by Reon Laudat

February 2005
ISBN: 0-312-99363-0
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press
Mass Market Paperback

Michelle Michaels had been convinced that her profile on CEO Stanford Chapelle would be a huge boost to her career with "Manhattan Business Journal". Instead she is falsely accused by Mrs. Chapelle of having an affair to get the story. In an effort to avoid a scandal, "Manhattan Business Journal" not only pulls the piece, but they send Michelle on a temporary assignment to a sister publication, the "Detroit Herald" newspaper. To make matters worse, Michelle is assigned to the "Features" section and her first assignment is to cover The Wiggles upcoming concert in Detroit. The only plus side of this whole fiasco is Detroit is her hometown and she will be able to stay with her mom and cousin.

Michelle's first day she accidentally takes the parking spot of investigative reporter Wesley Abbott. He is immediately attracted to her, but she knows his type and does not want to get involved with anyone from work, especially when Michelle hopes it will only be for three months. Eventually Wes' charm, good looks and their mutual love of jazz wear down Michelle's defenses and she agrees to go out with him. As Wes works on a potential corruption scandal story, Michelle inadvertently becomes involved. They both have family issues that they have tried to keep private. Can love grow with secrets and unresolved issues?

Although there is a long wait before the first sizzling love scene, it is well worth the wait. It is hot enough to make the reader reach for a long, cold drink. Along with the spicy romance there is much more. There is the emphasis on the unconditional love of family and that the truth is hard to deal with sometimes, but it must be revealed for healing to take place. Michelle and Wes are attractive and engaging, but the emotional pull of the story is the strongest when they are able to show vulnerability.

If You Just Say Yes is marketed to an African-American audience, but romance is universal and this marvelous novel is sure to appeal to all readers who appreciate a well-written contemporary story. I know I will be looking forward more sassy, breezy books by Ms. Laudat.

Reviewed in March 2005 by Roberta.

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