This book consists of two novellas: Beverly Jenkins’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas and Elaine Overton’s Second Chance Christmas. I only read the first story by Beverly Jenkins.
Beverly Jenkins – I’ll Be Home for Christmas
This was a professionally written romance between an actress and a celebrity chef. The language was clean and terse, but it didn’t touch me. Neither did the characters or their problems. The only interesting point in this story comes from an unexpected angle.
Beverly Jenkins is an African-American writer, and she writes about people from her community, but I might have had trouble figuring it out if I hadn’t looked at the author’s page on GR and seen her photo first. Or the cover of this book.
Lately, many readers and writers clamor for more ethnic diversity in our stories, but whenever I read a story with one character being non-white, it is clearly defined. The colored character is usually described in details, so no reader would mistake him or her for a white.
Not so in Jenkins’s story. She doesn’t describe her characters. Their ethnicity is simply not important for their romantic line. Their race does come through, but obliquely, when the author mentions a crazy afro hair in an old photo or an African church the protagonists attend. Or the heroine’s brown mounds of breasts in one heated passage.
I liked that a lot and added one whole star to the rating of this otherwise forgettable story.
This novella also serves as the Task #5 for my BL reading bingo 12 tasks of holiday season.