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YOU ONLY GET BETTER
CONNIE BRISCOE, LOLITA FILES AND ANITA BUNKLEY
ISBN# (10)0-373-83059-9/(13)978-0-373-83059-6
March 2007
Kimani Press
233 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10279
Trade Paperback
$14.95
316 Pages
African American
Rating: 3 Cups

The Perfect Life

Maxine is unhappy with her life. Her daughter is rebellious and her sex life is boring. She is still bitter about a betrayal when she was in college. Tonya is sorry for betraying her best friend and cousin. She is now a successful novelist and happily married, but misses Maxine. This bitter betrayal colors the women’s outlook on life and it takes a funeral to make them see what she has.

I really did not like Maxine; she is judgmental, angry and almost brutal in her treatment of her husband and daughter. She behaves like a spoiled ten year-old in most of the story. Tonya’s behavior was not right, but it is twenty-five years later. The story jumps around too much from the past to the present and is confusing. I did not know that Dee Dee and Tonya were the same person for a while, and Mark goes from being a boyfriend to a husband in the latter part of the story.

Three for the Road

Lilibelle is spoiled and high maintenance, but she has a good heart. She certainly does not deserve the treatment that she got from her cheating ex husband. It is time to find herself. Chance has just blown another marriage to a woman he should never have married in the first place. His good deed has made him and his dog a friend and maybe more as these two recently divorced people find friendship and more on the road to Las Vegas.

I really liked the characters in this story. Lilibelle is spoiled but the events of 9/11 and her broken marriage force her to grow up and she really embraces the change. Chance married the wrong women and cheated on them because he never fell in love and Lili really shakes up his view of the world. The dog Yancey really added to the fun.

This Time Around

Danika recovered from a devastating divorce by throwing herself into her career, eventually winning a promotion to an executive position. An extreme makeover gave her back her confidence in herself just in time to confront her new co-worker and ex-husband. Raymond likes to be in control. Everyone he has ever loved has left him, with the exception of his first wife. She was too involved with her business so he left her before she could leave him. When she reappears in his life, he realizes he never stopped loving her. These two former spouses are forced to work together on a merger of their two companies, forging a merger of their own.

Danika’s makeover was kind of cool. I was rooting for her to get the promotion and happy when she got it. Her reunion with Raymond was deftly handled, but for one thing. They allude to problems with the second wife, but never say just what they are. Other than that, I enjoyed this tale.

The theme of this collection seems to be the blossoming lives of middle aged African American women, but the stories transcend that genre. The characters are all well done and the stories very enjoyable.

Maura
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books

 

 

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