From a Concealed Past
Sheila M. Trask
Reality television has nothing on the modern romance novel. Hidden passions and family secrets can provide as much drama on the printed page as they do on the small screen. In Kateisha Shekila Minors’s Revisited Feelings: From a Concealed Past, modern businesswoman Kymberley Dawson uncovers some surprising truths about her closest friends and lovers.
Kymberley’s story is set in London, where she runs an interior design business with her best friend, Felicia “Licii” Maynard. What could be dramatic about the lives of two women who spend their days discussing paint colors? As it turns out, a lot, as the reader is quickly embroiled in extramarital affairs, steamy sexual escapades, tragic war stories, and unplanned pregnancies.
The story centers on two couples: Kymberley and her “dark chocolate” crush, Jim, alongside Licii and her longtime beau, Derrick. In spite of the fevered sexual encounters Minors includes at regular intervals, she paints the couples’ relationships as troubled. Each carries secrets that are revealed through dramatic dialogue, the likes of which will be be familiar to any soap opera fan. The characters rarely discuss a situation quietly when they could instead cry, shout, declare, and beg the truth of each other. The drama comes to a boiling point when a rich businessman comes to town and hires Kymberley’s firm to decorate his mansion. When his true identity is uncovered, other secrets come tumbling out too.
Minors keeps up a frenetic pace throughout, with unexpected twists and turns in every chapter. Everything is subject to change without a moment’s notice, and the constant rug-pulling eventually reduces the impact of these shifts. Readers will likely grow weary of the mounting collection of coincidences that affect Kymberley and her friends.
While always passionate, Minors’s writing is sometimes awkward as well. She’s strongest with short, dramatic declarations of love and lust. Less successful are her observational passages: “My adoring eyes couldn’t help but marvel into the wilds of lust for my surroundings overlooking the romantic wonders of Hyde Park.” Flowery, self-conscious musings like that one, coupled with errant commas, questionable word choices, and unnecessary repetition of material, distract from the story’s intensity.
Revisited Feelings: From a Concealed Past ought to be consumed the way one would take in a season of the Kardashians cavorting on television. It’s a chance to live a fantasy while still thinking, “How could they do that?” and “I knew it all along.”