Thursday, May 5, 2011

Inter-racial Romance: Meeting Lena Matthews

Lena Matthews is one of a number of writers who are currently writing romance fiction from an interracial perspective. It is an aspect of romance fiction that would have not been possible or accepted to any degree four or five decades ago, and the fact that these talented writers are now able to not only have their stories published by are openly accepted and valued by readers is a testimony to the fact that we have moved forward in our societal conscience. Is it as good as it needs to be? Not by a long stretch. But writers like Lena are a wonderful source for helping people of all backgrounds and racial perspectives to widen their understanding of the black culture that is such an important part of our American history and contemporary life.

I have searched online for information about her, but even her own website has a very short biographical blurb.

"Lena Matthews spends her days dreaming about handsome heroes and her nights with her own personal hero. Married to her college sweetheart, she is the proud mother of two children, three evil dogs, and a mess of ants that she can't seem to get rid of.

When not writing she can be found reading, watching movies, lifting up the cushions on the couch to look for batteries for the remote control and plotting different ways to bring Buffy back on the air."

Checking in on several publisher blurbs who have published Lena's books, it appears the bio is essentially the same. So I sense is that readers come to know a great deal about this author from her books. She is an "old hand" at writing steamy romances that keep her readers well entertained and which massage the libido as well as the mind. Not a bad combination. But I was most impressed about her writing style when reading Something Worth Fighting For from Ellora's Cave, a novel I reviewed for The Book Binge and which I really enjoyed. A very committed Anglo dad--a man who wasn't really the biological father but whose love for his daughter was a priority in his life, and a sassy African-American neighbor to whom he was attracted after a not real friendly or neighborly beginning to their friendship. Ultimately, both were committed to making this young girl's life special and in the process they became not only friends, but lovers as well. It was a wonderful story that didn't back away from prejudices which are alive still in the minds of many, as well as filling it with the unique personalities of African-American women who are funny, sassy, in-your-face, and delightful through and through. It is still one of my favorite books.

A very close second is a pair of books I have recently read and which were reviewed on this blog just a few days ago. Happily Even After as well as its sequel Still The One have become favorite reads for me. Both are filled with joy and disappointment, a sense of togetherness as well as the emotional distances people sometimes allow in relationships. I am especially impressed with the narrative style and the very witty conversational exchanges that flow throughout the book. Juse such good reads!

Lena has written a number of very erotic books that are not only in ebook form but are now available in paperback. She is a major contributor to interracial romance fiction and a writer that sets a high standard for others who want to follow in her footsteps. Readers will find novels, short novels and novellas that will please as well as keep them hankering for more. Don't miss one of her books.

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