A Pair Like No Otha'
Hunter Hayes
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Buy *A Pair Like No Otha'* online

A Pair Like No Otha'

Hunter Hayes
Avon Books
384 pages
December 2002
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Shemone and Darnell have been best friends since they were both knee-high to grasshoppers; however, after high school they both take different paths to success. Shemone decides to go to college to become a journalist, and Darnell decides to prove that you don't have to go to college to become a success. Shemone becomes a successful magazine writer after graduation, while Darnell's impatience proves to be his Achilles' heel -- he chooses to take the easy route, ending up with a prison sentence serving three to five years. While Darnell is prison, the unexpected death of a close friend prompts Darnell to call Shemone, something that hadn't happened since high school. After that phone call, Shemone and Darnell kept communicating for the last year of Darnell's prison sentence. It's when Darnell gets released that things get interesting and more complicated.

A Pair Like No Otha' is a poignant love story as relevant to men and women as any ever told. Love is not easy and sweet. It doesn't always hit like a bolt of thunder from the blue. It can come with time and knowledge, slowly developing and able to last through the hard times and keep you held fast when you have doubts. Like the master writer Shakespeare once wrote, "Love does not alter when it alteration finds." Love will last through any change. That's the premise behind A Pair Like No Otha': can the love that Darnell and Shemone have last through the changes they must go through.

Writing is always a complicated business; writing a modern day adult romance is even tougher. You don't want to come off sounding cheesy and make things too happy-go-lucky, but neither do you want to include so many of the common gripes and groans that you make being in a relationship sound like a death sentence. A Pair Like No Otha' does this very well. There are some problems for the characters to overcome, and the lead characters experience growth individually and as a couple.

The idea of someone managing to find themselves in prison is not a new idea, but it's not one that is used often in romance novels. Most people would prefer a "cleaner" leading male, but a reformed rake is a reformed rake, and that is a storyline used often enough in romance novels. Thought of in that light, I'm sure few "true" fans of the romance genre will complain.

Hunter Hayes has managed to find the essence of relationships today and compress them into book form. Every writer must be an observer of life, and Hayes obviously has the eyes of an eagle for him to write this well about what goes on between a man and a woman. This book is a good read, good fun, and it has an underlying message that no one should forget: second chances can make anything possible.

© 2003 by Kim Lightfoot for Curled Up With a Good Book

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