Book Review

CAREFREE
by Dara Girard

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Multicultural

RT Rating

Social worker Jackie Henson's boyfriend weds another. But she doesn't have time for self-pity—her clients are committing suicide without reason.

She hires P.I. Clay Graham, her sister-in-law's brother, to help her get to the bottom of these deaths. Then Jackie's ex sends
her an invitation to his wedding, and she propositions Clay for another job—one
that doesn't involve detective work.

Girard establishes a romantic premise, but the hook vanishes after the fifth chapter as she tries to create a world filled with cults, British-Jamaican ethnic enclaves and the next great American detective—all of which fail because she doesn't find a suitable balance of romance and suspense.

There are too many subplots involving Jackie and Clay's families, which could have worked if this novel was broken down into a romantic suspense series. The minor characters keep the reader from finding the clues to solve the mysterious deaths and from witnessing a carefree love between Clay and Jackie turn into something more enduring. (May, 320 pp, $5.99)

Reviewed By: Dee Y. Stewart

Publisher: BET/Arabesque

Published: May 2005

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