cover image Marrying Up

Marrying Up

Nina Foxx, . . Avon, $12.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-06-075045-9

Ambition, desire and family expectations collide in Foxx's entertaining novel (after Going Buck Wild ). Paris Montague, 30, comes from a solidly middle-class African-American family in Austin, Tex., and she has certain financial criteria for a mate, which Tyson James, an adoring lover she keeps at arm's length, doesn't yet meet. Enter smooth-talking banking analyst JaBari Nolan, who Paris's mother, Athena, pushes toward her daughter. Paris keeps her guard up with JaBari—he's a little too disarming—but, unfortunately, Athena doesn't. When Paris discovers JaBari has drawn her mother and stepfather into a dubious investment scheme, she cuts off contact with him. Paris's stepfather suddenly falls ill, and she must take charge of the family lobbying firm, which is in dire financial straits. Meanwhile, Tyson aspires beyond his day job, working on a profitable business plan and staying true to Paris despite her callous treatment. By novel's end, Paris re-examines her values and realizes the answer to her financial and romantic needs was in front of her all along. Though Foxx's brisk narrative reads easily, an important development revealed in the novel's final two pages creates a rushed and improbable end to an otherwise fun if predictable novel. (Aug.)