by Karyn Langhorne

September 2004
ISBN: 0-06-074773-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Harper Collins
Mass Market Paperback

Alayna Jackson is a survivor. She’s managed to keep a deathbed promise to her mother by getting her baby sister, Martine, through high school and into college, and she’s also survived the pressure of being an African American woman working at a good ‘ole boy law firm in Atlanta. Just when she gets the promotion she so richly deserves, Alayna discovers her world has suddenly gone topsy turvy. Pregnant, Martine decides to get married, and push college aside.

Once a woman completely in control, Alayna now finds herself at a total loss as things also begin to unravel at work. The terms of her promotion stipulate that she works with one of the coldest lawyers in the firm, Benjamin Freezer Richards. Alayna discovers quickly that the nickname suits Ben perfectly; he’s one of those white boys who seems to want everything yesterday.

A book’s cover can never tell the complete story, and Alayna finds herself falling hard for Ben. Ben has similar feelings, but before he and Alayna can resolve their differences and reach a satisfactory agreement, they must each deal with the personal matters affecting their own lives.

A Personal Matter is a phenomenal debut novel from Karyn Langhorne. The writing is both engaging and humorous. Somehow, Langhorne has invented a fresh, anticipatory sigh of pleasure after each page style of writing, and it is wonderful.

The characters are as captivating as the writing. Ben and Alayna are an electrifying couple; the currents are tangible in every heated conversation they share.

A Personal Matter also dares to be more than entertaining. Without allowing the story to lose a single beat in its engrossing pace, Langhorne touches upon racism and interracial dating in a clever, unobtrusive manner.

This book is an enjoyable treat, one worthy of a second and third read. A reader would be wise to make it a personal matter to be on the lookout for Karyn Langhorne’s next novel.

Reviewed in August 2004 by Natasha.

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