Eboni Snoe's THE TIES THAT BIND is the third and final installment in BET's "Family Reunion" series.

Essence Stuart is dealing with a major upheaval in her life. Before her mother dies, she reveals that Essence's father is local politician Cedric Johnson. The trouble is, not only does he have a wife and children, he is also her two best friends' uncle.

Essence plans to confront her father at Cedric's annual family gathering at which she is always a guest, and claim his family "legally," not just through friendship. Titan Valentine is Cedric's best friend's son and a P.I. coerced into investigating Essence, he finds—despite his best efforts to the contrary—that she is not out to harm Cedric. And despite the hardship that Essence continues to deal with, she never loses her positive attitude.

Essence is truly a heroine to savor. Throughout an explosive ending, her confrontation with her father, and admitting to her best friends that she is their first cousin, her emotional well-being is not harmed one bit. Her strength is phenomenal! (Sep., 260 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Debbie Sims