LOVE'S PORTRAIT

Author(s): 
Azure Monroe, an art gallery owner who herself has amazing artistic talent, is dealing with survivor's guilt and a few other family issues. Yante Lourde, Azure's cousin, is instrumental in pushing her out of her comfort zone and helping her to move on emotionally. Amir Swift, a man with a dream, decides upon his sister's college graduation to make major life changes. The life he was leading is morally unethical and no longer for him. The people he used to work with aren't pleased with this decision.

This is an urban love story where we see two people growing separately and together, overcoming their pasts to work toward a happier present and future. Shaw has a wonderful way of describing the setting. The places come alive with color, style and detail, and Amir and Azure are well-rounded characters. But the way his past becomes their present seems contrived and, based on the way Yante's character is written, it's difficult to believe that she would have been so blase in regard to her personal safety. The novel's start is sluggish, with too much separate personal history and reflection. If Shaw had provided this information at different intervals, the story would have flowed more smoothly. However, on sticking with this book, the pace picks up and readers are rewarded for their patience. (Jun., 304 pp., $5.99)
Reviewed by: 
Katherine Taylor-King