BEST OF FRIENDS - Natalie Dunbar
REVIEWER: Wayne Jordan RATING: A
REVIEW: I always look forward to new authors with anticipation. Not because I’m tired of the established more experienced authors, but because a new author means a new voice, a new style, the possibility of discovering a fresh exiting talent to add to the wealth of other writers who already exist. When I finally closed BEST OF FRIENDS, I felt that leisurely content at having read something that was more than good.
Ms. Dunbar has with her debut novel made a significant impact on the world of the African American romance. BEST OF FRIENDS is a delightful surprise, a fresh and alluring look at the best friend theme, and a book that sizzles with sexual tension and passion.
One of the book’s most satisfying aspects is the wonderful hero. Ms. Dunbar skillfully allows us into the soul of a man who is faced with loving a woman who is intent on being just friends; a woman he has comforted through crisis after crisis, even after she is jilted by her fiancée. But Ramón is unable to win what he wants most in life - Mariah’s love. Mariah feels that to allow intimacy between the two of them will threaten their friendship; a friendship she does not want to lose. Ramón wants more that the platonic love Mariah wants to offer.
Ms. Dunbar is at her best when she delves into the minds of her character exposing their internal conflicts, and it is her look into Ramón’s very soul that makes him the fascinating character he is. There are moments of agony when Ms. Dunbar lays Ramón naked before the reader, and we are forced to see the sensitive, vulnerable but proud man. As a male reader, I can’t help but feel Ramón’s torture and his pain.
A scene of significant, that allows us to see this tortured man takes place when Mariah has rejected him, and the only thing left is his pride. His strength of character is seen when, despite loosing the most precious thing in his life, he is able to walk away:
Slowly his shimmering gray eyes became flat an unreadable as stone and he slowly shook his head negatively from one side to the other…. The deliberate stiffness in his back and shoulders was message enough.
The love scenes between the hero and heroine are sexy, and deliciously hot, but at all times, a demonstration of their love for each other. When they make love for the first time, their coming together is a fitting climax to the sexual tension that shimmered for the time the reader meets them. And we recognize that this is that special coming together of two soul mates.
BEST OF FRIENDS is a great debut book, and definitely not one to be missed. Ms. Dunbar creates characters who are compelling, and a theme, though familiar, that demonstrates a fresh originality not often seen in the work of a new writer. BEST OF FRIENDS simply wonderful!
14th February 2021 | Original Review 2000| firstname.lastname@example.org