In the Afterwards books, this was the third story for Deuce and Zora, and this was their stories conclusion. We met Deuce as a teen in Chris Scaife’s story a few years back. In Young, Rich, and Black – Deuce was a grown sexy as sin man trying to navigate his adulthood and the responsibilities of being the eventual heir to the Scaife legacy. For me, that story was where Deuce showed a glimpse of who he would become in later books. In the next book, Snowflake, he wasn’t the principal in the story, yet we saw his glimmer and growth with every encounter and interaction with the main characters. Deuce proved one can grow up with much and still have compassion for others. He showed us how his powerful dad and stepmother’s influences made a difference in his thoughtfulness. Choosing to help his best friend financially showed his real persona. Kaleem and Ash’s story allowed Deuce to shine in the background. Zora and Deuce’s relationship was part of the mix, yet not the main story.
In the finale, Rhyme and Reason, we learned to love this young man with our whole hearts. It also allowed readers to see the past relationship between Chris Scaife and Deuces’ mother Cheryl with a clearer understanding. The complicated relationship gave readers` new insights and respect for Chris Sr. He showed his son how to be a real man and guided him to make better decisions. Zora and Deuce fought their way back to one another and struggled to put their religious difference plaguing their happily ever after in the rearview mirror. When Zora ran away, I worried by the time she stopped running it might be too late. Even though the story began with Deuce in a relationship with Zora’s placeholder, I was not worried in the least because she was not Zora. In the end, the story has highly emotional and took readers to the mat with this compelling story. Nia isn’t afraid to tackle the tough subject matter with her magical mind. The writing was brilliant and the storytelling superb. Bravo Ms. Forrester for a great story! 5+ Stars