Title: Familiar Ties
Publication: May 21, 2012
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Pages: 250 pp.
Rating: 4 out 5
Source: Author via Blog Tour
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Synopsis:Max West is a widower raising Phoebe, his four-year-old daughter. Phoebe has to live with the fact that the day she was born is also the day of her mother's death. As her fifth year without her mother approaches, Phoebe finds solace in her godmother, Amy Riley, and her daughter, Grace Crawford, another single parent family.
Amy Riley is a successful fashion designer who spends most of her days raising her four-year-old daughter, Grace, while her wayward boyfriend is travelling the world making the next best film. As the fifth year without her best friend looms she finds comfort in her ex-boyfriend, Max, and his daughter, Phoebe.
These two “broken” families have a tough week to face as the dreaded day approaches. However through their past, present and debatable future will their choices affect the outcome both parents clearly want and are simply denying? Or will Phoebe and Grace lose the only “whole” family they have ever known?
This is a sweet romance and I loved the way it unfolded. It's a great story of about how time doesn't matter when you are in love, you can fall in love in matter of seconds or in just seven days. That is exactly how much time Max and Amy have to figure out if they will let this chance pass them by again or seize the moment and admit they have feeling for each other. My favorite characters are the little ones, Grace and Phoebe, who are absolutely precious and beautifully written. The author does a great job of capturing their voices and intelligence. They are so innocent and smart enough to know that their parents belong together and that blood is not the only thing that makes someone a parent. The chemistry between Max and Amy is so rich and inviting that I found myself cheering for them to figure it out already. The narrative is told from the present but also has bits of flashbacks from moments in Max and Amy's lives, which I liked seeing which circumstances got them to the point they are now and how just one thing done differently would have made all the difference. Now, though the description says that it is seven days before a tragic incident happened but the story really isn't about that, at least not really but the romance that could blossom or wither in those seven days.
Interview with Max, Amy, Grace & Phoebe
Max & Amy,What did you dream your future would be like? How has that changed since then?
Amy: I always dreamt life to be like a fairy tale, you find your prince, fall in love, get married etc. But as I grew up I learnt that life was never that easy. Especially after my parents divorced I learnt a lot about heartache. However one thing that never changed was my desire to be a mother.
Max: If I’m being honest I never wanted a family, I was happy enough to live the bachelor life without having to settle down. Then I met Anna and Amy, that’s when I learnt what love was and I never wanted to lose that feeling. When Phoebe came along I knew that I was in love but this time it was a different kind of love.
Max you lost someone dear to you, how do recover from something like that? Does the pain ever ease?
Max: You can never regain that feeling after you lose someone because something always triggers their memories to come back. However you can try and cover it and even though I have Phoebe, Amy and Grace...they know Anna will always have a place in my heart. The pain will never go away completely but it does get easier as time goes on.
Phoebe, how are you feeling about the loss of your Mom? When you close your eyes at night what do you dream she would be like?
Phoebe: Daddy says that I’m a lot like Mommy and I’ve seen loads of photos. I think that she’s me just bigger. I do miss having a Mommy like Gracie has Aunty Amy but Aunty Amy and Aunty Cassidy are like my Mommies so I don’t mind so much.
Amy, Max is your ex-boyfriend but what do you find appealing about him now compared to then?
Amy: He was and still is the most caring person I know. He always looks after his family and friends, but now it is great to see him interact with his daughter. They have such an amazing relationship and I have been blessed to see his grow and blossom from that shy teen to this amazing and compassionate father.
Max what is your greatest fear?
Max: Losing Phoebe, Amy and Grace. After losing Anna if I lost anyone else it would kill me.
Grace & Phoebe, what do you think will happen with your parents? Do you hope to be sisters someday?
Grace: I do love my daddy but he’s never here. I love Uncle Max he’s the bestest and I am going to marry him some day.
Phoebe: I really want Aunty Amy to be Mommy. I love my Mommy but now she’s in heaven I need a new Mommy and Daddy needs a wife. Gracie is already my sister but it would be more fun if she was my proper sister.
Amy, when did you realize that you or Max still had feelings for each other? How do you feel about this?
Amy: I’m not sure, Max and I have always had chemistry and I suppose we never stopped loving each other. He really helped me with Grace especially when Jack wasn’t there and I suppose that was when my feelings came back. I’ve never stopped loving Max and I don’t think I ever will; he was my first love and you never forget those right?
Phoebe & Grace….If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for? Max & Amy feel free to jump in on this question.
Phoebe: I wanna be like Aunty Amy!!
Amy: Aww sweetie I’m sure there are better wishes than that!
Grace: I wanna write stories like Uncle Max
Max: Well what are the odds, your kid wants to be like me and my kid wants to be like you...care to swap?
Phoebe: I know what our third wish should be *whispers in Grace’s ear*
Phoebe & Grace: We want you to get married!!