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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
Although I didn’t read the first book in the Miller Hoffman series by Zelmer Wilson, this second entry, Next Best Thing, reads so well and it is absorbing. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the book is character-driven, and the internal conflict is superbly explored. Miller Hoffman, a bright young man has just left his girlfriend, Bobbie Lamont, when he transfers to Birmingham City College in an effort to get free from the iron grip of a controlling father. But can he get over Bobbie? Now in a new setting, he is with an old pal, Sartre. While he is in an intellectually stimulating environment, his emotions will be tested by his rival William Van Norton, and the seductive Michelle Conner could be a new chapter in his life. And will the next big thing for him be sex or can he find true love?
An emotionally charged story that explores the dynamism of relationships, allowing readers to have a clear idea of what relationships can do to a college student and what makes them important. The characters are so well-developed. Sartre is like a brother to Miller, the only person who could convince him to leave Arkansas and settle for Birmingham City University. Michelle is the kind of woman who plays with fire, a girl with an unusual sex life, and so beautiful that she gets just about any boy or girl she wants. It is interesting to see the role she plays in the lives of Miller and William. The writing is exquisite and the word use stellar. Zelmer Wilson crafts dialogues that are interesting and natural, and creates scenes that are vivid, coupled with intense action, but it is how he brings college culture into the novel that had me rooting for this book. Next Best Thing is a story that has strong psychological underpinnings, and is engaging and entertaining.