Ah, love! Especially first love. Giddy, undeniable, first love is the best. Especially when he loves you back. Or so you believe.
In Forgiven, Kula Baker falls in love twice, though she doesn’t recognize all the symptoms nor all the complications. When she meets David Wong he is sweet, supportive, and seems to show up when she needs him most – he’s almost magical that way. When she meets Will Henderson, he’s handsome, rich, upper class – the perfect catch. What’s a girl to do?
Kula has been raised in difficult circumstances. Her dream is to meet someone who can take care of her in style. Will shows her the kind of attention she craves, and he certainly fills the bill socially. When Kula meets Will she encounters the most seductive kind of romance: the romance of dreams come true. He pays her the most exquisite kind of attention. When he kisses her, bells ring.
They should, of course, be alarm bells. Will has his own motives for wooing her. He’s a bit naïve (being manipulated by his father, among other things) but does he love her?
And David. Like Kula, David’s an outsider. A foreigner. He has no real money and certainly no social status. Yet…he has the nicest eyes. The truest soul. He doesn’t even try to seduce her – he’s just “there.” But he can’t give her what she wants, in social terms. He can’t even give her what she needs. He has his own motives for acting and they don’t involve romance.
Kula stands upon a fine point, the point of learning what love is. That’s her personal journey in Forgiven, to discern what it means to truly love and be loved, to understand that love must be about compromise and condition, that love is never perfect. She’s had no previous practice; this is her first encounter with love and with potential lovers. She’ll have to learn to discern between the Wills and the Davids, to decide what she really wants from life, and during the course of her journey learn how to keep her heart in one piece.
First love can be a heartbreak, too.
Janet Fox will donate a portion of the proceeds from FORGIVEN to The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. To learn more about what you can do to help agencies that actively fight the exploitation and trafficking of children, visit the following websites:
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Stop Child Trafficking
Janet Fox is also the author of FAITHFUL (Speak/Penguin, 2010) and GET ORGANIZED WITHOUT LOSING IT (Free Spirit, 2006).