Fine Scotch (Age is no Bother 3) by Emem Bassey

Genre Fiction – Contemporary romance.

Blurb ‘28-year-old Ad executive Mandy Uffot has wanted her landlord, 48-year-old former Navy officer Joe Akang since she rented an apartment in his building.
Joe values his control. After eight years of celibacy, he doesn’t understand how his young, vivacious tenant has turned his calm existence upside down in a few months. It doesn’t make sense that he missed her bothersome presence when she travelled for over a month and that he went crazy jealous when he saw her in a photo with a man her age.
A near-tragic event has him re-evaluating his priorities. However, the once-determined mouthy bratty Mandy has become uninterested, and Joe has to fight for her love.’

Dialogue Written in English with smatterings of Nigerian Pidgin.

Themes Love, Family and Friendship.

Editing Some errors.

Plot This is a story of a 28-year-old ad executive, Mandy who is infatuated with her 48-year-old widower landlord, Joe. She flirts with him shamelessly, and that makes him uncomfortable. Joe is the exact opposite of Mandy, apart from the 20 years age difference, he is also a former naval officer which explains his rigidity. Joe tries as hard as possible to avoid her and remain celibate which he has been since his wife passed away plus he thinks she is too young for him. Meanwhile, Mandy is a potty mouthed seductress who would do anything to get with him. Opposites attract, right?

What worked? It’s been a minute since we did this so we decided what better way to rekindle our love for books this new year than to read this steamy, toe curling, mindless romance this valentine’s season. We settled on this book whose secondary theme is love between a younger woman and an older man.

We loved that the book is dedicated to the victims of the Lekki Massacre of October 20, 2020 as this immortalises these people and the event in history.

Now to the book… the story is set in Uyo, away from the usual Lagos, Abuja and maybe Port-Harcourt settings. Although it doesn’t really explore the town, it was still good to read a story set in a different part of Nigeria.

Fine Scotch touches on the issue of age gap in relationships and the difficulty in overcoming that. Granted, the age gap in this particular story is the more common place than in older woman-younger man relationships. We also loved the body positivity going on with our plus sized heroine. The book touched on family relationships and how this shaped the characters’ lives.

This is a very steamy novel; the author didn’t shy away from turning the heat up several notches several times. If steamy and kinky romance novels isn’t your thing, give this one a miss.

What didn’t work?

Lady B I struggled at the beginning of the book trying to figure out who the characters were. Although this is part of a trilogy, it is standalone and so, I think the characters could have been introduced in a way that didn’t leave the reader confused.

I found the use of swear words in the story jarring not because I have something against them, I mean I use them myself when I am very angry but because it was part of the narration rather than part of the dialogue. So, something like ‘my fucking landlord’ (not exact phrase used in the book) just seems so unnecessary and out of place and is too leading. I prefer to be shown not told. It read like Emem forgot when she was writing dialogue and when she wasn’t.

The sub plot wasn’t well-written and didn’t work for me at all. Too much stuff was introduced at the end which didn’t really enhance the story. In fact, it made it less believable.

Mo This book is a trilogy so if you haven’t read the first two book it will affect the fluidity of the story telling for you. Sometimes it becomes difficult to keep up with the extra characters introduced in the book. The extra characters are not the only reasons the story wasn’t seamless, there was also a thriller/mystery sub-plot that wasn’t properly fleshed out.

Number of pages 160.

Publisher Love Press Africa.

Damage $3.07 on Amazon.

Rating 5.8/10.

Fine Scotch is available on Amazon.

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