I decided to read White Chocolate because I found the book’s cover interesting. It contained a close-up of the beautiful author, Elizabeth Atkins Bowman, and the synopsis was intriguing: a bi-racial TV journalist must face her past when the white supremacists she helped put behind bars are released and threaten her life. In this case, the old adage – never judge a book by its cover – reigns supreme.
Bowman’s heroine, Taylor James, is a Detroit news reporter who becomes famous when she goes undercover to expose the White Power Alliance, a violent white supremacist organization. Taylor has faint ties to this organization as Billy Joe Pulaski, second-in-command and the leader’s son, is the racist bully she endured in the fifth grade. Her award winning exposé lands Billy Joe, his father Rocky, and the other White Power leaders behind bars. Now, the Pulaski’s et.al., are free and vowing revenge. Taylor’s life is in danger.
Meanwhile, Taylor’s boss and fianceé, Philip Wolf, has hired a new news anchor, Julian DuPont, his old friend and rival. Julian, of course, was Taylor’s first love.
Following the plot in this story would take a compass and a hefty stash of bread crumbs because sooner or later you’re gonna lose your way. You would need a map to keep track of the minor characters and their subplots alone. And just when you think you might have found the right trail, up pops a flashback to take you down yet another blind alley. There is even a footnote on page 59 because the author, a TV news reporter herself, chooses to use a newsroom acronym, IFB, when she could have easily used the more common term, earpiece, especially since using the acronym did nothing to enhance the plot.
Even more disturbing is the lack of socially redeemable white characters. Philip is among the worst, proving to be so despicable, I still can’t figure out why Taylor agreed to date him, much less marry him. Personally, I don’t like my heroines that clueless.
And don’t get me started on the hypocrisy of her rage when she catches him cheating on her in Chapter 37 when she’s doing the exact same thing in Chapter 22. I guess their situations are supposed to be different because she and Julian are in love, while Philip is only in love with himself. Puhleeze!
White Chocolate has plenty of filler, but once you sift through the layers, you find there is precious little plot.