Genre Fiction: contemporary romance.
Blurb “When Efe Sagay receives a transfer to the branch of a prestigious hotel chain in the Nigerian capital, she accepts it, happy to return home to family after years in the United States. Also, Nigeria is a big place, right? There should be nothing about her new city, Abuja, to remind her of the heartbreak of her relationship with ex-fiancé, Kevwe Mukoro.
However, Efe is facing Kevwe across an office seven months later, swamped by emotions she’d thought were dead. When Kevwe claims he’s never stopped loving her, and asks why she abandoned him, Efe stomps off, incensed. It was the other way around!
But they are unable to stay away from each other, and buried desire flares. Ultimately, passion is no match for the bitter memories of broken promises. Efe and Kevwe have to resolve the traumatic events of the past before love can be rekindled.”
Dialogue Well written.
Themes Love, Prejudice, Deception, Betrayal, Friendship, Second chance and Family.
Editing Some errors.
Plot Efe Sagay and Kevwe Mukoro meet in university where they become friends and lovers. All seems to be going well even after Kevwe graduates and leaves to live in another city until Efe wins the American visa lottery. She has to decide between travelling to the US, a dream of her parents and staying in Nigeria with the love of her life. Kevwe’s parents intervene to make the decision for her and Efe eventually travels out devastated, to actualise her parents’ dreams. She’s back in Nigeria after years abroad and has to deal with her past with Kevwe. They both have to decide if they still have a future together after the betrayals of the past.
Mo I will review A Love Rekindled by Myne Whitman, while Lady B reviews Love’s Beginning and Love’s Second Chance by Nkem Akin. No, we are not reviewing three separate books, we are reviewing one book but different editions. Still confused? A Love Rekindled is what you will find on Amazon, If you buy it on Okadabooks, it is published as two books under the name Nkem Akin (Myne Whitman is a pen name).
A Love Rekindled made my list in From Page to Screen – 10 Books We Will Love To See on TV. Check that post out here.
To the business of the day. A Love Rekindled oscillates between the past and the present. The past is set in Benin City in the late 90s and early 2000s while the present is set in Abuja in 2009. It starts with Efe running into Kevwe’s twin, Ofure in Abuja and then we get a backdrop about their romance at the University of Benin (UNIBEN).
This is another story about second chances, Lady B’s favourite at the moment. Kevwe and Efe are in love; you know the kind of love that happens on a university campus; long walks to the hostel, Valentine’s Day celebrations, reading together at the library and planning a future together. Little did they know their different ethnicities would be the deal-breaker. Seven years later, fate brought Efe face to face with Kevwe, and every feeling she thought she had buried came rushing back. This book isn’t just heavy on the romance and the heartbreak. It talks about migration and the obsession with American visa lottery at that time. It also delved into the ethnic rivalry between the Urhobos and Itshekiris. For those who lived through that period, it may bring back memories, I only remember watching the crisis on TV.
The characters were real and relatable. Even the love interest that wasn’t meant to be wasn’t one dimensional. Unlike most second chance romance stories, the lack of communication was plausible when you factor in the time and situation surrounding it.
It’s easy to see why Myne broke this book into two separate books, but I’ll say A Love Rekindled works for me either way. It’s a heart-warming romance story with depth, had me curling my toes and rooting hard for their “promise.”
Lady B Love’s Beginning is a Young Adult book. It chronicles Efe and Kevwe’s time as university students in UNIBEN. I’m not a fan of Young Adult books and only read this book for this review having read Love’s Second Chance two years ago. I found it hard to get into this book because the story dragged for much of the book. There really wasn’t that much happening until Kewve introduced Efe to his parents and his father showed his animosity towards her because of her ethnicity.
Love’s Second Chance was a more enjoyable read. Efe and Kevwe are much older and have to deal with the fallout from their shared past. Due to a misunderstanding caused by Kevwe’s parents, both Efe and Kevwe believe the other betrayed their love. Myne writes in a way that draws you in and makes you root for the characters in this book. I liked that Stanley, Efe’s ex-boyfriend who wanted her back was not portrayed negatively as this is a reality rarely seen in romance novels. That one chooses A over B doesn’t necessarily mean B is an ogre or that B should be portrayed as an ogre to justify the choice of A. All in all, this was a well written passionate love story.
What didn’t work?
Mo Switching back and forth between the puppy love and the urgency of the reunion gave off a different emotion. It was hard to keep track of how I felt each time, one minute I’m starry eyed, the next I’m dealing with the feeling of Efe and Kevwe meeting again.
That “promise” they promised each other sha had me rolling my eyes. “I want our promise.” *eye roll*
Lady B I don’t think splitting the book into two separate books was a good idea as Love’s Beginning is weak as a standalone book. Also rolled my eyes at Efe believing Kevwe’s parents without hearing from him directly and ditto for Kevwe. I guess they could be forgiven as they were still young at the time.
Page numbers 276.
Damage N1,000 for both books on Okadabooks.
Have you read A Love Rekindled? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.