It's a Love Thang
The plot of It’s A Love Thang is a mixture of slapstick and seriousness that never quite jelled for me. However, the hero and heroine are two of the most likable characters I have met in a long time and they made this book a better than average read. It also has one of the best cartoon-type covers I have ever seen, one that made me smile every time I picked up the book. This is an author to watch.
Ebony MacKenzie and Isaiah Malone are both journalists are hoping for better opportunities. Ebony writes for a small weekly paper, and Isiah writes for The International Inquisitor, a National Enquirer-type tabloid. Both of them are pursuing a story they hope will be their ticket to a job with The Cincinnati Inquirer. Their subject is the reclusive Reuben Renfro, also known as the Ice Cream King, who has some odd hobbies. Ebony and Isaiah meet when they track Renfo down to a nudist resort. Towels don’t hide a lot and they can’t help but notice each other. But Renfro gets away.
Ebony and Isaiah next track Renfro to a small town where he practices one of his other hobbies – paintball. But again Renfro eludes them while Ebony and Isaiah contend with skunks, poison ivy, a garlic festival, and the loss of their hotel accommodations, which forces them to rent a room from a guy whose taste is tacky 1970’s. Naturally, this puts them into close contact, and sparks begin to fly.
It’s A Love Thang continues, spinning a complicated plot that often teeters on the verge of a cliff, but never quite falls off. The goings-on would be absurd in a straightforward contemporary novel, but they suit this romantic comedy well enough, even though at times it spun from slapstick to poignancy with neck-snapping speed.
The main characters are pretty fabulous. Ebony is a smart, hard-working woman who is the backbone of her family. Her father is dead and Ebony takes care of her mother and grandmother. Both of them are comic figures who fight a lot and act childishly. Ebony also is supporting her sister, a student at Howard University. All these obligations make it vital for her to get that journalism job.
Isaiah’s reasons for wanting the job are more complicated. His father is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who is cold and uncaring. As a youngster, Isaiah had to struggle with his learning disabilities by himself. He only writes for the tabloid press to tweak his pompous father. As he gets to know and fall in love with Ebony, Isaiah begins to examine his motives to determine just what he really wants in a career.
Fans of romantic comedy will enjoy It’s A Love Thang, and I defy anyone to dislike the characters. It was a fun book, but the sometimes awkward mix of sentiment and comedy eventually rendered it only slightly above average. This is Reon Laudet’s first romance; if she can learn to better balance the variances of tone, she could be terrific.