Love So True

Twist of Fate

A Taste of Love by Louré Bussey
(Arabesque/BET, $4.99, PG-13) ISBN 1-58314-029-8
Nia Lashon learned many of life's lessons through her mother's experience. After her father's death, her mother looked for love in all the wrong places. The family was nearly left homeless when her mother's relationship with a married man who had supported them ended. Lauren Lashon advised her daughter:

"Don't let a man buy you for the right price. You might think you're getting over, but you're not. Always want more for yourself than that...I pray that you experience a taste of love."

A Taste of Love is the story of Nia Lashon, an aspiring singer who works as a waitress at an exclusive New York club. After her mother's death, Nia abandoned her education in order to help put her two brothers through school. Early in the story, Nia survives a fire that destroys the club. Nia takes a job as a maid in a hotel only to be attacked by one of its most important clients. She is rescued by businessman Roland Davenport who offers her a position at his resort in St. Croix.

Despite being involved in unsuitable relationships, Roland and Nia are attracted to each other. He is taken by her beauty and talent and tries to help her career. However, a childhood acquaintance with a vendetta against Nia threatens both her life and her relationship with Roland.

Louré Bussey published more than 50 articles in Bronze Thrills and Black Confessions magazines before trying her hand at romance in 1996. A Taste of Love is her fifth novel. There are certain elements that all Louré Bussey novels contain: an ambitious heroine, a successful and understanding hero, a rejected male suitor, a psychotic female, and grammatical errors. Unfortunately, this novel is marred with a few gaffes an editor's pen easily could have corrected.

Errors not withstanding, A Taste of Love is probably Bussey's best work since Nightfall. The narrative is tightly written. The author has crafted a credible romance. The relationship between Roland and Nia develops realistically. The reader actually cares what happens to this couple. In addition, there is an interesting plot twist near the end that is a pleasant surprise.

A Taste of Love is worth a look.

--Gwendolyn Osborne

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