This was a hard book for me to give a rating to, but I decided on the 3 out of 5 stars because it was well written, the characters were realistic, and I could clearly recognize the point being made within the story. However with that being said, I didn't like any of the characters involved at all. Jemistry, is completely unlikable. I understand that she has been sorely mistreated and abused by men in the past which has caused her to become jaded and bitter. Jemistry decides that she will now play by the same rules and guidelines that so many men seem to follow and it is by no means a good way to live. If the behavior that you abhor is offensive and destructive in men why in the world would Jemistry believe that it would be any less so when a woman does it? Why would Jemistry expect to attract anyone worthy of sharing a life with when what she is now showing the world of herself is ugly and off putting? I would not want her to become a doormat and continue to allow anyone to mistreat her, but to purposefully morph into the very thing that caused your own pain doesn't make sense either. Especially when one wants to be thought of as an intelligent and independent woman. Jemistry instead came off as an angry, sarcastic, and volatile woman with a chip the size of the Chrysler building on her shoulder.
The character of Tevin didn't fare much better for me either. I just couldn't bring myself to like him even with the tragedy and heartache that he suffered. His interactions with Jemistry's roommate Winsome just sealed the "I don't like this guy" deal for me. I wish that I could have enjoyed this book more than I did. I definitely wish that I had read other books by Zane before this one. Zane is such a popular author and is known for her erotic prowess and I could definitely see examples of that in this book. However, the story simply didn't resonate with me. The impression that I was left with was that of having read a version of a made for B.E.T movie which is unfortunately not my cup of tea.
**I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley/Aria book**
Jemistry Daniels is a bitter woman and not trying to hide it. Even though she is beautiful, intelligent, and makes six figures a year as a high school principal in Washington, DC, one man after another has failed her. So she decides to give up and join the party by adapting the entire friends with benefits mentality with a couple of men that she beds on the regular but refuses to hold any kind of real conversation with, in fear that she might actually catch feelings.
Everything is going according to plan until she meets Dr. Tevin Harris, a prominent vascular surgeon, one night at a poetry slam. Tevin listens to her deliver her male-bashing poem and instead of steering away from her like most men with any common sense would do, he asks her out. Tevin has been casually dating for years, ever since his failed marriage to Estella. They had suffered several miscarriages and the emotional pain had become too much for either one of them to bear and still wake up with each other every morning.
Opening up, gaining trust, tearing down barriers, and ultimately, having the audacity to love again is not easy for either Jemistry or Tevin. It takes a lot of transparency, emotional honesty, and patience to even begin to build a life together by helping each other rebuild what has been broken. The Other Side of the Pillow examines, explores, and exposes what it means to truly fall in love. It proves that true love stories do not have a happy ending. True love stories never end at all.