A Review of “The Last Round by Author Aja
I am the Greatest!,March 28, 2013
Jamal is a Middleweight boxer who has big goals of dominating the game before he retires at 30. He needs to win four title belts to achieve that goal. His plan when he retires is to enjoy the fruits of his labor with those that have stuck it out with him, Pops, his trainer, Stephanie, his lawyer/manager and Tia, the love of his life…for now. But Tia’s loyalty is questioned when she is not there when Jamal wins an important match toward his goal and he comes to suspect that she is messing around with his rival Ernest Gaines. Is Tia being unfaithful or is it just a misunderstanding? This story, as suggested by the cover and synopsis, has a strong professional boxing element but readers who don’t enjoy sports or boxing can adapt by enjoying the relationship dynamics between all the characters and the plot.
I will admit to being a bit skeptical of starting this book. See, I like romance and I believe in it. In almost every book I read, no matter the genre, I look for intense intimate connections among the characters. The more intense, the better. Sometimes that is not a part of the story at all. Sometimes it is and when it is, I’m at my happiest. But just because a story has intense romantic elements to it, won’t always result in a happily ever after ending. I used to balk at that and avoid it. Why? Because I love romance. I’m repeating myself, I know.
Reading stories by The Black, has served to expand my definition of romance…a little. I still want my happily ever after or happily together for now but in his stories I’m coming to realize that the love of one’s self is greater than any romance that could be portrayed. The love and development of his characters have convinced me that if you can write a character like he does, you won’t need the happily ever after in the end. You will just be happy. And if I happen to get that ending I’m always reaching for, it will be the icing.
The Last Round: