EVER AFTER

Edwardo Jackson, Author
Edwardo Jackson, Author . Villard $22.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-375-50636-9
Paperback - 300 pages - 978-1-58348-545-3
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-10334-4
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Boy gets girl, boy loses girl and girl tries to come back into boy's life in Jackson's slick, repetitive debut novel about a pair of African-American lovers. Nick is a Seattle native who moves from Atlanta to New York to work for a bank while finishing up his M.B.A. After settling in, he becomes deeply involved with the fickle Jasmine, who still has some issues with a previous boyfriend named Jacques. Two years into the relationship, Nick is ready to take the plunge into commitment and marriage, but he is devastated when Jasmine turns down his proposal, and he immediately takes a similar job in Chicago to put the situation behind him. Most of the book consists of monotonous episodes in which the angst-ridden Nick conducts tryouts to replace Jasmine, but he remains haunted by his gorgeous ex, who has moved to Atlanta to take a production job in television. Nick finally meets his old lover during a party weekend in Atlanta, and although sparks fly between them, Jasmine continues to hold back from Nick. Push finally comes to shove when Nick makes a career change from business to acting school and moves to San Diego to be closer to the L.A. film world, a move that sparks Jasmine's interest. Jackson pens some entertaining scenes that present an African-American spin on 20-something relationships, but the constant self-absorption of both lovers often renders them unlikable and annoying, especially during Nick's dating scenes. The ending offers a slightly different spin on the usual boy/girl resolution, but despite some promising passages, this romantic soap opera remains an inconsistent affair. 7-city author tour. (Sept. 18)

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