From RomanceJunkies.com

Contemporary
More Than Skin Deep
By Claudia McRay
Jan 7, 2004 - 8:56:00 PM

In
Hot Earth, Vonna Harper brings the Gringo and Mexican prejudices to the surface in an earth shattering meeting between Calina Rambo and Sayer Wood.  Calina has returned home to settle her mother’s estate.  The story opens with Calina walking through the pear orchard in the early morning.  She is hoping that her father’s spirit is there so that she can talk to him.  Calina is attempting to obtain closure with the life that was dominated by the pear orchards from her youth.


Sayer has returned to assume the responsibilities of the family pear orchards now that his father is an Alzheimer’s patient in a nursing home and his mother refuses to deal with reality.  He, too, is trying to piece together his life.

 

Sayer and Calina meet for the first time in the orchard that morning.  Their attraction to one another is immediate.  The first sexual encounter happens within minutes.  Neither can believe it is happening; however, neither can stop it.

 

Sayer shows Calina the documents proving that his father gave her mother the house she grew up in after her father’s death.  Her father was a migrant worker for his father in the pear orchards.  A fall ultimately resulted in his death.  Calina grew up being told that the house was purchased from the gringos after her father passed away.

 

This story will make you scream at the unjust way people see one another.  More importantly, it will make you laugh and cry with Calina and Sayer as they fight together to solve the mysteries of the past.  What they uncover changes many lives.

 

 

Mostly Sunny With A Change of Belgian Chocolate by Elizabeth Jewell explores two prejudices.  The first is a relationship between an older woman and younger man and second, an African-American and a Caucasian.

 

Carter is a radio meteorologist.  His listening audience is predominately female between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five.  Alexa Walker works for the Rocky Mountain News and is going to interview Carter.  Alexa (known to her friends as Lex) is listening to Carter’s show on the radio as she travels to the radio station.  By the time she arrives, she has a mental image of Elmer Fudd.  The reality who greets her is six foot three inches of solid Belgian chocolate.

 

Lex and Carter go from lunch to his place for games with some of his family.  Lex has a little too much to drink and then the real games really begin.  Their relationship becomes intense as they spend more time together both in and out of bed.  When Carter takes Lex to his mother’s birthday party, the relationship unravels.  Even though Carter is adopted and his family multi-racial, his mother finds it hard to believe that an older Caucasian woman would really be interested in her son for more than just sex.

 

Explore the journey that Carter and Lex take as they step back from and then explore their true feelings and venture a guess at what the future could hold.  You might even learn a new word, groupel.

 

 

In Xavier by Stephanie Burke, the reader meets a young Puerto Rican man whose past is filled with distrust and wariness and a young African-American college student with her own past of distrust and wariness.

 

Alena Queen lost her parents when a rich white boy was playing games on an overpass to see what would happen if he dropped a chunk of concrete onto the road below.  What that caused was the death of Alena’s parents and her younger sister.  Alena is working her way through college as a bartender.  After her parents were killed, she went to live with her best friend, Elise, and her family.

 

Xavier Bustamante is a talented artist whose past has been riddled with misconceptions and the piracy of his work.  He is now part owner in a tattoo parlor and dabbles in his art but shows no one else.

 

Alena and Xavier are introduced when she is leaving work and is attacked by thugs who take her into an alley.  Xavier rushes to the rescue.  Still not trusting, Alena turns on him.  He convinces her that he’s trying to help her and takes her away from the alley.  These two begin a relationship when Xavier offers to pay Alena to pose for him.

 

Alena’s friend, Elise, plays a pivotal role in this story when she becomes jealous of Xavier and puts the moves on Alena.

 

Stephanie Burke takes her reader on a journey involving deep prejudices and mistrusts on all sides.  Follow Alena and Xavier as they attempt to overcome all the obstacles in their way.

 

I highly recommend this book.  These three stories combine to show that there can be true and lasting relationships among people of different origins despite what other people may think.

 

 



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