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by Kris J. Roberts

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-63985-937-5
Publisher: Fulton Books

Roberts debuts with an interracial love story that follows the adventurous life of an aspiring model–turned–wife and mother of twins.

Torey Jackson is a tall, beautiful Black girl growing up in an impoverished urban neighborhood in Seattle with her loving, dedicated single mother, Carol. She dreams of becoming a famous model and fashion designer, but she first must get through the realistically portrayed mean-girl melodrama of high school with her best friend, Shorty, and her White star-quarterback boyfriend, Noah Kirkland, who captures her heart despite their personal and familial differences. While Torey comes from a poor childhood of struggle and dysfunction, Noah is the son of a billionaire aeronautics entrepreneur. Somehow the pair’s love surmounts these issues, and afterward, the story takes some jarring, sexually explicit detours as the novel morphs from an entertaining coming-of-age novel to a steamy, explicit love story about randy young adults. The love-struck Torey and Noah quickly marry and raise their family in a big house in Seattle. But complications ensue in the form of Noah’s marital indiscretions and corporate machinations along with a football tragedy involving a son. The author inexplicably saves a life-altering deus ex machina for the final pages, which snaps the story to a sudden close and sets the scene for further adventures. Roberts invests the story with good pacing and crisp characterizations as he creatively and entertainingly deals with the challenges of interracial relationships and wealth disparities in a marriage. The chapter headings incorporate the author’s illustrations, which add a unique zest and color to each section. Despite the far-too-hasty conclusion of the book, Roberts’ enthusiasm is obvious, and the opening pages hook readers, who will be eager to discover what will become of Torey and Noah and whether their love can last. What resonates most over the course of the book is its focus on realizing dreams and making the most (and the best) of any situation.

An engrossing novel but one with structural issues and a rushed ending.