The Ties That Bind by Piper Rhodes

Heat Level 3
SKU 978-0-3695-0959-8

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Romance on the Go ®

Elle is an innocent college girl who walks into the wrong bar. Alec is a desperate man trying to rescue his wayward sister from her drug dealer. A dealer who happens to be Elle’s respectable doctor father. When their paths cross unexpectedly, Alec kidnaps Elle to use as leverage in a last-ditch attempt to save his sister.

What starts out as a hostage situation quickly evolves into something more as both Alec and Elle fall hard for each other, their growing feelings and off-the-charts sexual chemistry impossible to fight. But with both their families on the line, will they choose their blood? Or each other?



She sighed heavily. “You don’t have to hide behind the fence. I won’t bite.” Her face curved into a naughty grin. “Unless you want me to.”

He rolled his eyes and issued a stern at ease to his throbbing cock, which clearly couldn’t read the room. Who knew the promise of breakfast could change a girl’s mood so completely? He inspected the area around her, making sure she couldn’t use anything as a weapon. Then he carefully unlocked the gate and stepped inside.

His fingers grazed hers as he passed her breakfast, sending sparks singing up his arm. The jolt must have been mutual, if her sharp intake of breath meant anything. Or maybe she’d just never seen a burrito this size before.

“Thanks, I’m starving.” She unwrapped the paper and took a huge bite, moaning as she chewed. He’d never thought of burritos as an erotic food before, but the way she was going to town on it, it was up there on the list with chocolate-covered strawberries and oysters. Maybe higher.

She washed the burrito down with a few sips of soda, heaving a contented sigh. “Thank you,” she said again. Alec reared back when she suddenly reached for him. “Whoa.” She put both hands up in surrender. “You just have something here.” She tapped the corner of her own mouth.

He swiped the side of his face with the back of his hand. “Am I good?”

“No, it’s still…” she reached out again, more slowly this time. “Here.” She gently wiped the corner of his mouth. A dab of salsa rested on her fingertip. “No amount of food this good should be wasted, no matter how small.” She raised her finger to his lips, slowly parting them. He took her in, sucking gently. Her lips opened in a small “O” of surprise. Or was it desire? Cilantro and spice coated his tongue, but all he tasted was her.

He released her, and she blinked slowly. “Did we get it all?” he whispered. Her chest flushed red, sharply rising and falling with quick, uneven breaths. Her eyelashes reached the heavens, and her wide blue eyes pinned him in place. God, she was beautiful.

“Not quite,” she whispered back, stretching on her toes. She tentatively braced a hand on his arm, leaning in.

Her lips touched his, and Alec groaned with pleasure. Every nerve was a livewire, each place their bodies touched sparking flame. She pulled him closer, molding herself against every inch of him she could reach. His arousal made itself known, straining against his jeans and pressing into her stomach.

He trailed his palm down her back, wrapping his arms around her waist. He marveled at the way her soft curves fit perfectly in his hands. Elle shifted and began kissing her way down his neck and back up again, capturing his earlobe in her mouth and tugging gently. She bit lightly, playfully, a promise of more to come. She pulled one of his hands from the swell of her backside and dipped it under her dress, moaning when he cupped her breast. His thumb flicked across her pebbled nipple, and her sharp intake of breath made his cock twitch with urgency. “God, Elle. What are you doing to me?”


Elle let her head fall back as he massaged her swollen breasts, teasing her with his nimble fingers. She ground against his hard erection, feeling the impressive size even through his pants. God, she was so wet. She whimpered when he removed his hand, needing him to touch her.

He slowly, carefully, inched one strap of her dress further down her arm, eyes never leaving hers. She shrugged off both straps until they rested in the crooks of her elbows, baring herself to him.  “You’re not wearing a bra,” he choked out, mesmerized.

“Kiss me,” she insisted. When his lips sought hers, she gently gripped his face. “Not there.” She directed him to her aching nipple, and nearly collapsed when he laved his tongue over the sensitive bud. She was supposed to be pretending. Distracting him until she could figure out a way to escape. But when he touched her like this, it was impossible to think about anything but the feel of his hands on her, his lips, his devilish tongue. The intensity with which she wanted him inside her most private place. Her legs quivered, pulses of red-hot need building inside her. She ground harder against him.

