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  • Kristen Alicia

For When You Need A Hint of Magic

I’ve been dealing with some crappy health issues so even though I read this one about a month ago, I’m a little behind on my reviews. Tia Williams’s, “A Love Song for Ricki Wilde,” hit all the notes for me. The exploration of love in modern-day Harlem interspersed with the history of old Harlem is the perfect marriage for falling in love with New York’s historically Black neighborhood.

Ricki is a free spirit craving independence from her overbearing family, and she seeks it in Harlem despite pressure from her family. She’s spent her early years attempting to break out of the shadows of her perfectionist mother and judgmental sisters by opening a flower shop on the bottom floor of an old building in Harlem owned by her surrogate grandmother, Ms. Della. Eager to meet people and learn more about Harlem is when the magic really happens, and Ricki encounters a sexy stranger who doesn’t seem of her time.

“A Love Song for Ricki Wilde” is a romance novel wrapped in a love letter to the Black artists of Harlem. Williams paints a vivid picture of the neighborhood, its inhabitants, and the beauty that lives in its heart. Fans of historical fiction and magical realism will be swept away by this sexy, abiding story of love and self-discovery. Ricki is a relatable protagonist who I found myself rooting for even when I wasn’t convinced I should be because more than anything, she was brave, passionate, and opened herself up to love and new experiences.

Even though my initial interest in this book was for the romance, I found that I was most intrigued by the discussions of Harlem and its vibrant, colorful history.

To read this book is to love it. At least it was for me.

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