Monday, April 30, 2018

Will You Still Want Me by B.Love: A Review, In Which I Try to Convince You to Read This Book, with Incoherent Thoughts and Quotes From The Book


Will You Still Want Me
By: B. Love
Published: April 15th, 2018
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"The entire time I talked he ate. Seemingly unfazed while I was on the verge of shattering from shame, a broken spirit and crushed pride. I thought it hurt so much because I loved Rodney, but the past six months have shown me that it wasn't my heart that took the biggest beating. It was my pride." - Parker Graham 

It took six months for the ice around Parker's heart to freeze. Can Kane warm her up to his love in one week? Or will he be yet another source of pain that causes the ice and disappointment that can only be felt because of love to remain? 

Review + Rating
Series: 5 out of 5 stars
As I take the biggest gulp of water--to cool my jets--I have to say B.Love--she did that!

At just 65 pages, Love, managed to do what a lot of authors cannot accomplish in thrice as many pages.

The first page was like a punch to the jugular.

"This was my first time ever seeing him on the train."
"He had the type of looks like that made you rethink life choices..."
"Finally. Shiny, honey brown eyes stared at me as he licked his lips..."

The author wasted no time attempting to the entice the reader with the pending romance--and I, for one, was not disappointed.

Parker doesn't know Kane. He's a man that just popped up on her train ride one day--enticing her in every way possible without uttering a single word--at least not initially.

Their encounter, their love was like a wrecking ball--fast moving, powerful, out to wreck anything in it's path.

What I really loved about this book was it's ability to be both passionate--and playful in a space where there wouldn't normally be room for development--at least not fully.

But its passion is what really got me, because it evoked the strongest of emotions out of me. I damn near fainted when Kane, got all smooth, velvet chocolate on me.

"What do you know about coming, Parker?"
Why did he have to say my name like that?
Look at me like that?
Feel like that?
"I know I'm a whole wave," I warned hoping that would trip him up long enough for me to come to my senses and leave, but he wasted no time replying with...
"Then let me drown."

Ya'll, come on?

Her words were succinct and powerful. She used each page, and each space for a purpose--and I am thoroughly impressed and moved.

Like, where has this author been all my life?

Her words turned me into noodles, a puddle, mush.

"You might not believe me, but when we locked eyes for the first time on the train I heard the Spirit of God whisper into my heart that you were the one for me. That's why I'll never press you to give me a chance. What's for me will he mine when it's time...including you."

Image result for faints gif

"You don't know how long I've waited to make art of you..." "Can I paint you?"

He meant that literally, and that little scene from Colleen Hoover's book wishes it could be this moment.

My incoherence is showing, as I've reverted to using quotes to explain my feelings.  I am honestly surprised and again impressed by the quality of such a short novel.

The characters came together like a tsunami--but did not lack strength--or dimension.

Kane, was just that guy--and Parker's resistance did nothing to deter me--or to take away from my enjoyment of this book.

There was only Kane and Parker--and that was honestly, all I needed.

Final thoughts:Solid read, passionate romance, cataclysmic sex--true, raw evoking of emotions--down right good reading!

Between this, and In Due Time, both are battling for my favorite romance of the year, favorite book of the year, even.

B. Love--wherever you are. Sis, you did that--I implore you to do it again and again.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhones
Published: April 17th, 2018
Genre:Middle Grade
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Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation that’s been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing.

Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process what has happened, on a journey towards recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father’s actions.

Once again Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly weaves historical and socio-political layers into a gripping and poignant story about how children and families face the complexities of today’s world, and how one boy grows to understand American blackness in the aftermath of his own death.

Review + Rating
I always struggle to review these types of novels--these black lives matter, civil rights-esque novels. I often go into them expecting to be angry. I'm pre-angry before I even start them. Why? Because this is happening, still--today, and though the books are based on fictional characters--the story themselves are all too real.

Jerome, was a kid--playing with a toy gun--when he was gunned down by a police officer. Mistaken for a "grown man," posing as a threat to--society, I suppose.

