A Taste of Her Own Medicine
a small town romance
by Tasha L. Harrison
A Taste of Her Own Medicine is Tasha L. Harrison’s seventh story published. She has even published twice since this book came out. I found this story through the second in the series: The Bad in Each Other. I decided to start at the beginning by reading A Taste of Her Own Medicine first.
This was a “can’t put down” book. I hated having to put it down to be the responsible adult.
The author’s impressive writing skill shines quickly. Sonja is a strong character with a complicated life. I don’t mean strong as in lift you off the ground (I wouldn’t know if she can do that). She is not outwardly strong. She is capable. So many things have injured her confidence, yet she was still moving forward. Her previous relationship wasn’t the best- to the point I’d call it abusive. You could see both that capable ability she has and the broken pieces life has caused. She has a strong support network to keep her from making bad choices. She has survived heart break and chaos. A perfect main character.
Sonja’s goal is “[a business] that felt so familiar that my customers could easily imagine the hands that made the products and feel connected to the process.” This gives a brief understanding of Sonja’s strengths and desires for her future. This divorcee is not going to throw her life away for some guy. This isn’t a fairy tale romance, but it does offer that happily ever after many require out of romance.
The moment of attraction was clear and distinct. It suited the flow. The writer’s style slipped in easily. It’s good to have a clear “I think you’re hot” moment for the main characters.
The introduction of Atlas is compelling. Not only is the main character a well defined strong woman, but we have a well defined love interest. The personalities suit each other. Enough similarities to bring unity as well as enough differences to bring interest. By the end of chapter one, I already stan the main couple; the couple that hasn’t agreed to anything yet.
Throughout the book there was a few notes showing off social justice: Atlas focused on helping woman and minorities to become business owners; the small nod to “women like us” when Sonja buys her LLC; the random notes of environmental sustainability, even if they didn’t necessarily match with the science behind it. It showed a desire to do right by our world and the community we have. These little nods make a huge impact on a reader without their knowledge. It was never shoved in my face nor was it out of place.
The witchy-ness to it calms. The weaved in culture of this particular group of practitioners- Gullah- is great. It’s not thrown in for bonus. It’s a strong undercurrent to the entire story. It matters to the character. There is pride and power. So many stories that include “magic” with realism just don’t hit it right, as if they’re looking in at the world and playing pretend. Playing pretend is fine with fantasy, but if you’re using legit cultures and practices of a group, there are details you can’t mess with. I’ve put down books for not giving this aspect the consideration it deserves. I am very happy with this representation.
It wasn’t perfect. Obviously. No book can be perfect. I found a few things that bothered me even if only slightly.
I know a 40 year old divorced Black woman with two teenage children isn’t the most likely character for a romance novel, but that’s not a reason for me to not know those details early on. I was really questioning the age until I was given it. Was she late twenties? Was she thirties somewhere? Was she in her forties already? Maybe even young fifties… The fact she was divorced showed up early, but I didn’t know about the kids up front. The only reason I thought Black at all was because the cover image leads me to that. It’s not clear. Is there allowed to be some give? Yes, of course. Actually the point that bothered me the most was the missing age. I didn’t really get a description of the main character- and didn’t absolutely need it- until Atlas had control of the narrative. Then it was based on his skewed perspective. Which suits for the lust filled connection.
Is it something that detracts a lot? No. I have plenty of description of the world. I knew these two were adults and available for fun. I knew they liked each other’s looks. The reason the age bothers is because it’s something she focused in on without telling us what age she was in. A quick, “I’m already forty,” thought would have satisfied this concern since she considered herself old. Just like a note about kids came in probably two pages later than I would have liked. With them in the picture, several things made more sense.
Then there’s the “bike”. Considering an almost bad boy background being explained, the first time the “bike” was mentioned I thought motorcycle. In the next scene where Atlas is mentioned with his bike, it’s clear he uses a bicycle. It shocked me. I wasn’t expecting that at all.
Having had my editor hat on lately, I noticed all the random missing words or typos. I hate that. I wanted to just read it knowing the rarity of the mistake would not trip up a normal reader. It wasn’t common at all, yet I keyed in on it because I’ve been reading for mistakes lately. Ugh.
The erotica scenes weren’t top of the top. I’m not sure what can be done to improve them, since I completely and utterly suck at writing erotica. Still, it didn’t have me wet and wanton just from reading, which is what I get from top level erotica. It could be the level of innocence in that department for Sonja. Or it could be the author didn’t fill the pages with explicit details. Each scene was important for the story, so even during such sensual scenes, the story had to come first. There was nothing about it that had me stop reading.
The cons definitely do not outweighing the pros with this story. Tasha L. Harrison has shown a skill with story telling that more people really need to know about. I can’t wait to pick up more of her stories. Another book of hers and a cup of tea sounds like a perfect afternoon to me.
TL;DR: Amazing romance with fully formed characters who seem made for one another. Let this book sweep you into a Small Town Romance. You won’t regret it.