A new hotel chain brings two African-American professionals together in Atlanta.
When Alicia Michaels and Richmond Crawford run into each other at a college reunion, their reintroduction is filled with heat. The changes in Richmond immediately intrigue Alicia: "This was not the man she'd met…in New York with the glasses and pudgy belly. And was he smiling? She'd never seen this man smile before." Neither of them is particularly interested in a relationship, however, as they've both only recently moved to Atlanta to begin new business endeavors, Alicia starting a marketing firm and Richmond "laying the ground work for some new hotels." But they can’t help being attracted to each other, and small overtures become more as they begin working together. When they both realize they will never be able to separate business from pleasure, they agree to expand their professional relationship to a personal one. Unfortunately, trouble comes from all sides. When Richmond’s money-hungry ex-wife meets a former flame of Alicia's—someone who had a negative effect on Alicia’s feelings of self-esteem and personal safety—she sets in motion a chain of events that could lead to disaster for everyone. Calling back characters from other novels, Hodges (Deadly Rumors, 2017, etc.) builds a community of friends and lovers and uses Atlanta itself as another character. She also seamlessly addresses issues of colorism and rape culture. Unfortunately, the story’s flow is uneven, as essential developments are skipped over for brief periods of heavy exposition.
An enjoyable romance.