I used to ride the El (elevated train) from the west side of Chicago over to the south side where I attended school at Chicago State University. The Austin district where I lived was the worst area of town and neighbored this very nice city called Oak Park. My stop was the first one in Chicago. When I’d hop the train at 5 in the morning, the few passengers on it were mostly white, by the time I arrived at my stop on the south side of Chicago (the last stop for the line) the passenger make up was almost all black. The neighborhood I lived in was full of hard working people, people in need, drug addicts and drug dealers. The people in the neighboring Oak Park neighborhood had their issues to, but also had money. Anywhooo, back to the train. I wondered what would happen if one of the Oak Park Yuppies who rode the train hooked up with one of the Girls from the Hood and that is how Ebony Angel was born.
This novel was very realistic of the frame of mind of people who lived in the neighborhood when I lived there. People from the neighborhood LOVED this book because they could see themselves in it—the good, bad, and ugly. Some readers were put off because I didn’t have the characters act like romance heroes and heroines. Instead I had them being a product of their environment and doing the best they knew how to survive. The characters, actions, and reactions in the book were what they were for the area I lived in.
Ebony Washington is about to finish graduate school and move her child out of the gang infested, drug ridden west-side Chicago neighborhood they live in. She meets Richard Pacini on the elevated train, and they hit it off instantly: they have complementary goals and personalities, they have the same outlook on life, and they have a mutual attraction to each other. Ebony refuses to allow her meddling friends or the father of her child, Trae, to keep her from pursuing a relationship with Richard or leading her life as she sees fit.
Richard is speeding along a career path most would envy, but he isn’t happy. He longs to have a loving family. When he meets Ebony on the train, he believes his prayers have been answered. Battling over his decisions with his mother is the norm for Richard. Dealing with people as manipulative as Trae is a whole new story. Richard knows Ebony is his angel, and no one will keep them apart.
Trae would die before letting some white guy steal his woman, but he knows Ebony won’t even consider taking him back as long as he’s selling drugs. Now he has two missions: break up Ebony and Richard, and become the man Ebony wants. Order Ebony Angel