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The Ties That Bind

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When my twin brother Jayce orders a hit on Arabella Wilson—the daughter of our family’s greatest rival—I have no choice but to obey. Or so I let him think. But Arabella isn’t just the enemy … she’s also the only woman I’ve ever loved. Unfortunately, the longer I delay in carrying out Jayce’s orders, the more erratic he becomes. And then he issues the one ultimatum I can’t When my twin brother Jayce orders a hit on Arabella Wilson—the daughter of our family’s greatest rival—I have no choice but to obey. Or so I let him think. But Arabella isn’t just the enemy … she’s also the only woman I’ve ever loved. Unfortunately, the longer I delay in carrying out Jayce’s orders, the more erratic he becomes. And then he issues the one ultimatum I can’t ignore: either I kill Arabella or he kills me. Since that isn’t how my story ends, I have a choice to make. Who lives, and who dies? Will it be my brother or my lover … my darkness or my light?


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When my twin brother Jayce orders a hit on Arabella Wilson—the daughter of our family’s greatest rival—I have no choice but to obey. Or so I let him think. But Arabella isn’t just the enemy … she’s also the only woman I’ve ever loved. Unfortunately, the longer I delay in carrying out Jayce’s orders, the more erratic he becomes. And then he issues the one ultimatum I can’t When my twin brother Jayce orders a hit on Arabella Wilson—the daughter of our family’s greatest rival—I have no choice but to obey. Or so I let him think. But Arabella isn’t just the enemy … she’s also the only woman I’ve ever loved. Unfortunately, the longer I delay in carrying out Jayce’s orders, the more erratic he becomes. And then he issues the one ultimatum I can’t ignore: either I kill Arabella or he kills me. Since that isn’t how my story ends, I have a choice to make. Who lives, and who dies? Will it be my brother or my lover … my darkness or my light?

30 review for The Ties That Bind

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lady Heather

    **COVER REVEAL** The book will go live on Tuesday, February 15 for sale everywhere for $0.99 for two weeks. After that, it will be pulled from iBooks, Nook, and Kobo and offered for sale exclusively through Amazon at $2.99, with it also available for free download for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. Synopsis An eye for an eye. A heart for a heart. My name is Xander St. John and I have two jobs: protect my brother Jayce - with my life, if necessary - and take out the family's enemies before **COVER REVEAL** The book will go live on Tuesday, February 15 for sale everywhere for $0.99 for two weeks. After that, it will be pulled from iBooks, Nook, and Kobo and offered for sale exclusively through Amazon at $2.99, with it also available for free download for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. Synopsis An eye for an eye. A heart for a heart. My name is Xander St. John and I have two jobs: protect my brother Jayce - with my life, if necessary - and take out the family's enemies before they can strike first. It's a job I excel at too until Jayce gave me the one directive I could never carry out: murder Arabella Wilson, the only woman I've ever loved, the one who destroyed me years ago. But that wasn't all. If I defied him, Jayce would have me killed too. So now I have a choice to make - who lives and who dies? Both Jayce and Arabella are my enemies, yet each such an ingrained part of my soul that if I lose either, a part of me will die right along with them. So what will it be? My twin or my lover? My darkness or my light? Excerpt "These violent delights have violent ends And in their triumph die, like fire and powder, Which, as they kiss, consume. The sweetest honey Is loathsome in his own deliciousness And in the taste confounds the appetite." -ROMEO & JULIET I camped out in that hotel room for two whole days waiting for Arabella to call. When I finally accepted she wasn’t going to, I packed up what little I’d brought and left. Lost in my thoughts, I took to the highway and flipped on the radio. I let the inane chatter of the station’s DJs wash over me until an hour later, sick of the noise, I flipped it off and let my mind wander back to happier times … back to before, I’d lost my brother to his demons … before Arabella had ripped my heart in two and shoved it down my fucking throat. Everyone thought I was made of ice and steel, incapable of feeling, but that wasn’t true at all. The problem was I felt too damn much and so I’d learned to hide my emotions, push them down deep where they’d never see the light of day. Where I couldn’t be hurt ever again. Where the blackness of my soul would suffocate the boy I’d been, the man I wished I could be if only things had been different. I’d once been a bright and happy kid, full of promise and hope for the future. But that boy was long gone and in its place existed a hardened warrior, numb to everything. Or so I thought until I heard her name and a spark of something pure and untainted flared back to life inside of me, casting light on the hollows of my cold, black heart. I’d taken a major highway, anxious to get back to Chicago, so I couldn’t be certain I was being tailed, but something about the distance another driver coasted behind me—far enough so that I couldn’t make him out, but close enough that I couldn’t lose him either—had the hairs on the back of my neck standing at attention. Ever so gently, I pressed my foot to the gas pedal and increased my speed. It wasn’t a lot, but if the car behind me also sped up and maintained the same safe distance, my suspicions would be confirmed. When the speedometer hit 80 mph, I glanced into the rearview mirror. Okay, definitely following me. This was where other men might get nervous or fear for their safety, but not me. Keeping my eyes trained on the road ahead and my left hand steady on the steering wheel, I leaned across the dash and opened the glove compartment to retrieve my gun. I flipped my wrist and the barrel came open, showing a full chamber—exactly the way I liked it. A pistol wouldn’t be much if the guy behind me decided to open fire with an assault rifle, but up close and personal it’d get the job done. Scanning the horizon, I located a sign ahead for the next exit. I slowed my speed and took the off-ramp toward a 24-hour truck stop. Instead of pulling in—I didn’t need witnesses to what was about to happen—I coasted by and checked out my surroundings. In my mirror I watched as the car sailed along behind me, coming closer and closer the further away from civilization I took us. This late-model Buick I was driving could never outrun a shiny new Mustang, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t take the fucker on a wild ride while I tried to gain some advantage. Flooring the gas pedal, the sedan’s wheels squealed for a split second before the tires finally gained purchase and I rocketed forward. For thirty seconds I pushed the vehicle to its limits and when I knew it had given everything it's had to offer, I slammed on the breaks and twisted the wheel to the left, sending me into a wide spin until I stopped, blocking the path of the oncoming Mustang. The smoke from my tires obscuring my position, I slid across the bench seat and out the passenger side door where I crouched and listened. Where I waited. I expected bullets to rain down any second, but for the time being, things were at a standstill. All I heard was the steady thrum of the car’s engine, its 420 horses leashed and calm. Carefully, I settled into a position that kept my body mostly protected but allowed me to see over the tail end of the vehicle. The Mustang idled about 25 feet away. For several long, tense seconds the other driver and I stared each other down across the smoky divide. Finally, the driver cut his engine and, raising his hands in the air to show he was unarmed, moved to exit. I cocked my gun and waited, my finger on the trigger. Better safe than sorry, I always say. The door opened slowly and the driver stepped out from behind the safety of the door and walked around to the front. There, my assailant leaned against the hood of the car, arms folded, a knowing smirk staring back at me. As if they had no need to fear me. They didn’t of course. Rising from my crouched position, I smirked back and engaged the gun’s safety. “Hello, Arabella.” THE TIES THAT BIND PRE-ORDER LINKS Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ie/en/ebook/the-... Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-t... iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id12... Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ties-That-Bind... About the Author Rebecca writes steamy contemporary romance featuring smart, lovable heroines and the men who adore them. She lives in Dublin, Ireland and is obsessed with travel, craft beer, whiskey, and rugby. Website: http://www.rebeccanorinne.com Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rebecca_norinne Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRebecc... Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/author_rebec... Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rebeccanori... My thoughts Loved this fast paced, well written forbidden love story. Full review to be posted closer to release date. "A copy of this book has been provided by the author in exchange for an honest review"

