November 19, 2018

Review: Cuffing Season by Danielle Allen

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Review: Cuffing Season by Danielle AllenCuffing Season by Danielle Allen
Published by Amazon Digital Services LLC on November 19, 2018
Genres: African American, Romance, Women's Fiction
Pages: 257
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four-stars

Cuffing Season

I wasn’t looking for a man.
I was looking for a mentor.

When renowned photographer Luca Romano returned home to teach a Photo Storytelling workshop, Hamilton University was buzzing. But a campus wide email warned us not to approach Luca if we weren’t selected to participate—and I wasn’t selected.

I wasn’t looking to break the rules.
I was looking to break into the industry.

I knew getting photographed by Luca Romano would catapult my career. I hoped he’d call, but I had no expectations. I wanted to converse with him, pick his brain, expand my portfolio. That’s all.

Listen… I wasn’t looking to be his muse.
But I wasn’t going to tell him no.

“It’s hard to find people who get it, who are as ambitious as you, who grind like you.”

 

Thanksgiving is literally a few days away, the weather is cooling down quite a bit, and in many places, it’s sweatpants season. You know what season we’re also in? Cuffing Season.

Cuffing Season also happens to be the name of Danielle Allen’s latest novel.

Serena Brooks is a graduate student, model, and fashion designer. Luca Romano is a famed photographer with a current teaching stint at Hamilton University. She would love the opportunity to work with him; getting him to photograph her fashion line would be a major win. She can’t reach out to him directly so when an opportunity presents itself to work around that hurdle, she takes it.

They connect and become friends quickly – they were able to have really great conversations; showing each other sides they don’t normally show to the public. Luca is brooding, sexy and artistic. Serena is stylish, outgoing, and talented. They have a lot in common and they click.

Their friendship evolves into something else just as quickly, and while the attraction is evident – they don’t know what to do with said attraction. There is a lot of outside noise that makes their relationship or lack thereof, a lot more complicated than they had anticipated. Ignorant opinions, gossip, and the harsh light of critics make maneuvering for them a bit difficult; and puts Serena in a complicated position just as all of her hard work is about to come to fruition.

There are a lot of moving parts to Cuffing Season. It’s fun, sexy and passionate deals but it also deals directly with a lot of real issues such as slut-shaming and victim blaming. Conversations around partners and so-called body counts and what people may deem acceptable or not are explored in this novel. We are reminded about how damaging and harmful this shaming is. Who gives anyone the right to say what is acceptable about another person’s intimate life? Why are the standards different for men than women?

Cuffing Season has strong and relatable characters and a simmering passion that makes for a solid novel.

 

P.S. Cuffing Season is the standalone spin-off novel to Sweatpants Season. While it’s not necessary to read this novel beforehand to follow along, I would suggest picking up a copy.

four-stars

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Natalya

Natalya

Natalya is an Account Manager by day and an editor and author's assistant to passionate creatives by night. When she is not adding to her enormous book collection or stationery supply, she is catching up on her favorite television shows.

Natalya is the author of All The Things I Never Said, a soul-stirring collection of short stories, prose and love letters for the soulful wanderers, the brokenhearted and the hopeless romantics.

You can follow her rantings and occasional sparks of brilliance on Twitter @NatalyaMuncuff.
Natalya