This review is done in conjunction with the author's virtual tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon gift card to another randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so comment today AND follow the tour (if you click on the tour banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win an awesome prize!
When an insecure, bi-racial woman begins a cloak-and-dagger love affair with a Japanese American man, she is intent on keeping her bigoted family in the dark—albeit with devastating consequences. On the night of her brother’s murder, Deena Hammond stumbles upon Takumi Tanaka, lost and on the wrong end of a .32. After rescuing him from the certain fate driving through the hood in a Porsche will bring, a sweet kind of friendship begins. A balm for her grief. Maybe, Deena likes to think, it happened the day her white mother killed her black father. Or maybe, it was always a part of them, like DNA gone bad. Whatever the case, Deena knows that her family would never approve, hell, never acknowledge her fast-growing love for Takumi. And had he never made love to her that way, in that unraveling, soul-searching sort of way, she could’ve done the same. But love’s a devil that way. So, their game begins. One where they hide what they are from everyone. Anyone. And Tak understands this—for now. After all, Deena’s career hinges on the favor of her mentor and boss, his hard-ass of a father. And the Hammond family is already stretched thin with grief. Yet, each step Deena takes toward family and career brings her closer to an acceptance she’s never had. And away from him.
Truth? I read this book as a favor for the tour -- it didn't really sound like a book I'd enjoy, but I was intrigued enough to give it a try. And, honestly, I'm so glad I did. The author is stupendously talented.
The story is one we've read before: girl from the wrong side of the tracks hooks up with rich boyfriend. Families disapprove. It's all very West Side Story. But the author's added in race issues as well (about as many as you can: Deena, the heroine, is half black/half white and all conflicted and Tak is Japanese).
Even that is far too simple an explanation, though, and this book is far from simple. Deena is making a life for herself, despite her background, and is completely torn between family and future. Tak isn't quite as conflicted -- he's such a great guy. Yes, his family has its share of issues as well, nevermind that his father is Deena's boss.
It's such a cliche, but I really was sucked right into this book from the beginning, and went from a reluctant reader to an avid one, turning pages to see what would happen next. Every time I'd think there would finally be a bit of smooth sailing for our lovers, something would happen. Or when I'd think it couldn't get any worse, it would.
I can't write this review without mentioning the author's skill. She's truly got some amazing talent with words. She really does paint a picture with her words, from the slums where Deena's family lives, to the office where she works, to Tak's family home. I could see every setting clearly, as well as each very individual character, and the book unfolded like a movie in my mind. I was so impressed.
This book was wonderful from it's tragic beginning to its satisfying ending. So, even if you read the blurb to this book and think "meh" like I did? Don't move on to something else. Give it a try. If you like suspense, romance, tons of conflict and great writing, you'll love this book. I know I did.
5/5 flowers -- I really loved it!