Charisse is a woman that knows what she wants out of life and makes it happen. A fabulous job…got it. A set of wheels…but of course! A house with room to grow…most definitely. A steady relationship with a man that will sweep her off her feet in more ways than one and complete her “it’s a wonderful life” vision…um, can you repeat the question? This last one keeps tripping her up time and time again. There was Lamar the player extraordinaire…Sean who could juggle more than the clowns of Barnum and Bailey….Marcus who needs a lifetime supply of Chapstick…need I go on?
It seems her type is tall, dark, and handsome but she keeps drawing the joker from the deck. When will her bad luck in relationship-ville end? Could be sooner than she thinks, especially with Dwayne her newest beau; perhaps he’s the answer to her prayers, her dark knight in shining armor, her suitor with only her on the brain. Then again, she’s always been a magnet for “bums”...
As you can probably tell from my other book choices and reviews, I’m all for build up, anticipation, demure scenes, and the like but um, yeah…I tend to avoid those that involve a lot of wall shaking and bed breaking if you catch my drift. (What can I say? More of a “romantic” than a “romance”…) This book, while the latter doesn’t exactly happen, it comes close….very close at times.
Charisse is all business…at first. She lets her heart get in the way of her mind and makes that fatal mistake a lot of us make by ignoring that gut feeling. You know the one that tells us something is wrong despite what our eyes are seeing? Remember, love is blind (or at least can make us blind), so seeing the obvious isn’t always as simple as just opening your eyes; you have to open your heart. When you’ve been hurt as many times as she has, it’s easy to see why she’s closed off despite her best efforts…but she doesn’t give up. That’s the important part. She’s a strong character and there for her friends and family whenever they need her, certainly admirable traits.
O_O Seriously, some of these (scratch that…most if not all of these) guys are bad news pretty much from the start and that’s just their first time around. The author adds a nice touch by having them reappear in her life now as she’s reevaluating her past relationships and showing how they’ve grown. Some quite a bit (like Lamar the chief of his own tribe of kiddos…*shakes head*) and others not so much (like Marcus…oye!) but such is life and it gave it a touch of reality.
The storyline underneath all of the language and over shared scenes spoke of a woman trying to find her way in both life AND love; proving once and for all that you can have a successful relationship and a career. There were times as I was reading that I thought to myself….I SO know what is about to happen…and they did, but they were presented in such a way as to soften the déjà vu feeling. The relationship she has with her family and friends is touching…so much deeper than most at her age…and serves her well when a long buried secret from her past comes to light. I also rather enjoyed the way the author tied the characters together by books end. There’s not one that doesn’t somehow fit into the bigger picture and those that serve as connecting pieces are just as important as the final view.
No. As I said, it was the first book I’ve ever read from this particular genre and a new adventure, what’s to regret? I would say that some of the discomfort I felt while reading may simply have been a difference in cultures…not to open a can of worms (*puts lid securely on can of worms…wraps chain around it…prepares concrete mix*). The way things are said or events are portrayed vary from friend to friend and acquaintance to acquaintance. It would only make sense that between cultures that same “difference” would show its face. It’s not a bad thing; it’s more of a learning experience if you will. You get to see a story from another’s eyes and a viewpoint you may not have first hand experience with…and it’s that something allows you to continue to broaden your reading horizons.
Would I recommend YOU read it? All depends upon your taste in books (and your age…remember, ADULT) I suppose. The underlying story was one of valuing yourself. Trying to let go of past mistakes that either you or someone else perpetrated, but LEARNING FROM THEM. Taking the time to evaluate your life but not getting so involved in the STUDY of it that you forget to LIVE it.
ARC for review courtesy of author K.L. Brady and Pocket Star / Simon & Schuster. (THANKS!) For more information on either the author, or the publisher, feel free to click the links strewn throughout this post.
Until next time…happy reading!