|November 2016; 9780996418164; ebook & print|
(400 pages); romance
a free book was provided for this review
It was great to see an interracial relationship actively discuss the problems that could arise within families and the community without minimizing the potentially damaging effects that it can have. At the same time, this isn't a book that focuses only the hardships inherent in such matches. There's the first blush of romance as they deal with lust and their emotions, and trying to make sure that their feelings are reciprocated. Taking place in Maui, Hawaii, the backdrop becomes as much a character as Leilani's brothers. Locations are lovingly described, and you really get a sense of what Mase and Leilani love about the land. Everyone might know the term "ohana" from Lilo and Stitch now, but the word has a very strong connotation in this book. Yes, it's a romance novel, but family members are just as important to Leilani as her growing love for Mase. The conflict of familial expectations and going after she wants is very real and is likely to be a familiar kind of conflict for many readers. For fans of the Bastions' other works, Mase's friends do briefly show up at the end of the book.
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Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.
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