Moments of Clarity

Michele Cameron
2008, Contemporary Romance
Genesis Press, $6.99, 304 pages, Amazon ASIN 1585713309

Grade: D
Sensuality: Hot

I enjoy romances featuring sports stars as heroes, so I was eager to read a book featuring an NBA star. While I did enjoy parts of this novel my intense dislike of one of the secondary characters, combined with other problems, leaves me unable to recommend Moments of Clarity.

Sasha Diamond is the head nurse at a hospital in New York. She's smart, but has unbelievably low standards in men. As the book begins, Sasha is involved with a total do-nothing boyfriend. Her family and friends try to get her to dump him since they recognize that heís taking advantage of her. So you might wonder why does she stay with him? Because he's not cheating on her.

A short while after Sasha reveals her ludicrous justification for staying with a loser with whom she fights constantly, she walks into her boyfriend's business and discovers his assistant going down on him. Sasha is so disgusted that she gets physically sick and vomits on his groin. As you can imagine, this got the book off to a very rocky start for me.

Even though Sasha is still reeling from the breakup, her friend, Tiara, convinces her to go to an NBA game and then to a club afterward. Tiara's brother works for the Knicks, and they meet him and Sexton Johnson, one of the teamís players. Sasha met Sexton before and, though she was attracted to him, remained loyal to her boyfriend. This time, however, Sasha drinks too much and invites Sexton back to her apartment where they have sex. Drunken sex in romances is always terribly romantic - this was yet another strike against the book.

Sasha is clearly a caring, loyal person and we see this in a positive way in her relationship with her patients and her sisters. Her loyalty goes too far in her relationship with Tiara, however, and this ruined the book for me. It's obvious early on that Tiara cares only for herself and not at all for Sasha and, since the friendship comes to dominate the book as she tries to help Tiara when the police catch her wealthy husband in a prostitution sting, this didnít help matters. While her sisters and Sexton have doubts about Tiara, Sasha remains loyal to her friend to the detriment of her relationship with Sexton.

There is a potential for a good romance novel focusing solely on Sasha and Sexton. We do get to see them go out on dates, have conversations, and build a relationship. There was just too little emphasis on their story and too much on Tiara and her problems. And Sasha's reaction to a deception late in the book made the longevity of their HEA seem questionable.

Sasha has a strong, positive relationship with her sisters and their families and for the most part these scenes were enjoyable. However, late in the book a troubling message seemed raise its head. It felt as if the message of Sasha's problems with Tiara was that women can't truly be friends, that you can only be close to your sisters.

Ultimately, considering all these issues, Moments of Clarity just didnít work for me. If you are in the mood for a great sports romance, I would suggest giving this book a pass and heading on over to AAR's special title listing on Sports Romances for some better suggestions.

-- LinnieGayl Kimmel

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