  2. 5 out of 5

    EpicRomanceReviews

    "You're mine and I’m yours and the rest of the world be damned." THE TIES THAT BIND by Rebecca Norinne was a DYNAMITE read!! This Romeo & Juliet based romantic thriller about two lovers caught in the feud between two warring crime families was chock full of so much delicious drama--Forbidden love. Hate. Revenge. Intrigue. Scorching lust--and I was a captive audience throughout! Years ago, when he was 18, Xander, the enforcer for the St. John crime family, fell head over heels for Arabella Wils "You're mine and I’m yours and the rest of the world be damned." THE TIES THAT BIND by Rebecca Norinne was a DYNAMITE read!! This Romeo & Juliet based romantic thriller about two lovers caught in the feud between two warring crime families was chock full of so much delicious drama--Forbidden love. Hate. Revenge. Intrigue. Scorching lust--and I was a captive audience throughout! Years ago, when he was 18, Xander, the enforcer for the St. John crime family, fell head over heels for Arabella Wilson, the only daughter of his family's biggest rival. Sparks flew immediately between them and they embarked on a clandestine love affair that ended in utter heartbreak. In the ensuing years, the vicious battle raging between their families has escalated and he has stepped into his rightful place as as second in command to his brother, who was the heir apparent to inherit the vast family fortune. "Jayce wasn’t just my brother, he was also my boss and he was out for blood. Specifically—and quite literally—Wilson blood. Which was where I came in. Our families had been at each other’s throats for so long, I couldn’t tell you how the feud had begun. Actually, that wasn’t true. You weren’t born into the St. John or the Wilson families without learning from a very young age why the other was your mortal enemy." Ever since he lost his beloved Arabella, Xander has been consumed with revenge and has been on his own personal quest to destroy her family to exact payment for everything that was stolen from him. But revenge has left him more bereft and soulless than ever and when his twin, Jayce, coldly orders him to put a hit out on Arabella, his traitorous heart rebels! Xavier is now between a rock and a hard place. Either he does his brother's bidding and kills their enemy's daughter, or defies Jayce's orders to spare his truelove's life and incurs his dastardly sibling's lethal wrath. Decisions...decisions!! But first he must track Arabella down and when they finally come face to face after all their years apart, a volatile Arabella is nothing like the sweet girl he'd once fallen desperately in love with. Tragedy has dimmed her light, and erected a hard, seemingly impenetrable shell around her heart. Now the head of her crime family, "Arabella Wilson was no longer the daughter of my biggest enemy. She WAS the enemy." But one thing has not changed. The red-hot passion that threatens to incinerate them both! Xavier and Arabella's gravitational pull toward each other is more powerful than ever, and while he's supposed to hate her, he just … can’t. Because he SEES his own pain and anguish reflected back at him every time he gazes into her beautiful eyes. FEELS her fiery, aching desire every time he kisses her luscious lips. SENSES the beautiful, kind-hearted woman he's always yearned for clamoring to be liberated from the anger, pain and sorrow that imprisons her. And in the end, there is no decision to be made. Xavier will do anything, risk it ALL, for the woman who inflames his heart and soul...even if it entails sacrificing his own brother in the process! Wow! This enemies-to-lovers novella may be relatively short in length but it sure is not in short supply of sizzling romance and edge-of-your-seat drama! Told exclusively via the hero's POV, Rebecca Norinne weaves an exciting romantic suspense tale, loosely based around the timeless Shakespearean play, that packs quite an whallop! The action-packed plot unfolds at a breakneck pace and the volatile chemistry between Xavier and his "Juliet" is absolutely smoldering! In fact, there is so much searing emotion and crackling electricity between them you can literally FEEL the BURN!!! "Once the match was lit, it was only a matter of seconds before the whole world went up in flames around us. I was fire and she was my kerosene." Xavier and Arabella have a rich, tumultuous history, rife with so much love and lust, heartache and bloodshed and tears, that I felt every emotion down to my core!! They have years of bitterness and animosity between them but together these sworn enemies miraculously bring one another back to life. "With the rest of the world I was numb, but with Arabella I was a thousand nerve endings come to life." The sex is scintillating, the emotional tenderness heartmelting, and this couple has IMMENSE rooting value. I adore Xavier, a dark and broody and UNDENIABLY SEXY Alpha male who on the surface is ice and steel, incapable of feeling, but deep down he is a hot-blooded man who feels deeply. Passionately. Most especially for the woman he worships above all others. As tensions between him and his twin brother Jayce reaches a full boil, it's becoming increasingly clear the day for him to overthrow his increasingly out of control sibling is fast approaching. But slaying his twin to save his beloved Arabella could end up destroying him in the end. He is truly a man torn between deeply ingrained family honor and soul-burning love! And Arabella...OMG! What a KICK-ASS heroine! She has a backbone of steel and is a take no prisoners woman on the warpath!! But there is so much aching vulnerability beneath her thorny surface. My heart broke for all she has endured! Can they put their torturous past aside and go to battle for each other? Or will their hearts be forever divided by a bloody family feud that threatens to obliterate them both? Not gonna divulge how it all plays out but let's just say things don't exactly go according to plan! Speaking of the ending, although I found the romantic resolution sweetly satisfying, I found it a bit of a letdown that we were deprived of a big, explosive showdown between Jayce and Xavier. The momentum seemed to be building toward that pinnacle confrontation scene and since the author went in a different direction the resolution of the suspense plot felt somewhat anti-climatic for me. I would have also enjoyed a bit more emphasis on the family feud to play up the whole Romeo & Juliet theme. However, other than those two small quibbles, I still do HIGHLY recommend THE TIES THAT BIND and look forward to reading more books from the talented Ms. Norinne!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I have only recently discovered Rebecca Norinne, but already I am a huge fan. In The Ties That Bind: A Mafia Love Story we get a modern day take on Romeo and Juliet. It was a quick and sexy quick forbidden romance with a twist. When his twin brother orders Xander to kill Arabella Wilson, it puts him at a crossroads. Raised to be feared as an enforcer while his brother Jayce is given reigns to the family business, Xander does as he is told. But when the only woman that has ever mattered to Xander I have only recently discovered Rebecca Norinne, but already I am a huge fan. In The Ties That Bind: A Mafia Love Story we get a modern day take on Romeo and Juliet. It was a quick and sexy quick forbidden romance with a twist. When his twin brother orders Xander to kill Arabella Wilson, it puts him at a crossroads. Raised to be feared as an enforcer while his brother Jayce is given reigns to the family business, Xander does as he is told. But when the only woman that has ever mattered to Xander is threatened what will he do? Kill the daughter of their enemy, and the woman he loves, or stay true to where his loyalties should lie? What is Xander to do? If he does not carry out the orders given to him, his brother threatens to put a bullet in him instead. Xander and Arabella have history, even if it is history, she is the woman he loves, even if it is forbidden. How will it all end? I devoured The Ties That Bind: A Mafia Love Story by Rebecca Norinne. It was a quick read with all the feels. A forbidden love story based on a classic, what is not to love! Read and reviewed for Sultry Siren Book Blog.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Aղցela W.

