I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Beauty is only skin deep, but some marks—and what they represent—are impossible to escape.
Eric resents his comfortable college life and the restrictions his family’s expectations put on him. Dwayne, his best friend Angel’s cousin, is a pierced and tattooed ex-con trying to rebuild his life. Eric sees only the tattoos and the way Dwayne’s upbringing have dictated his future. It takes a surprising revelation from Angel to force Eric to see past Dwayne’s defenses to the generous heart beneath and to realize it’s time for him to break free of his own instilled beliefs. The men can’t keep apart, and they gradually learn that everything they thought they knew about each other might be wrong.
Opposites attract as two men from very different backgrounds move from enemies to lovers in a story of understanding, compassion, and redemption.
ONE STAR REVIEW
This book pushed some buttons for me. The blurb made it sound like an intriguing interracial romance, but it ended up being a story with cliché characters overcoming their prejudice to find love.
It starts off with Eric, judgmental basketball player who assumes his best friend Angel’s tattooed roommate and cousin is a thug. Eric is a white college student from a middle-class family whereas Angel and his cousin Dwayne are from the projects and come with all the baggage that often come with hood life. They have criminal pasts and in Eric’s mind, Dwayne is a criminal not to be trusted. Dwayne was described as a cornrow and baggy pants wearing tattooed guy who seem to enjoy uninhibited sex encounters as Dwayne was constantly coming onto Eric. Eric assumed Dwayne was a man-ho and told his best friend Angel of his analysis of Dwayne’s character. Of course, the black predatory thug would want the stable college white boy, right?
Aside from this galling racial set up, the plot and story wasn’t smooth nor did it flow well. It was uneven and didn’t draw me in emotionally at all. I see the author was trying to set up an opposite attract, enemies to lover trope, but this story smacks of lazy plot set up and character development and research. It is a novella, so there isn’t a lot time to construct but I do not believe extra pages would save this one. I found it is unrealistic that Eric doesn’t know more about his best friends’ cousin and roommate considering Eric spends the night on Angel’s couch sometimes. Second, it was so contrived that once Eric was told of Dwayne’s sacrifice, Dwayne is all of a suddenly so attractive. I didn’t connect with their chemistry and I didn’t enjoy their sex scenes at all. It was short, but I disliked this story and I am unsure if I will read something else by this author.