Today I am pleased to present a review of Binding Arbitration by Elizabeth Marx. In addition, there is also a link to a Rafflecopter Giveaway for your chance to win a copy of this book.
Title: Binding Arbitration
Author: Elizabeth Marx
Genre: Romance, Family Saga, Contemporary/Chick Lit
Publisher: Self Published
Purchase: Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Print) |
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Book Description: Through the corridors of the WindyCity’s criminal courts, single mother Libby Tucker knows exactly how far she’ll go to save her cancer-stricken son’s life. The undefeated defense attorney is prepared to take her fight all the way to the majors.
Circumstances force Libby to plead her case at the cleats of celebrity baseball player Banford Aidan Palowski, the man who discarded her at their college graduation. Libby has worked her backside bare for everything she’s attained, while Aidan has been indulged since he slid through the birth canal and landed in a pile of Gold Coast money. But helping Libby and living up to his biological duty could jeopardize the only thing the jock worships: his baseball career.
If baseball imitates life, Aidan admits his appears to be silver-plated peanuts, until an unexpected confrontation with the most spectacular prize that’s ever poured from a caramel corn box blindsides him. When he learns about his son’s desperate need, it pricks open the wound he’s carried since he abandoned Libby and the child.
All Libby wants is a little anonymous DNA, but Aidan has a magical umpire in his head who knows Libby’s a fateball right to the heart. When a six-year-old sage and a hippy priestess step onto the field, there’s more to settle between Libby and Aidan than heartache, redemption, and forgiveness.
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Review and Author Information, including where to contact – read on
I was provided an eBook copy by the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.
This is the second book in a series about Elizabeth (Libby) Tucker and Banford Aiden Palowski: their brief relationship in college, her removal of Aiden from her life when she decided to keep their child, and the ultimate challenges they faced in rediscovering each other again after their son is diagnosed with leukemia.
I didn’t realize there was a prequel/short to this book before I read this one. The prequel is titled “Cutters vs. Jocks” – and I have read it. I’m glad that I didn’t read the stories in order, however, because the predisposition to want to slap both characters into adulthood and reasonable behaviour would have overridden my ability to give this book a fair shake.
What has been created by the author is a treatise on selfishness: while both parties wholeheartedly believe they have valid reasons for their behaviour, neither is wholly innocent in the result. Libby was pregnant after one night with Aiden. She allows her own self-doubt and fear to deny the night, and the possibility that Aiden finds her worthy. Aiden is a big man on campus, with a list of conquests, and a promising baseball career. He finds Libby fascinating and attractive – but is unable or unwilling to pursue her in a way she finds believable and solid.
The two are brought together 7 years later when their son, Cass, is diagnosed with leukemia, and Libby feels it necessary to contact Aiden to see if he will be tested as a marrow donor. What follows is the slow but steady realization by both parties that they were wrong, and selfish in their choices. While Aiden is thrust into the role of repentance for all mistakes, without seeing much of the same for Libby – we are treated to the development of the characters, their understanding of their own bad behaviours, and their acceptance of their love for each other: even as it begins with a sense of wonder and love for their son, Cass.
The story is told, quite deftly, in two voices: Libby’s is often angry and hurt, with an underlying self-doubt not erased from her accomplishments in the here and now. Aiden’s voice is also riddled with self-doubt and punishment, while attempting to ‘prove’ himself to Libby and working within her often unreasonable expectations. After penning the initial thoughts of this review – I read other impressions on the story. While many people hated Aiden, and found him not receiving enough punishment for abandoning Libby and Cass, they seem to not account for his losses or pain. What I think was more important in it all is that love, combined with a real and honest assessment of where wrongs were committed, can overcome the hurt and doubt.
This story is thrust into the genres of Chick Lit and Romance, but it is far more than those narrowed confines. As I said, it is a catalog of where things go wrong, and the stupid decisions we make when hurt and afraid; and just what consequences those decisions can have far into the future. It alternates with wonder at the proclamations that Cass makes, to anger with his parents for their behavior, to tears and tension.
This is not a book to be taken as a “light read” because no matter where you stand in liking or disliking the characters, you will be thrust into a story crafted to make you feel. While there was some ‘outside’ action that seemed rather gratuitous and unnecessary to the plot, the minor characters and their needs were also integrated into the story in a way that highlighted the many good qualities and character traits of both Libby and Aiden. This story was a daunting task, and the author created a novel that was both memorable and touching. I would suggest that you read this book first, and then see what sort of people both Libby and Aiden were in their college years: by then reading the prequel.
About the Author: Windy city writer, Elizabeth Marx, brings cosmopolitan life alive in her fiction—a blend of romance, fast-paced Chicago living, and a sprinkle of magical realism. In her past incarnation she was an interior designer, not a decorator, a designer, which basically means she has a piece of paper to prove that she knows how to match things, measure things and miraculously make mundane pieces of furniture appear to be masterpieces. Elizabeth says being an interior designer is one part shrink, one part marriage counselor and one part artist, skills eerily similar to those employed in writing.
Elizabeth grew up in Illinois, but has also lived in Texas and Florida. If she’s not pounding her head against the wall trying to get the words just right, you can find her at a softball field out in the boonies somewhere or sitting in the bleachers by a basketball court. Elizabeth resides with her husband, girls, and two cats who’ve spelled everyone into believing they’re really dogs.
Elizabeth has traveled extensively, but still says there’s no town like ChiTown.