by Zane

January 2005
ISBN: 0-7434-7097-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Atria Books

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If you waste time, you waste living life. That’s the lesson taught by author Zane in her stunning novel, Afterburn. It’s a story about how two people from different backgrounds travel separate roads to meet up with true love with one another.

Rayne Waters, an Alabama-bred bank administrator living in Washington, D.C., is seeking the ultimate love connection. However, with her strange upbringing at the hands of an alcoholic mother, who promotes the wonders of “whoredom”, Rayne wishes nothing more than to prove that true love can happen. Unfortunately, she has only a graveyard of broken hearts and shattered dreams.

Her one hope lies in the healing hands of chiropractor, Yardley Brown, another hopeless romantic looking for love in all the wrong places. Yardley is a young, steamy fine brother who owns his own business and knows how to please a woman. But after years of bad relationships, he’s hesitant in stepping to the sexy sister at the bank where he makes his weekly deposits.

By a twist of fate, the two finally get together and make beautiful music (and love) together. Unfortunately, both their pasts comeback to haunt them, leaving you to wonder if these two will ever make it to wedded bliss. The torturously twisted ending (make sure to have plenty of tissue) is sure to wrap you up in knots.

Zane does a phenomenal job in telling Rayne and Yardley’s star-crossed tale of loving and living for the moment. She peppers the book with powerful quotes from the unlikely likes of Gandhi to Joe Lewis and she supports the two lovers with a loveable and endearing cast of characters from Rayne’s alcoholic, self-pimpin’ mother, Arjay, to Yardley’s booty-trolling best boy, Felix.

Zane uses the first person for both characters to allow you a personal insight into their psyche. You can see how Rayne’s upbringing influences her view on men. Although, Rayne knows her mother’s observation of men is not completely true, she still cannot shake the harsh lesson from her mind, which causes her to loose precious time in approaching the upstanding doctor.

Yardley also has his doubts about approaching Rayne, having been left for another woman by his long-term girlfriend. His boys are also no help to his love life. He is set up on a date with Felix’s girlfriend’s “hoochie” cousin looking to become a “kept” woman. After that nightmare set up, Yardley is determined to approach the curveous Rayne, only to be sidetracked again by his high school sweetheart-turned-“dick slayer”.

Afterburn is the first novel in a long time that I found myself emotionally bonding with two, fictional people as well as the author. Zane’s twisted journey struck a chord with me and woke up my procrastinating spirit. Too many times people miss out on opportunities, because they waste time thinking about the consequences. When I was done reading the novel and left with the question “why”, Zane stepped up and told me the answer in the Author Notes. She ministered to me like no preacher has ever preached to me.

Zane’s ability to craft a tale of two lovers’ struggles, heartaches, and fears of never finding the One is a magic stroke of genius. She draws from personal experience and turmoil to make realistic people seeking true, life companions. Readers, I usually try not to sell a book, but if you want to know the pains of love and living for the moment, then pick up Afterburn by Zane. Don’t waste a second.

Reviewed in June 2005 by Cheena.

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