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Dating Games
by R. M. Johnson

Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 0743244559

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Dating Games
R. M. Johnson
Simon & Schuster, Sep 2004, $12.00, 310 pp.
ISBN: 0743244559

In Chicago, with her twin daughters now seventeen and sick of depending on loser males, nurse’s assistant thirty-three years old Livvy Rodgers decides to take care of herself for a change after years of struggling to put food on the table by returning to school to become a registered nurse. Her daughter Hennesey, an honor student with a college scholarship supports the decision; her other daughter street wise Aliz, who is going nowhere, detests the decision because she will have to earn a living instead of sponging off her mom.

Rafe Collins spent three years behind bars for a crime he did not commit as he protected his friend Smoke. Rafe works as an auto mechanic at Smoke’s car dealership, which the latter uses to traffic in drugs. Rafe meets Livvy and they begin to fall in love while mom Livvy meets nice Wade Williams; besides trying to steal Rafe from her sister, Aliz and her street pals make money rolling drunks. However, they chose the wrong target when they mugged Smoke, who takes this as an affront to his manhood and plans vengeance on Aliz and anyone she might hold dear.

This is an interesting look at the mean streets as readers compare the twins’ diametrically opposite ways out of the slums. Though Hennesey works at it while Aliz seeks shortcuts to the good life, fans will understand the attitudes of both even the latter’s selfish yet realistic outlook. Thus the strong story line provides varying perspectives through its solid cast though the ending seems sappy after the flow of blood.

Harriet Klausner


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