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The Other Side of the Pillow Review

Jemistry and Tevin are attractive African-Americans in their thirties from loving and supportive families. Both have worked hard to achieve career success. Jemistry is a high-school principal and Tevin is a vascular surgeon. But she has suffered from a history of seeking out bad men for relationships, and it has reduced her to a flinty, bitter woman. Now she denigrates men for playing manipulative games even while she does the exact same thing to the two men she uses as sex buddies. But then Tevin glides into Jemistry’s life to restore her faith in the power of unconditional love. Here is a brother that some might find almost too good to be true. He is gorgeous, physically well-endowed, rich, hard-working, and witty. And he is man enough to recognize that Jemistry’s had a rough time and to put up with her insecurities. How did this guy stay single even a day after his first marriage dissolved? As Tevin and Jemistry negotiate their courtship through some serious misunderstandings, they find themselves in an awkward position with their best friends. The man is cheating on the woman who has no idea. What should Jemistry and Tevin do?

Overall, this is a pleasant story of a couple coming together. Interestingly, the book’s sex scenes read like erotica with no romance even though they are kept short and infrequent so as not to compete with the story. It’s a stylistic choice, employing street names for body parts and physical details without the emotional overlay. However, when Jemistry and Tevin are interacting apart from sex, their feelings for each other are obvious, and the book is definitely a romance with a plot that centers on their relationship and a happy ending. I will admit that I didn't engage with this story as strongly as I might have because the setting and job details are minimal, and there are not many supporting characters to provide additional texture. That left me with a tight focus on Jemistry and Tevin, and while I liked him especially, they both seemed subordinate as characters to the story's message of second chances.

Type of Romance: Male-Female Romance
Title: The Other Side of the Pillow
Author: Zane
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Subgenre: Contemporary Romance, African-American Romance
Setting: Washington DC, but could be anywhere
Length: about 220 pages
Sex scenes: Level 4 - Medium. See “Levels of Explicitness” in Related Links below
Viewpoint: two first-person viewpoints (Jemistry, Tevin) that alternate by chapter
Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation for this review from author or publisher. Buy link to come upon book's release date of 8/5.

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