Friday, November 3, 2017

Until Ray by Cheryl Robinson (Until Ray Trilogy, #1)

Until Ray
by Cheryl Robinson

My rating: 3 stars

Trilogy: Until Ray - Book 1
Publisher: Rose Colored Books (June 23, 2017)
Publication Date: June 23, 2017
Genre: Women's Fiction
Print Length: 404 pages
Available FREE from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Two people in the same city but worlds apart.

Until Ray is an unconventional love story of how two young people transitioning into adulthood find each other and develop a bond that will be tested through three decades.


Ray lives in northwest Detroit in a four-family flat with his mother. When he’s not at home, Ray’s either at the mall selling women’s shoes or in the club. In both places, he's focused on one thing—picking up women. Dissatisfied, dysfunctional, and leagues behind his peers, Ray's ready for a change but isn’t sure how to make it happen.


At twenty-four, Sarita has an MBA, is a CPA, and works in upper-level management at GM. But all that success comes at a cost: she’s lonely and craves the one thing she’s never had—attention from men. Until now. Dr. Graham Emerson wants to marry Sarita, and her parents expect her to, but Sarita isn’t convinced he’s the one for her. On a blind date, she meets Ray Saint and is immediately drawn in by his good looks and sense of humor. But his reputation for being a ladies’ man raises several red flags. Ray swears he’s changed. Is giving up a sure thing for a maybe worth the risk?

Set in the mid-eighties, Until Ray explores life and love through the lenses of colorism, classism, and family dysfunction. 

 Until Ray by Cheryl Robinson (Until Ray Trilogy, #1)

Until Ray: Book 1 of the Until Ray TrilogyHaving grown up in and around Detroit, the scenes were set for me in vivid detail. Having frequented the very establishments mentioned was like a walk down memory lane in many ways, the difference being the viewpoint of an intelligent young woman who has no real self-identity, who may have excelled academically, but failed to thrive socially. There were times I felt like I had picked up a "places to go" pamphlet.

Sarita may have grown up with wealth and the correct Detroit address, but her family’s internal dysfunctionality, need to control and snobbery is the perfect recipe to assist her present and future mistakes.

Ray also has grown up in an atmosphere that spells disaster. A disturbed and dysfunctional mother, poverty and the complete lack of personal drive and self-respect have created a man who may want it all, but doesn’t want to do the due diligence to obtain it. He has become the clich├ęd manwhore and seeks to “make his mark” in the most superficial ways, until he meets Sarita, but even then, his desire to change is more lip service than soul-felt.

It was the very danger and excitement he represented that had Sarita running straight into his web in her misguided attempt to become her own woman and break free from her parents’ iron fist.
Dark, intense and edgy, UNTIL RAY by Cheryl Robinson is a tale of the downward spiral of more than two people, more than their dysfunctional relationships and almost seems to tell the tale of the implosion of a city in crisis. No matter how pretty the backdrop, how impressive the venues named should seem, this is a dark tale of failure, incredible betrayal, emotional weakness and the pain of a loss of innocence. The real world isn’t always pretty, but only by living in it, can we find ourselves. So far, Sarita and Ray are their own worst enemies.

Certainly not an upbeat read, this tale will make strong individuals shake their heads, weak individuals quake and all readers hope for that moment of awakening to come to each and every character.

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