Following her mother's death a young woman moves from Albuquerque to San Francisco to find the father she's never met. Not only does she meet him, she ends up working for him, but does not tell him that she is his daughter. Almost immediately after her arrival, she meets a sexy British photographer at a party and almost loses her head.Cinderella-like, she runs away, but he turns out to be a new employee at the magazine where she works, and they are thrown together working on a project. Kate does everything she can to sabotage the relationship, but can't resist the way he makes her melt every time he touches her. Ultimately she gives in to love, and agrees to marry him. Just when she almost starts to believe in a happily-ever-after, she is kidnapped by a stalker.... [No spoilers from me! You'll have to read the book to find out what happens next.]
I downloaded this free e-book from Smashwords. It was a very pleasant surprise. It was a kind of standard formula romance with a strong female protagonist and a smoldering young love interest. Huffman's voice is very pleasant. The quality of the writing and editing was much higher than I expected.
The main characters are likable. Kate is believably damaged by her life experience as the only child of an unwed mother, and equally believably strong and resilient. I think Gavin was just a little too good to be true. That may be typical for the main male character in a romance, but I think his character would have rung a bit truer if he was just a teensy bit flawed. The female friends were a nice bunch of girls, although perhaps not as well fleshed out as I might have liked. One person who reviewed the story on Smashwords commented that the women's friendships blossom too quickly. I agree. I think the friendship storyline might have been a bit stronger if there had been another chapter near the beginning that would allow some more time to pass and the friendships to settle in. I know that authors are supposed to dive right into the action, but I think this one could have used a little more exposition at the beginning to introduce the characters and establish the friendships before all hell broke loose.
Nevertheless, it was a very pleasant beach read, that made me smile in places (I loved the dog!) and made me cry in others. There was romance, suspense, cool clothes, fancy parties, and the backdrop of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. How could it not be good? There was plenty of sexual attraction, but no sex. There was no profanity. There was violence, but it was not gratuitous.
I definitely will read more of Huffman's work.
Get "Ties that Bind" at Amazon.com
Heather Huffman's Website