Synopsis: Mahogany Carroll is a unrepentant cougar; Jordan Yoshito is a precocious cub. Jordan’s struggling with finding his way in the world, and Mahogany’s struggling with needing more than just great sex. Mahogany likes her men young and Jordan prefers his women experienced, thus the relationship they enter is supposed to be no more than temporary. But people have a way of leaving their mark on one another long after encounters have ceased, and these two are no exception.
One of the things I like about this story is that while this is a romance novel, the characters are real, flawed, complicated, and organic. Both Jordan and Mahogany are people who I would know in real life.
One thing I enjoyed about Mahogany was that she was a strong woman who never lost her strength or edge once she fell in love or had sex.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen that trope played out with female characters, ie: they can’t handle their emotions or that other sexist bile.
Even later on in the story when she faced some serious challenges which would’ve broken most, she soldiered on and you couldn’t help but respect her.
Her relationship dynamic with Jordan was also refreshing and unique. Mahogany was the dominant one in the relationship and was still feminine without being emasculating or a ball buster or the other sexist pitfalls that happen to too many female characters. Jordan was the laid back one who was the beta in the relationship but he was still masculine and was his own man. In short, it was refreshing to see Mahogany portrayed as an unapologetic dominant powerful woman in a positive and respectful manner.
What’s more is that Radjani explains why both characters have the demeanors and outlook on life that they possess.
Another thing that was refreshing was that neither character was looking for a significant other to “complete” them or fix their flaws. Both had successful lives and were living them well and this is a story of how an unexpected encounter with two extraordinary individuals can enrich each other’s lives in a most profound manner when neither expect it.
One could argue age and socioeconomic status but I don’t think those were really factors. Both characters were strong enough in themselves not to allow themselves to be easily influenced by said factors.
Radjani also uses this novel to give a voice to black women as she tackles issues about what they want and what they’re looking for. Too often in the media, black women are on the receiving end of rebuke and denigration and everyone has an opinion and hardly anyone asks black women their thoughts on their lives and their existence.
In Corruption, Radjani makes no apologies in shattering myths about what black women (and for that matter women in general) want.
Women enjoy food. Women like to have sex. Women like to have a lot of sex (as the novel illustrated time and time and time again). Women like to play video games. Many women don’t want to get married. Some women want to get married. Some might be open given the right guy and the right circumstances. Some want kids. Some don’t want offspring under any circumstances. In short, what women want isn’t that different than from what men want.
I also love the escapism. It was nice to read a story about intelligent black women who are successful and prosperous and well cultured. And ultimately that’s not fiction. That’s reality. There are legions of beautiful successful black women who are rocking their careers and enjoying their lives.
While the ending was bittersweet, to me it was fitting and it made sense. I won’t give anything away but it went back to some of the other themes throughout the book: sex, food, love, relationships, romance, friendships, video games, the arts, career, the past, the future: LIFE.
Corruption was ultimately about life. Living it to the fullest, never taking a moment for granted and appreciating every moment of it.
Slim page count and a fast read, Corruption is definitely a novel worth checking out.
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