He kept one hand firmly on her breast while his mouth traced a path along her collar bone until his lips once again met hers. Elle grazed her fingertips over the top of his jeans, following the outline of his insistent cock. He groaned, and his manhood pulsed eagerly. She released the top button and slid her hand inside his jeans, trailing over his boxers.

“Fuck, Elle,” he hissed, his whole body tightening against her. She played with him, enjoying the power she suddenly had over this man. She wondered how far she could blur the lines. She was here against her will, but she desperately wanted him on top of her. By the way he jerked in her hand, she was sure he wanted her, too.

She wanted to feel the weight of him in her palm. She caressed him once more through his boxers and was about to free him completely when he caught her under her thighs and lifted her against him. She yelped at the sudden movement, instinctively wrapping her legs around his waist to keep her balance.

The way he kissed her felt like she was oxygen, and he was a drowning man. She supposed that was true, in a way. Elle wrapped one arm around his neck and ran her other hand through his hair until the rope around her wrist jerked her to a stop.

They both panted, staring at each other as the reality of their situation brought everything to a grinding halt.

He nearly dropped her in his haste to get away. “That wasn’t supposed … that can’t happen. I’m sorry,” he stuttered, his cocky façade falling away for the first time.

Elle pulled her straps back up, covering herself. Her hands shook. What did I almost do? “I—” I what? Tried to seduce you to escape, got dickmatized, and completely forgot that none of this is real? She shook herself, which only added to her misery. The adrenaline from her near mistake was fading, and the blood rushing back between her ears only reminded her of the throbbing pain in her head.

The clang of the gate slamming between them only added to her agony. She clenched her eyes shut, and when she opened them, he was gone.


Product Reviews

Score: 4 out of 5 (based on 34 ratings)
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★ ”Your drug-lord parents have my sister,…”★
Written by SBee Reviews on 23rd Mar 2024

“…and I’m thinking about kidnapping you to use as leverage.” Well, Alec thinks about sharing the real reason he kidnaps Elle, but how does he go about proving this claim AND saving his sister? For this short read, the characters are well fleshed out, and the romantic suspense unfolds in a convincing manner. Good first read from this author!

Very fast, hitting novella
Written by Amber K on 23rd Mar 2024

At just under 80 pages, this book accomplishes a lot in just a short amount of time. A great lunchtime read!

Blood Ties
Written by ChrisL on 23rd Mar 2024

Short read. This is Ellie and Alec's story. What happens when you are kidnaped and fall for the guy? What is Alec going to do now that he has feelings for Ellie? Can they figure it out? Family or Love?

The Ties that bind
Written by Romance Tragic on 23rd Mar 2024

This was a fabulous short read. Not a lot of authors can capture the momentum in a scene the way Ms Rhodes does with this book, and I was happily swept into the action and deception of the love story. Elle is the good girl who walks into a bad bar, and Alec, our dark Angel is there to change the course of the rest of her life. Great chemistry between these two, and even if there are some morally grey moments, I thought this was a great way to spend the afternoon.

Written by bookfever52 on 23rd Mar 2024

Alec and Ellie. Shes a college student and her parents are in the medical field. Hes works on the boat docks and a boat mechanic. They meet at a bar on the docks and he saves her from being assaulted. There is insta attraction between them. Her father isnt as nice as she thinks. Hes involved in drugs and is holding Alecs sister and Alec thinks he can use Ellie. Really liked this short story. It was very in depth for being short.

Dark romance
Written by Nellabella on 23rd Mar 2024

Hi I read and enjoyed this ebook “The Ties That Bind” … by Piper Rhodes … when you meet someone and get kidnapped by them…

Written by Wendy L on 23rd Mar 2024

This is Alec and Elle’s story. This is a good story which is a quick, fast paced read, with family, friendships, chemistry, instant attraction, drama, surprises, suspense, revelations, and love, which leads to an enjoyable page turner. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Elle and Alec
Written by Jen9731 on 23rd Mar 2024

The Ties that Bind is a short and steamy, instalove, OTT, girl gets her kidnapper romance. Elle is a young college student and daughter to a doctor and nurse. Alec is a hunky dock worker and boat mechanic. When Elle ends up going to a bar at the docks, she ends up meeting Alec when he saves her from being assaulted. The two are instantly attracted to one another, but Alec has an ulterior motive. His sister is being held by Elle's father in exchange for drug money owed. Alec kidnaps Elle in hopes he can trade her for his sister. For being such a short story, the characters were complex. Alec was good overall but doing a bad thing to try and save his sister. But Elle also cares for him. Will she believe him? Can she help him? Will her Dad cooperate? The characters had amazing chemistry, and we do end on a happy note after all the drama. This was my first book by this author but not the last!.

