This book originally came my way via Netgalley but I only got a 20-page sample of the book instead of the entire book to read and review. I would have eventually bought the book to finish it but thankfully the author saw my feedback on NetGalley so she sent me a note offering the book to me for free.
Too many times, I’ve felt like I’m reading the same book/characters over and over again in the new adult genre, so I tend to steer clear most times. What attracted me to Happiness in Jersey is that it’s something I haven’t seen a lot of in the new adult romance genre. Unfortunately, very few authors are writing young African American characters in new adult.
Like many new adult heroes and heroines before them, both Jersey and Zay are dealing with some emotional baggage while trying to navigate their relationship and the growing love between them. I enjoyed the slow build to Zay and Jersey’s love story. Despite their immediate attraction to one another, Zay and Jersey build a friendship first. The emotion between them is multilayered and palpable. There were moments that made me cheer, laugh and a few times I found myself wiping away a tear or two.
I definitely plan to read more by Ms. Howard in the future. I was very intrigued by Devin and Willow’s romance in the backdrop here, so if Ms. Howard felt the need to write their story, I would jump on it without hesitation.