Publisher/Date: Urban Books, Apr. 2008
Entertaining, genuine and down to earth, DOUBLE PLEASURE DOUBLE PAIN is the tale of Kyla, a 26-year-old “super-junior” at the local college who hasn’t quite got her act together. After eight years of school, she doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life, and is settling for a part-time job at a department store when she knows she could do better. And she’s somewhat content with Jeff, a “good man” who loves and supports her, while her best friends Vanessa and Tori provide her comic relief.
Then a pleasant surprise takes the form of one of her classmates. In one of Kyla’s social work classes (her umpteenth major), she meets Stephanie, with whom she has an immediate connection. They are both trying to get ahead in life and among the oldest students in the class. When Kyla discovers Stephanie is a lesbian, it surprises and fascinates her. Soon Kyla has to deal with her own blossoming attraction to a woman stirring up feelings she didn’t know she had.
Stephanie doesn’t step to Kyla at first, but let’s their friendship develop slowly. Kyla gets to know her on a personal basis, even meeting Stephanie’s nine-year-old son, Jaron. After a while, the ladies are sharing more than just classes–and Kyla doesn’t know what to do.
The rest of the novel basically deals with Kyla’s emerging sexuality and trying not to break anyone’s heart, whether it’s Stephanie, Jeff or her own. By the time she decides between her “safe” life with Jeff or the lesbian unknown, she’s gained what’s most important: the confidence to know whom she really is.
Double Pleasure Double Pain is a fast read. It’s surprising to see just how Kyla will end up. Through her inner turmoil, the reader takes a voyage with Kyla through her sexual journey–and it’s well worth the trip.
Reviewed August 2005