Sharon Mitchell, Author . Dutton $23.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-94621-2

At the start of this semisequel to Mitchell's Blackboard-bestselling first novel, Nothing but the Rent, Roxanne Steele, wife in a "near perfect" five-year marriage to professional football star Jamal, has everything any woman could want—except a baby. Roxy, a member of the quartet of African-American college friends featured in Mitchell's debut, is happy with Jamal, but she becomes obsessed with getting pregnant. The novel begins with a lusty marital sex scene followed by an indiscretion committed by Jamal while on tour, which, if divulged, might undermine his wife's trust in him; there'd been no trustworthy men in Roxy's life until her marriage, and honesty is of paramount importance to her. All too soon, a tragic accident brings Roxy's best friends—Monique, an attorney; Gayle, a busy mother; and Cynthia, still in search of romance—to her side; they provide more support than her flighty mother and unhelpful sisters. But it is to Linc Weaver, Jamal's teammate and Roxy's childhood buddy, that Roxy turns for comfort, unaware that Linc's feelings for her are becoming more than friendly. Mitchell, a psychologist at the University of Delaware, knows that women tend to sustain relationships with talk while men are likely to keep their own counsel, which leads to misunderstandings. There are no surprises here, but the audience this novel addresses will find it warmhearted and diverting. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/17/2001
Release date: 10/01/2001
Hardcover - 575 pages - 978-0-7862-3865-1
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