Thursday, September 17, 2015

Review: Tied Together by Z.B. Heller

81QJCKE7FiL._SL1500_Title ~ Tied Together

Author ~ Z.B. Heller

Published ~ 25th August 2015

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance





Ryan Keller had it all when he came out in high school; accepting parents, friends and his own credit line for J. Crew. His cocky attitude and good looks got him what he wanted, including samples off the man meat buffet. Then he found his favorite dessert, Brandon. But Brandon wasn’t sending out a rainbow vibe so Ryan was sent to the land that crushes dread, the friend zone.
Brandon Ford was buried so deep down in the closet that clothes from the seventies had a better chance of coming out. His anxieties of acting on his desires could keep a therapist entertained for hours. Even though he did his best to build his emotions out of bricks, it was no use against Ryan’s charms.
Follow Ryan and Brandon’s relationship from high school, to college and beyond to find out if they will be Tied Together.
Warning: No Anaconda Turtles have been harmed in the making of this book

Lisa’s Review

“Sugar, spice and all things nice. If you have a schlong, you belong. If you have a cooch, you can scoot along.”


Tied Together is a friends-to-lovers, stand-alone MM romantic comedy. This is a sweet and steamy romance about two guys who become best-friends in high school - one who has embraced his sexuality with the help of his supportive family and one who experiences nothing but hatred and abuse at home and is struggling and in denial. Will the ties that have formed between both men stay strong and true or as life takes them through different stages will their bond be unable to withstand the bumpy road and trials and get severed?

Ryan Keller and Brandon Ford meet when they are both in high school. Ryan steps in and saves Brandon from an altercation with a school bully and the pair form a fast friendship. These two live lives that are worlds apart. Ryan is a golden boy who lives in a loving and supportive home. Letting his parents know that he is gay was not a hardship seeing that he got nothing from them but unconditional love. Brandon’s home life was vastly different. He lived in Spring Orchard Trailer Park and his world was filled with hate, abuse and neglect. He’s simply counting down the minutes until he finishes high school and can start college on a scholarship that he is working hard to obtain. While Ryan may be this cocky gay guy who seems to have the world at his beck and call, Brandon has learned to keep his head down and not entertain any notions that he may be gay just like his best friend.

This book is divided up into three parts and spans a time frame of about 15 years. We get to see the boys move on to college where Ryan continues to embrace life in all his gay splendor while secretly crushing on his best friend. Even though the pair have a couple encounters that indicate that Brandon may reciprocate Ryan’s feelings, Brandon is so conflicted over his sexuality and wants to remain firmly in the closet. What happens when Ryan pushes Brandon too far? Will their friendship turn into something more or will it all go up in flames?

This book is well written and very witty. I loved the humour and I feel like this author did a great job balancing the angst and the lighter side of things. I really loved the first two parts of the book and had this goofy smile on my face despite Brandon’s dismal circumstances. Then at the end of the second part Ryan makes a mistake that did not sit well with me. Frankly, it made me really dislike him…. a heck of a lot! What ensues in part three of the book is really what made this book turn into a three star rating for me instead of a higher one. While I do think it was a great idea to have both men spend some years apart and so forth, when they finally do encounter one another Brandon was a very different man. I just could not make sense of the fact that he had changed so much. His dominance especially did not make all that much sense to me especially because it was not consistent in the last part of the book. I also felt like Brandon accepted Ryan back into his life way too easily and quickly. These were just my personal issues with the book. By no means would I want to prevent someone from reading this book.

All in all, I did enjoy reading Tied Together. While this book may have not hit all the “wow” buttons for me, I would definitely pick up another book by Ms. Heller.


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