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Description de l’éditeur
“A thoroughly satisfying love story with a big, beating heart.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This book is emotional, steamy and sweet—a triple threat! De Cadenet tackles mental health, gender stereotypes, and interracial romance with care and creativity. I loved it!”—Chantel Guertin, author of Instamom
Khalil Sarda went through a rough patch last year, but now he’s nearly back to his old self. All he has to do is keep his “stuff” in the past. Real men don’t have depression and go to therapy—or, at least they don’t admit it. He’s ready to focus on his growing chain of barbershops, take care of his beloved Detroit community, and get back to being the ladies’ man his family and friends tease him for being. It’ll be easy . . . until Vanessa throws him completely off his game.
Vanessa Noble is too busy building a multimillion-dollar tech career as a Black woman before age thirty to be distracted by a relationship. Not to mention, she’s been burned before, still dealing with the lingering hurt of a past breakup. Besides, as her friends often remind her, she’ll never find a man who checks all the boxes on her famous List. Yet when she desperately needs a shape-up and happens upon one of Khalil’s barbershops, the Fade, he makes her reconsider everything. Khalil is charming, intelligent, sexy, and definitely seems like he’d treat a woman right . . . but he’s not Black.
Vanessa may be willing to take a chance on Khalil, but a part of him is frustratingly closed off, just out of her reach. Will old patterns emerge to keep them apart? Or have they both finally found a connection worth throwing away the playbook for?
With this stellar debut, de Cadenet thoughtfully explores the complexities of interracial dating and the impact of mental health on relationships. When Black app developer Vanessa Noble walks into white, Algerian-French-American Khalil Sarda's Detroit barbershop looking for a shape-up, neither is ready for the instant connection or lingering attraction that arises between them. Khalil's been off his dating game while dealing with mental health issues and doesn't know if he's ready to get back out there, while Vanessa's sworn off dating white guys following a string of misfires with men who performed wokeness but still committed microaggressions and othered her. Despite their doubts, Vanessa and Khalil's friendship slowly develops into a romance born of mutual desire and clear communication. Their bond is put to the test, however, when Khalil's depression flares up again and he pushes Vanessa away. If they want to weather the bad times as well as the good, they'll both have to decide what's truly important. De Cadenet sensitively tackles some heavy subject matter, which will hit close to home for some readers, but she never loses sight of the romance. Khalil and Vanessa set a high standard for couples with their patience, support, and respect for one another—combined with sizzling chemistry. The result is a thoroughly satisfying love story with a big, beating heart.