I enjoyed this story about average people dealing with timely issues and the normal struggles of life in a realistic way.
Niyana Nichols and Omari Josef, two successful professionals, each lead quiet, disciplined lives, in part because of emotionally painful pasts. When the two meet at the college graduation of Niyana’s youngest daughter, they’re both surprised by the spark between them. Omari has been closed off to relationships since he divorced his manipulative, adulterous wife twelve years ago, and Niyana’s been burdened by guilt as much as grief since losing her husband suddenly almost three years ago.
These two have great chemistry and their banter is fresh and not forced. I loved their openness and honesty, and willingness to listen.
However, there is one thing Niyana hasn’t told Omari… she has alopecia areata totalis and she wears wigs to cover her baldness.
I loved the way the condition was covered, that other women who had it were included, and that the struggles of identity and self-esteem were discussed.
While Omari has made it clear he has no problem with Niyana’s menopause issues and their seven-year age difference, she hesitates to tell him about her baldness because she fears his reaction and because while she’s accepted her condition, she still isn’t sure of how she will live with it.
Toni, Niyana’s BFF, and Brenda, Omari’s scheming ex-wife, are two well-written characters who enhance the story, adding to its depth. But be warned… Brenda will make you want to lay hands, and not to heal.
A solid, satisfying ending is yet open enough to make me wonder if we’ll visit these characters again, and I wouldn’t mind that at all.
THIS TIME ALWAYS
BY SUZETTE D. HARRISON
She’s 53. He’s 46. Your point is?
Vivacious Niyana Nichols isn’t looking for love. Between the demands of work as a Wellness Clinic Administrator, recent widowhood, and being there for her two beautiful daughters, love has taken a back seat for the fifty-three-year-old. To make matters worse, she’s also suffering from Alopecia. Yet, when Niyana meets her daughter’s handsome professor, she is faced with emotions she thought she’d buried with her husband.
Divorced single father and African-American Studies professor, Omari Josef, is devoted to his career. When the forty-six-year-old grandfather meets the gorgeous and spirited Niyana, he’s forced to rethink his own happiness. Their age difference doesn’t matter to him. What does is making sure she realizes that she’s a woman worth cherishing. Will the sudden reappearance of Omari’s ex-wife wreak havoc in his life? Or will their undeniable attraction grow into something solid and abiding?
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ABOUT SUZETTE D. HARRISON
Award-winning author Suzette D. Harrison grew up in a home where reading was required, not requested. Turning her love of reading into a rising literary career, Suzette first experienced publication when her poetry was included in a creative journal in junior high school. While she loves happy endings, Harrison’s work is dedicated to characters who are flawed yet resilient and open to redemption. She loves crafting storylines with intricate layers and depth, often leaving readers with unexpected plot twists. Her writing has been described as “lyrical” and “riveting.” Paying homage to Alex Haley, Gloria Naylor, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, and Toni Morrison as literary legends who inspired her creativity, Suzette emphatically states that it was Dr. Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings that unleashed her writing. Literally. This bestselling author holds a culinary degree in Pastry & Baking and is busy cooking up her next novel…in between batches of cookies.