Top positive review
Wow'ed from page one
Reviewed in the United States on July 11, 2019
so most the reviews dont really center about what the book is actually about, so i hope my review provides more insight, to help someone jump off a cliff to decide whether they feel the pricetag is worth it.
this is my first book by this author, so it took a lot to pay this pricetag for an unknown author to me. I was interested based on the hero(Omid) being Iranian and Muslim, and how being with an American born Black woman(Divine) who was not Muslim.
I fear this with authors who write non-white people but dont do the necessary research to make sure it's respectful. Sure a lot of this story is escapism, but it was done respectfully, humanizing different experiences and religious beliefs.
The story starts out with Divine and Omid as teenagers; this is somewhat a spoiler, but Omid is "famous" in Iran for reasons you need to read the book. He's not allowed to have social media because of this in his native country, so when he's visiting his cousins in the US, he approaches Divine on a social network, essentially catfishing her.
The story then fast forwards 20 years later, where both the hero and heroine are successful in their careers(he's an OB/GYN, she created her own business). Divine is honoring her cousin's desire to have her late husband's child, and decides to have children on her own via in vitro.
Omid is Muslim, and belongs to an enormous family(that includes multiple mothers and siblings) but it's humanized in a way I havent seen in a non-Muslim author do. He's the black sheep in the family and refuses to take the torch from his father in the "family business". I liked that while he's Muslim, they don't desexualize him, or make him come off as weird. He was super sexy and his culture added a lot to his narrative without taking away that it was a romance. His love scenes were amazing btw, steamy just like I like them.
He crosses paths with Divine as an adult, but she doesn't recognize him since technically he was in the photo she saw as teens, but he couldnt use his real name based on the laws in his birth country. Their relationship was strictly online, so even as he pursues her, she doesn't know he's the reason why she struggles in romantic relationships.
I'm not super religious, but I love when non-traditionally Christian religions are in romance. It's nice to see something focus on something other than race. Not that race was swept under the rug. Divine was dark skinned, darkest shade in makeup dark, and she didn't have to be crapped on to show that. This is probably the darkest woman I've read in a romance. Kudos to making with a non-white person.
Racial tension wasn't shown in the traditional way of super harsh language and hatred, but more in a modern micro-aggressive way of displaying anti-blackness and colorism.
This book really crossed a lot of t's and dotted a lot of i's for me. It was everything I typically look for in a romance that's inclusive(respectful rep, inclusion outside of race, strong family dynamics, dark skinned heroines, brown heroes, etc.).
It drags a little past the 80-ish percent mark, but it was one of the fastest reads I've had with an ebook, since I started reading audiobooks. I pray other authors will take notice, making more brown men, darker heroines who are confident, and WELL-RESEARCHED culture. I would most certainly read this book more than once, and hope the author has more books that interest me, as this opened my eyes to this author's work and it was an amazing effort.