Rating: ★★★ +.5 | 352 Pages | Sourcebooks Casablanca | Contemporary | 4/4/2017
Imani and Xavier’s high school romance felt like true love, but when Imani goes to Georgia for college they can’t hold on to their spark and drift apart. A decade later Imani is coming back home to open her dermatology practice and Xavier isn’t letting Imani get away this time. But Imani’s got secrets now and if she were to say yes she could ruin Xavier’s race for city council.
I’m starting to think rekindling romances are becoming my new jam. I like how the hero and heroine’s shared history means we don’t have to sit through the getting to know you parts. This romance isn’t clean or anything but it is just such a sweet romance. From Imani’s family to the kids Xavier counsels this books full of characters who love each other in all meanings of the word
This book takes place in Raleigh, North Carolina and just has an amazing sense of community and world building, I was not surprised to discover Alexander was a southern belle herself, like there is a scene where Xavier orders a lunch with a Cheerwine which is such a regionally specific beverage.
Oddly, Imani and Xavier felt less like Millennials and more like Gen Xers. It’s specifically stated that the characters are 10 years out from high school making them 29-30 at most, but they talk about listening to Mary J Blige at school dances, it just feels like an older reference. Also, Xavier refers to the 21-year-olds helping run his campaign as youngsters, and look I refuse to believe any Millennial trying to unseat an older incumbent wouldn’t use social media to their advantage. It was just weird.
I do want to talk about how this book is being marketed. This book is without a doubt a black romance but it’s not necessarily being marketed that way; it’s cover blurb is by Kristin Higgins and a lot of the ad copy refers to Alexander as a mainstream author. Now, I’ve read both indie black romance and Kimani and I was curious how this would strike the balance and it really leans more towards the indie black romance side. This book definitely has some unapologetic blackness to it. There are no explanatory commas but I do think there are enough context clues if someone isn’t familiar with everything going on.
Back To My Love is a contemporary friends to lover romance with it’s share of drama and politics stirred up with a spoonful of southern sweetness.