The worlds demonizing and of black boys--depicting them as thugs, and villains is not new. But this impression is depicted in the body and the actions of a cop, in "fear" for his life, from a child--who was simply playing.

It's this very idea that never sits right with me. I don't often know what to do with it, when the anger simmers deep within my gut--threating to manifest itself in the form of, God knows what.

I often must take a moment, a deep breath and remind myself that it's simply fiction. That there are good people out there, when the line between fiction and reality blur.

Ghost Boys is an eerie depiction of life, after death--specifically life after death by cop--by racial injustice--by misunderstandings, and ever-present fears. After the gun is shot, after the family mourns, after, after, after.

The story is told in alternating perspectives, before (life), and after (death). To understand or to comprehend this type of death--you must first learn about their life.

There was nothing particularly spectacular about Jerome. He was an average child--and I think that's far more impactful than making him, some super star. It humanizes his character--because he's just like you, like any other kid--with the potential to do anything.

What was so stellar about the book aside from having the ghost of Emmet Till, is that it honestly reads so well.

It's like this is happening--and you just want to understand it.

I particularly liked that even though Jerome is now a ghost--with no understanding of why he was killed (but feeling the injustice), is that the author allowed his ghost to be visible to the daughter of the cop who killed him.

It's almost poetic in a sense--because I would imagine that the bodies of the young black men, and older black men killed, sort of haunt the families affected.

It also allowed for the reader to have another understanding of another side of the story. It wasn't only the perspective of Jerome's family--but also of the family of the cop who killed him, and how they deal with it, in real time, so to speak.

My one complaint is that I would have liked to have seen Emmett Till's ghost have more of a voice. There's a part of me that just wants to understand his death--but that's an outrageous expectation, Jewell Parker Rhodes wasn't there. I just wanted to imagine it--even though, it would essentially hurt me.

Aside from that, I think this novel is perfectly written for the age-range it is intended for. It's honest enough to not be a lie--but "soft" enough for a middle-grade aged child to understand.

I think it's honest, and timely--sincere to its message, and important reading. I honestly, believe it will help younger children understand. It's something I would put in my classroom (if I were a teacher) --and have honest, open discussions over.

It's the type of novel that will break down walls, barriers, and ignorance’s--with its honest and open words. Without comparison, this is a stand-out novel--in this range, and I'd recommend it to adults, and children alike.

I just ask that as you read, you keep an open mind, and an open heart--because this is somebody's story--and most importantly someone's hurt.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Amara's Calling by C.L. Donley: The Black Fifty Shades of Grey?


Amara's Calling by C.L. Donley
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Amara is a young idealistic 20-something who goes to work for her crush and personal hero, Grayson Davis, a 30's Mark Zuckerberg type and CEO of an internet startup called Webster, the story world's equivalent of Facebook. Being a young African American woman in a predominantly white world, Amara is reticent to believe that she's actually caught the attention of the notorious playboy billionaire. When she discovers that she has, but not for the purposes of happily ever after, she decides to strike a deal with him: one million for the privilege of being his mistress. It seemed like a modern day win/win, but neither anticipates the emotional challenges their contract will bring. Will they inadvertently fall in love, or will the ghosts of their tragic pasts keep them apart?

Review + Rating
Three out of Five Stars
I took some time with this review. I needed to gather my thoughts, because my feelings are conflicted. 

I wasn't exactly prepared for the Fifty Shades of Grey-esque, contractual romance, that I wound up getting.

Amara was an awkward black girl. Her character boiled down to her knack for saying whatever was on her mind, and being socially outgoing and awkward all at the same time. She would say things at the most inopportune moments. It was slightly charming and a little bit awkward and weird all at the same time.

The author used Amara's voice to present obvious and realistic issues faced by black women in the workplace, and in general--and it was done in a almost flippant way--not so much in your face, but more so, recognize I'm here, and I probably have something to say. 

I wasn't sure how to feel.

Grayson, the billionaire in our story--hmm,he was something. I was stuck between hating him, pitying him, and liking him. 

