Author: Leila Lacey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Phoenix James is plus sized dynamo, she is tall and light skinned, very earthy and eclectic in the way she dresses.
Phoenix is funny and fun loving; she has the personality that can make friends in the desert. Outgoing and charismatic, easy to talk to. She is the girl that all the girls want to have as a friend and the girl that all the fellas think is cool. She is loyal to her friends and family to a point of sometimes hurting herself if they are not being true to her.
She is single and has no kids, she has been married once and that relationship ended in divorce after he cheated on her. Although on the outside she seems totally confident and comfortable in her own skin to the public; she is sad and insecure about her weight and finding true love, Because of her insecurities her choices in men have been bad and most times disastrous.
Nick Crowne is 6’2” with broad shoulders and chocolate brown skin and brown eyes. He was born and raised in Britain so has and accent. His dimple on his right cheek gets him out of a whole lot of trouble with the ladies. Always being a slender man he is not much of a gym rat but still has an amazingly toned body with a deep sensual voice; he was married to the love of his life who died in a car accident 6 years ago, with their two year old daughter. He is not looking for nor does he have a desire to be in a relationship. He has decided that he will never let that pain touch him again. Besides the fact that being married to him was dangerous because of his family.
Nick is a man with culture and pride in being a black man. He donates extensively to scholarships for under privileges black children to go to college. He is a shark in business and a teddy bear in private.
He does not lie or sugar coat things he feels that, is just a way to cause more heart ache in the end. Being that he is so blunt and honest many people feel he is cruel and do not understand him. Born to a…. what American’s would call mafia family, he once worked 3 jobs and went to school full time to create a good life for himself and his family outside of a life of crime. He has worked hard for all he has and will fight dirty to keep it.
I wanted to review “Phoenix Rising” in particular because the book talks about plus-size women, a category of women often overlooked in romance. Phoenix, our main character, seems to have no problem at all about her weight, at least not on the outside. She appears confident, down to earth, and has a great sense of humor. But deep inside, she hides her fears and insecurities about her weight, wondering if she’ll ever find someone who truly loves her.
She’s been through a lot, our Phoenix, and she’s made several bad choices (read: disastrous ones) when it comes to love, but now, it looks like she’s actually about to make a good choice. Nick, the love interest, is a complicated man who went through a terrible tragedy: he lost his wife and daughter in an accident, and is still recovering from that. He is caring at times, but he doesn’t sugercoat things either: he’s an enigma, intriguing but at the same time hard to get close to.
The two characters connect, and they share almost instant chemistry, although it takes a while for them to open up to each other. I liked the background story of both characters, their personality, how different they were and yet how similar in some way. An intriguing multicultural romance novel featuring an engaging cast of characters.