Binding ties
Written by Mr. Bobos on 23rd Mar 2024

This was a great short story. Even though it is a novella, it packs in the character and plot development to give you thoroughly enjoyable read.

Written by JustMe83 on 23rd Mar 2024

oooo, I was so not sure how I was going to feel about this once he kidnapped her. I loved him so much I didn't want him to be mean. Thank Goodness he didn't lean into that too hard. I absolutely loved how she saw reality for what it was but was still so sweet.

Elle & Alec
Written by Danee on 23rd Mar 2024

This is a short but wonderful story. We start right away with fireworks. Elle and Alec meet at a bar one night and they hit it off right away and have a steamy night together. And how funny is her surprise when it turns out that something is wrong and that she is being held captive by him to ensure that he gets his sister back from her father. Will they both get what they want and have a chance at a hea?

Hard beginnings
Written by RahiaLeight on 23rd Mar 2024

This could have been doomed from the start, but fate had other ideas. Kidnapping is surely not the best way to start a relationship, but in this case, it highlighted for the FMC what her parents truly were and what they had hidden from the light.

The Ties That Bind
Written by Danisbooksmut on 23rd Mar 2024

When Elle crosses Alec's path in a dingy bar, she doesn't realise that her world is about to be turned upside down. While Alec doesn't mean Elle harm, his sister, who is addicted to drugs, has been kidnapped and held hostage by none other than Elle's parents. Spotting a chance to get his sister back, Alec takes Elle, but then fights himself every step of the way because he doesn't want to be a bad guy and hurt Elle, but he's torn between helping his sister and also his attraction to Elle because, in any other circumstances, he could see them together. I liked the way Alec played both the good guy and the bad guy in this book; it added a new dimension to a kidnapping story. While Elle doesn't initially believe in the things Alec is saying, she soon changes her mind and decides to help him. There are elements of betrayal and hurt, of picking sides, and of sacrifice too. With danger and desire, sparks of attraction push Elle and Alec together, despite everything happening around them.

An enjoyable read
Written by Izzy N on 23rd Mar 2024

This is a short, steamy read, with a touch of the dark and twisted about it. It is easy to read and engaging. There is an interesting storyline that captures the imagination and Alec’s indecision and doubt add an intriguing element to the action. The characters are engaging. I like how sweet and brave Elle is whilst still having a steel core. Alec is a contradiction at times and it is good to see more and more of the real Alec as the storyline progresses.

Short Story
Written by Jeanne R on 23rd Mar 2024

This is the first book I've read written by Piper Rhodes; I can’t wait to read more of her books. She has written a good short story. The story is about Elle & Alex.

Short but sweet
Written by Áine F on 23rd Mar 2024

This is quite a short book, it only took me about an hour to read but I really enjoyed it. Both Elle and Alec are engaging characters, though I didn't really think it was as spicy as the blurb suggested it would be, which is fine. Would definitely read this author again.

Intense and emotional--Blood or love--Such a gripping story!
Written by Andrea R on 23rd Mar 2024

This book is such an emotionally intense read. I just kept reading and was so emotionally invested in the story I was almost sad when it was over...but such a great story.

The Ties That Bind!
Written by Mary on 23rd Mar 2024

This is a fairly short and quick read with some spice, a kidnapping or two and some dark elements. The story is about Elle and Alec. She is meeting a friend at a seedy bar when she finds herself in a bad situation. She is rescued by Alec, who happens to recognize her. Alec, is at his wits end try to figure out how to solve his problem when he sees Elle and the perfect solution. After a bit of fun and tequila Elle wakes up not knowing where she is and is a strange situation. These two are combustible and have a hard time keeping their hands off each other. Both are struggling but pulled together. I enjoyed the story and wanted to much more to it. There are a few things glanced over that I wanted more of a "what happened" answered. Overall, a sexy, steamy and fun read with some danger, suspense and dark elements.

Wild reading ride
Written by LBing on 23rd Mar 2024

This was a wild reading ride and I loved seeing how the author would bring a kidnapping to a wonderful HEA. This is a new-to-me author and she sure delivered on an engaging and fast paced read. Thankfully, we get through the suspense and drama and head into chemistry and a fab HEA with some twists. Good fun!

