Shades Of Romance Magazine

A Guide For Multi-Cultural Romance Fiction

ISSUE 9

APRIL BOOK

REVIEWS

The Prodigal Husband by Jacquelin Thomas

BET Books - New Spirit
ISBN: 1-58314-254-1

Rating Scale: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Cheryl A. LeCompte

Jake and Victoria (Tori) Madison have a picture perfect and ideal marriage. Jake is a handsome successful businessman and co-partner of Madison Moore Creative Visual Solutions, Inc., a model husband and father to his fifteen-month-old daughter Tiffany. Tori is a young energetic mother, attractive and a vitreous woman of God who is submissive to her husband Jake.

The foundation of their relationship is shaken when Jake's business partner, Sheila Moore purposely encourages Jake to drink and later seduces him at a company party. Sheila carefully plans her escapade down to the very last detail that involves Tori walking in on the two of them during their act of infidelity.

When Jake decides to find Tori and somehow find the words to explain his "moment of weakness", he discovers that Tori has left their home and moved in with her family. Jake intends to get their daughter Tiffany and bring her back home with him knowing that Tori would soon follow.

Before their arrival to Edisto Island, Jake and Tiffany are involved in a serious motor vehicle collision that takes the life of young Tiffany. Both Jake and Tori are completely devastated by the loss of their infant daughter and their failed marriage. Instead of Jake facing this loss with his wife, he decides to leave the hospital emergency room (without a word to anyone) into the arms of his partner and ex-lover Sheila. Jake deals with his failed marriage and daughter's death by leaving the country and isolating himself without any communication to Tori or his family.

Sheila can never bring herself to see how Jake could be so attracted to someone that looks like Tori. Both of them are such opposites, Sheila is slim and very aggressive, wears the finest clothes, attractive and considers herself "any man's dream". Tori, on the other hand, is a conservative dresser, wears little or no makeup, has long shoulder-length straight hair and most of all, Tori has failed to lose the weight from her pregnancy.

One year later, Jake decides that it is time for him to return to his painful past and seek the forgiveness of his family and his estranged wife. During the past year of separation, Jake is kept involved of all the aspects of his business, families' lives and changes involving his wife through frequent communication with Sheila. Of course, Sheila never misses an opportunity to let Jake know that Tori is moving on with her life, that she can never be trusted and that Tori has become a bit feisty with her language and attitude. During one of the many unforgettable scenes involving Sheila, Jake comes to realize that his wife and family were right about Sheila all of the time. Sheila's betrayal to Jake causes him to finally see the "real" Sheila instead of the fake one that he has known as a trusted friend and business partner.

Meanwhile, Tori has also made a few changes to her self-image and physical appearance by cutting her shoulder-length hair, presently wears makeup, completely changes her wardrobe to an update fashion style, has lost weight and with the help of her cousin, Charlene opens a Book Store. This new and improved Tori is a no nonsense Business Woman that seems to be heading in the right direction. Tori has an old friend, Nicholas that comes back into her life and allows her to see her newfound freedom as a positive change, but encourages her to keep in mind that she is still a married woman (even if the present situation dictates differently).

Little does Tori realize, Jake is making plans to return home to make a mends with his mother, brother and with Tori. Jake also knows that it is past time that he confronts some of the ghosts that have haunted him and maybe he can rid himself of the frequent anxiety attacks that have occurred since Tiffany's death. He attempts to seek out and develop a relationship with Christ, but since it seems the Lord is not moving fast enough, he decides that praying to God is a waste of time. Jake feels that the Lord is allowing him to suffer because of him not being a believer and an unfaithful husband. Will Tori be able to assist Jake with his "torn" relationship with Christ?

Both Jake and Tori soon realize that learning to love each other will include lessons in forgiveness, faith, trust and prayer. The Prodigal Husband is filled with many unforgettable characters that will have you filled with a mixture of emotions and admiration. Jacquelin Thomas is masterful with her development of issues involving abortion, infidelity, trust, faith, love and forgiveness.

If there is a message that I gained from reading this book it would be that...in order to be forgivers, we must first be able to forgive.













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