The Bed We Made is messy. Remarkably so. Nene is unhappily married to serial philanderer Tavion. When Tavion tells her about his new baby — with a side-chick — Nene decides she’s reached her breaking point. She goes out with the intent of a one-night-stand, but doesn’t anticipate that being at the hands Asad “The Lion” Crawford, her nephew by marriage.
The rest of this book follows Nene’s tumultuous relationships with Tavion and Asad. She decides a side-baby is too much, and divorces Tavion, but she can’t seem to shake him from her life in any capacity. Her conscience is guilty, but not so much so that she can leave Asad alone for good. The two are constantly drawn to each other, and have explosive passion with worrisome results. Not only does she have to contend with her role in the family after her divorce from Tavion, she also has to grapple with how her relationship could change if she decides to be with Asad.
The bottom line is that the book is based on a pattern of deceit from a lot of the characters. Much of the story comes from the drama brought out by Nene and Asad’s relationship and the fallout it has with those around them. I had a hard time keeping track of who was sleeping with who, whose baby was whose, and who was backstabbing who. While there are a handful of technically honest characters, their deeds counteract the good of their forthcoming nature. Throw in organized crime and fights at every turn, the story always had something popping off. At times, it felt like there was just too much going on.
The characters themselves left me wanting more, unfortunately. Nene vacillates between being holier than thou and hedonistic. She’s a consummate caregiver, yet she makes incredibly reckless decisions in how she interacts with people. Given the age difference between her and Asad, I was shocked that she seemed so immature so frequently. In nearly every scene with Nene and her friends Tam, Shay, and Elyse, they all seemed to act more immature than anyone else, despite being in their forties. Instead of seeming like a mature woman who had been through some things, she was running around at strip clubs and pool parties literally yelling out “hoe shit!” The author tried to strike a balance to their personalities, but it never seemed believable. Asad’s family featured prominently in the story, but the descriptions were superficial. The only family member described with any meaningful depth was Tavion, and even that was fairly one-sided as he attempted to get back into Nene’s good graces.
Overall, I have mixed feelings about this book. What started as a messy romance turned into an organized crime story and did so with almost no warning. It was interesting enough to finish, but I felt more that I was reading for the sake of finishing rather than because I was genuinely interested in the book. I did not expect it to end how it did, yet it seemed fitting. I’m interested in a follow-up to this story, but admittedly, it’s not going on my must-read list.