AUTHOR SHEWANDA PUGH
When an insecure woman begins a cloak-and-dagger love affair with a Japanese American man, she is intent on keeping her bigoted family in the dark albeit with devastating consequences. On the night of her brother’s murder, Deena Hammond stumbles upon Takumi Tanaka, lost and on the wrong end of a .32. After rescuing him from the certain fate driving through the hood in a Porsche will bring, a sweet kind of friendship begins. A balm for her grief. Maybe, Deena likes to think, it happened the day her white mother killed her black father. Or maybe, it was always a part of them, like DNA gone bad. Whatever the case, Deena knows that her family would never approve, hell, never acknowledge her fast-growing love for Takumi. And had he never made love to her that way, in that unraveling, soul-searching sort of way, she could’ve done the same. But loves a devil that way. So, their game begins. One where they hide what they are from everyone. Anyone. And Tak understands this for now. After all, Deena’s career hinges on the favor of her mentor and boss, his hard-ass of a father. And the Hammond family is already stretched thin with grief. Yet, each step Deena takes toward family and career brings her closer to an acceptance she’s never had. And away from him.
An eleven-year-old boy hitchhikes 1500 miles from Bismarck to Miami; a prostitute yearns for escape from a prison of her own making, and the horrible secrets of a long-ago murder are unraveled in the shadows of one woman’s dreams. Lizzie Hammond is an ill-fated whore that believes in little, save her own ultimate demise. Kenji Tanaka is a pseudo-architect, content to hide in the shadows of his family’s overwhelming success. Neither can stand the other. But the appearance of a boy only rumored to be true helps them discover that two unlikely halves can fit together as the perfect whole. For Lizzie Hammond and Kenji Tanaka, redemption is found in the most unlikely of places: each other, even as the world around them disintegrates.
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Deena’s grandmother is dying. Her final wish is for a Hammond-Tanaka reunion. Both sides set out for Aruba, and once there, all hell breaks loose. Then they miss the evacuation order. Threatening floods push Hammonds and Tanakas up, up to the top floor. No secret is safe on the top floor. Even if Tak and Deena do survive, the question is: will their marriage?