Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Binding Arbitration (by Elizabeth Marx)

Release Date: June 17, 2012
Binding Arbitration rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

"Binding Arbitration" has a prequel novella titled "Cutters vs. Jocks"

How are the sex scenes? 
Sensual, realistic but not overly descriptive. 

How are the story lines? 
Excellent. There are many engrossing issues to be resolved, multiple narratives all captivating. 

Would you read it again? 

Back of the Book

Through the corridors of the Windy City’s criminal courts, single mother Libby Tucker knows exactly how far she’ll go to save her cancer-stricken son’s life. The undefeated defense attorney is prepared to fight, but the cost of this victory requires revisiting old heartache.

Seven years ago, Libby had a one night stand with Aidan Palowski that ended in a pregnancy and him deserting her at their college graduation. Libby has worked her backside bare for everything she’s attained, while Aidan has been indulged since he landed in a pile of Gold Coast money. Libby fears asking Aidan to live up to his biological duty could jeopardize the only thing the jock worships: his celebrity baseball career. But when Aidan learns about his son’s desperate need, it pricks open the wound he’s carried since he abandoned Libby and the child.

Aiden wants to recapture what he lost and redeem his desertion. Libby wants his DNA. Will the two needs be met? Will they resist unresolved passion?


Binding Arbitration by Elizabeth Marx is a contemporary romance set in Chicago. It took a little effort on my part to keep reading initially, mostly due to the writing style. However by the time I finished, I was ready to go right back to the beginning and start again.

It has your two classic Hero and Heroinethe bull-headed and cocky Baseball star Aiden Palowski, and the underestimated but brilliant attorney Elizabeth (Libby) Tucker. In some ways, it was also the cliche story of the one night affair producing a son, who was then intentionally hidden from his egotistical father in an attempt of normalcy by the mother. But that was where the familiar story ended.

Despite being incredibly arrogant and brash; the gorgeous, mouth watering Aiden is difficult to dislike. In reconnecting with Libby, his festering wounds of denial and regret resurfaced. He was ashamed of his inaction regarding his child. Deep down, he knew that his worst mistake had been letting Libby slip away. Hiding behind arrogance was a thoughtful, generous man, who had left rather than facing feared rejection from the woman he loved. Had always loved.

Successful, brilliant, sexy and seemingly self assured, Libby Tucker was the heroine who could pack a punch, especially with her prodigious vocabulary. Her plight was harrowing, with the insidious disease of Leukemia crippling her bright, bubbly son, her world. She would not allow herself to be discomfited by Aiden, and fall once again under his captivating spell. She had once loved Aiden, but he broke her heart and abandoned her. She vowed never to let love into her heart, to avoid it ever being broken again.

Their love as a couple was incredibly believable. It seemed to grow gently, giving it credibility, rather than being rushed, forced, or implausible. Their chemistry, once we got there was hot; especially shower sex. 

“It was steamy and frantic. I was enraptured, the beating of my heart and my pulsing thrusts pounded out the sprays from the showerheads… I saw flashes of erect nipples, as they rubbed against my chest hair…she clutched me so hard I erupted inside her like lightening.”

There is so much to this story; from the profound quotes at the beginning of each chapter and out of the mouth of a wise-beyond-years six year old boy, the essence of familyits expectations and disappointments, the detailed fight of Leukemia, forgiveness and blame, the pang of death, the hope in love.

The story moved between funny, poignant, sensual, sad and powerful with impeccable timing and finesse. The author took risks that were gutsy, but ones that I feel paid off! Thankfully, due to its length, the book managed to deeply explore the many facets of the characters, flaws and strengths, and their plight in forgiveness, loving and overcoming preconceptions. It was well written with wonderfully descriptive prose. Many phrases such as
“Having my tonsils removed by a Volvo mechanic would have been more fun” dotted the dialogue providing comedic relief. It was enjoyable switching narrator between Aiden and Libby.

I laughed, cried, mourned, groaned and was thoroughly engrossed. This is not your everyday sweet romance, but a tough going, soul stretching journey that will engage you, cause you to yearn for happiness for the characters, and keep you guessing as to where the author will take you. There were times where I could not bring myself to but skim the chapters, parts too sad for me, as a mother, to read. Despite this, it was a brilliant book, one that I highly recommend.

Binding Arbitration includes a few editing problems such as missing, misspelled and incorrect words such as "it" for "is". I do not take off stars for bad editing, just warning those who are OCD about this.

Learn more about Elizabeth Marx and upcoming titles on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

This review provided by:

Published by Elizabeth Marx
Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this review 


  1. you just made me what to go and get this book and read it now!.. great review!

    1. Thank you!!! Its a tough one, so be prepared! MM xx

  2. Hi Maddie, wow a lot happening in the story. I appreciate your honesty about the typos, and the sadness. Sometimes it's easier if you're prepared for it.

    Great review....thanks!

    1. Thank you Pat! I think its good to know what you are going in for with a book that has an ambiguous cover. (I love the cover, but it doesn't offer any suggestions as to the premise of the story)
      MM xx

  3. Maddie,
    Wow! Thanks so much for the kind words about Aidan and Libby's story of heartache, forgiveness and love. It's not your typical romance and I'm so happy you gave it a chance.
    Happy Reading and Reviewing,
    Elizabeth Marx

    1. Elizabeth - Thank you soooo much! I can truthfully say, that I would give anything you wrote a chance! You have amazing talent. Can't wait to see what's next for you! MM xx


We love hearing from you!