by Kim Louise, contemporary (2000)
Arabesque, $5.99, ISBN 1-58314-173-1
Destiny's Song is a noteworthy debut from author Kim Louise. Sure, there are times where the Perfect Courtship between two Beautiful People can be oversweet at times, but still, the relationship between Destiny Chandler and songster Xavier Allgood reamins compelling and always readable.
Yes, he's a R&B popstar with the voice that can melt butter on hot popcorns better than Prince or Maxwell can, I'm sure. He also happens to be the Big Shot Client of Destiny's friend. Destiny is staying at her friend Davis' place to get away from the memories of an abusive ex (who's now in jail playing wifey to Big Brawn Mutha Killa and his chain gang crew, one can only hope), and she happens to be singing and swaying that sexy rump of hers to Xavier's music when Xavier happens to drop by.
Xavier, intrigued and, er, interested, makes the move, and ends up at the punishing end of Destiny the new Martial Artist's deadly chops. Hiiii-yaaa!
Still, after a few cuddly dates, those two start seeing stars in each other's eyes and all. But Destiny isn't sure if she's ready to love again, and Xavier isn't sure if celebrity relationships can work (you know, the papparazzi and all).
Xavier and Destiny's romance is leisurely and sweet, sometimes to the point of saccharine overdose. Nothing really happens. Still, the prose and the author's storytelling style succeed in luring me into the story. I find myself curious to see where the story goes even when, of course, I know the clothes have to fall off and someone will have to call the preacher. The story does weaken a lot when the author mixes in the usual bag of Arabesque tricks (can we say the ex-girlfriend factor?).
The story also touches on issues of domestic violence, but not that deeply to overpower the sweet courtship of luuurrrve between Xavier and Destiny. (I'm also quite pleased to announce that I actually can keep up with the hip-hop/R&B terminologies used - thank you MTV, Billboard.) There are some rough edges and the story can sure use a booster kick when it comes to pace (sometimes it seems as if nothing is ever going to happen), but for a debut, Destiny's Song is very readable.
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