Alicia was only eight years old when her father arranged her marriage to Darren. Alicia was never told of this arrangement and she definitely wouldn't be pleased if she did know. While growing up, Darren was the friend of her brother and in her opinion mean . . . she hated him. Later Alicia developed a crush on Darren only to have her heart crushed when she overheard him say that he didn't like her. His words will come back to haunt him.
Darren was twelve years old when the agreement was made between their fathers. In his opinion Alicia was a brat and he made it his mission to antagonize her as much as possible. Years later, Darren had returned home for the summer and enjoyed talking with Alicia until she overheard him deny any feelings for her. Alicia cut him out of her life completely but she was constantly in Darren's thoughts.
Darren didn't find out about the arranged marriage to Alicia until the day he graduated from boarding school. His father tried making it sound like a family tradition. Darren had an image of a little girl in pigtails and braces in his head and there's no way he's going to marry "the brat." Instead his mind wanders to a woman he'd met right after graduation whom he'd invited to a party later that night. They hadn't even had time to exchange names. It isn't until they meet up at the party that Alicia admits that she is there attending her cousin's graduation. Darren realizes who she is seconds after she tells him the name of her cousin. For Alicia, recognition takes a few minutes longer and a little taunting from Darren. He's more enthusiastic about the idea of marrying 'Licia now, but only if she falls in love with him. No amount of pressure from his father is going to force him into a loveless marriage. Darren knows from Alicia's past stubborn behavior that if she finds out about their fathers' agreement she won't ever give him the chance. With a hip-hop producer, Flex, escorting Alicia to various hot spots, it looks like Darren may not have a chance but he's determined to somehow get Alicia to love him.
Gwyneth Bolton's I'M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME is smart, sassy, and a whole lota fun! I absolutely love Alicia's determinedly stubborn streak and her outright defiance of tradition. She's a strong-willed character who isn't about to allow any man, including her father tell her what to do. Darren is just as determined but not in such an in-your-face way. What I really adore though is that Ms. Bolton's writing transcends color barriers. The characters are brilliantly represented and realistic. This is a wonderful debut story for this obviously talented author. I can't wait for Flex's story now. I'm dying to know more details about his involvement with another artist.
Watch for Flex's story SWEET SENSATION to be released in March of 2007.