BOOK REVIEW ~ THE TIED MAN BY TABITHA MCGOWAN
February 7, 2019
Lilith Bresson, an independent, successful young artist, is forced to travel from her home in Spain to the wild borderlands of northern England, to repay her feckless father’s latest debt by painting a portrait of the enigmatic Lady Blaine Albermarle.
On her first night at Albermarle Hall she meets Finn Strachan, Blaine’s ‘companion’, a cultured and hauntingly beautiful young man who seems to have it all. But Lilith has an artist’s eye, and a gift for seeing what lies beneath the skin. She soon discovers that Blaine is more gaoler than lover, and if the price is right, depravity has no limits.
As the weeks pass, Lilith finds that she too is drawn into the malign web that her patron has spun, yet against the odds she forges a strong friendship with the damaged, dysfunctional Finn. In a dark, modern twist to an age-old story, Lilith Bresson proves that sometimes it’s the princess who needs to become the rescuer.
Please note that this storyline contains depictions of drug abuse, violence and non-consensual sex.
I am writing this review with the most peculiar look on my face; the expression is a mix of fascination, befuddlement, annoyance, and complete and utter boredom.
Fascination: I’m in awe of Blaine’s character. Yes, you heard me. I think the author has done a brilliant job of portraying an outwardly beautiful, elegant perfectionist but also a diabolical, conniving antagonist. For me, her character intrigued me the most.
The writing is very eloquent as well. I don’t think anyone can say that it’s not well-written, because it is.
Befuddlement: Sadly though, the eloquent writing was the major problem I had with the book. It felt too much and I wanted more action, less description. Some things where you just need one sentence to describe took a paragraph. Hence, I was pretty bored for a good 70% of the book. The last 30% captured my attention though, and it explains how I read the last half of the book in a day while it took me 3 days to finish just the first half.
Annoyance: I really loved the premise of the story and the beginning of the book grabbed my attention but soon after the author lost me with the sometimes too eloquent prose and slang. Then the chapter breaks were infuriating. I’d get a chapter break right between a conversation and it just made NO SENSE to why the characters couldn’t finish their conversation first. Needless to say, it broke my reading flow.
Also what is with Finn calling Lilith a “stupid cow?” I mean, the first couple of times I’m like okay, it’s an endearment when he’s frustrated but jeez, enough is enough. It’s not the cow’s fault.
Boredom: As for this part, I never connected with any of the characters nor was I invested in the story at all so reading the book felt like I was reading a textbook, vaguely interested but still aloof. I concede that there are a few scenes meant to be disturbing/dark, but for me I felt nothing.
I swear one day, nothing gruesome or heinous I read in books will scare me and that in itself is a scary thought.
P.S. I know I didn’t really tell you what the book is about, but all you really need to know is the blurb. Regardless to how I felt towards the book, I think it’s a good idea for first-time readers to walk blindly into the story.
EXTRA: Since it took me 3 days to read half of the book, I wrote a mid-book review that explains a little more about my feelings. You can go HERE to see it.