FOREVER AFTER by Kimberley White
September 5, 2004
FOREVER AFTER by Kimberley White was my second BET Arabesque romance, and so far I'm batting 100. In the opening chapter, 27-year old Jova Parker is dealing with an ex-boyfriend who has just sued her for damages, and she was nowhere near the accident that totaled her vehicle. The ex is Herman Norman, and although their relationship had started out on the right foot, he turned into a person that she had a hard time respecting. The last straw was the accident he had while driving her Lincoln, claiming SHE owed him money for his medical bills.
In the mean time, Jova is grieving over the death of her mother, but had been busy building up a clientele at her new salon, Tresses and Locks, bought with her mother's insurance policy. Jova felt that she will make her mother proud, by creating a successful business in her honor.
Across the street is David's Garage, and Davan Underwood, David's nephew, has just moved to Detroit from Utah to help out his dying uncle. He's noticed Jova, and introduces himself to her. There are sparks, but Jova is not ready for a relationship so soon after she'd been treated so badly by Herman, and does her best to keep her emotions in check. At the same time, Dawn, who also works at the salon, finds herself attracted to Davan, and soon starts to believe there is a real relationship going on between them.
Davan doesn't give up where it concerns Jova. He does his best to convince her to go out with him on a date, asking her to give him a tour of the city. Jova considers this new relationship a purely platonic one, at first. But Jova slowly let's go of her stubborn attitude and let's him into her heart. Problems arise between Dawn and Jova because of Davan's interest in Jova, and soon Dawn quits the salon, accusing Jova of backstabbing her.
As Jova and Davan's relationship slowly blossoms, Davan's Uncle David requests to meet her. David's relationship to Davan is similar to that of father and son, and he insists on meeting Jova. Jova and David hit it off and she in turn looks up to him as the father she never had. While his health deteriorates, she helps take care of him and befriends him, making Davan very happy that the woman he loves and his surrogate father have become good friends.
Herman isn't out of the picture and he returns periodically to threaten Jova and asks for money to save him from the men who he owes money to. His gambling habit has gotten out of control, and for some reason he thinks she can help him. She thought he was out of her life for good, but despite their break up, his influence on her life has a negative impact, and it begins to affect how she deals with her romance with Davan.
I enjoyed FOREVER AFTER, and felt it was a great story. It was more complicated than the average romance. However, I did feel there was a problem with some of the writing. A few of the chapters ended abruptly, and the transition to the next chapters felt stilted and stiff. Other than that, I am recommending FOREVER AFTER and would definitely read another book by Kimberely White.