** spoiler alert **
Hero: Laine Tanizaki (Asian)
Heroine: Corie Rickman's (black)
This is my first book by Kei Swanson and the first interracial book that I have read about a black woman and Asian man.
I didn't see the chemistry between Laine and Corie. I don't see how Laine had put up with Corie at times, she was annoying.
Let me give a little background about these two:
Corie is rich, an only child and owns her own bookstore in the mall. She was once married, but that marriage was short lived. Her husband was abusive to her. He beat her up and killed their baby.
Laine is not rich. He's a cop, an only child as well. At least that's what I have picked up. He teaches a self defense class. He's undercover at a burger place at the mall called Burger Train. He's one of the managers. He's there to stop a drug ring.
I had to say What! to some of things that occured in this book.
The book opens up with a what! to me. The book opens up with a thug - one of Corie's ex-husband's Ronald's men manhandling her about an envelope that she made a mistake and taken from the house she and Ronald shared, when she left him.
Why a what!?: Because the thug is manhandling Corie outside of her store and no one sees or hear what's going on besides Laine, who is at his job across from her store. He's at the counter and he hears her tell the thug "Let go of me you scumbag!"
It's not like Laine is the only person in the restaurant. Customers are in there and other employees are in there. Plus, I'm sure Corie and the thug weren't the only people in the mall outside of the restaurant. Surely, other people would have seen and heard Corie and the thug.
Not only was Laine the only person that witnessed what was going on between Corie and the thug, he'd gone over to them and eventually caused the thug to leave. And not as a cop, but as a regular guy that is supposed to be seen as the hero.
That's Laine's theme in this book. The hero. Corie gave him a nickname Galahad. From that day, she seen Laine as her hero; someone that could protect her. But protect her from what? Because, she was so tightlipped about what was wrong. Laine have asked her more than once, but she kept on saying she can handle it.
I don't know what it feels like to be a victim of abuse from a husband or a man period. I don't know how women that have walked in these shoes think, but I found Corie annoying and immature (at times).
Corie has married Ronald, a man from the wrong side of the track. Okay, unless I'm green in this area, but to me the wrong side of the track would mean. It better not have anything to do with money, because less money doesn't make a person the wrong side of the track.
I have reread what Corie told Laine at the end as to why she married Ronald and I have to say that her father is prejudiced and have tried to instill prejudiced into Corie. She told Laine that her father would preach to her about how different they were from the African Americans living in South Central. Some people can't help where they live, but just because a person lives in a certain area it doesn't mean they are bad people or even good people. Some bad people live in rich neighborhoods.
Yes, Ronald turned out to be a bad guy, but it doesn't mean, because he was from South Central that he was bad. How dare her father be that way, because he had money. It's true that a lot of black people are prejuiced against other black people, especially a lot with money.
Corie fell for Ronald, because he was forbidden in her father's eyesight. She rebelled and married the man. Unless, I have missed something, prior to her marrying Ronald it didn't say that he was a bad person or even showed bad signs. His badness seem to occur after they have gotten married. He would beat her. Again, unless I have missed something, it seemed that Ronald had only beat Corie up, when she answered his cell phone and found out about her secret - that he was a drug dealer. He beat her up to the point she had to go to the hosptial and that beating caused their baby to die. Well that's what I have seen about the beating, but when Corie told Laine why she a married Ronald, she also mentioned that he would beat up her prior to putting her in the hospital.
Some women stay with men that beats them up. Love is not that deep. Corie said that she didn't love Ronald.
Okay, getting back to the wrong side of the track issue. Because Ronald was from South Central he had to be bad. So, since this was true in this story, I guess that Corie was really attactive to bad guys. Why? Because one day at the mall, after leaving the gym, she seen Laine in Ronald's shoes, as in a drug dealer. She still didn't know he was a cop or undercover. All she seen him was with some thugs that was giving her a hard time. He tried to speak up for her without blowing his cover, but she gotten upset with him and didn't want to see him again. He bought her flowers and she went destroy them at his job and he had to clean up the mess. That was immature of her. The woman that finished raised her- her mother's friend and her co-worker, Mrs. Edith told her that she was acting like a child and I agree.