Written by Marie R on 23rd Mar 2024

I really enjoyed reading The Ties that Binds. It is a quick read with enjoyable characters. Once I started reading it, I had a hard time putting my tablet down. I would recommend reading this book! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Enjoyable read
Written by Polli.P on 23rd Mar 2024

Thought this was going to be a dark romance but I didn't get that vibe from it. That said, Ties That Bind is a hostage situation but there's too much heat between the MCs to make it scary! This is a short, well written novella. It's uncomplicated and easy to read. There's a decent plot and plenty of steam to make you keep the pages turning. Enjoy!

Elle and Alec
Written by T.Ell on 23rd Mar 2024

Alec is a good man who is put in a desperate situation and kidnaps Elle. These two have an undeniable connection and desire for each other. I love how fast paced it was with lots of heat and action. This book definitely makes you question how far you will go for the ones you love. Definitely a must read.

Quick, fast paced, with steam and intrigue
Written by EPM on 23rd Mar 2024

This was a quick, fast paced read with steam and intrigue. While it had a short length, it still had a good plot. Despite a kidnapping situation, I personally didn't find this to be a dark read, though I guess aspects of the storyline with kidnapping, drug debt etc certainly don't make it a sweet romance! This is my first book by this author and I will be on the lookout for more.

Written by Gkp2460 on 23rd Mar 2024

The Ties That Bind is Elle and Alecs intense, fast-paced story and is my first read by this author. It's a quick, one sitting read that pulls you in right away and holds your attention all the way through. Revenge can be so sweet when it ends the way their journey does.

A great little story
Written by AvidReader_16 on 23rd Mar 2024

This book was actually quite good for a novella. It hit all the parts you need in a story in a compelling manner and kept you hooked enough to finish it. It truly is a great book about kidnapping for family, falling in love, fighting together, and fighting for love. The smut was good too, especially since it built up first. There was enough heat between Elle and Alec that waiting a little bit for more smut was good. There were little glimpses into it beforehand but, the heat was brought full circle. I loved that Alec had a change of heart and that Elle helped him. Even when it was her own parents who would take the downfall. This truly was a great little read and I would recommend this book.

Anything to save his sister
Written by MandieM on 23rd Mar 2024

Alec is in trouble. His sister has been kidnapped by a crimelord who demands that Alec pay 10,000 for his sister's release. Drowning his sorrows in a sleazy dive bar he has a chance run in with none other than the kidnapper's daughter. Now he has leverage to get his sister back, or so he thinks. However, things don't go as planned This short novella squeezed a lot of information in so little space. It was fast moving and intriguing. I love how Alec's character was more of a golden retriever than a bad guy. I loved how smart Elle was. They were perfect for each other.

Pretty good
Written by Mreads90 on 23rd Mar 2024

This was a Pretty good book. I am definitely going to be checking out more of this authors books. It was a four star read

Suspenseful love
Written by Jordan F on 23rd Mar 2024

Elle and Alec meet at a bar and all seems to go well until Elle wakes up the next day she realizes something went wrong. Alex has taken Elle prison to try to get his sister back from Elle's father. He's hoping to make a trade no realizing that love was around the corner. Some immediate suspense is involved with this story but all gets resolved and ends with a HEA.

Really good
Written by Furmom420 on 23rd Mar 2024

I was pulled into this book right away, and it kept me hooked till the end. I really enjoyed the suspense, and the spice was perfect! I'd love to read another story about where the 2 main characters are now.

Written by Books, Booze & Bon Voyage on 25th Feb 2024

The Ties That Bind by Piper Rhodes is a dark romance novella with some suspense and family drama involving Alec and Arielle ‘Elle’. I haven’t read this author before and didn’t know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed it. The author has packed so much into this short story and draws the reader in very quickly with her good plot. Her descriptions throughout the book make you feel as if you are there with her characters that I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. It is fast paced with a few steamy and emotional scenes. Elle has agreed to meet her friend Sarah at a dive bar but what was meant to be a bit of an adventure for the girls, takes a turn for the worse for Elle. She is accosted by a drunk guy but is very relieved when someone rescues her. Alec is minding his own business, sitting alone in a corner, nursing a hangover. He is desperately trying to figure out a way to save his sister, when a commotion at the bar makes him look up. He is shocked to see Elle and knowing she is just the person he needs, he goes and saves her. The attraction and chemistry between the couple is instant but Alec’s intentions aren’t all honourable and he kidnaps her. His reasons are valid but he begins to think it’s a stupid plan when he realises she is innocent and doesn’t know what her parents are involved in? Elle is confused because she should be scared but her feelings for him override her fear. Is he a bad boy with a heart of gold or a good guy caught up in a horrendous situation? He needs her as leverage for his sister so tries to fights his attraction to her but can’t help being empathetic to what he is putting her through. Once he reveals the truth, will she believe him or will she stay loyal to her family? Is there any chance they could have a happily ever after. What happens when they blur the lines between captive and kidnapper? To me the sad part was this deserved to be a full book as the plot was intriguing, the main couple and their backstories were interesting so they deserved more.

