Again, My Love

Everlasting Love

Sweet Honesty

Wine and Roses

Midnight Dreams by Kayla Perrin
(Arabesque/BET, $4.99, PG-13) ISBN 1-58314-044-1
Terrell Edmonds offered Jade Alexander the sun, the moon, the stars and his heart. It wasn't enough. When Terrell begged Jade to marry him, she rejected him. She chose to settle for crumbs -- Nelson Crumm, that is. "Do you honestly want to become Mrs. Crumm? If that name isn't a clue to get going while the going's good . . . " But Jade didn't listen. And, although she wasn't deeply in love with Nelson, she married him anyway.

Midnight Dreams begins six years later. Jade's hopes, dreams and faith in love have been destroyed.

Jade and Nelson are divorced. Nelson embezzled money from Jade's thriving beauty salon to support his gambling habit. He further betrayed her by leaving her for a woman who was pregnant with his child. Jade now waits tables in a New York restaurant and shares an apartment with Karen, another love cynic.

Terrell and Jade run into each other at a New Year's Eve party, and both immediately remember their time together. Terrell is determined not to let her get away from him again. But Jade is skittish and leaves before he can get her number. She later regrets her actions. But fate brings them together again when an old friend asks Jade to do her hair for a modeling assignment. Terrell is working as the photographer the project.

Jade and Terrell acknowledge their feelings for one another. Jade agrees to a physical relationship, but Terrell wants more. She is afraid to commit. He is determined to have a life with her and stops at nothing to make it happen.

It is at this point that Midnight Dreams becomes a lopsided love story. Terrell is giving his all, but Jade accepts what he has to give with little emotional involvement. The reader begins to question whether Jade is worthy of the effort Terrell is exerting to make the relationship work. Understandably, Jade is determined to reestablish her business. And, while she is adept at being a lover, she has forgotten how to be a friend to Terrell -- at a time when he really needs her.

Terrell's character is very well-written. We are able to empathize with him, and to determine what type of man he is. We are able to see his vulnerability and smile as he second guesses his initial approach to Jade after six years. Jade's character pales in comparison. And although we are offered glimpses into her family life, her marriage to Nelson and her career ambitions, she often comes across as shallow in comparison to Terrell.

As a result, Midnight Dreams is a somewhat predictable second chance romance, with a likeable hero and a so-so heroine. It's a weak three-heart read.

--Gwendolyn Osborne

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