Although Corie seen Laine in his thug display, a huge part of her still wanted to be with him. I understand that Laine was really a good guy dressed in bad guys clothing for this mission, but what if he really was a drug dealer that was still into her, would she have given him a chance? She was falling for him. A bad guy.
I hated how Corie would treat Laine. One while she wanted to be with him, then the next she wouldn't. She would get mad at him with the drop of a hat. She kept pushing him away, even though she seen him as her protector. Well, she seen how he was built and to her that mean he could protect.
I understand why Laine couldn't come out and tell Corie the truth about himself. He was undercover and he was given an undercover identity, which I don't know why his real name was used as his undercover name. He's a cop. Surely, he had done a lot of bust and his name would have been recoginzed easily. Law & Order SVU! I'm surprised that Ronald didn't know who Laine was or have seen him before or even how the thugs he was hanging out with didn't know. In the movies, sometimes the undercover cop's cover is blown by someone they are hanging out with. Usually, in the movies, when the new person is brought to the pack, he is checked out.
I've said a lot, but I must get the two other Whats! in.
Another What! to me, is when Corie is visited by a different thug, who came to get the envelope that belonged to Ronald. Corie is not along in the store. Laine is there fixing the cabinet that she asked him to help her with earlier. The thug is destroying her magazines. Corie is helpless and Laine is not the visible hero. I don't see why Corie didn't stop the thug by using a self defense move. Prior to this visit she had taken a self defense class, which she found out later that Laine was the teacher (he had a friend teach the class that night)and gotten upset for a short while. Instead of Corie doing a move to get the thug out of her store or Laine being the hero that Corie wanted him to be, a cop comes to the rescue. Laine was the one that have pressed the silent alarm. I don't see how Laine could have make it behind the register and out of the store without the thug seeing him. And why didn't he be hero with this thug like he was with the other thug. He left Laine. The thug could have hurt her by the time that cop came.
The last What! to me is when Corie and Laine are at her grandmother's house being intimate with one another and her daddy shows up. A little over an hour prior to them coming to her grandmother's house, Corie waited for Laine to come pick up his car from her house. The night before he was her date to this function that her father was having. He bailed the function, because his cop boss was there. It's strange how Corie's father knew the chief of police (I think it was the cheif of police) and he never mentioned to his close friend that his daughter was seeing Laine. He and the chief talked about other things, including a drug ring that suppose to be going on at the mall. His daughter works there and so does Laine. Let me say this, Laine's undercover wasn't the typical one you see on TV or in movies. It's like the polices that attended this function didn't know who Laine was and he was hiding from them.
Moving along. Corie takes Laine up to her bedroom and pushes him in the closet, so she could pack her clothes so they could get away. Her father comes to her room and she tells him that Laine is in the closet and that they are going to her grandmother's house.
Her father knew that they were going there. I don't see why he decided he needed to follow, to be able to spend time with the horses. He arrives when Corie and Laine is in this position. Which I didn't really read. I felt that part wasn't neccessary.
Oh, let me address another issue that I didn't understand and that's why Corie was living in her store. She felt safe around her books. Really! If Ronald wanted to kill her, he could have. It's not like he didn't know where she stayed or at least could have found out where she was staying at. All he had to do was have one of his men or he himself could have waited until she had gotten off work and follwed her. It's not like her vehicle wasn't outside.
Corie immaturely thought that if she held on to Ronald's envelope he wouldn't have harm the people that she loved. He could have had her father killed and even Mrs. Edith. Even her cat Thoreau. He already had the cat put in the condition vent and since the air condition vent wasn't far from the room she was staying in, I'm sure her secret living quarters could have been found out.
I've said so much about Corie and not enough about Laine. He was a good guy, but I wasn't feeling him. I wish he was a dangerous bad boy. I hate how he short changed himself too much. He kept on wondering about him lying to Corie and what it would do to their future relationship, if he had a chance to get that far with her after she found the truth about him. The straight line was he was undercover.
The ending was rushed. It didn't tie up anything.
Please don't go by my opinion on this book to determine if you will give the book a shot or not. Every eyes sees things differently.