Tell Me You Love Me, by Kayla Perrin

>> Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The ATBF column about AA romance inspired me to read Tell Me You Love Me (excerpt), by Kayla Perrin, as soon as it got here.

When Sheldon Ford walked into her life, Tyanna Montgomery thought she had been carried up to Heaven on the strong wings of a sexy black angel. But when he disappeared, she came crashing down to Earth. Now he's back with some wild tale about going undercover to take down a Miami mob-boss-which means he's either big trouble or flat-out crazy, and Tyanna should let him go. But damn if the man doesn't still make her heart race and her body ache with wanting him!

Sheldon should never have returned-and now he's put his sweet woman in serious danger! But living without Tyanna's loving would not be living. Though she doesn't believe a word of his story, that doesn't make the threat less real-and he'll protect his ebony queen to his last breath. But will she still want him when she realizes that taking a chance on this love means risking a lot more than her heart?
A very good start, but TMYLM was ultimately disappointing. A C+.

Oh, I just hate it when this happens. The initial setup was just wonderful, and I got really excited and couldn't wait to keep reading. Sheldon has just come back after being gone a year, having dumped Tyanna like a hot potato just when she was becoming convinced he was the one. He comes back with a story about having had to run away after a mafia-type steroids-runner he was investigating made him. Supposedly, the guy had killed Sheldon's brother and, knowing what he was capable of, Sheldon had tried to protect Tyanna by keeping her in the dark and hiding his relationship with her.

So now he's back and he wants Tyanna back. He tells her his story and, after some investigations, Tyanna believes him. But it's not so easy to go back and pick things up where they'd left them. For starters, Tyanna doesn't know if she even wants to go back. Was her relationship with Sheldon just about sex or did they have anything else going for them? Does she want to be the homebody she'd become when she was with Sheldon, always wanting to stay at home with him? And does she want to be with a man who obviously doesn't trust her enough to share himself with her? And as for Sheldon, how does he really feel about Tyanna? Can he get over his father-induced trauma about telling a woman that he loves her?

I thought this sounded like a really good beginning, and settled in to enjoy myself. But the story got boring and irritating very quickly. First, there was the romance. Sheldon and Tyanna started going back and forth, hot and cold and back and forth again. Tyanna wants nothing to do with Sheldon. Then ok, she decides they can be friends. Then he's smothering her, so he tells him off. Then she gets pissed off because he doesn't call. She gets all offended because he wants to have sex with her. Then she gets horny and shows up at his house for sex. The following morning she blows him off again. Utterly frustrating!

And Sheldon wasn't innocent of this either, although his indecission was a bit milder. Stuff like first he's crazy about Tyanna, he's missed her like crazy for the entire year and hasn't even wanted to be with another woman in all that time, but the next minute he's freaking out because maybe they're getting too serious? Oh, give me a break! And then there's the way he makes the exact same mistake he should have learned not to make near the end, when he, yet again, goes all stupid and decides he needs to blow off Tyanna for her own protection. Ugh!

The suspense subplot wasn't good, either. It had holes you could have driven an elephant through, and it was boring. And Sheldon came off as an idiot for not taking certain steps to protect himself and Tyanna when he saw things were heating up again. Some cop he will be!

The secondary romance was sweet but underwritten, and there was a lot of stuff about Tyanna and her friend Wendy making a workout video that should have been fascinating, but was actually tedious. I ended up fighting the impulse to skim my way to the end, and that definitely isn't good!

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