Title: Not Even if You Begged
Author: Francis Ray
Website of Author: www.francisray.com
Publisher: St. Martins Press (Griffin Original)
Website of Publisher: www.stmartins.com
Genre: Romance / African American
Publication date: February 2008
Length: 310 pages
Reviewer: Sassy Brit
The Invincible Sisterhood, widows who lost a great love in their lives have got together to make a pact, and prove that they will not let their loss dominate their lives. Full figured Traci Evans, a reluctant guest, is invited to one of their sacred meetings and suddenly finds herself signing up and swearing to secrecy.
Although, Traci doesn’t want to be tied down, when she meets Ryan Gilmore, her best friend’s son, she finds him hard to resist. Somehow she always ends up spending time with him, even though an inner voice keeps warning her that’s he’ll end up cheating on her, just like her late husband did. Yes, unlike the other members of the women’s group, her relationship was not one of everlasting love; something she discovered after he died but felt too ashamed to admit. This whole situation made Traci feel like even more of a fraud during the Invincible Sisterhood meetings, but these were strong ladies who would not take no for an answer.
It wasn’t long before Ryan had enlisted Traci to help plan his mum, Maureen’s birthday party. After a few meetings Traci gets annoyed with the fact that Ryan is using her only to help plan his mother’s party, and wants nothing more from her than her mind. Justifying this to herself, Traci feels that at least she will now avoid an awkward and complicated relationship that would no doubt end in heartache and tears. Would Traci ever be able to stop living in the past? All she has to do is open her eyes and arms to love again. But, as in all good stories, there is plenty of conflict to get in the way. One of which appears in the form of Ryan’s ex girlfriend.
This is a terrific story, as always, from author Francis Ray. The plot that revolves around the two lovers, Traci and Ryan makes it a page turner in itself, but we also have the added story of Maureen and her new man, Simon Dunlap, and how they take a chance on a shy and insecure boy called Jason, who could be more trouble than he is worth. A delightful tale of complex, believable characters learning to get along with each other despite their differences, and the problems that life can throw at them.
About the Author:
Francis Ray is a native Texan and lives in Dallas. A graduate of Texas Woman’s University, she is a School Nurse Practitioner with the Dallas Independent School District. In 1999 and 2000 she was nominated for Texas Woman’s University Distinguished Alumni Award.
Ms. Ray’s titles consistently make bestseller’s lists such as Blackboard and Essence Magazine.. INCOGNITO, her sixth title, was the first made-for-TV movie for BET. She has written thirty-one titles to date. Awards include Romantic Times Career Achievement, EMMA, The Golden Pen, and The Atlantic Choice.
THE TURNING POINT, her first mainstream, was a finalist for the prestigious HOLT Medallion Award. At the release event for THE TURNING POINT in May 2001, she established The Turning Point Legal Fund to assist women of domestic violence to help restructure their lives.
With the release of her second mainstream, I KNOW WHO HOLDS TOMORROW, May 2002, Ms. Ray pledged to continue the effort. I KNOW WHO HOLDS TOMORROW made the bestseller’s list of The Dallas Morning News, Blackboard, Black Expressions Book Club, and Essence Magazine. The book was one of five titles selected as Book Club Favorites for Black Issues Book Review Best of 2002.
SOMEBODY’S KNOCKING AT MY DOOR, her third mainstream, was released May 2003 and made bestseller’s lists across the country. ROCKIN’ AROUND THAT CHRISTMAS TREE, a holiday collaboration with Donna Hill, came out in November 2003. Other books include SOMEONE TO LOVE ME December 2003, TROUBLE DON’T LAST ALWAYS January 2004, FIRST TOUCH February 2004, WHOLE LOTTA LOVE February 2004, LOVE AT LEO’S July 2004, and THE FALCON SAGA August 2004. Her fourth mainstream, LIKE THE FIRST TIME, was released in May 2004 and also made the Essence bestseller’s list.
January 2005 continued the Living Large stories, a concept of Ms. Ray’s of fashionable and fabulous full-figured women with Big Girls Don’t Cry. February 2005 was a major personal triumph with the release of her first Christian fiction, Then Sings My Soul in a trade anthology from Harlequin/Steeple Hill HOW SWEET THE SOUND. March 2005 saw the release of the long-awaited continuation of The Graysons of New Mexico series with YOU AND NO OTHER. Her fifth mainstream and thirtieth title, ANY RICH MAN WILL DO, was released October 2005. October is National Domestic Awareness Month and, in continuing her pledge to assist women who are victims of domestic violence, Ms. Ray pledged a portion of the proceeds from ANY RICH MAN WILL DO to The Turning Point Legal Fund. ANY RICH MAN WILL DO made the Essence list two months in a row.
In 2005 two of Ms. Ray’s titles, SOMEONE TO LOVE ME and I KNOW WHO HOLDS TOMORROW were released in hard cover with large print by Thorndike. In 2006 TROUBLE DON’T LAST ALWAYS, HOW SWEET THE SOUND, and ANY RICH MAN WILL DO were selected by Thorndike as well.
IN ANOTHER MAN’S BED, her sixth mainstream and Book #3 of the Invincible Women Series is scheduled for February 2007. IRRESISTIBLE YOU, Book #4 of the Graysons of New Mexico, hit stores March 2007. Ms. Ray is hard at work on her next book.
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