Home Books eBooks Articles Blog Facebook Bio Email

It Had to Be You

Read Excerpt from
It Had to Be You


"Their story will touch your heart and make you weep."

Review By Joan Reeves

Set against the glamorous golden age of Hollywood, NISEI is a sweeping story of a forbidden love that will not be denied.

Fans of old movies will adore the movie stars and celebrities of yesteryear--Carole Lombard, Clark Gable, Norma Shearer, Marian Davies, Bogey, Damon Runyon, et al--who unexpectedly pop up as the story progresses. Admirers of the ageless popular music of Gershwin and Cole Porter among others will be charmed by the song verses that introduce each chapter.

From the dramatic opening scene involving a farmer's death, small town Texas girl Dianne Castle learns immediately of the discrimination suffered by Japanese immigrants called Isei and their children, first generation Americans called Nisei, at the hands of white Californians.

As she witnesses the cold cruelty of the farmer's neighbors, she's puzzled and curious about the situation. Her curiosity increases when handsome Los Angeles nightclub owner Johnny Honda is summoned by the Japanese family for advice and guidance.

Dianne is strongly attracted to the dynamic Japanese American business man, but he doesn't seem to return that attraction. Their paths continue to cross as Dianne, now employed by the newspaper, begins to date the paper's star writer. Frequent evenings at Honda's nightclub feed her infatuation which gradually deepens to love.

When Johnny Honda is attacked and beaten by a group of white men, practically on her doorstep, Dianne ends up with an unexpected patient and houseguest. One night, she offers her love and her innocence, and their lives are changed forever.

In a time when it was against the law for a Japanese immigrant to own property or for a Japanese to marry a white, Johnny and Dianne have little assurance of a happy ever after. When they finally give in to their love and marry out of state, Pearl Harbor is a nightmare only hours away.

From its beginning in 1937 to its end in 1955, Nisei takes you through the hearts and lives of two people who brave the worst the world has to throw at them. From the glamorous facade of old Los Angeles to the primitive conditions at the Japanese internment camp Manzanar, NISEI is a story of love triumphant.

NISEI is that most unusual offering in today's world of books--a historical set in this century. It is the kind of book that you think about afterward. Dianne and Johnny make you want to know more about them than is found in the book. They grip your imagination and stay with you. Their story will touch your heart and make you weep.

Just as NISEI is a book to remember so is its author Cheryl Bolen. It comes as no surprise that she was named Notable New Author for 1998 for her first novel A DUKE DECEIVED (Harlequin Historical, March 1998). Make note of the name Cheryl Bolen. You'll be hearing from her again--and you'll be glad when you do.

Home Books eBooks Articles Blog Facebook Bio Email