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Romance Review   

 

Gotta Get Next to You
by Lynn Emery
HarperTorch, 2001
ISBN: 0-380-81304-1
 
 

Andrea Noble returns to Louisiana to take the position as director of the Bayou Blue Public Health Clinic.  She was given the position as a plan hatched by her interracial parents Charlene Noble and John Mandeville to try to improve their relationship with their daughter.  Charlene is a beautiful African-American with a keen fashion sense.  John is a wealthy white business leader.  Because of the social climate of the era, teenage lovers John and Charlene didnít marry, and Andrea, the product of their teenage romance, was raised to believe a man of her race was her father.

John Mandeville hires Private Investigator Lee Matthews to find proof of stealing drugs and equipment at the clinic.  Lee goes undercover as Jamal Turner who is creating computer programs for the clinicís records. 

Andrea is unhappy that Jamal was hired without her approval.  The clinic was a mess when she arrived, and she makes changes to improve the patient services.  There is instant chemistry between Jamal and Andrea, but she is wary assuming he is a player.  However, chemistry wins, and soon they are responsible for heating up the Delta.

The plot thickens as secrets cause confusion and false assumptions.  Then there is the matter of Andrea not knowing Jamalís real name and mission.  The action is intense as emotions play into gang activity. 

Lynn Emery puts a lot of local color in Gotta Get Next to You from Cajun cooking and Delta Blues to the small town politics and gossip.  This one will make you yell -- "Laissez les bon temps rouler."   

 

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews

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