Cablevision operator Renee is tired of her best friend, Collette, trying to hook her up with someone special. She hasnt had anyone significant in her life since RJ, and he turned out to be worse than any player out there in the dating world.

Enter Jay, who is caring, sensitive and whiteand a bit daft when it comes to the Afro-American psyche. Through love, they learn to understand each others differences. Will it be strong enough to help their family and friends understand and cross the color barrier?

Renee and Jay portends to be a modern day story that likens itself to the endearingly tragic Romeo and Juliet. Unfortunately, it falls flat with stereotypi-cal characters and a shaky plot. The heroine has somehow elevated herself from her previous social circumstances, yet its ambiguous as to how. Readers may also find the characters to be more caricatures than actual living people. (Jul., 304 pp., $22.00)

Reviewed by: 
Shamaine Diana Henry