NEAR PERFECT by Sharon Mitchell


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Roxanne is community activist, star football player’s wife, devoted daughter and faithful friend—but her perfect life is about to unravel in this sequel to Nothing but the Rent (1998).

If only she could get pregnant, for starters. Jamal, her loving husband, is doing his utmost, but no luck yet. He’s eager to start a family, knowing that he’ll be playing football for just a few more years (he’s had intense headaches and his knees are pretty much shot). Roxanne, at 35, is taking thyroid supplements and praying a lot. And she counts her blessings: she has a rewarding career at the Hope Springs community center, and Jamal has provided handsomely for her and her family. She knows how much he loves her—but doesn’t know that a scheming stripper named Honey Brown is threatening a paternity suit against him, while Jamal and his best friend Linc are still trying to figure out what happened “that” night. Yes, they were both there when the stripper did a lap dance for Jamal—but only Jamal woke up with the woman, remembering nothing of the intervening hours. Afraid that Roxanne will be devastated by the news, he refuses to tell her. But she finds out eventually—after Jamal is felled by a fatal stroke during a game. Faithful friends Gayle, Monique, and Cynthia stand by her during the firestorm of speculation about drug and steroid use. Linc struggles to keep Honey Brown away from Roxanne, at least until paternity is proved or disproved—and fights his own attraction to the grieving widow as well. He sees more of her as time goes by (he also helps get her mother out of trouble with the INS), and before long, they’re in love. Then Roxanne finds that Linc has been keeping her in the dark about Honey. Can they possibly find happiness?

Another warmhearted contemporary romance from psychologist Mitchell, once again with an appealing, gutsy heroine and nicely drawn supporting characters.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2001
ISBN: 0-525-94621-7
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2001