The Ties That Bind by Cheri Crystal
March 24th, 2010 by Emily / 58 views
Three Dollar Bill Reviews
Title: The Ties That Bind
Author: Cheri Crystal
Length: Short Story, 39 pages
Buy the book: Publisher
In a sequel to Does the Butch Come with the Recipe, softball captain, Cyndy Kaplan and her girlfriend, Tristan Rizzo, are back for a whole new adventure with much higher stakes. After Tristan’s prediction comes true and the Butch Cookbook earns enough money to subsidize a trip to Ft. Lauderdale for the whole team to attend the playoffs, she suggests another getaway, only without the softball league. Cyndy agrees to pop her Provincetown cherry in order to commemorate the 25th Annual Women’s Week. They end up renting a fantastic house in the fun-filled, estrogen-fest, with Tristan’s twin sister and her girlfriend to partake in the festivities. Cyndy has no idea what to expect, but Tristan is certain she’ll have Cyndy begging to come back for more.
Cyndy Kaplan, despite being disappointed numerous times and vowing off relationships, has become entranced by the stunning Tristan Rizzo. They are a pairing of opposites, with butch Cyndy’s submissive tendencies just the right match for femme yet dominant Tristan. When the women go on vacation together things get a bit kinkier than either may have initially intended, but it helps to prove just how perfect they are for one another.
The Ties That Bind is an enjoyable short story about a relationship on the precipice of becoming much more serious. The women are fun and the story hits an intensely erotic peak near the end. The story begins as sweet and innocent with fade-to-black moments and chaste mentions of intimacy, but it serves to build the sexual tension to the overwhelming and explosive climax. I thoroughly enjoyed their interactions and the roles fit them well. Cyndy is well developed as the story is from her point of view, and underlying the playing around is a thread of hesitancy on Cyndy’s part to fully embrace being in love and completely happy. One of my favorite lines from the story comes at the very beginning, “Too bad love was scary—even for the professed bravest butch in all the land.”
What didn’t work quite as well for me is the inclusion of Tristan’s twin sister Kristen and female friend Michael. It was a distraction from the couple I cared about and though it did enhance the eroticism slightly, it was unexpected, and how they become integrated into a certain part of the story was not completely believable. I was much more connected to Cyndy and Tristan, and moving away from them, even for short moments, didn’t work for me.
The story is well written and I connected to the characters of Cyndy and Tristan immediately. The story is quite an enjoyable read, with a healthy mix of sweetly romantic and downright naughty and steamy. Even though some secondary characters didn’t work for me, overall I enjoyed reading the story and will be on the lookout for more from this author.