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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

His to Own by Theodora Taylor

Released: Dec. 2016
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

His to Own is the story of Mason and June. If you've read “Them Fairgood Boys” or the standalone “His Forbidden Bride” you'll recognize Mason as the cousin of “D” and Colin Fairgood. You'll also recall that Mason is a homegrown white nationalist. Yup, this is the love story of a racist white man who falls in love with an African-American woman and the little boy that she cares for. Intrigued? Disgusted? Confused? Believe me, I felt all of these things too. The funny thing is I actually liked the story.

By now you've read the blurb. Racist Mason runs into sweet and abused June while doing “business” with a Mexican gang. He can't quite take his eyes off of her and before you know it he's bought her and the little boy from her boyfriend. That's right, a racist man buys a black woman. Brings thoughts of slavery to mind don't it. Yup, it triggered my “fuck nah!” response as well. But I was determined and kept reading. The result? A story about two people who overcome obstacles and go through fantastic growth and change to find love. As implausible as that is Theodora Taylor makes it work.

As usual, Theodora brings the drama. This is a book that you can't wait to find out what's going to happen and how the couple is going to make it work. I loved June and the fact that she was a fighter. Despite all of the bad that happened to her, she ultimately remained strong as a person. The character of Jordan was great. He is the soccer loving chatterbox to June's silent endurance. Jordan held onto his good spirit no matter what. Mason was a strong character with a soft and somewhat broken center. I expected him to be a little harder than he actually turned out to be and I wish that he had been something other than a racist.

I'm sure you're thinking “but you loved His Forbidden Bride” and you're right. I did love it 100%. The thing is, I didn't know who or what Dixon was. I came to love the character so forgiving him and believing his journey was easy for me. He met Anitra with his prejudice filter turned all the way off. He was able to see her without having to gaze through the veil of his racism and preconceived beliefs. Mason didn't have amnesia. He knew who he was and how he felt. His thoughts were quite plain and vile at the beginning. The part of me that can't turn off my disbelief finds the idea that he could so quickly fall in love with June and become a hero is just too unbelievable. While it isn't 100% impossible, it isn't likely to happen. Not with someone like Mason who was raised to hate. My feelings are complicated on this subject because racism is such a pervasive problem and the idea of racist buying and owning a WOC just hits me the wrong way. Even if it is just fiction.

Despite my hesitation on the racism part of the story, I love Theodora Taylor's writing and if anyone could get me past my concerns regarding Mason and his past it was her. Her writing flows and you won't want to put it down. That said, I recommend His to Own if you feel you can get past the idea of a racist owning a WOC. I know some won't be able to do that. But it is a good piece of fiction if you can and ultimately you won't be disappointed, even if you do wish Mason were something other than a racist. The message, I suppose, is that anyone can change.

I'm giving His to Own 3.5 to 4-star rating.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review*

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