The Object of Love
The Object of Love is a May-December, interracial romance with a ghost as one of the secondary characters. I would call that unique. While I’ve read a number of May-December romances, interracial romances, and ghost romances, this is the first time I’ve seen all these elements in one book.
We meet Lacey Burnham at the funeral for her 21-year-old son Calvin. Calvin was Lacey’s world and she is numb with grief. She collapses at the end of the funeral and Calvin’s good friend Sean Logan comforts her. Sean always was a bit of a troubled soul, but he and Calvin were good friends and Lacey had always made him welcome. After having been gone for several years, Sean is in town for a short time, so Lacey offers him a room in her home and he accepts. One evening Sean kisses Lacey and it shakes her up – she hasn’t been with a man since her husband died and she and Sean are the oddest of odd couples. Lacey is 42 and Sean is 22, she is Black and he is White, she is settled and he has drifted through life, but despite the baggage they are carrying, there is a deep attraction between them and they become lovers. But someone is not happy about Lacey and Sean’s relationship – Calvin. His ghost is still in the house, tied there by anger and guilt over events from the past. These events may ruin the fragile love that’s blossoming between Sean and Lacey.
The plot of The Object of Love was absorbing, but I had a lot of difficulty getting my mind around the ghost part since I’ll admit to being a total disbeliever when it comes to ghosts. I’ve been a long time reader of SF/Fantasy and normally I have no problem suspending my skeptical side. Time travel – no problem. Teenage wizards – bring ‘em on! Unicorns in the garden – of course there are. Ghosts – nah, not possible. It’s a blind spot on my part and I know that there will be many readers who won’t mind in the least.
I grew very fond of Lacey over the course of the book. She is warm, kind and loving, and a woman who has always been there for her family and friends. As for Sean, I dunno – he’s got a lot of baggage. I am always fond of a reformed bad boy, but Sean was not an admirable character. Yes, he’s a tortured soul with a father from Hell and his and Calvin’s relationship was a complicated one. To say more would be to spoil the book, so I’ll let you find out more on your own. I will say that Calvin’s ghost, initially annoying as all get out, gradually became less intrusive. (But I still am not a fan of ghost romances, and probably never will be).
I’ve enjoyed other romances featuring individual elements that were combined in this one: There’s the troubled youth in love with a woman who had been kind to him; the interracial romance; and the woman who falls in love with a much younger man. The Object of Love shows a lot of promise, but the others were better. Yet Sharon Cullars has a way of bringing the reader right into the story. I think she is a writer to watch.