    This was a short dark quick mafia read that I liked. Xander and Arabella come rival families these two hooked up as teens they were in love. When Xander's twin brother Jayce ordered him to kill Arabella he has a choice to make kill the only woman he has ever loved or defy his brother. This was a really good book. I liked both of these character's Xander was a hot sexy dangerous alpha male Arabella was smart sassy and not a push over she grew up being a mafia princess. I also liked the secondary This was a short dark quick mafia read that I liked. Xander and Arabella come rival families these two hooked up as teens they were in love. When Xander's twin brother Jayce ordered him to kill Arabella he has a choice to make kill the only woman he has ever loved or defy his brother. This was a really good book. I liked both of these character's Xander was a hot sexy dangerous alpha male Arabella was smart sassy and not a push over she grew up being a mafia princess. I also liked the secondary character's in this books Aleksei was dark, brooding, and was feared by all and he was into her friend CeCe. This was like a mafia version of Romeo & Juliet only without the suicide pact. This book had some really hot sex scenes this book was dark at times although not as dark as I thought he could have been. This book was well written with no errors in grammar or spelling. This was my first time reading this author and I am looking forward to reading more of her work.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Heather C

    The Ties That Bind is a Romeo & Juliet inspired mafia book that I completely devoured in one sitting. It's got the classic love story with more violence. Think Leo DiCaprio movie style. Jayce is the enforcer for his twin bother in their mafia family but when he's ordered to kill the love of his life, he's forced to choose between his brother or his love. The catch? Their past and heartbreak ended a while ago and she isn't in his life right now, he knows he would never let her go. I always love t The Ties That Bind is a Romeo & Juliet inspired mafia book that I completely devoured in one sitting. It's got the classic love story with more violence. Think Leo DiCaprio movie style. Jayce is the enforcer for his twin bother in their mafia family but when he's ordered to kill the love of his life, he's forced to choose between his brother or his love. The catch? Their past and heartbreak ended a while ago and she isn't in his life right now, he knows he would never let her go. I always love the taboo relationships that have the enemy families with "star-crossed lovers." One thing that was a huge surprise to me and what I loved the most was Arabella and who she is today. Combined with the dangerous Jayce, these two are explosive. While this can be read as a standalone, I was introduced to it as the movie script that plays an integrate role in Norinne's most recent release, Lucky Star. I wondered if I would only like the story because I read that first but I'll be honest, I think I would have rather read this one first. Either way, I liked them both. If you want true love with mafia action, then this is the book for you! It's quick, spicy and dangerous!

