Binding Devotion by Kiki Archer is a completely unexpected novel. I have, up until now, only read her pure romances. This one, however has a psychological thriller element to it that makes it a killer read (pun totally intended, although no one actually gets killed.)
The blurb would have you believe it is a story of cheating. This will immediately put a lot of people off. In a way it is about cheating, however, this is my take on the story:
Set in the tumultuous time before same sex marriage was legalized in the UK, this book is about Andi, Pippa and Zara.
Andi is the CEO of the UK’s largest LGBT campaigning organisation, Proud Unity. She is married to Zara, the CEO of a massive FTSE 100 company.
Zara is older than Andi and supports them financially in a rather luxurious manner. On the surface they have the ideal marriage, lots of money and they are both young and gorgeous. But within the first few pages we discover that Zara is having an affair with someone from her work.
Andi is the face of the LGBT campaign for equal rights and she is painfully aware that her life is on show for the world as proof that a same sex couple can have a good marriage. So, when she hires Pippa as her assistant the last thing she is thinking about is having an affair. The problem is, the attraction between Pippa and Andi is real and powerful and for the first time Andi realizes that something has been missing from her life.
As Zara begins to realize that Andi is pulling away, she dangles promises of a better life in front of Andi to keep her coming back. Will Andi remain the loyal wife or will she break free and pursue true love?
Throw in some threats to Andi from a crazy stalker, a couple of great supporting roles and you have a book that will keep you guessing, entertained and flipping through pages until you have finished it. This book is a definite must-read and shows off the vast writing talent that resides within Kiki Archer.
I felt so conflicted about Zara. She was awful and I hated her, but Archer also gave her some hot sex scenes. I felt like I was cheating on Andi by enjoying the scenes. Sigh.
Pippa was the quintessential girl next door. She was gorgeous, funny, had a wicked sense of humor and was smart and independent. From the first time I met her I was yelling at Andi to leave her wife and run away with Pippa. So what if you are dirt poor and your company collapses? Who cares if the LGBT community don’t get equal rights? You just run away and be happy. I guess I must be a hopeless romantic.
Andi was so serious and sweet and well intentioned. I have a really soft spot for her.
The Writing Style
It is easy to label romance authors as formulaic or to say that it is an easy genre to write because it seems so fluffy. (For the record, I don’t believe this.) So I get a real thrill when someone like Archer puts on her writing gloves and really goes for it with a story that shows off a great writing prowess.
Archer’s writing is excellent, her timing is brilliant, her character building was great fun and I found it really difficult to put the book down.
This was a captivating story. Archer so beautifully combined the pacing and storytelling of a thriller with the chemistry that belonged in a great romance. The amalgamation made for a sizzling read.
I don’t like the cover. I don’t think it does the book justice and it kind of reminds me of the 80s. Having said that, I have no idea how I would do a cover for this book.
You should absolutely go and get this book. The story is unique, the writing is superb, the sex is hot.
Sure, there is cheating, but just go in knowing that so that it doesn’t feel like a big deal. Then sit back to enjoy the ride. And oh boy what a ride it is.
Excerpt from Binding Devotion by Kiki Archer
Andi is interviewing Pippa
“Okay what makes you angry?”
Andi couldn’t help but laugh. “Anything else?”
Pippa paused and thought carefully. “The only people who really make me angry are bigots.”
“Just the idea that there are people out there who think they’re better than other. People who think they have more right, or more entitlement, or more of a moral high ground than others. I guess it’s just people who judge. They make me cross.”
“Good answer. I like that.”
Pippa smiled. “Better than my frizzy haired one?”
“Miles,” laughed Andi, dropping her eyes back down to her questions and trying to hide her enjoyment of the chat. She took a moment and composed herself. She was finding it quite difficult to ask such informal questions so formally, but she nodded and continued. “Okay, if you could trade places with one other person for a week, famous or not, living or dead, who would it be and why?”
“Your wife.” Pippa gasped at herself. “Sorry, that was too much! I’m just having too much fun. I love questions like this. Argh! What a faux pas.”
Andi felt her cheeks redden.
Pippa was running her fingers through her curly hair. “Please, let me retract that. Sometimes I speak before I think!” She bent her head into her hands. “Cringe! I can’t believe I said that. Right, let me focus.” She lifted her face back up and tried to look serious. “I would change places with-”
“You’re going to say Jesus, right?”
“I wasn’t no. Should I?”
Andi shook her head. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have prompted you.” She thought for a second, feeling her pulse quicken at her own flirtation. “Let’s go back to your original answer. Why would you want to swap places with my wife?”
Pippa stared at Andi. “So I know what it feels like to be an actual success. She’d the boss of a FTSE 100 company. What more could anyone with ambition hope for?”
“Oh, okay.” Andi straightened the papers on her desk and dropped her eyes.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9780244632489
Kiki Archer Online
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