Love Always

No Regrets

 
Trust in Love by Mildred Riley
(Arabesque/BET, $5.99, PG), ISBN: 1-58314-110-3
**
Aleesa Haskins is a criminal defense attorney who lives and works in the Boston area. She is in love with Miles Lewis Kittridge, Jr., a senior pilot for a cargo distribution company. It wasn't always that way.

The two met in 1997 at a junior high school career day. Miles was immediately taken with Aleesa. But when he opened his mouth to tell her so, he repeatedly stuck his foot in it. And it didn't help that Aleesa had just broken off a long-term relationship that began when she was in high school.

Miles was undeterred by her indifference he knew about accomplishing goals. He had wanted to fly since he was a kid. He used to tie a sheet around his shoulders pretend he was Superman. Miles used his powers of persuasion to get Aleesa to have dinner with him. On what was to be their first date, he also announced that he intended to marry her. Aleesa was unconvinced and told him she hoped he didn’t think “having a meal with you means I have to marry you.”

But Miles pursued her despite their hectic schedules and international flights. She remains skittish. But after Miles’ relentless three-year courtship, she finally agrees to marry him. But she soon backpedals because she is adopted and wants to find her birth parents. Miles will not be deterred.

This is a very busy book with flashes and “facts” that don’t add up or are not sustained within the narrative. For example, Miles is a credentialed pilot who got his license to fly before he got his driver’s license. He “went to MIT, got a degree in aeronautical engineering, and applied for a job with a commercial airline” but was rejected when the carrier “didn't know how their passengers would react if there was a black pilot at the controls.” It doesn’t mesh with the racial reality of the airline industry in time frame in which the story is set. It would make more sense if Miles was flying cargo flights in order to log in the necessary in-flight hours to qualify.

Relationship between two main characters is believable, although Aleesa’s dogged determination to postpone their marriage until she finds her birth parents is often off-putting. Riley often creates heroines who seem unworthy of the Herculian efforts the heroes make to woo them. The novel’s secondary characters are interesting, but are not fully developed in proportion to main characters. As a result, they come off as character sketches.

Trust in Love has an interesting twist or two in involving Alessa’s search for her natural parents. It also has an obligatory plane crash. However, my major compaint about the novel is that it is nearly 100 pages too long. The prologue is fuzzy and one has to re-read it near the end of the story to make the connections. In addition, the reader is forced to spend time with these characters much too long after the major conflicts have been resolved and the HEA has been assured.

Mildred Riley’s best book is No Regrets, a wonderful story about the era in our history known as the Harlem Renaissance. It is a simple, uncomplicated story that captures the flavor of the times. That is the book I recommend.

--Gwendolyn Osborne


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