St. Martin's, Sep 2002, 6.50, 336 pp.
Butler County Bee reporter Ebony MacKenzie knows why she is going undercover at the Shangri-La Naturalist Retreat though she feels out of place at the nudist colony. If she can interview a member, Reuben “Ice Cream King” Renfro, Ebony will land a job with the Cincinnati Examiner.
Journalist Isaiah Malone of the International Inquisitor and the Weekly Tale Tattler is also seeking the same interview as is other reporters. All want the job with the Examiner and the one who attains the interview will be hired. Isaiah and Ebony are caught in what looks like a compromising position so are tossed out of the nudist colony, making the interview that much more difficult. As they become better acquainted, they heed natures call and fall in love though they still compete for the same job.
IT'S A LOVE THANG is a funny ethnic romance that readers and readers will find the player's antics funny. What makes the tale work is that different types of humor is employed from the subtle Benny-Carson look to outright slapstick. Though the ploy by the Cincinnati Examiner editor seems outrageously unreal (or at least unethical), Reon Landau furbishes the audience with a jocular romance that also provides some insight into the newspaper publishing industry.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner