Black Tied by Rachelle Ayala
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I enjoyed Rachelle Ayala's first book into the paranormal romance genre. It is a fresh entry into a saturated genre. Since Sookie Stackhouse struck gold for HBO the genre has exploded. We have plenty of vampires, shifters, dragons, fairies, witches, gods and even unicorns represented. It is hard to come up with something new in this arena. That is exactly what Ms. Ayala did though with Black Tied.
Black Tied takes on the lesser known gods with barely a nod at the major players, and adds in Chinese culture for a delightfully entertaining adventure. The kitchen gods and their fire fighting son are the main gods in this story. When Johnny becomes captivated by Sapphire while fighting a fire in her grandmother's kitchen, he discovers the family's missing Wok of Ages. This sets of a chain of events that will have the reader laughing out loud while wondering if Sapphire and Johnny will be able to work through everything, and everyone, that stand in the way to love and wok. With vivid characters, (who reminded me of several people I know), and a blending of mythology with culture the story balances then blurs reality and fantasy. Black Tied is an entertaining contemporary romance with sweetness and hints of spice rolled into a paranormal egg roll. It is a new favorite of mine. I would definitely recommend it!
this may date me but I would like to add that the characters reminded me of a blend of Bewitched and Josie and the Pussycats. Sapphire and her friends are Josie and the Pussycats while Lao-Lao and Johnny's parents made me think of Endora and Darren's parents. If you remember those shows and enjoyed them, give this book a try. I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series!
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