Genre Fiction: Contemporary romance.
Blurb “Sophie is young, beautiful, and runs her own magazine. She loves her life, her job, her friends… In fact, she has everything she wants. What she doesn’t have, however, is the man she has been in love with for the past five years.
Michael once crushed her feelings. After all this time, she should have forgotten him, but she is still desperately in love with him.
The best way to get over someone is to see them again, or so they say. So when Sophie engineers a meeting with Michael, all she wants, is to be able to forget him, or so she tells herself.
But as soon as she sees him again, she realizes that she still wants him, and he seems delighted to see her again. Everything is going well, until he tells her that he is engaged, crushing her hopes again. Now she has to fall out of love with him, as difficult as that is, or give in to the temptation of loving him, even though he belongs to someone else.”
Dialogue Well written and at times, witty.
Themes Love, Friendship, Family and Second chance.
Editing Mostly well edited, a few errors.
Plot Sophia (Sophie) Aliu, a young and beautiful entrepreneur in Lagos has been in love with Michael Ade-Cole since she met him in her first year in university. Due to a misunderstanding, they fall out and don’t see each other for 5 years. When they finally meet again, Sophia is excited and hopeful until Michael informs her that he is engaged to be married to Folake. Sophia has to make a choice to move on once again with her life or remain platonic friends with Michael and hope for the seemingly impossible.
Mo I can’t remember how I stumbled on this book, but I think it was one of my google searches for a Nigerian romance writer. That was about 4 years ago. Reading it again for this review made me realise why I liked it then. This is an easy read. Written in the first-person narrative, Sophie tells her story to us. No unnecessary use of flowery speech or descriptive text. Just a simply narrated story about two people who love each other but are too childish to admit it, so they wasted a lot of time pining for each other until they realise how to let love win.
Somi knows how to convey her characters’ emotions and narrates it in a way that makes you feel those emotions with them.
All in all, this is a cute love story and you can’t help but root for Sophie and Michael.
Lady B Always Yours is a second chance romance novella. I love second chance romance novels even though I can’t help thinking with better communication; the couples involved would not have had to be apart pining for each other for years.
This book is the first of the Lagos Romance Series by Somi. These contemporary romance books offer a glimpse into the love lives of young, working class or wealthy Nigerians. These stories give you a feel of Lagos, Nigeria with the challenges from infrastructural deficits like poor power supply and incessant traffic jams but without the usual focus on poverty only. You also get a glimpse into the lives of middle class family traditions like visiting your parents on Sundays if you live away from them and eating rice together as a family on Sunday afternoons.
Somi writes in a simple to understand, conversational style that makes the story easy to follow. She explains acronyms and Nigerian lingo deftly so it does not interrupt the flow of the narrative. I also liked that the chapters had titles, this is a nice touch especially when the titles are apt. It gives the book that collection of short stories feel.
This is an enjoyable light read. Somi captures the feelings, inner turmoil and awkwardness Sophie feels well. I could relate with Sophie’s decision not to date anyone in her first two years in university because of “Jambite rush” as I had made the same decision myself. You may find yourself rolling your eyes a few times yet you can’t help but root for the believable though sometimes, frustrating characters in this novella.
What didn’t work?
Mo The flaw is also in the strength, it’s a lightweight book. The two major characters were in equal parts amusing and frustrating. No real character development happened.
Curiously, whilst Michael’s surname is repeated several times in this novella, Sophia’s surname appears just once on page 46. This is a flaw in developing Sophie’s character.
Lady B I didn’t like Folake’s character. I think she should have been less one dimensional.
Eddie was introduced thrice in this book even though his character was fully described in the beginning. I think this was a flaw in the editing process.
I would really have loved to read about Michael’s thoughts and this is a problem when a book is written from a first person point of view, you miss what the other characters in the book are thinking.
Number of pages 205.
Publisher Sweet Acacia Press.
Damage Free on Okadabooks.