wicked by Design
With a history like ours, the meaning of the word family tended to tangle into something unrecognizable. DNA and bloodlines didn’t tie us together, and neither did our last names. Various shades of grey blurred the branches of our twisted family tree.
I wasn’t her brother.
They weren’t my parents.
Not that it mattered…
She was off limits.
Portia was my friend.
Then my foster sister.
And she’d always be the love of my life.
This forbidden love story gave me much more of an emotional punch than I was expecting. Being foster siblings was not the only thing keeping Jude and Portia from being a couple. They also had their own individual struggles to deal with, especially Jude and this book reads like a coming of age story as we see these characters undergo personal growth throughout these pages.
Jude and Portia meet as kids when they end up with the same foster parents for very different reasons. While Portia grows up with these foster parents, Jude actually comes and goes during his childhood depending on how well his mother is able to care for him at any given time. Regardless, they stay very close to each other even when they don’t live together. In that sense, I didn’t think this book was that forbidden. While people regarded them as siblings sometimes, these two were more like friends who fell in love. Mind you though, I do read a lot of forbidden, so maybe that’s why this one didn’t phase me that much.
We do get the sexual tension and excitement when they hide their relationship from their foster parents and they were quite bold with the risks they took. Their relationship had the added strain of Portia being a year older and away at college while Jude was still at home in high school. As an immature adolescent dealing with grief, Jude struggled with Portia being away and meeting new friends, especially guys.
I loved how the author took us on a journey of seeing these characters mature before they were able to find their HEA. The issues of grief were dealt with very well and I felt like I experienced everything with Jude. His pain and anguish and then his anxiety as he waited on Portia to come to him. I loved his character so much and what an amazing experience watching him grow from boy to man. This was definitely a unique romance story with a taste of the forbidden that I would recommend.
Heat Level: Mild to Moderate
*ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review
$15 Amazon Gift Card & Signed Paperback of Family Ties
About the Author
Bestselling author, Stephie Walls is a lover of words—the more poetic the better. She lives on the outskirts of Greenville, South Carolina in her own veritable zoo with two dogs, three cats, the Mister, and Magoo (in no preferential order). She would thrive on coffee, books, and Charlie Hunnam if it were possible, but since it’s not, add in some Chinese food or sushi and she’s one happy girl.
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