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Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo
Contemporary fiction

Ties That Tether


We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Jane Igharo, on your first book!

by Jane Igharo

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Quick take

An unexpected love story that asks: What happens when being the perfect daughter means betraying your own heart?

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SalaciousPeach



At 12 years old, Azere promised her dying father she would marry a Nigerian man and preserve her culture even after immigrating to Canada. Her mother has been vigilant about helping—forcing—her to stay well within the Nigerian dating pool ever since. But when another match-made-by-mom goes wrong, Azere ends up at a bar, enjoying the company and later sharing the bed of Rafael Castellano, a man who is tall, handsome, and white.

When their one-night stand unexpectedly evolves into something serious, Azere is caught between her growing feelings for Rafael and the compulsive need to please her mother who will never accept a relationship that threatens to dilute Azere's Nigerian heritage.

Azere can't help wondering if loving Rafael makes her any less of a Nigerian. Can she be with him without compromising her identity? The answer will either cause Azere to be audacious and fight for her happiness or continue as the compliant daughter.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Ties That Tether.
Ties That Tether

Chapter 1

Culture is important. Preserving it, even more important. It’s the reason I’ve always abided by one simple dating rule.

Tonight, I’ve broken that rule.

It all started when he kissed me, when his silken lips and skilled tongue moved against mine with a perfect and sensational mixture of tenderness and force. It was the kind of kiss that rid me of all my wits and made me act spontaneous and reckless for the first time in my life.

That kiss brought me here—to his hotel room.

We stagger through the door. Our bodies, entangled, navigate blindly, attempting to reach the bed. He slides a hand into my blouse and, in one swift movement, unhooks my bra.

This wasn’t where I envisioned my night going. A few hours ago, I was having dinner at Louix Louis, located on the thirty-first floor of the St. Regis Hotel in downtown Toronto. My date was not the man currently undressing me, but Richard Amowie, the engineer my mother referred to as “husband material.” Like me, he was Nigerian—of Edo descent. He was also a Christian and, from the series of questions he had been asking, the kind of man who believed a woman’s single purpose was to breed babies and cater to her husband. Was I surprised by his archaic mentality? Not at all. My mother’s matches usually have this trait in common. As well as being Edo—the most important trait of all.

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Why I love it

As a second-generation Vietnamese-American, I heard my mom’s “coming to America” stories countless times while growing up, but they never grew boring. I always wanted to know more. What was it like adjusting to a new country and new culture? What was it like entering an interracial relationship with my dad? Ties That Tether offers a revelatory glimpse into this type of immigrant experience—from a Nigerian perspective.

After immigrating to Canada, Azere is under pressure from her family to marry a good Nigerian man and preserve her culture. But when her mother’s latest matchmaking attempt results in another poor fit, Azere rebels and finds herself in bed with a handsome stranger who also happens to be white. As their relationship grows unexpectedly serious, she’s forced to confront her family and their expectations while navigating her own concept of cultural identity.

A Nigerian-Canadian herself, Igharo writes her Nigerian characters with such love and vivid personality that it was impossible for me not to connect with them, especially Azere’s stubborn mother. I think Azere’s struggle to find her own voice amidst the conflicting pressures of family expectations and society makes this a particularly heart-touching read, one that will resonate with most people.

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Member ratings (7,270)

  • Jody M.

    Eagle Mountain , UT

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I loved the story! It was a beautiful book! How we are torn sometimes between different religions, cultures, etc. I have it 4 stars because I think it dragged in the middle. Loved how it ended!

  • Brittany F.

    New Orleans, LA

    The one problem with romance books is that there “has” to be a conflict moment but we also have to keep rooting for the couple and so it has to be a misunderstanding and sometimes those can feel fake

  • Sherrie M.

    South Orange, NJ

    The connection between Azere and Rafael is electric. As a child of immigrant parents, I could relate to Azere’s struggles to maintain her family’s cultural identity & still fit in to her new environme

  • Valentina S.

    Dallas, TX

    LOVED IT ❤️ loved the characters, loved the candid explanations of the romantic movie genre, loved the plot twist and love the message: love and live for yourself, not for others, not even your family

  • Savannah J.

    Denver, CO

    Captures the struggle of blending two cultures together while ensuring the preservation of both. Zere’s internal turmoil (with splashes of Rafael’s) beautifully illustrate the balance of love and duty

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