‘Maybe they were both broken. But just maybe their shattered pieces could come together and make something whole.’

As soon as we read the synopsis, we knew we wanted to read Defying Gravity. The subject matter and the fact it’s written by an interracial couple intensified our interest. What a remarkable story it was. Belle and Bently’s story was poignant, passionate, and fundamentally important. Insightful without being heavy-handed. Defying Gravity tenderly and shockingly schooled us in so many ways. Whilst part of a series, this can be read as a standalone, which is how we experienced it.

“The battle scars will always be there, but they’re a reminder of what I’ve lived through and what’s made me stronger.”

A.M. Kusi told us if we loved ‘off-limits passion, socially relevant reads, and a couple who triumph over adversity’ – then this book was for us and we were sold! As much as our hearts burn for romance, we also love when a book educates us and makes us want to further explore its contents. Well, Defying Gravity did this and much more!

‘The one time I actually open up enough to love someone, my heart chooses the most unavailable man on the planet.’

Defying Gravity was many things entwined into one story. A blistering and steamy romance that’s both sweet and tragic, but, above all, it’s incredibly poignant, relevant, distressing and so incredibly emotional. This story unconditionally stole our hearts for so many reasons.

The thread that binds this story into one is the systemic racism in American society. White privilege, the fundamental lack of knowledge and understanding about the depth of daily suffering, intense fear, and consequential grief. Now, all that may sound heavy-handed for a romance, but the way these authors tell Belle and Bently’s story is anything but. These authors connected us to their characters, so much so we felt their plights and obstacles deep within our hearts.

‘If he could only be in the shadow of the sun, it was better than the utter darkness of his life before Belle.’

This love story was a slow burn, emotional and complicated, but it was also relevant and thought-provoking. Beautiful, ugly, honest, and raw. The only reason for why this story wasn’t quite a 5 star read for us was the copious drawn-out sex scenes which were in danger of overwhelming an incredibly poignant story. Sometimes less is more so that it doesn’t detract from the story and avoids elements of cheesiness.

A.M. Kusi have managed to tell a sensitive and difficult story without demonising or generalising, instead, relying on our bonds with the characters to make their point, which they did beautifully. This is a story that will make you ache; it will break your heart and heal your heart and hopefully, it will make you think and more importantly, make you care.

‘He’d hidden scars only evident for those that knew what they looked like.’


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