Review: It's Been You
IT'S BEEN YOU - Rina Gray
Crimson Romance
BUY
November 2016
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
REVIEWER:  Brenda Larnell | RATING:  A
REVIEW: Tiana Holliday, the heroine, and Nathaniel “Nathan” Lawson, the hero, are two brilliant, career-driven, rising stars at an award-winning agency in New York City. Ironically, their relationship goes back to grad school where it was tenuous at best, and now it is more adversarial as they share an office. As the story opens, they find themselves competing for a lucrative account that could deliver a coveted promotion. Just how does this competition turn into a battle for the heart?

Tiana and Nathan are a delightful couple who take completion to a whole different level. They are obviously attracted to each other despite a shady past experience. To add to the competition for a top account, a wager is made between the two where the loser does the winner’s bidding for a month. Let the games begin! The competitive factor adds a lot of punch to the storyline. As the competition grows, so does the hero and heroine’s desire to be lovers. Their passion is potent and sensuous to the point where we become convinced that this couple belongs together. The author, Rina Gray, does an admirable job in allowing the couple’s relationship to evolve rather than becoming physical right away. However, there are some serious issues (namely; mother issues and lover issues) from their pasts which both Tiana and Nathan must deal with before they can solidify their feelings for each other.

The cast of characters that surround Tiana and Nathan are spot on as they help to carry the story. Tiana’s bestie, Melanie, is the complete complimentary opposite to Tiana’s type A personality. The twin’s, Casey and Courtney, are the perfect siblings who live to needle their big sister. Nathan’s stepmom and father help to keep Nathan grounded. Even the characters you love to hate, Nathan’s cynical mother, Renita and Tiana’s self-centered ex, Greg are memorable. Overall, it’s a great eclectic cast of minor characters.

Although, the HEA ending was a little schmaltzy for my taste, it was engaging. I can’t help but remember an old Anita Baker tune, “It’s Been You All the Time” after reading this story. Even though it’s the second book of a series,
IT'S BEEN YOU can be read as a stand-alone.  I liked it, and I believe you will, too. Happy reading!

15th November 2016 | romcol@caribsurf.com