THE ART OF LOVE - Suzette Harrison
REVIEWER: Brenda Larnell| RATING: A+
REVIEW: The Great Depression, Prohibition and Segregation are three major societal issues that plagued America in the 1930’s. Not only are they expertly handled in THE ART OF LOVE, but they are also successfully fused with a compelling love story. The protagonists are Ava Lydell, an artist who is trying to achieve her dream of having a viable art studio in a time where art is considered a luxury and not a necessity, and Chase Jenkins, who takes advantage of the times to make a living by illegal bootlegging. The setting for this story stands out. The heroine, Ava settles in San Fransisco, California instead of Harlem, New York where we discover that Ava learned first-hand that some artists are relegated to pursuing rich Patrons who often push the artist to the background at their discretion. On the other hand, we learn that San Francisco is immersed in a cultural revolution, and it occurs in the Fillmore District, that is dubbed, The Harlem of the West. Moreover, many of the businesses are ‘colored-owned’. THE ART OF LOVE is a skillful blend of history and romance that engages the reader. Kudos to author Suzette Harrison!
Chase Jenkins and Ava Lydell are quite a pair. Chase is captivated by Ava’s ‘down home sassiness’, her artistic skills, and her allure. He becomes her number one supporter of her dream. Ava is reluctant to become involved with this Bootlegging young man, but his game is so tight that she can not help herself. He wins her heart one rose at a time. You’ll get that when you read the story. One scene in Ava’s studio is so sultry and sensuous that you might find yourself fanning. Remember the scene with the pottery wheel in the movie Ghost? I’ll leave that right there, and let you be the judge.
The subplot that reinforces the storyline involves Chase, his family, and his need to avenge his brother’s death. It adds another dimension to the story by providing just the right amount of tension. The minor characters are well-developed and help to move the story along. I love the connection established between this story and the previous story, Sheryl Lister’s LOVE SERENADE. The heroine, Leigh Jones, appears in this story, just as Ava Lydell is mentioned in LOVE’S SERENADE. Look for that link when you read the stories.
THE ART OF LOVE is a captivating historical romance, and it is a wonderful addition to the Decades: A Journey of African American Romance Series. The HEA is so gratifying that it will leave you smiling. I loved this story, and I recommend it.
1st April 2018 | firstname.lastname@example.org