Book Review – The Tied Man – Tabitha McGowan

The first time I met him, Finn Strachan stole my breath.

Lord! This book here is the reason I love Dark Erotica. I’m actually left not knowing what to do with myself. I’ve gone through all kinds of emotions reading this, but the most prominent being horror and heartbreak… but so closely followed by hysterics… yes, insane!

Lilith Bresson is the daughter of a former UK Member of Parliament. She and her mother were once publicly humiliated as her father cut off all ties with them. She’s hated her father ever since. Lilith is also a famous painter and due to a televised outburst, quite infamous as well. Her father shows up at her residence in Spain asking for a favor. She knows this can never be good. The favor? He owes a certain Lady Blaine Albermarle, and she’s asked for a Bresson painting in return. Lilith has no compulsion to help her father, but he uses the one thing he knows she loves to blackmail her and that’s why she sets off to Albermarle Hall, Lady Blaine’s residence.

There she meets Finn Strachan. Lilith has a knack for reading people, and she immediately knows something is wrong. What she discovers is a web of deceit so twisted she could never have imagined it existed. But her connection and growing affection towards Finn makes her realize that she will need to become the rescuer of this beautiful, but clearly damaged man.

I cannot begin to tell you the amazing, twisted journey this book took me through. It’s written in British English, and the Britishisms took some time getting used to. But once that was out of the way, I was completely enthralled.

I questioned my sanity a couple of times though. I’m not sure why I love these dark stories so much. I was disgusted by the level of depravity that is Blaine. I have never encountered such a vile female character. Such a mean, nasty villain, she made all the villains I know look like choir boys. And maybe that was it, the fact that she was female. Maybe I’ve encountered so many male villains that the one female villain I encounter shocks me straight out of my comfort zone. Or maybe I hoped that she would, in the end, have some sort of humanity in her. Sigh… dreams!

My heart absolutely broke for Finn. Blaine was so intent on completely destroying Finn till there was absolutely nothing left to salvage. From a bad childhood to an even worse adulthood. Used in every possible way, yet for some reason, never completely broken. He joked, he loved, but mostly he still had hope. Buried very deep, but there nonetheless.

And Lilith fought for him. The first person to ever do so, and this completely threw Finn;

“Lili? Are you listening to me? I don’t matter! You’ve known me what? Two months? I’m nothing, Lili – you’ve got a life out there waiting for you and all you need to do is step into that boat!

But still Lilith fought on;

“What the hell do you see in me, Lili? ‘Cos I sure as fuck can’t see it in myself. Jesus, I’m this sorry, broken thing next to them!”

“I don’t expect you to be like them. Don’t want you to be. It’s not them I want, it’s you. From the moment we met, it’s only been you.”


If you are wondering what kind of Dark Erotica this is, think about it this way, the warning is there for a reason. Drug abuse – more than I thought one could take without dropping dead, but what do I know? Non-consensual sex, humiliation and the worst depravity I’ve encountered. I felt like  Lillith resembled a certain Nora (The Original Sinners by Tiffany Reisz). She was such a strong character, intelligent, hilarious and with a certain vulnerability that most people will never spot.

Then there was Finn. To me he was a mix of Michael (again from The Original Sinners by Tiffany Reisz) and Caleb (The Dark Duet by CJ Roberts.) He was physically beautiful, the kind of beauty everyone stops to look at (hence the Michael reference), but with the kind of past and present that reminded me of Caleb during his early years in captivity. Someone completely broken and at the disposal of the most evil human being you could ever come across.

And then the two of them together… seriously warmed my heart! Which by the way had not stopped beating wildly as I read all 395 pages of this book! Maybe it’s because all the depravity chills you to the bone, such that when the tender moments come, you need them so bad, they just warm up your heart that much more.

You’re shivering,” Finn said. ‘Go and run yourself a bath, a chuisle. Get warmed up.’

‘What did you call me?”

“Ah. A chuisle. Gaelic. ‘My darling.’. I prefer the proper translation, mind you.”

“Which is?”

He gave a bashful smile. ‘My pulse.’

Sigh, this book will break your heart, then mend it back together, and you’ll love-hate-love every minute of it.

5 extraordinary stars!

Amazon Buy Link: The Tied Man by Tabitha McGowan

tied man

Finally I’d like to thank the author for providing this copy for my review.

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6 Responses to Book Review – The Tied Man – Tabitha McGowan

  1. Bennita says:

    The more twisted, the better. I love books that keep me thinking about the story and characters long after I’ve finished reading. Those are the best books in my opinion.

  2. lisa says:

    This is an Awesome review!! I absolutely fell in love with this book! I read it back in April and still can’t get over it 🙂

  3. Kris says:

    Oh my hell! Not only is this book wickedly twisted, my head is now also twisted. I love a book that makes me want to reach in and strangle someone (Blaine) and comfort someone in my arms (Finn). I loved the sarcastic humor in the midst of such tragedy. My favorite passage is one you listed in your review, the proper translation of “A chuisle”. I’m sorry it was in my TBR for so long.

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