Binding Arbitration by Elizabeth Marx
Kelly - 5
Those who know me, have long accepted the fact that I tend to have a knack for talking the hind off a donkey and it’s a novelty when, in those rare moments, anything renders me speechless. Well that novelty reared its little head today by the time I finished reading Binding Arbitration by Elizabeth Marx.
I have been sitting here looking at a blank screen for ten minutes, trying to decipher words that can give any credit at all to the myriad of emotions this book invoked in me, and recognition to an author who has been my friend on facebook for over two months, and yet I had no idea how amazingly talented she is.
This full length novel continues on from the prequel, Cutters vs. Jocks, however it is now six years later. Libby is now a very successful criminal defence lawyer working for a respectable firm, and Aidan is an A-list Baseball Player, renowned for playing the field with the fairer sex, as well as pitching his game.
While filming a commercial he receives a phone call from the one woman he never expected to hear from again, the Mother of his child, Libby Tucker. The love of his life, whom he walked away from after Graduation and never looked back.
After an uncomfortable reunion, tainted with anger and a lot of swallowed pride, Libby has the painful task of telling Aidan, the biological Father of her beloved Son, Cass, that he is suffering with Leukaemia and his only hope of continued survival is a bone marrow transplant.
Aidan believed Libby had given their child up for adoption, and is angered that she had lied, until that anger turns to regret, guilt and despair at the reality of the situation. After a couple of days to digest the information, he knows what must be done, however, explaining to Libby that he wants the chance to help put things right and get to know his son, was a completely different ball-game…
Libby is a tough cookie, and her defiance at times as a reader could be a little grating. However, I love a feisty female and even though at times I wanted to push her in the other direction to where she was headed, I knew Aidan had to work hard to put right his past undoing's, and so it was only fair that he had his work cut out.
Cass, their six year old son on the other hand will remain in my heart forever, his wise little words and his angelic charm welded its way into my heart and made this book not only good, but undeniably great!
The sub plot scenarios were enough to keep this book gripping and give it a good pace. The case of the Colombian single mother running from a drug baron with her son was a nice derivation to the rest of the story, and Aidan’s ex-fiancé’ was so ditsy and pathetic, I couldn’t wait to see what karma plans would come into effect, I wasn’t disappointed. ;)
However, I wasn’t prepared for the last 20% of this book; it hit me like a sledgehammer, train wreck and a volcanic eruption all thrown into one. I felt my own face drain of blood at one point, and immediately regretted that I didn’t invest in shares at Kleenex.
Libby and Aidan both shared their own voice within the pages, which made me understand the characters and helped with the reading experience when it came to their own emotions, thoughts, fears and concerns, which gave this story substance and full believability.
The best way to describe this novel is that it is a journey, it’s a comfortably long read that takes you on a voyage you will never forget. An emotional journey that will steer the reader through momentous insights of anger, regret, jealousy, despair, grief and an overwhelming sense of peace, forgiveness and unconditional love. There are not many books out there that can incorporate so many of these things and still make for a gripping read, so I can only attribute that to the incredible talent that is Elizabeth Marx. Her ability to write a book that covers, at times, upsetting subject matters and to be able to deliver it with honest angst with a poetic thrall is something that many writers lack. This book will remain one of my favourites of all time.