by J.D. Hollyfield, K. Webster
Series: 2 Lovers #1
Published by the Author (Self-Published) on January 21, 2017
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It’s the start of nothing good. I fired off a storm of raunchy text messages…to the wrong number. And he replied.
Him: Show me a picture.
Him: Tell me your name.
Why does the lure of anonymity have me craving to indulge a stranger?
It’s the start of everything right. I received a slew of text messages…when everything in my life was wrong. And she made me laugh again.
Her: You’re probably a creeper.
Her: Possibly a stalker.
Why do I have the overwhelming need to find this stranger who saved me and make her mine?
Him: Take a chance with me.
Her: This is crazy.
Him: I need to see you.
Her: What are we doing?
Him: We’re about to find out.
Her: PHOTO ATTACHED
Him: PHOTO ATTACHED
Text 2 Lovers by K. Webster and J.D. Hollyfield is book #1 in the 2 Lovers series. This started out so strong, but lost quite a bit of steam for me around the second half. In fact, I went from loving the book to finding some things very problematic.
Dani is a nice girl. Too nice. A doormat, you might call her. After she breaks up with her cheating boyfriend, she drunkenly and mistakenly sends a series of scathing text messages…to the wrong number. The unintended recipient is Ram (Ramsey), who decides to go along with the crazy girl on the other end of the phone. In the bright light of day, a much more sober Dani is mortified about the messages she sent the night before. But Ram isn’t offended–on the contrary, he’s intrigued. Dani and Ram begin a friendship, which leads to a flirtation, which ultimately leads to a relationship (and lots of super hot sex).
With the help of Ram and her crazy BFF Andie, Dani has to learn to stand up for herself and tell people no. I enjoyed this transformation because there are moments early on in the story when Dani got on my last nerve. She’s an enormous pushover in the beginning. Thankfully, she doesn’t stay that way.
Throughout the book, Ram’s past struggles with depression are revealed. But when a misunderstanding occurs and his relationship with Dani is derailed, Ram loses control. He goes into a very dark place until they’re back on track. I found this depiction unhealthy and a bit codependent, to be honest. The characters are 25 and 30, but the story takes a definite turn into New Adult super angst territory at that point.
Then there’s the subplot of Roman (Ram’s brother) and Andie (Dani’s BFF). I liked their enemies-to-lovers dynamic, but the last chapter and epilogue are clearly a setup for the next book in the series, which features Roman and Andie. I felt that this ending takes away from the central love story between Dani and Ram.
Okay. So here’s what I found most problematic of all.
Ram’s evil ex, Chelsea, is described as being a woman of color. The literal descriptions of her physical appearance are “chocolate-colored skin” and “mocha skin,” so I think we can agree that she’s some kind of brown. Whether that means she’s African American, Asian, or Latino, I don’t know because my only reference points are these food analogies–which is a separate issue, but I digress.
My problem is that–as far as I could tell–this might be the ONLY person of color in the story…and she’s a raving bitch lunatic. It’s explicitly stated that Chelsea is brown while the main characters are presumably not, if we’re going by the models on the cover. Also, the supporting characters are never described as being people of color, so I think it’s safe to assume they’re likely white as well.
My problem is that the person of color in this is the sterotypical, token villain. It seems like the authors here made it a point of describing Chelsea as brown…and then proceeded to make her the WORST possible character in this whole book. Characters who are people of color can be villains, sure. But when the only explicitly described person of color in the book is the worst person EVER, and all the great amazing wonderful characters are white, I get annoyed.
This is an issue for me because it’s hard enough to see ANY inclusion, much less positive representation of people of color in romance. The genre is getting better and more diverse, but stuff like this does not help. To include this one brown character and make her the token evil bitch villain psycho manipulator skank? Not cool.
I’ve said way too much, so I’ll just sum up by saying that I have complicated feelings overall because I loved the story up until the 60% mark or so, when things take a wrong turn into Problematicsville. As I mentioned, I also feel that the ending takes away from the main love story. Lastly, I have too many issues with the things that set off my alarm bells as a reader of color. Unfortunately, this book went from 5 stars to 2 stars pretty swiftly.
Rating: 2 stars