  6. 5 out of 5

    RoseyLovesBooks

    The Ties That Bind by Rebecca Norinne is a Mafia Romance. Xander is the enforcer for the St. John crime family, while his twin brother Jayce is the heir and CEO to the St. John empire. Jayce is a psychotic control freak of a tyrant and when Xander tries to reason with Jayce, Jayce tells him "I'm in charge and you'd be wise not to forget it. You do what I say, when I say, or I'll have someone put a bullet in you. How does that sound little brother?" Xander wants out but will continue to do his bro The Ties That Bind by Rebecca Norinne is a Mafia Romance. Xander is the enforcer for the St. John crime family, while his twin brother Jayce is the heir and CEO to the St. John empire. Jayce is a psychotic control freak of a tyrant and when Xander tries to reason with Jayce, Jayce tells him "I'm in charge and you'd be wise not to forget it. You do what I say, when I say, or I'll have someone put a bullet in you. How does that sound little brother?" Xander wants out but will continue to do his brother's bidding while he figures out his exit strategy. Until his brother gives him an assignment that makes his blood run cold. The murder of Arabella, daughter of their enemy, and the only woman Xander has ever loved. Arabella is the daughter of the Wilson crime family, who are bitter enemies with the St. Johns. But that little detail didn't mean a thing to them when they first met as children at a funeral and played together. Arabella and Xander met again as teens, and fell madly in love. Arabella and Xander did a lot of sneaking around to see each but that came to an end when Arabella got pregnant and her father sent her away to have the baby and give it up for adoption. Xander had proposed and begged Arabella not to go, but she'd refused. Before Arabella left, Xander sent her a note telling her that he never wanted to see her or talk to her again if she did as her father wanted. Despited Arabella leaving, Xander was still in love with her and called her when she returned home. Arabella informed Xander that she'd miscarried, then told him that they couldn't be together. Xander blamed Arabella's father for taking Arabella away from him, and from that moment on, he waged an all out war on the Wilson crime family. But kill Arabella? No way. So now what? Refusing to kill Arabella will result in his own death. Jayce calls to get updates on the Arabella situation, and informs Xander that if he doesn't kill Arabella in 10 days, then he's going to do something about it. The Ties That Bind is a fascinating story that delves into the world of crime families, brothers, and love. It was very sweet that Arabella and Xander's love for each other never went away and their chemistry was hotter than ever. This story was a real page turner as the reader follows Xander in his struggles to find a way out of this untenable situation without killing the only woman he's ever loved or ending up 6 feet underground. I highly recommend this book. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Emerald Book Reviews McCurdy

    By Nicole @ Emerald Book Reviews I have a confession to make. I've only read about four mafia books in my entire life - and that includes the not-so-romantic Wiseguys (Adapted to the movie Goodfellas) by Nicholas Pileggi. Going in to The Ties that Bind by author Rebecca Norinne, I was admittedly a little nervous, as I have found in the past that in mafia style romances the main protagonist is so alpha, aggressive and all-powerful that they tend to steal all of the attention in the book, leaving t By Nicole @ Emerald Book Reviews I have a confession to make. I've only read about four mafia books in my entire life - and that includes the not-so-romantic Wiseguys (Adapted to the movie Goodfellas) by Nicholas Pileggi. Going in to The Ties that Bind by author Rebecca Norinne, I was admittedly a little nervous, as I have found in the past that in mafia style romances the main protagonist is so alpha, aggressive and all-powerful that they tend to steal all of the attention in the book, leaving the heroine a little washed out, inconsequential and often times too soft of character. In The Ties that Bind however, Rebecca Norinne has given us a completely different dynamic. Our heroine Arabella is utterly phenomenal for want of a better word. Intelligent, ruthless, ambitious, heartbroken, hurting, full of love and pain and ultimately one of the strongest and most complex heroines I've had the pleasure of reading in quite some time. She is without a doubt the Keyser Söze of this piece. Xander, our hero is incredibly intriguing, he's dominant yet compassionate, full of anger and love and confusion and as the story line takes on a nicely done dramatic twist, his emotions and thoughts spiral, showing us that the man is very human regardless of anything he has had to do within the organisation. "I had a choice to make: Jayce or Arabella? Both of them my enemy, and yet both of them so ingrained in my soul that if I lost either one, a part of me would die right along with them. So what would it be? My twin or my lover? My darkness or my light?" The Ties that Bind is not overly long in length, but it sure does pack an exciting, fast-paced and substantial amount of drama, seriously hot sex, pain, intrigue, love and deception into it and that is all thanks to the talented writing of Rebecca.

  8. 4 out of 5

    rebelspinster

    4 1/2 STARS! This is a short novella about the movie from the book “Lucky Star:, also by Rebecca Norrine, where Cameron Scott played the character Xander St. John. It tells of a love story like Romeo & Juliet. Two lovers that are supposed to be sworn enemies but can’t help but love each other despite everything that is against them. Told from Xander’s POV, showing a hitman with a heart when it comes to his one true love. He finds that he will need to remove his brother from the head of the family 4 1/2 STARS! This is a short novella about the movie from the book “Lucky Star:, also by Rebecca Norrine, where Cameron Scott played the character Xander St. John. It tells of a love story like Romeo & Juliet. Two lovers that are supposed to be sworn enemies but can’t help but love each other despite everything that is against them. Told from Xander’s POV, showing a hitman with a heart when it comes to his one true love. He finds that he will need to remove his brother from the head of the family business to save Arabella from being killed. Once they finally meet after years of no contact, and finding that their feelings have never left, they devise a plan for killing Jayce St. John. With calculation and trust on both sides, they form a plan and with the help of his best friend, Ben and Aleksei (another hitman in love with Arabella’s cousin Cee-Cee). FInding out more information about the companies financial situation, it gives Xander more of an idea on how far off the deep end his brother has gone. This is a great story of long lost love and revenge that ends with a HEA.

