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Hitts & Mrs.    by Lori Bryant-Woolridge order for
Hitts & Mrs.
by Lori Bryant-Woolridge
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

After having second thoughts about their whirlwind courtship, Melanie Hitts breaks off her engagement to Will Freedman. He's accomplished, romantic, caring, and black, all important qualities to Melanie and her family. But does Will really understand who she is and what her dreams are?

Melanie is hired as an interior designer by an up-and-coming New York City firm. After successfully landing an account with prestigious architects, Melanie meets John Carlson. He's in his sixties, white, married, and he quickly becomes Melanie's mentor and confidante. The two fall in love, but many obstacles stand in their way, and Will also attempts to win Melanie back. Who will she choose? The love triangle amongst Melanie, Will, and John is just one element of the larger novel. Secondary stories involve Melanie's friend Candace, who has a difficult time falling in love with a man who earns less than she does. There is also John's wife Sharon, who befriends a troubled, pregnant teen. Each of these narratives examines a different moral dilemma and how the characters resolve it.

It bothered me that Melanie never seems to consider Sharon's feelings - she describes her relationship as 'God given' and brushes off her sister's warnings. However, the diverse themes of the book provide a great deal of food for thought. Readers should be forewarned that sexual interludes are graphic - though this only adds to the heat of the sensual romance and does not seem gratuitous. Overall, Hitts & Mrs. is an intelligent and insightful love story, full of passion along with issues for contemplation and discussion.

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