So I decided to hop on another blog tour for a book we posted a guest post for last week. I(Libertad) decided to review it as well because the cover really drew me in!!! It's simple but eye catching. It's rare when I actually like Interracial couples on book covers that aren't YA, simply because I hate covers that fetishize Mixed Race unions. This one was really to my liking because the girl on the cover is darker skinned. Believe it or not, that seems like a rare thing these days. So off to my thoughts...
Here's what the blurb tells us about the book:
Damaged and abused.
Jane Daugherty has survived what can only be described as the childhood from hell. After years of mental, physical, and sexual abuse, she has become a fiercely independent young woman - closed off from human connection. Unable to believe in people or their capability to be kind, she has vowed to build a new life for herself so that she never has to rely on, or trust, others again. At 24-years-old, she is fulfilling this vow, successfully working as the youngest tenure-track professor at the University of New York.
Brilliant and remarkably accomplished, Jane's life takes an unexpected turn when she is reunited with the childhood friend she protected in foster care. Alexa Masterson introduces Jane to the family that adopted her, a family that includes her older brother, Aiden Masterson. Instantly drawn to each other, Aiden and Jane embark on a relationship that will either destroy them both or shape them into the man and woman they were always meant to be. Can what started as lust transform into love? And what will bring about the transformation that they ultimately need?
A part of me assumed that from the cover, Jane and Aiden would be a sort of playful,whimsical couple(like maybe Viva and Rocky from Some Girls) so I was a little disappointed that they weren't. I thought they were cute and likeable together, just not how I initially thought they were going to be.
I liked Aiden. I thought he had a sweet personality and wasn't too Alpha for my taste.I also liked his description. I read too many books where the guy has dark hair and blue eyes, so I feel like i'm always reading the same person. I would have liked for him to have some sort of flaw though. He was kind of perfect in every way that I had to roll my eyes sometimes. Facial hair, a mole, just anything that wouldn't have made him so clean cut. I hated that he was wealthy or rather that he came from a wealthy family. Maybe I just don't connect with that trope too much.Ya know, the rich guy "saves" the poor girl and spoils her with his money? Sometimes I thought she was too impressed with his lifestyle which is easily understandable for a woman who had to work her whole life to get even a sliver of what he has. What would have made me love Aiden was if he weren't so pushy about getting her to open up. He went as far as going behind her back to discover things about her. The thing with victims of abuse is that you need a little more than a few weeks to get them to open up to you and he seemed very impatient.
Jane was a challenging character. I was never sure If i liked or disliked her. I liked her overall description of herself. There were things off the bat that I easily related to, like the fact that she wore bantu knots and had an afro. I hardly ever read black women in books that are natural and since becoming natural, that was a big plus for me. I liked that she was educated but I thought it was a little unrealistic that she found a job as a NYU professor straight out of college with no connections at 24 years old. Jane was struggling with a lifetime of emotional, physical and sexual abuse so I understood why she behaved the way she did. Abuse amongst women is always a difficult thing to choose to include in a story. I wish it were tackled more often.
Something that made me extremely uncomfortable that Jane was the only person of color throughout the whole book.There were times when I thought a lot of people "other-ed" her. When her foster sister Alexa asked to touch her hair, I was kind of weird-ed out because that happens to me so often and it makes me feel like less of a human being. Curiosity doesn't really give you the right to reach out and touch something on someone and it's a very privileged thing to do. What was funny was that when I was introduced to her foster sister, Alexa(who ended up being Aiden's adopted sister)I thought that she was Latina and was really frustrated when she wasn't. Both of them were from the Bronx so it only felt natural for me to picture her Latina. I guess it read to me as a "white savior" complex. Having at least one other Women of Color character or at least Person of Color would have changed my mind substantially about that.
The way sexuality was handled in this book was sometimes to my liking but other times it was kinda judgmental, especially because it reveals itself as a Christian Romance novel as it unfolds. Usually when people find faith in books, it's like they stop having sex. Jane had sex and still enjoyed it, even after she was leaning towards being a practicing Christian. I would have liked for them to "learn" each other a little bit more instead of every romp session being super perfect. It was like Aiden knew everything she liked without asking or accidentally figuring something out. I don't like to go against anyone's religious beliefs as they are very important to people and important to me as well so some things i disagreed with on why they weren't "working" I'll chose to omit but did rubbed me the wrong way.
My main concern is that it became somewhat preachy towards the end. I wish I had known it had traces of Christian themes beforehand, I would have still picked it up due to the cover alone and it's not as if I won't read Christian Romance, but it would have been great to get the heads up. Since I'm not Christian, I'm open to various sets of values but I feel like Christianity is the "default" narrative so naturally I like seeing that challenged every once in a while. While it appears as if I wasn't completely enamored by the Christian themes of the book, I definitely recommend this book for die hard Interracial Romance fans especially if you're looking for something fresh in the genre.
Ashley Blaine Featherson from HelloCupid
Argentine Actor Rodrigo Guirao Diaz
Michelle N. Onuorah is the bestselling author of Remember Me, Type N, and Taking Names. She wrote and published her debut book, Double Identity, at the tender age of thirteen and has been writing ever since. A graduate of Biola University, Michelle continues to write and publish under her company, MNO Media, LLC . You can learn more about Michelle at www.mnomedia.com and like her page at www.facebook.com/authormichelleonuorah.
The lovely Ms.Onuorah is giving away 3 e-copies of her book!a Rafflecopter giveaway