A Delicate Affair
The first in a series of books exploring the Black experience throughout the decades, A Delicate Affair starts things off right, with a sweet story set in a historically accurate Washington, DC of 1902. At its heart, it’s another good girl/bad boy story, but it has more than one interesting twist to this particular trope.
Golden Worth has been in DC for about six months, originally a southern country boy, but forced to flee when he was accused of looking at a white girl. Preferring not to get lynched, he packs up his musical instruments and joins a friend’s band as banjo player. The story starts there, when his Diamond Girl (his words) walks through the doors, and he is hooked.
Of course, since said Diamond Girl – also known as Leonie Harper – is obviously wealthy and definitely spoiled, they don’t exactly hit it off. They both spot each other while Golden is on stage, meet briefly in the alley for a quick smoke break, and… basically insult each other. Since the reader is living in Golden’s head at the time, Leonie does not come off well at all. She’s spoiled and entitled, but Golden still can’t stop thinking about her. He is utterly fascinated – and so is she.
Leonie, proving herself to be something more than just her background, goes out of her way to approach Golden again in an attempt to apologize. It doesn’t go quite according to plan, but she tries and seems sincere. And from there, the romance starts to work. Although they know there are major issues in the way of their being together, it all works well, at least up until you get to the resolution of the whole story, at which point, the story just… ends.
At just under 150 pages, the story just flies along, at times to its detriment. Like I said, the book just ends, without Golden and Leonie actually working towards their happy ending. It’s incredibly frustrating to go through everything in the story only to have an “I love you, I love you too, we’re together now” ending with nothing to back it up.
There needs to be more historicals in the romance world starring people of color. This book, and hopefully this whole series, stands to bring PoC romances to a wider audience, and I am so excited about that. The only thing keeping A Delicate Affair from getting an A is the ending. Other than that, we have fully-fledged characters, a historical backdrop, music, and a steamy relationship. It’s definitely worth your time.