  9. 5 out of 5

    KnottyGirl Reviews

    Ties That Bind is a modern day retelling of the classic tale, Romeo and Juliet. Only this time, It’s Arabella and Xander. The St John’s and the Wilsons have been feuding for years. Jayce St John is now the CEO of the family company. His twin brother is the enforcer of the family. Jayce hasn’t been able to get his message across to the head of the Wilson family, so he directs brother Xander to kill Wilson’s daughter, Arabella. Problem is, Xander loves Arabella. And Jayce threatens to kill Xander Ties That Bind is a modern day retelling of the classic tale, Romeo and Juliet. Only this time, It’s Arabella and Xander. The St John’s and the Wilsons have been feuding for years. Jayce St John is now the CEO of the family company. His twin brother is the enforcer of the family. Jayce hasn’t been able to get his message across to the head of the Wilson family, so he directs brother Xander to kill Wilson’s daughter, Arabella. Problem is, Xander loves Arabella. And Jayce threatens to kill Xander if he doesn’t kill her! It’s a classic mob romance with Xander doing what he can to protect the love of his life while trying to hold his brother off. A very enjoyable read!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brianne

    Great mafia story! Xander has to choose between the love of his life, who is also his family's sworn enemy, or his twin brother Jayce. Great references to Romeo and Juliet, to show the reader how forbidden their romance is in relation to their families. Good amount of steam, love the other characters involved too. Great read! I voluntarily received an ARC for an honest review. Great mafia story! Xander has to choose between the love of his life, who is also his family's sworn enemy, or his twin brother Jayce. Great references to Romeo and Juliet, to show the reader how forbidden their romance is in relation to their families. Good amount of steam, love the other characters involved too. Great read! I voluntarily received an ARC for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julianne Macneil

    I read this book as part of an arc program. this book tells the story of Xander, an enforcer in the St John crime family. He is given an order by his twin brother, the head of the family, to kill Arabella Wilson, his teen love. Xander has to decide if he can kill his former love or if he has to kill his brother. I liked the book and the turmoil Xander faces in his choices. I would like to see more from this author and more from these characters.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Written In Red Book Blog

    The Ties That Bind is a short fast paced, action packed novella, a second chance/ enemies to lovers romance that delves into the mafia world in full force. Its dark, its violent....but OH so good!! When Xander is given the order to kill Arabella, he must choose between defying his brother or taking out the only woman he has ever loved. who's side will he take, that of the woman he once knew, his lover or that of his families?? Highly recommended for lovers of mafia romance. The Ties That Bind is a short fast paced, action packed novella, a second chance/ enemies to lovers romance that delves into the mafia world in full force. Its dark, its violent....but OH so good!! When Xander is given the order to kill Arabella, he must choose between defying his brother or taking out the only woman he has ever loved. who's side will he take, that of the woman he once knew, his lover or that of his families?? Highly recommended for lovers of mafia romance.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jen Taylor

    Wow! This book was awesome! A different genre than Rebecca Norinne usually takes, but in a good way. Great story, full of suspense.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Rebecca blew me away with this one. A shorter read than her usual, but it still felt like a full length novel. It was definitely different from her usual, but I definitely loved it want to see more darker reads from her. She has a knack for pulling you into the story and captivating you completely, gripping your attention. Fueding families. Forbidden love. A relationship that spans years before it comes back full circle. Xander and Arabella are enemies. Their families prevented them from having Rebecca blew me away with this one. A shorter read than her usual, but it still felt like a full length novel. It was definitely different from her usual, but I definitely loved it want to see more darker reads from her. She has a knack for pulling you into the story and captivating you completely, gripping your attention. Fueding families. Forbidden love. A relationship that spans years before it comes back full circle. Xander and Arabella are enemies. Their families prevented them from having the relationship they always wanted. It all comes down to loyalty. When Jayce puts a hit on Arabella, Xander has to decide whose more important, family or the love of his life.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    **4 Blushes** How do you feel about quickies? Oh get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about a novella. A passionate and suspenseful, homage to the Shakespeare classic, Romeo & Juliet. Here the tale…I mean…story is modernized. “Two households (St. John/Wilson), both alike in dignity. In fair Verona (Chicago), where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge break to new mutiny (war between mafia families), where civil blood makes civil hands unclean (family enforcers).” Xander St. John is a cold **4 Blushes** How do you feel about quickies? Oh get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about a novella. A passionate and suspenseful, homage to the Shakespeare classic, Romeo & Juliet. Here the tale…I mean…story is modernized. “Two households (St. John/Wilson), both alike in dignity. In fair Verona (Chicago), where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge break to new mutiny (war between mafia families), where civil blood makes civil hands unclean (family enforcers).” Xander St. John is a cold blooded killer. The enforcer of the family while the head of the family, his twin brother Jayce, handles the business end for the family. Arabella Wilson is daddy’s little girl. The daughter of Royce Wilson and he is the biggest opposition to total domination by the St. Johns. She also happens to be the only woman that Xander has ever loved. Jayce has ordered Xander to kill Arabella or lose his own life. Jayce doesn’t know that these two share a past. A past that they each wear on their hearts even now. How is Xander supposed to choose between the two things he loves most? There is no way that both can stand when all is said and done. Quoting an actual part of Romeo & Juliet at the beginning of each chapter was a cool touch. These two star crossed lovers must join forces to save themselves. Xander being all soft and pink towards Arabella touched me because I did not think him capable of tenderness. Though I did feel that Arabella took a back seat to Xander in The Ties that Bind, it did not interfere with how fast I turned the pages to find out how it all ends. Author Rebecca Norinne can we have more please? There is a certain cousin and a kooky Russian that I'd like to know more about. Let’s continue the saga!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Audrey Pott

    A powerful riveting novel, Rebecca has a knack for writing characters that are truely believable, strong and resilient. Weaves a spellbinding story that tugs at the heartstrings and steamy scenes. I absolutely loved this storyline.

