If you like your romance novels strictly by the letter, then Kiss Lonely Goodbye is for you. This is a smart, witty, sexy novel which takes its readers into the heart and soul of its characters. No rules are broken as the protagonists feel attraction, doubt, and, ultimately, love for one another. Despite the many clichés and repetitive labels the main characters apply to themselves such as “Black-American Princess” and “ghetto”, there are points in the novel that actually surprise the reader with dialogue that seems genuine and thought-provoking.
Nicole Summers Benoit is a young woman who has glided through life comfortably by taking advantage of her family’s name and fortune. Her only responsibilities have been shopping and partying. That is, until her uncle’s will is read at his funeral and she discovers she has inherited Summer’s Security. To her dismay, and her cousins’, she is now the head of her family’s security firm. Needless to say, due her lack of experience, initial unwillingness to take the job, and envy of others who felt they deserved the company more, she is placed into a battle zone where many people are hoping to see her fail. But failure does not become an option for Nicole. With determination and business savvy, she sets out to overcome her obstacles and triumph. This includes breaking through the wall of ice the vice-president, Marcus Reed, has placed between them.
Marcus Reed is a handsome, strong, stubborn man who turned his life around and made it out of the troubled Fifth Ward projects in Houston. He worked his way up in Summer’s Security for years, while earning respect and a number of clients for the company. So it is no surprise that he is bitter when he learns Nicole’s uncle went back on his promise to sell him the company after his death. Like many others, he hopes the new CEO would fail. Marcus even schemes to take away some of Summer’s Security’s clients and begin his own security firm. However, his plans change and feelings become muddled once he meets Nicole. She is everything he hates: spoiled, pampered, and selfish. Yet, beneath the expensive clothes, sweet perfume, and rude behavior, he discovers a caring, intelligent, sensual woman. Instead of fighting against her, he fights with her and for her.
Besides the game of love Nicole and Marcus play, Kiss Lonely Goodbye has other interesting characters who divert the reader’s attention into another world. For instance, Shaun, Marcus’ best friend, helps to bring some hard truths to the novel. He is involved in organized crime and plays on the past he and Marcus shared in the Fifth Ward in order to keep Marcus by his side.
All in all, this novel has some high points. However, the characters are people we have met before in one form or another in a romance novel, which is not a bad thing. If you like reading about how opposites attract and how a pampered society girl comes to care about something other than herself, pluck this one off the shelf. It will make you smile.