Tuesday, June 10, 2008

When a Man Loves a Woman

Welcome to La Connie Taylor-Jones Virtual Book Tour. I am pleased to review When a Man Loves a Woman.

Nursing administrator Victoria Bennett has soured on love. She has sworn off men; they bring too much drama and too much pain into her life. That is, until she meets pediatrician A.J. Baptiste, a single parent determined to woo her. A.J. will stop at nothing to have her, and Victoria finds her resolve put to the test…but is this a fight she really wants to win?

Read an excerpt:

Vic paused and sucked in a long breath. He was doing it again. Every time they disagreed about something, he’d lower his tone and then give her that sideways grin when she raised her voice.

“I’m moving to Atlanta.”

A.J. gave her a sympathetic nod. “I understand you think you’re moving, but it’s not going to happen.”

Vic stared at him as if he’d just mistakenly been released from the nearest mental ward. Baptiste, you don’t have the sense God gave baby geese. Have you totally lost your mind?

Ignoring the jab, he eyed her intently. “Why can’t you accept the fact that we’re going to be together?”

“I swear, man, you’re U.S. certifiable, Grade-A,” she paused, searching for the right word, then shouted out, “incorrigible.”

He lifted his brow. “You really think so?”

Dear God, help me,” Vic muttered softly and dropped her head.

She silently counted to ten and looked back into the mirror. “Baptiste, there’s not one good reason you can give me why I shouldn’t move.”

Observing their reflections, he shook his head in disagreement. “You’re wrong, Honey. I can give you two. Number one, I love you. And number two, I intend to marry you.”

“I’m not gonna marry you, Baptiste.”

“You’re wrong, Honey.”

“Why can’t we just enjoy the feelings we have for each other without any commitments?”

“No,” he countered quickly, “I’m not going to settle for a casual affair.”

“Why not?”

“Because you’re worthy of more, and we deserve better.”

Momentarily speechless, Vic took in a deep breath. Whatever response she’d expected, the one she’d just heard wasn’t it. “Baptiste, I’ve always been honest with you. I’ve told you a thousand times, I don’t do the love boat.”

Reaching out, he turned her around to face him. “Is that why you’re moving to Atlanta, because you’ve convinced yourself not to fall in love with me?”

“Boy, listen——”

“I’m not going to let it rest until you answer me.”

“Baptiste, I told you shortly after we met, that I wasn’t going to let history repeat itself with you or any other man.”

“What did Ron do to hurt you so badly that you can’t learn to love again?”

Oblivious to where she stood, Vic recoiled, her hips colliding with the sink. For eight years, she’d been asked that very question more times than she cared to remember. Yet hearing it come from the man who stood in front of her packed the same force as a two hundred mile-per-hour hurricane making landfall.

“I-I don’t want to talk about it,” Vic finally managed to say in a strangled voice.

At that moment, A.J. saw such profound pain surface in her eyes that he felt it, too. The question he’d just posed was the one he’d avoided asking for months. What could a man possibly do to cause a hurt so deep? He reached out and caressed her shoulders. “Honey, whatever Ron did, he was a fool.”

“Y-You don’t understand, Baptiste,” she cried out, lowering her head to hide her tears.

With his index finger, he tilted her chin up. “Baby, if you tell me, perhaps I would.”

“I-I can’t tell you,” she whispered, her words catching on a strangled sob.

“And I can’t help you if you don’t,” he whispered back.

She wiped the tears from her face with both hands and glanced up at him. Maybe, just maybe if he knew, he’d understand there was no way they could ever be together. “You can’t tell…”

“Tell what, baby?” He stroked his thumb along her brow, coaxing her into finishing her sentence. “Honey, I’m a lot of things, but I’d never share with anyone what you tell me in confidence. Understand?”

“H-He cheated on me…”

Finally, after ten, long agonizing months, he knew the cause of her hurt. He pulled her gently against his chest. “Honey, I’m sorry,” he uttered softly, cajoling her face into the space between his neck and shoulder. “Whoever the other woman was, she doesn’t measure up to you.”

Vic’s spine went rigid and she retreated to a private place inside where loneliness and pain resided, the place she never allowed anyone to enter.

The depth of the agony she’d borne alone made her pull back. She stared up blankly at him. Before her brain had time to consult with her mouth, she blurted out the rest of the secret she’d kept hidden for eight long years.

“It was a man.”

With that, she bolted from the room.

This is a second book for La Connie Taylor-Jones. Her sophomore effort is a fun, humorous, suspense filled romance. I liked how Taylor-Jones had Victoria's ex-husband have an affair with a man, not a woman. That was different compared to traditional romances. The interactions between the families are great. Just like any family they put their two cents into the relationship between Baptiste and Victoria. Victoria's mom gives her some wonderful advice on how to move forward. Also Victoria is a size 14. How awesome is that. Victoria's love interest is a hottie and knows how to treat a lady. How can Victoria not fall in love with Baptiste. But Victoria has issue with trust since her ex-husband's affair. Baptiste has to find a way to make Victoria trust again . Can he do it?

I look forward to reading more books by La Connie Taylor-Jones.

LaConnie Taylor-Jones, a native Memphian, is a health educator consultant and holds advanced degrees in community public health and business administration. Married, she is the mother of four and resides with her family in Northern California.

For over twenty-five years, Ms. Taylor-Jones has been an avid romance reader. In the summer of 2003 a challenge from her husband made her seize the opportunity to blend her enthusiasm for teaching health, social responsibility and social justice with her love for reading the genre. Her experience as a health educator sparked a multitude of storylines and her romance, which she defines as the spirit of adventure, played a pivotal part in her road to publication. In a little over four years, she’s authored three full-length novels.

Ms. Taylor-Jones is an active member of the Contra Costa Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the African American Community Health Advisory Committee, Black Women Organized for Political Action, and the San Francisco Area and Black Diamond chapters of Romance Writers of America.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pabast - I am so glad you are reviewing for this virtual tour group. I will be on the lookout for more of your reviews!