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Tina's Reading Books

Genre fiction lover:  Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Urban Fantasy

Brown Sugar

Brown Sugar - Lena Matthews 3.5 stars.

Well I broke two of my cardinal rules for this book because I like this author so much....

1) It was under 200 pages. I have learned that anything under 200 pages simply doesn't work to my specific reading tastes. Once in awhile I come across a writer who can truly create a fully realized narrative in under 200 pages but it is rare. For the most part I am left wanting.


2) the price-to-page ratio is prohibitive. Normally I would never pay more than a couple of bucks for a novella length anything. @ $4.19 this was a bit pricey for the page count.

However, like I said, I really like this author and I loved the concept of the story as well as the cover so I couldn't resist.

First I commend the author for not being too anachronistic. Because the book was set in the 70s, a more recent "history" than I am used to reading and one in my lifetime where things were different enough then than they are now, I couldn't turn my brain off hoping not to read slang or read about behaviors that did not seem true to the time period. For the most part, I didn't find any although I did wonder about the term "take a chill pill" (which sounds awfully 80s to me). And I did find the pre-sex assurances about being "clean as a whistle" when the hero didn't have a condom a little too modern sounding.

All in all, though the book was fun and sexy. And for once, given the hero/heroine's relationship with each other (his family is rich and her mother is their maid) I thought her concerns about their race and class felt absolutely right. Where I get impatient with this kind of thing in a book set in 2012, for a book set in the 70s when the civil rights movement is still very fresh, this make absolute sense.

My biggest quibble with the book goes back to it's length. Shayna and Embry's relationship goes deeper than their sexual encounters & arguments they have in this book. I would have liked to have seen a more thorough exploration of that. As it is, I felt like I was reading the last several chapters of a longer book.

Apparently, lot went on before we first encounter Embry and Shayna. We get that trough some exposition. But rather than filling in the blanks, it had the effect of feeling like we have just joined them in the middle of a conversation and missed all the important bits. The story consists mainly of Embry trying to convince Shayna they can make it work. They are already in in love when we meet them. I wanted to watch them fall in love.

I wish I could recommend this book unreservedly, but I can't. The writing is good and the chemistry between the two characters is marvelous but the story did leave me wanting more. So while there is a lot of banging going on, I don't think you get enough for your buck.