After the Dance

Lori Johnson, Author
Lori Johnson, Author Dafina Books $15 (321p) ISBN 978-0-7582-2237-4
Reviewed on: 03/31/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-0659-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 372 pages - 978-0-7582-2238-1
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In this lively debut romantic novel, Johnson creates an intimate portrait of two unlikely characters as they navigate the beginning of a relationship. In alternating first-person chapters entitled ""Him"" and ""Her,"" we hear from pharmacist and cynic Dr. Margaret Faye Abrahams and her neighbor, Carl, a paycheck-to-paycheck single guy with three kids to support. Faye and Carl are just getting comfortable with each other when Faye's ex-boyfriend Scoobie reappears after a 12 year absence. Scoobie, now better known as Chef Vernard Payne, celebrity chef and cookbook author, admits to having been ""a low-down, dirty dog"" who once emptied Faye's bank account and abandoned her when she got pregnant, but claims to be a changed man who wants to make things right. Faye is willing to forgive and forget, but only because she and Scoobie share a painful past. As she tries to make the relationship work, she learns that Scoobie plans to mold her into someone she isn't, which, as Faye puts it in characteristically straight-forward urban language, is ""some kind of skinny-ass Stepford wife."" There's no surprise ending here, but Johnson's humor, control of voice and down-to-earth characters will likely capture the hearts of readers, regardless of their familiarity with this genre.
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