Something Worth Fighting For by Lena Matthews

August 28, 2014 Contemporary, Erotica, Reviews 6

Book cover for Something Worth Fighting For by Lena Matthews. A white man embraces a black woman and goes in to kiss her neck while sliding the strap of her white tank top off her shoulder.No good deed goes unpunished… And no one knows that better than Tisha Nichols, who, out of the kindness of her heart, agrees to style the hair of her nine-year-old neighbor Cami, so the little girl can look good for picture day. Unfortunately, Cami’s adoptive Uncle is far from grateful. In fact he’s down right livid…and far too attractive for Tisha’s peace of mind.

Love thy neighbor… Is easier said than done, especially when the neighbor in question is a sexy little spitfire who gives even better than she gets. Although Jonah is not the type to say he’s sorry, even he can admit when he’s wrong. But the ongoing fight to win custody of Cami has made him cautious and mistrustful of people, even those as desirable as Tisha. What starts as a misunderstanding turns out to be one of the best things to ever happen to them. Unfortunately, not everyone is as thrilled, and Jonah and Tisha must decide if their newly formed family is something worth fighting for.

For the purposes of this blog, I try not to review the same authors over and over. I want to spread the love, you see. I’ve been in a really terrible headspace since the murder of Mike Brown so it’s been hard to write and edit. Friday night my whole being was screaming “READ, DANG IT! GO TO YOUR HAPPY PLACE!” I had a few books on my kindle app waiting for me, but I decided to read Something Worth Fighting For. At this point I know what to expect from Ms. Matthews. I really enjoy interracial romances, but it’s hard to find titles that aren’t littered with casual racism or fetishistic language, the kind that makes me all types of barfy and pissed off. I know Lena doesn’t play those games. SWFF seemed like a safe bet.

I really enjoyed Happily Even After and as I’ve mentioned before I’m a sucker for stories with kids. SWFF took what I liked about HEA and amped up the happy and the conflict.

Johan was raised in foster homes and when his best friend/brother figure and his wife pass away, Johan gets joint custody of their daughter Cami. He shares custody with the girl’s cousin ReShaunda. ReShaunda wants full custody of Cami. Initially, I agreed with her. I would not give my black daughter over to a single white dude for a whole bunch of a reasons, but we quickly find out that Jonah is actually an excellent, protective father. The only issue is that he doesn’t know what the eff to do with Cami’s hair. Cami, being the resourceful 9 year old she is, seeks out the skills of the black woman who lives across the street to help do her hair for her school pictures. Jonah loses his shit when he realizes Cami isn’t in the house and takes out his anger on Tisha.

Jonah figures out that Tisha was only trying to help and sets about groveling to get back in her good graces. And then. They. Bone.

No, I’m just kidding. They do have the sex, but after Jonah asks Tisha out and makes a genuine effort to get to know her. The two fall for each other pretty quickly and Tisha willingly takes up a maternal role in Cami’s life. I enjoyed the three main characters very much. Cami is very funny and does her best to keep Jonah in line as a dad. Tisha is snappy and witty, but Matthew’s didn’t make her a bitch which I appreciated. Jonah was very sexy. Bit Alpha, bit beta, all around nice guy. The relationship development between the three of them didn’t feel forced and Matthews doesn’t create a scenario where Cami NEEDS a mother. Their lives just come together and Tisha and Cami get along well.

Matthews also touches on race, but not in a way that takes away from the movement of the plot. Yes, Jonah is white, raising a little black girl and people do not hesitate to point that out. But Jonah gets it and doesn’t have some woe-is-me-being-white-is-so-hard-chip on his shoulder. His focus is on Cami and her well being.

The main conflict centers around ReShaunda and the lengths she’ll go to to get Cami away from Jonah. No spoilers, but she does some pretty off the wall shit.

The sex is very hot and for a novella, plentiful. This is one that I would reread.

Final Assessment: Read it

Grade: A-

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A queer romance author of color who will read just about anything, for science, or this blog. She gravitates toward post Civil War era historical romance, westerns, BDSM erotic romance, LGBT romance and erotica. She’s interested in trying out more New Adult titles with multicultural characters, romances/erotic titles of any subgenre with Transgender characters, stories with Native American characters, especially if they are written by Native American authors, horror and romantic suspense.

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6 Responses to “Something Worth Fighting For by Lena Matthews”

  1. Roslyn Holcomb

    Thanks for the favorable comparison to Happily Even After. That’s one of my fave books of all time. I love Lena’s part alpha part beta heroes. She does them better than anyone I know. I hate all alpha men, but she knows how to blend them just right. I’ll pick this one up for my birthday.

  2. cleo

    I’m glad you reviewed this – I’ve been eying it, but wasn’t sure about the set up. It sounds good.

  3. Tina

    Good review. I love Lena Matthews’ stuff. And yes, Happily Even After is my abso favorite of hers.

    If you haven’t, you might want to give Three Wishes by Seressia Glass a try. The plot is somewhat similar to this one, with a single father of a young girl, the heroine is the neighbor who helps the little girl at a critical moment etc.

    In the Glass book the heroine is Half AA/Half Korean? (I think but don’t remember) and the hero & his daughter are white. The book itself doesn’t really dwell on race but it touches on it in a very specific and interesting way during a scene later in the book (a scene that has resonance with a

  4. Tina

    Sorry… sent too soon…

    finishing my thought… the scene has a resonance with a parent who is a POC and a child who isn’t and how the public reacts and more importantly how the child learns the social implications of that difference as well.

    And it is just a frickin good book.

  5. Beks

    @Tina: Just looked it up! The cover is killing, as did the cover with this one. *shakes fist* WHY COVERS? WHY?, but I will definitely check it out. Thanks!