Until Now by Denise Skelton is a wonderfully realistic and cleverly written romance. Two people cross paths and their lives are forever changed. Although they have both sworn off getting involved in serious relationships they begin to change their thinking. The multicultural characters have many challenges and conflicts to overcome but love conquers all. The author likes to give her stories happy endings and this one is no exception.
Terry Myers' life is spinning out of control. She and her two sons live in Chicago. Terry's ex is a deadbeat dad, remarried and working on his third baby with his new younger wife while Terry struggles to put food on the table for their boys. Things go from bad to worse when Terry loses her customer service job at the mall.
F.B.I. agent, Wade Nelson carries his own baggage including a traumatic past with an abusive father. He has just moved back to Chicago and has to deal with him again. Terry has a really bad day and she runs into Wade at the market. He gives her a helping hand and she doesn't expect to see him again. But Terry's son attends Thomas Jefferson High School where Wade is working undercover as an English teacher, looking for someone selling illegal drugs. Wade catches her son involved with a group of boys who are smoking and in possession of marijuana. Events throw them together in many situations, some funny and some very emotional. There is a definite attraction between them but Terry has sworn off men and Wade has his own agenda.
Mystery and romance spice up an entertaining story. Real life situations give depth to a story that is emotional yet amusing. Terry is African-American and Wade is Malaysian. The racial diversity not only defines the characters but also gives readers a chance to learn about other cultures. Terry reminds me of the character on "Desperate Housewives" who is always getting into goofy and humorous situations. Terry is not always likeable and sometimes her antics are implausible. She works in customer service and yet she talks on her cell phone and ignores a customer. The result is that she loses a job that she needs desperately. Still, I sympathized with her. Being a single parent is tough and I wanted her to find happiness at the end. I like the fact that the romance between her and Wade develops slowly. Readers get to know the characters as they get to know each other. It's an engaging read about romance and relationships.
Publisher: First Chance Publishing (November 6, 2009)
Paperback: 336 Pages