by Rochelle Ayers

February 2002
ISBN: 1-58314-270-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Arabesque Books
Mass Market Paperback

This is a book that just feels right. As a known detractor of the alpha male it’s not often I praise an author for writing a male character as such but in this case it was stunningly appropriate. Michael is absolutely beautiful. Strong. Capable. Intelligent. This man has it very much together.

Now imagine his female counterpart and you have Jolene Clark. She too is strong, capable and intelligent. And best of all she’s self-aware. She knows who and what she is as well as where she wants to go and how she wants to live her life. You have to applaud that in a heroine. Theirs is a relationship I was in favor of right from the start. And by the time I was a third of the way through this story I knew that not only was it a keeper but I’d be searching for more of Ms. Alers’ work.

No Compromise does have a flaw or two. The narrative is a bit stiff in some areas. It lacks the elegance and grace one comes to associate with the characters. Descriptive passages are on occasion overdone, particularly when describing the affluent lifestyles of the characters. The phrases used reek of pretension. Some things would have been better off implied as opposed to stated outright.

There were also occasions when Michael and Jolene acted out of character. When Michael drove Jolene to Virginia, her “awe” –struck reaction was definitely over done. Surprise would have been closer to keeping in character. Such descriptions although they didn’t happen often were a bit jarring as they clashed with the reaction one would expect from characters such as Jolene and Michael.

Once the relationship of the main characters is established, Alers introduces an aspect of suspense to the plot. As counselor for victimized women, Jolene has seen women from all walks of life come in for help. When a new mysterious client comes in for help, Jolene finds herself in some danger. And as things begin to happen, she turns to Michael who does everything he can to make sure she remains safe.

What makes this book for me are the characters, main and secondary. They’ve obviously been created by an author with skill. And Jolene and Michael’s story leaves you thoroughly contented with the way things turn out for them.

Reviewed in May 2002 by JaToya.

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