“A lovingly drawn depiction of Black family dynamics.” —Publishers Weekly on Learned Reactions
A marriage lost is found again in this cheeky new romantic comedy from acclaimed author Jayce Ellis.
As executive chef at one of the hottest restaurants in DC, DeShawn Franklin has almost everything he’s ever wanted. He’s well-known, his restaurant is Michelin starred and he can write his own ticket anywhere he wants. Until his grandmother calls him home and drops two bombshells:
1) She has cancer and she’s not seeking treatment.
2) She’s willing half her estate to DeShawn’s ex-husband, Malik.
Make that three bombshells.
3) That whole divorce thing? It didn’t quite go through. DeShawn and Malik are still married.
And when DeShawn’s shady uncle contests Grandma’s will, there’s only one path back to justice: play it like he and Malik have reconciled. They need to act like a married couple just long enough to dispense with the lawsuit.
Once DeShawn is back in Malik’s orbit, it’s not hard to remember why they parted. All the reasons he walked away remain—but so do all the reasons he fell in love in the first place.
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Having read a previous book by this author, Jeremiah, I was looking forward to reading another book by this author who portrays her Black MC’s with great depth and clearly uses her #ownvoice. This book did not disappoint at all.
There was so much going on in this book, and I loved every second of it. The story just worked so well.
DeShawn seemed to have it all, executive chef at a starred restaurant, famous, does a weekly television, men on his arm for all the events, and a dog he adores. However, when his grandmother calls, his entire world changes. Meanwhile, Malik is at the opposite end of the spectrum, working in his family’s restaurant that is just a short time from having to close due to changes beyond his control. Unhappy in his life, with his brother, with the bright spot being his dog.
DeShawn’s dying grandmother, while she didn’t intend to keep any secrets about DeShawn and Malik’s divorce, or lack thereof, she did try to use it to bring them back together. All of these things were so very indicative of real world issues. DeShawn not calling Malik to tell him, because he put it off. Malik not calling DeShawn for the same reason. Avoiding a problem as long as possible. A restaurant that is all old school, with no carry out, no quick foods, dying while the world goes on around them. Even gambling issues.
Through it all, it wasn’t an instant fix. There was a lot of hurt, anger and loss, from years past, thrown in that needed to be dealt with in the present. Then they could deal with the rest of their issues, from the divorce that wasn’t, to the uncle who was determined to get all of his mother’s money, to saving Malik’s family restaurant. All of this, while trying to pretend they found each other again, and fell right back in love.
Also, the fact that the dogs were instantly buddies…warmed my heart so much.
I absolutely loved this book, beginning to end.
5 pieces of eye candy