About the Book
Title: The Follow
Author: Eliza David
Published: July 7, 2017
Genre: African American, fiction, erotica, romance
New hire Shauna McIntyre joins The Charisma Group, a New York-based talent agency specializing in social media management. Even though she has never been much of a fangirl in her personal life, Shauna expects that her signature professional task is managing the online fandom of her famous clientele. What she didn’t expect was to fall in love with one of them.
R&B sensation King Smith has made a career of singing soulful tunes and strumming his guitar for his adoring fans. King also harbors a secret: he’s in recovery for sex addiction. When King lays eyes on Shauna, the crooner with a craving for no-strings lust decides to change his life in an effort to hold on to her.
Once King is tempted by the admiration of a persistent online fan, Shauna has a decision to make. When professional lines are blurred and relentless love takes hold, will Shauna sacrifice her rising career for an affair with a famous man with a seemingly insatiable thirst for his fandom?
Let me start by saying that I’m not really a romance reader. However, every time, Eliza David’s books grab me and pull me in because they feel like so much more. This is no exception. It has everything I look for in a book: Heavy on character development, social commentary, relatable themes. Plus there’s a large dose of witty dialog and plenty of well-written, steamy sex.
Right away, what had my attention is that there’s no glossing over anything. Readers are aware right from the start that King is dealing with a serious problem. What I love is that this is handled all the way through with a lot of empathy. It’s not played for drama or swept under the rug for the sake of furthering the relationship. King’s addiction is as much a character as the people, and yet this never feels like an “issues book” to me. It feels brutally honest at times, heartbreaking at others, and there’s even some gentle humor. Everything about it is three-dimensional.
I can’t say enough good things about Shauna. She’s like so many women, feeling obligated to be everything for everyone even while struggling with her own problems. I love that she’s allowed to be vulnerable and admit that trusting King is hard for her. He comes on a bit like a hurricane, impatient for her to just let go, but she sets firm limits. It’s both painful and wonderful to watch her breaking down, torn between what her head and her heart want.
The side characters are terrific as well, from Shauna’s office mate Lena to the fans themselves. There’s a character I didn’t especially like, and I won’t spoil who it is, but by the end, I was firmly in their camp. I’d love to see them find their happily ever after, and I’ll try not to be too impatient.
There was one thing that, as Shauna says, made me feel A Way. There’s a cheating (probably bisexual) character. Normally, this would make my head explode. However, here, I think it actually works as well as it can. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it, either. I also think there’s some ambiguity to the situation that made me wonder if there’s more under the surface than we got to see on-page. So if there’s never any more about that character, then I can imagine it fan fiction style. Which, in a sense, wouldn’t be amiss with this book.
While I don’t share the main character’s specific experiences, there’s a lot in there that felt familiar. The story has enough realism to feel like an affirmation, but enough fantasy to be satisfying. This is the world I want to belong to: where people can admit to their closest friends what they’re dealing with and get help when they need it. That, I think, is the message I’m walking away with. If King and Shauna can show their full, real selves, maybe that’s a thing we can all strive for.
For outstanding characters, a story told with warmth and compassion, and just the right level of hot loving, this gets 10/10 fountain pens.
About the Author
Eliza David is the author of the six-book Cougarette series. She was born and raised on the noisy South Side of Chicago, but now lives in super quiet Iowa. When she’s not writing, working full-time, or raising two children with her loving husband, Eliza enjoys reading throwback Jackie Collins and indulging in the occasional order of cheese fries.
Eliza is a blogger as well, having served as a contributing writer for Real Moms of Eastern Iowa, Good Men Project, and Thirty on Tap. She was a featured panelist at the Iowa Soul Festival and Iowa City Book Festival.
Eliza’s latest novel, The Follow, dropped in July 2017. She’s currently working on sequels for two of her novels – Savage and The Follow – which are both are slated for release in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
You can follow Eliza on Facebook (www.facebook.com/elizadwrites), Twitter (www.twitter.com/elizadwrites), Instagram (www.instagram.com/writegirlproblems), or on her blog (www.elizadavidwrites.com). Check the Events below to see where you can catch her next!