Publisher/Date: Dodi Press, June 2009
Brianna Anderson knows love and politics oftentimes lead to scandal, so she’s covering her bases in LOSING CONTROL, the latest from revered author Cheril N. Clarke. The author of best-sellers Intimate Chaos and Tainted Destiny has delivered another captivating novel, this time following Brianna and her bid for City Council.
In case you forgot, Brianna is the go-getter in Tainted Destiny who left Sadira to pursue a career in the public sector. Brianna is now running for office in Rockville, New Jersey, a depressed city marked by unemployment, homelessness and political corruption. Brianna’s intentions, while she doesn’t have much experience, are pure and motivated by lifting the fog of hopelessness blanketing the city’s poorest residents.
Her opponent, however, is a woman led by pure greed. Three-term incumbent Colleen Smith, the councilwoman elected for three consecutive terms, wants to defeat the green candidate at any cost. Colleen could care less about her impoverished community, but rather reaping the wealth her position has afforded her on the backs of the people she serves. With the stones Colleen’s throwing, Brianna cannot allow her deepest secret to be uncovered and therefore denies her sexuality – even as her attraction is growing for city treasurer Pam Thompson.
The pair meet somewhere along Brianna’s campaign trail, and are instantly drawn together. Brianna can’t help but feel something toward Pam, an intelligent, gorgeous woman, but indulging their feelings would mean Pam would have to deny something, also: her husband. And imagine the scandal that would erupt if Brianna’s opponent were to find out. She’s worked too hard, and there’s too much at stake for both her and Pam to lose.
Clarke’s Losing Control combines an involved love story with the behind-the-scenes action of a campaign. The romance between Brianna and Pam builds slowly, and takes a while to reach its peak – figuratively and sexually – but is worth reading to see how it ends. Clarke is proficient when it comes to the agony of love, and Losing Control shows what happens when the sacrifice is worth it.
Reviewed November 2009