  17. 5 out of 5

    *Connie Bailey* Southern Delights Book Blog

    A mafia Romeo and Juliet story? Oh heck yea! I'll take that, y'all! This is my first Rebecca Norinne book. I wasn't sure what I was gonna get from it, as sometimes I'm a little leery of new to me authors, but when I saw that cover, it called to me and I had to give it a go. Let tell ya what, y'all! It is one you do not want to miss! Rebecca Norinne's mafia romance is filled with sexy characters and a plot that's full of twists and will keep you hooked until the end. I mean, seriously. This book w A mafia Romeo and Juliet story? Oh heck yea! I'll take that, y'all! This is my first Rebecca Norinne book. I wasn't sure what I was gonna get from it, as sometimes I'm a little leery of new to me authors, but when I saw that cover, it called to me and I had to give it a go. Let tell ya what, y'all! It is one you do not want to miss! Rebecca Norinne's mafia romance is filled with sexy characters and a plot that's full of twists and will keep you hooked until the end. I mean, seriously. This book was wow! I can't imagine being put in Xander's position, to choose one, or the other. But, the way Norinne wrote this story, the way she filled with passion and angst, was incredible.  This is definitely a 4 Bonfires worthy story, in my book! I loved every second of this captivating romance, and it's one that I will turn to again and again. Norinne is definitely an author who will hook, and make you a fan for life! Grab this one now, and take a trip to the land of the forbidden, and see if you aren't a forever Norinne fan, too.  *This book was provided for review by the publisher. All opinions, negative or positive, are my own.*

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen Durant

    I just love mafia stories & this one doesn't let down. It's about Xander who's only got 2 directives in life, protect his brother, Jace & taking out any enemies of the family before they can strike first. Then he gets the one job that he never thought he would get, take out Arabelle his family's sworn enemy & the only woman he ever loved & destroyed him years ago. This is one job that he just couldn't do, but if he didn't take her out, he's brother will have him killed. So that leaves him with a I just love mafia stories & this one doesn't let down. It's about Xander who's only got 2 directives in life, protect his brother, Jace & taking out any enemies of the family before they can strike first. Then he gets the one job that he never thought he would get, take out Arabelle his family's sworn enemy & the only woman he ever loved & destroyed him years ago. This is one job that he just couldn't do, but if he didn't take her out, he's brother will have him killed. So that leaves him with a difficult choice....which one does he choose as he doesn't want to lose either one of them? I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carrie K-Ski

    This is a good mafia story with steam, and lots of love for all the characters in the story. A forbidden love romance. Xander had a tough choice to make. I loved the bad ass heroine in this story. I received an ARC for an honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Grubey (ABookHaven)

    "I tried to love this book but I just didn’t connect with it. That being said, I had very conflicting feelings. I liked the characters and I liked the story I feel like it was just a bit too short that I couldn’t get invested enough with the characters. One of the main things for me to really love and like a book is that I can connect with the characters and I just couldn’t. Like a part of me didn’t really care what happened to them and that is why my rating is what it is for this book. That bei "I tried to love this book but I just didn’t connect with it. That being said, I had very conflicting feelings. I liked the characters and I liked the story I feel like it was just a bit too short that I couldn’t get invested enough with the characters. One of the main things for me to really love and like a book is that I can connect with the characters and I just couldn’t. Like a part of me didn’t really care what happened to them and that is why my rating is what it is for this book. That being said I still enjoyed the story." Full review at ABookHaven

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gin

    Can a cold-blooded killer fall in love with his target? This is not a new plot line but this is a thrilling dark mafia story with fabulous characters in would be lovers Xander and Arabella. Think star-crossed lovers with complex family dynamics. Xander is the enforcer of his criminal family and his twin orders their rivals' daughter dead. Thus begins the relationship between these two that goes from killer/victim to shaky allies to sexy lovers. This is a short story that's well developed and loa Can a cold-blooded killer fall in love with his target? This is not a new plot line but this is a thrilling dark mafia story with fabulous characters in would be lovers Xander and Arabella. Think star-crossed lovers with complex family dynamics. Xander is the enforcer of his criminal family and his twin orders their rivals' daughter dead. Thus begins the relationship between these two that goes from killer/victim to shaky allies to sexy lovers. This is a short story that's well developed and loaded with drama, suspense, passion, family and lots of twists. It sort of goes with Lucky Star but definitely is a stand-alone read. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ree

    The Ties That Bind is a quick & spicy mafia romance with Shakespearean undertones. I enjoyed the way the author took a seemingly complicated dynamic involving familial bonds & loyalty and simplified it into an enjoyable romance. The modern-day Romeo/Juliet-esque taboo relationship really gave the book the added edge. I can actually see it as a movie, and recommend it for your reading pleasure. I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Seepurple06

    Dark and intense! This was definitely a good read. Xander and Arabella had a connection at a young age. But being from enemy families, their love is forbidden. There are some dark moments in their lives that tear them apart. Jayce, Xander's twin bro and head of their syndicate, gives orders to take out Arabella. Xander can't believe he has choose between his family and the only woman he has ever loved. I have to say I was so excited and loved this book all the way til th last few chapters. Arabel Dark and intense! This was definitely a good read. Xander and Arabella had a connection at a young age. But being from enemy families, their love is forbidden. There are some dark moments in their lives that tear them apart. Jayce, Xander's twin bro and head of their syndicate, gives orders to take out Arabella. Xander can't believe he has choose between his family and the only woman he has ever loved. I have to say I was so excited and loved this book all the way til th last few chapters. Arabella and Cece were some Badass chics. And even though Xander is totally hot and sexy, Aleksei was dark, brooding, and was feared by all. He may have only been in the last few chapters but I would love to find out if Cece and him get married. So, back to my star rating. I couldn't give 5 stars like I wanted because I feel the end was cut short and left me without important details. I won't go into it further as I don't want to spoil it for anyone. There is a HEA, which is a must and I do recommend you read this one especially if you like mafia bad boys and Badass mafia princesses.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sienna Logan (Lost to Books)

