DECADENT DESIRE - Zuri Day
Harlequin Kimani Romance
REVIEWER: Janet Caldwell | RATING: A
REVIEW: Zuri Day crafts another winner in her final installment of The Drakes of California. The saga of the wealthy self-made Drakes continues with the story of quiet and unassuming Julian, the youngest offspring of Ike, Sr. and Jennifer Drake. This is the love story of two opposites that attract and manage to forge a relationship despite interference from some formidable foes. The leading characters, Nicki Long and Julian Drake have an on again off again long-distance relationship which challenges them to prove their qualifications in their professions and in love. Day also adds a familiar scenario to the mix - when life presents lemons you make lemonade.
This series features strong spirted women whether Drakes by birth or the women they love. Nicki Long is no exception. She is an independent, headstrong, diehard New Yorker who is living her dream as a professional dancer in her first Broadway production. An unfortunate ankle injury forces her to take leave from the show and to recuperate in Paradise Cove, California, under Julian’s careful watch.
Julian is ecstatic to have Nicki in California. He returns home to open a private psychiatry practice and is ready to settle down - only his intended isn’t on the same page. He tried to get Nicki to move to California for years only to have his dream overshadowed by her fledgling career. An elaborate Times Square marriage proposal wasn’t enough to snag this tiny dancer, so if his only hope of having her near is as the result of an injury, then he will take it.
Nicki loves Julian, but she loves her career too. Selfishly, she takes Julian’s calm demeanor for granted assuming he will patiently wait for her. During one of their break-ups she meets a slick ex-athlete with a shady past and soon realizes that Julian is a catch. Her relationship with the ex-athlete looms in the background and could ultimately ruin her career and her bond with Julian.
While convalescing at Julian’s new home in Paradise Cove, Nicki has an epiphany and decides to make the best of her new surroundings and come clean with Julian about her shady friend. Day weaves jealous scorned lovers, racketeers and unethical professional competitors together to create a story that forces two compassionate people to make some difficult decisions. Nicki finally accepts “A man who wasn’t perfect but who was perfect for her” and Julian steps up to go after what he wants instead of waiting for it to come to him.
The primary setting for DECADENT DESIRE is fictional Paradise Cove, California. Other characters impacting the story include Nicki’s best friend, Paige; her shady ex, Vince; and the entire Northern California Drake clan. Fans of the series will appreciate how Day sprinkles the novel with updates on previous characters. It’s appropriate yet bittersweet and a reminder that this is the conclusion of the series. I encourage you to read all five books in this series to fully enjoy the strong characters and storylines that make this one of my favorites.
1st November 2017 | firstname.lastname@example.org