In the fifth “Nappily” novel from Thomas (Nappily in Bloom, 2009, etc.), heroine Venus struggles to trust her husband, whose career throws him into the arms of a former love.
Having been together six years, Venus and husband Jake are happily ensconced in a gated community in Atlanta. Venus’s flower shop is a success and they can even afford private school for Venus’s daughter Mya (by her old beau Airic) now that ex–rap star and clothing designer Jake’s new career as an actor has taken off. But his career turns into a problem when Jake is cast in a movie back in California with his old flame, rising star Sirena. Wanting the public to think there’s genuine heat between the screen lovers, the movie’s PR people keep Venus in the background. Though resentful, she tries not to be jealous, reminding herself she can trust loyal Jake completely. But Sirena, a self-serving and conniving beauty, wants Jake back. Although Jake is tempted by her undeniable charms, he truly loves Venus and resists. But Sirena has a powerful secret up her sleeve. When she and Jake broke up nine years ago—he dumped her when he caught her in flagrante with another man—she was pregnant. The boy Christopher is now being raised by her father as if he is Sirena’s brother, but she’s ready to claim him as her and Jake’s son since she knows Jake would love a child, especially a son, of his own. Meanwhile Venus, the object of her own flirtatious attention from the father of Mya’s best friend, receives advice from both her mother, who is having her own marital issues, and Venus’s former nemesis Trevelle. Repetitiousness dulls the tension of the temptations Jake faces. Trevelle, who has become romantically involved in a genuinely sweet romance with Venus’s white employee Vince, ends up being the real scene-stealer.
Run-of-the-mill romantic escapism in which the characters happen to be African-American.