Disclosure: I acquired the Open Road Integrated Media Kindle edition of this book when it was offered free on Amazon. I do not know the author nor have I ever had any communication with her about this book or any other matter. I am an author of historical romance, contemporary gothic romance, and assorted non-fiction.
Originally published in 1996, this purports to be a contemporary romance novel. I'm just not finding much romance in it.
Patricia Gilbert is a high school counselor in a Brooklyn public school. Morgan Braxton is owner and CEO of what I think is something like a vulture capital company, but I'm not sure. He has a fuck buddy Beverly who I think is a lawyer. Kent Braxton is his son, age 15, and a student at the school where Patricia works. Up until recently Kent has been living in Colorado Springs with his mother, who is divorced from his father. Kent is having some problems in school.
At 34%, there's no romance between Patricia and Morgan. Everything is about Kent, his relationship with his father (not very good), his problems in school (academic as well as social), and so on. There's been much more emphasis on Morgan's sex life with Beverly and his business issues than any interaction between Morgan and Patricia. They don't even seem to be aware of each other.
The book is well written, but not quite what I'd call polished. It feels a little rough around the edges in terms of style. Certain glimmers of brilliance shine through, however: the minor characters of Jerome, Patricia's fellow counselor, and Morgan's secretary are great. I wish the characterizations of Morgan and Patricia were as wonderful.
Another strong point is the depiction of Kent's difficulties fitting into the urban school environment. As the child of a white mother and black father, he has major issues, especially with his black schoolmates. Author Kitt doesn't shy away from this, doesn't pretty-up the language or the rough reality. I feel more attachment to Kent because I think of romance novels as dealing primarily with emotion, and so far, all the emotion in this book has been depicted through Kent: his loneliness, his bitterness, his anger, his pain.
The book is also almost 25 years old.
It's not a bad book; it just lacks the passion I look for in a romance novel.