Reviewed By: Harriet Klausner
Renee and Jay
Amazon US HC Amazon Canada HC
J. J. Murray
Kensington, June 2001, $23.00, 304 pp.
African-American Renee Howard’s drive from her job as a customer service representative for Star City Cable to her home usually takes a few minutes. However, not only was she crawling home due to the snowstorm that socks Roanoke, Virginia, her car skids sideways and becomes stuck, leaving her stranded at Luchesi’s Restaurant. In the restaurant parking lot, Renee meets the manager Giovanni "Jay" Luchesi, who tries to help her out of her stuck spot. That fails so she enters the restaurant where the heat between the Italian stallion and the African-American sister could have melted the snow if they stepped back outside.
Even after the snow is gone, RENEE AND JAY continue to see each other because they have fallen in love at first sight. However, his father and her mother object to any relationship between them not just because of the issue of interracial coupling though that is part of the concern. Still Jay and Renee go out of their way to understand the essence of their beloved because both want a lifetime relationship filled with loving and nurturing.
Renee is a likable humorous individual trying to make it and will garner empathy. On the other hand, Jay is too stereotyped as no one could be so 100% pure white bread like him in a city 25 per cent Black, which in turn makes his efforts to become a bit toasted fail to ring genuine. Though R and J are not Romeo and Juliet or Tony and Maria, the story line deeply explores the problems confronting interracial couples from within and from loving relatives who genuinely want the best for their beloved.
Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Harriet Klausner