My rating is actually 2.5 stars.
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 Ferrari 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. So, their game begins. One where they hide what they are from everyone. From 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.
In my opinion, the story starts off very slow. I actually wasn’t fully invested in the story until I got through about 80 pages, than I feel the story really kicks off. There were a lot of details, sometimes I felt like it was a little too wordy.
The one thing that completely threw me off and drove me crazy throughout the book was the excessive drama in the style of writing. It could very easily be turned into a script, without adding the directive. I understand that part of what makes a stellar book is the description, and being able to easily picture it in your head. But I feel you have to leave something to the readers imagination. Let the reader decipher what the persons facial expressions were while they are saying something. To be completely honest this book would have gotten a better rating from me if there wasn’t the excessive drama in the writing.
All in all, a good read. A lot of conflict and character building went into this. I know I always talk about how I need to feel an emotional connection with the some of the characters - but it's true...and she did a great job with that! I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well written, very descriptive novel.
Kudos to Shewanda Pugh for her debut novel. I would pick up another one of her books. I wish her the best of luck in her future novels.