Written by Rebecca on 17th Feb 2024

I was a little nervous at first to read this book. After reading the description I wasn't sure the whole kidnapping thing would hit right. However, I was so wrong. When we meet Elle she is waiting for a friend in a dive bar. A place where no lady should be alone. it is here we also meet Alex our kidnapper. When Elle and Alex first meet the attraction is instant. Alex isn't your ordinary creepy kidnapper he has a motive his sister. As sparks fly between Alex and Elle we learn that there is more to this story and a darker reason for the kidnapping. I enjoyed this book it was quick and spicy. The heat level in Hot and the characters were rather well-developed for such a short story. there is also a great plot to go with all that spice. I am very glad I got to read this book and it was a great way to enjoy a relaxing day by the pool on a cruise.

Quick and Spicy!!!
Written by Katherine on 17th Feb 2024

Quick little spicy kidnapping novelette. It was an enjoyable read, and the spice was written well!! It was very steamy and enjoyable. The rest of the story was quick, but being a short novelette that is to be expected. The 2 main characters dynamic was really interesting. How easy is it to be scared of/hate someone you are extremely attracted to? Can you stay scared of them, or does your attraction dampen that fear? Does them kidnapping you make a difference? Does their father kidnapping your sister make a difference? The one thing I would have liked to see more of is the character development and plot development. Now, it is a novelette so that means it is a short story and there wasn't a ton of space for more of that, but I would have liked to know a bit more about them. If you are looking for a fast and spicy kidnapper read, then pick The Ties That Bind by Piper Rhodes up!

Good Intro to Dark Romance!
Written by Lulu on 15th Feb 2024

I have been on such a dark romance kick, that I jumped at the chance to pick up The Ties That Bind by Piper Rhodes. This was a great, short read that packed enough plot to keep the novella moving forward and just enough spice to keep it tantalizing. The plot made sense and was satisfying considering Rhodes had less than 80 pages to develop tension, climax, and resolution. I think because it was so quick paced, and the situation itself was so time sensitive, it worked. Surprisingly, it worked better than a lot of other romances I’ve read that are three times as long. Rhodes was great at setting up the story, having it unfold, and having it resolve without making it unnecessarily long. Our MMC is Alec, a desperate and down on his luck regular, blue collar guy that’s trying to come up with ways to rescue his sister. Cue Elle, our FMC, who is a bit naive when it comes to life, though the same cannot be said for her sex life. Chemistry hits the moment they meet and I honestly could not WAIT until we got to the spice. We get teased throughout, adding to the tension as both try to figure out what the sparks between them mean. I think that The Ties That Bind by Piper Rhodes is a solid dark romance and I really recommend it for readers that are thinking about dipping their toes into that genre. Veterans of dark romance or bullymance or monster romance may find this a bit low risk, but still entertaining. // I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. //

Quick and spicy
Written by Little Bee on 15th Feb 2024

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. This is a dark romance novelette, roughly 75 pages. Short stories are often hit or miss for me because I feel there are too many plot holes. I did enjoy this dark little story, though I do feel it would have been 5 stars for me if it had a little more. Because it is so short, parts of it felt a little rushed or forced to fit together, when another paragraph might have helped bridge that connection a little more clearly. I feel this would be especially true with the relationship that formed between Elle and Alec. For me, I have a hard time believing in instalove or zappy connections between people in nonparanormal/nonfantasy books so some extra time on them would have helped. The spice was good, quick lol. This is just another pitfall sometimes with novellas, a little more depth to the spice scenes would have made it feel less rushed. Overall though, I did enjoy the book and would still recommend, just wish there was a little more :)