    It was the rival family and forbidden romance element to this book that caught my interest. In general it was an okay read. It was a lot shorter than the usual books in this genre at a novella length. However, it did hold my interest. I thought the story was interesting, I just wish there had been more to it. Because of the length I thought there were major chunks of story missed out and ends left untied. The ending didn't answer all of my questions, and it was disappointing because there could It was the rival family and forbidden romance element to this book that caught my interest. In general it was an okay read. It was a lot shorter than the usual books in this genre at a novella length. However, it did hold my interest. I thought the story was interesting, I just wish there had been more to it. Because of the length I thought there were major chunks of story missed out and ends left untied. The ending didn't answer all of my questions, and it was disappointing because there could have been so much more to this read to make it great. Overall I liked the idea, I just wish there had been more story to flesh it out into a full length novel.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Coco.V

    💝 FREE on Amazon today (12/26/2017)! 💝 Blurb: My twin brother Jayce wants the daughter of our family's fiercest rival snuffed out, and as the St. John Family assassin, the task falls squarely on my shoulders. Except this is no ordinary hit. Arabella Wilson was my first love—my only love. And my brother? He’s beyond redemption, and it's only a matter of time until he turns his sights on me. Now I have a choice to make. Who lives, and who dies? Will it be my brother or my lover, my darkness or my li 💝 FREE on Amazon today (12/26/2017)! 💝 Blurb: My twin brother Jayce wants the daughter of our family's fiercest rival snuffed out, and as the St. John Family assassin, the task falls squarely on my shoulders. Except this is no ordinary hit. Arabella Wilson was my first love—my only love. And my brother? He’s beyond redemption, and it's only a matter of time until he turns his sights on me. Now I have a choice to make. Who lives, and who dies? Will it be my brother or my lover, my darkness or my light? Find out in this forbidden mafia romance based on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Great back story on what the movie from Lucky Star was based on! Arabella and Xander met a few times when they were younger and he's always felt a pull toward her. The main problem is their families are at war with each other so their love is forbidden. When his twin brother who is the head of their family orders him to kill her, he must make a decision, what will he do? Don't miss this one, it was a great story! 5 stars! Great back story on what the movie from Lucky Star was based on! Arabella and Xander met a few times when they were younger and he's always felt a pull toward her. The main problem is their families are at war with each other so their love is forbidden. When his twin brother who is the head of their family orders him to kill her, he must make a decision, what will he do? Don't miss this one, it was a great story! 5 stars!

  27. 5 out of 5

    eingy

    So good that you don't want it to end! Before you read this book, I've got a tip for you: make sure you've blocked out time to read this in one sitting, because you'll be so sucked into the story that you'll want to do exactly that! I kept having life call me away from the book when I just wanted to find out what was going to happen next. The only bad thing about this story was that I just wanted to read more about Xander and Arabella. You know that feeling when you want to both read as slowly as So good that you don't want it to end! Before you read this book, I've got a tip for you: make sure you've blocked out time to read this in one sitting, because you'll be so sucked into the story that you'll want to do exactly that! I kept having life call me away from the book when I just wanted to find out what was going to happen next. The only bad thing about this story was that I just wanted to read more about Xander and Arabella. You know that feeling when you want to both read as slowly as you can do that you can enjoy the characters and their emotional arc but you want to speedread because you want -- no, NEED -- to find out what happens next? Yeah, that was me all the way through the story. Rebecca Norinne puts her own modern spin on Romeo & Juliet, and explores what might happen if the two lovers did not die but were separated by tragic loss, getting older and changing into different, more hardened people who nevertheless never lost the depth of love they once had for each other. Yes, it was tempered by the anguish of an event that tore them apart, but when they come back together as adults, there's nothing that could possibly keep them apart. And let me say, the circumstances that are keeping them apart are no joke: the organized crime boss that happens to be Xander's twin is intent on exploiting Xander's role as the Enforcer to threaten and hurt him, while Arabella is the daughter of the opposing crime family who has grown up to fill her dad's shoes. I love that through the high-stakes action, the two never waiver once they go all-in. Their history, their love, and their sizzling hot chemistry [insert face-fanning motion here ;)] are undeniable. Xander and Arabella were so vividly portrayed that you could easily see why they were a match. Neither of them is a goody-two-shoe, having done some seriously bad things in their lives, but their love for each other is ultimately redeeming, and I found myself rooting for them unabashedly. Get this book. You won't be sorry.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah G

    Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book you didn’t want to put down. Once I had started this I was hooked and it soon became a one sitting read. So we finally get to see the story unfold that Cameron Scott was filming in the authors other book Lucky Star. Very much a gritty Romeo and Juliet style love story to get your teeth stuck into – much like it was described in Lucky Star. The book is solely told from Xander’s POV which I loved as it gave it more of a darker grit Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book you didn’t want to put down. Once I had started this I was hooked and it soon became a one sitting read. So we finally get to see the story unfold that Cameron Scott was filming in the authors other book Lucky Star. Very much a gritty Romeo and Juliet style love story to get your teeth stuck into – much like it was described in Lucky Star. The book is solely told from Xander’s POV which I loved as it gave it more of a darker grittier tone, which worked really well with the story itself. So you have the St. John and Wilson families pretty much at war with each other. I think it goes back so far that they themselves have forgotten what they were originally fighting for or why it started. Xander St. John and Arabella Wilson never should have met and wouldn’t of under normal circumstances but when the death of a higher matriarch meant all families held a ceasefire on her funeral the children could play freely. Seems Xander must have made quite an impression as a child because years later at a mall when he (along with his twin brother Jayce and their friends) bump into her and some of her friends you can see the spark ignite. She may know who he is but he has no idea. Seems even with the cat being out the bag though it doesn’t make him back away. A connection was formed within minutes and it seems they are addicted to each other from then on. Well until unforeseen circumstances force them apart that is, almost destroying them both in the process. A few years later with his father gone and brother Jayce now in charge his role within the family has become the enforcer. With what he has done over the years it has made his emotions grow harder against others. He is the one called in to sort out tricky problems, to make them go away. So when Jayce asks him to sort out the issue of a fire at one of their warehouses he knows its not going to be simple. Jayce seems to be balancing on a knife-edge with how unstable he is. He is so far gone into the world of drugs, booze and paranoia that it’s a matter of when his downfall will happen not if, and by whom. Especially when he says that they need to hit back harder at the Wilson’s who he thinks are responsible for the fire even without proof. Somewhere the man in charge will feel true pain – like say by killing his only daughter Arabella. So Xander has a choice to make and one that when he truly thinks on doesn’t take long at all. Does he keep his twin brother safe by killing the enemy or does he keep the women who stole his heart safe by killing his brother? Like the blurb says – his darkness or his light? Love the interactions between Xander and Arabella right from the start. It’s like a Mexican stand off to begin with, love that even though he thinks he knows her she still manages to shock him. The years slowly start to fall away and they can no longer deny the chemistry that’s between them, chemistry that never truly went away. Very passionate characters that would clearly do whatever it takes to be together again. No one is pulling them apart this time. They just have to out smart the ones in charge by staying one step ahead – can’t be too hard can it? Good job they have some people they can trust on both sides with Xander’s best friend Ben and Arabella’s cousin Ceecee. Ceecee’s boyfriend on the other hand you want to make sure is on your side because to be on the other I fear would mean the end of you. Good job Ceecee has him wrapped around her finger then isn’t it? Romeo and Juliet eat your heart out because these two are about to take your place. Though saying that you really don’t want it matching too much like the original because where would the fun be in that. If these two families were to ever stand as one I’d say they would be a force to be reckoned with. One that no other would mess with, no matter the price. I received this ARC from the author for my honest review. https://readingnook84.wordpress.com/2...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Scarlett Ian

    I was so excited to read this new book by Rebecca Norinne. This modern day take on the classic Romeo & Juliet is thrilling from page 1 until the end. It is not a long book – only about 130 pages so it is more like a novella. It didn't take long to read it, but it was very enjoyable. This story follows the story of Xander St. John & Arabella Wilson; these two young lovers are from rival mob families so they should never be together. Xander's twin brother is the head of one family & Arabella's fat I was so excited to read this new book by Rebecca Norinne. This modern day take on the classic Romeo & Juliet is thrilling from page 1 until the end. It is not a long book – only about 130 pages so it is more like a novella. It didn't take long to read it, but it was very enjoyable. This story follows the story of Xander St. John & Arabella Wilson; these two young lovers are from rival mob families so they should never be together. Xander's twin brother is the head of one family & Arabella's father is the head of the other. They have been warring for decades – since Arabella & Xander were children. When Xander is tasked with killing Arabella to get back at the Wilson family he realizes that he cannot go through with it. But to deny his brother's orders would mean betrayal of his family. This author has a way with words. She really knows how to pull the reader in to the story and hold their attention the entire time. The two main characters have a lot of drama and pain from their past so it is interesting to see how they overcome that in the present. The forbidden aspect on the romance adds an extra thrill to the story. If you haven't read anything by this author, I recommend this one as a good starting point!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cinzia

    “The Ties That Bind” is the second book I read by Rebecca Norinne after “Trying Sophie” which was the book through I knew her as author. They are two completely different books l, both in their length and content, but the result doesn’t change: her writing is amazing. As my friend told me after seeing another “five stars” rating: “then you really like this author!”. Yes, I do love her. Her new book is a romance mafia, perhaps more a short-story due its length, but between the lines, I found moment “The Ties That Bind” is the second book I read by Rebecca Norinne after “Trying Sophie” which was the book through I knew her as author. They are two completely different books l, both in their length and content, but the result doesn’t change: her writing is amazing. As my friend told me after seeing another “five stars” rating: “then you really like this author!”. Yes, I do love her. Her new book is a romance mafia, perhaps more a short-story due its length, but between the lines, I found moments so intense and full of emotion which took my breath away for their beauty. Moments that give to the whole book a depht that goes beyond the number of the pages that tell the story of Arabella and Xander. Both of them are part of two powerful families related to the world of mafia, two families who hate each other deeply, always at war. This does not prevent Arabella and Xander to fall madly in love during their teenage years, knowing they’re putting on the line their lives. From here there is a parallel with the ultimate story of love: “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare and I really enjoyed finding at the beginning of each chapter quotes from this great tragedy. But the similarities between the story of two couples stop at the age where their love blossomed and hatred of their families. The story of Arabella and Xander is all their own, unique. One of the things I loved the most in this story is the fact that we are facing a new meeting between them when they are more mature, however, because their families had managed to divide them. There are small hints of their past together, but in reality we find them after years, profoundly changed after everything they lived, but despite all that has happened, their bond is still there, intact, as well as the passion they feel. It’s also changed the importance of their roles in their families, but the passion puts to rest all the doubts and uncertainties they feel, and they discover that the desire and the connection that bind them are still there ready to overwhelm them. “With the rest of world I was numb, but with Arabella I was a thousand nerve endings come to life.” Something in the characters created by this author always manages to get my under my skin and in this case it’s just Xander. It wasn’t only the intensity of his feelings to hit me, but the strength he shows in making himself vulnerable, putting himself completely naked in front of Arabella, letting her know how much power she had and still has on him. And then if I have to be honest beyond their feelings, I love the physicality of the characters of this author, her way of writing sex scenes, explicit, full of passion and dirty talks. I really hope this will turn in the first book in a series, because I’d love to read a story about Aleksei, one of the secondary characters in this story, who has definitely caught my attention … If you are looking for new authors to read, Rebecca Norinne should be included in your list of “want-to-read”, you will not regret it.

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