Sweet, poignant romance with history thrown in
This story borders on YA genre as it centers around Latesha Thomas, a college girl in Nova Scotia of African descent, she and her invalid father struggling to survive financially and a young white man, Peter Esworth, who comes from a wealthy family, although he is a jack of all trades, especially as an electrician. Latesha is beautiful and intelligent and Peter is a handsome blond man who attracts every woman. When Latesha first saw Peter in the park, she was attracted but ignored him out of pride and fear of being ignored. Peter was immediately drawn to her, having dated very little, but didn’t know how to approach her since she acted like he didn’t exist. Latesha and her father were desperately in need of funds so she could continue her college education and the authorities had notified them that if they didn’t put a new roof on their house, they would lose the house. A new roof would cost several thousand dollars. The Thomas family resided in Beechwood, a predominantly Black community, and it was one of the former Thomas men who owned the property and made it into small residences.
In order to help raise the funds they needed, Latesha posted notices around college that she was a dating service, not identifying herself as a student. Peter had always been shy of women, yet was lonely and was the only person who called her about her services. They talked a long time and Peter enjoyed their conversation during which he related what he was seeking in a woman and Latesha set him up with first a big, heavy, strong wrestler type and then a woman who cried all of the time they were together. This author did not explain how or why Latesha got these women knowing they were nothing like what Peter wanted.
As time passes, Peter makes it a point of meeting Latesha, who is most timid as a Black woman being seen with a White man. Peter has no trouble with this at all, but Mr Thomas is violently against her and any White man and eventually when Peter’s mother learns he is seeing a Black woman, she threatens to disinherit him.
This is the basis of this romance, which is well written, although there are many paragraphs of innocuous conversation that causes the story to lag. Yet it is also full of events in past days when Whites were killed for helping or being friendly with Blacks, which causes Mr. Thomas to be particularly narrow minded and a racist. This is a sweet, interesting, healthy romance and would especially be enjoyed by the YA genre readers.