I didn't care for his sizing up of Amara, boiling down to her most inane blackness. 

I pitied the fact that he seemed stuck in his adolescent years, mentally. 

But I liked him when he was at his best, giving Amara needed attention, and being man enough to big up, Amara,when she was at her most vulnerable.

Yet despite these things, my feelings remain conflicted about the book. I, by no means hated this book, but love would be too strong of a word.

There was something about their relationship that sat funny with my spirit. I was cool with the interracial aspect of it, but a bit taken aback by the superficial things that came between them.

They seemed to just not get each other, understandably--but I was unsure if they were even going to try.

Now that I've completed it, I'm not sure if they'll ever understand each other. But, I think love has made it possible for them to co-exist despite their differences, and still have a love that can be withstand the test of time--because if they were a real couple, I do believe the harsh realities of their differences may come between them.

As a whole,the story was funny at times, and frustrating at others--but sometimes romance reads evoke those kinds of feelings out of you. It's not necessarily a bad thing.

I'd be interested to read more of this author's work, I believe that her works are only going to get better.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Security Breach by R. Waites: Can a Character be Too Good?

Security Breach by R. Waites
Published Date: May 15th, 2017
Publisher: Watch Books Publishing
Genre:Inconclusive. YA?

An action-packed novel introducing the dazzling and dangerous world of the Syndicate Series! Dwayne Walker always tries to stick to the program and avoid trouble. He’s a citizen of the flourishing Emerald State and a specialist in the demanding arena of state security. He is more qualified than most of the guards in his father’s strictly and efficiently ran security business, but strangely enough he still only has a temporary guard ranking. Dwayne decides to prove himself and embarks on a catastrophic caper with a frenemy after he makes him a tempting offer. What starts off as a slightly bad situation, evolves into a terribly awful one. Dwayne finds himself at the wrong places at all the right times and has to stay true to himself to protect the innocent and make it out alive.

Review + Rating 
Three out of Five Stars

I'm not sure what genre this book falls into it, because it read very young adult, but the characters were upper teens, so maybe New Adult? 

 Anyway, the fact that I felt like the book was young adult was for a reason--the book was a little juvenile. I'm still unsure if that's a bad thing or not. 

 Dwayne works for his father's security company, as a syndacite--which is a pretty lowly position, considering the length of time he's been there, and how hard he works. But, he's put himself last before anything else, and he's okay with being a syndacite--what he's not okay with, is his father's opinion of him. 

He definitely thinks Dwayne could be doing better--and this is how Dwayne finds himself on a fool worthy mission to obtain paperwork, that might just change his position and his life. 

 Dwayne was a decent character, in that he always tried to do the right thing, and he always meant well, but he still found himself in a precarious situation--having to save a bunch of girls, two teens, and his own butt. 

 I appreciated his good intentions, but it made this action novel a bit boring. He never wanted to go against the grain, wasn't much fire or fight in him. I wanted so badly for him to not be the good guy, for at least a second. 

 Don't get me wrong good guys are great too, but for this type of novel--a little bit of bad ass-ery would have been nice. 

 He wound up saving the day, but it was as expected. Everything worked out a little too perfectly, and orderly. Kind of disappointing. 

 The secondary characters were interesting. I liked their bickering, gave the story some needed spice--despite the juvenile nature of their arguments.

 I wasn't completely disappointed in this one but it's definitely better suited for a younger audience. 

I read young adult, but this one was a little too "young" for me, and a little bit more lackluster than I cared for. 

 The bright side to this is that it's a series, so there's room and potential for the story to get better. I'd like to see where the author takes the story, so I'd be open to reading book two. 

 Positives: Potential for thrill Interesting characters

 Negatives: Despite it's short lenght, it was slow reading.  Too good, of a good guy.  Too clear/clean cut.

 Conclusion: Better suited for a younger audience, but a decent read with potential.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Layover by Katrina Jackson


Layover by Katrina Jackson
Published: April 8th, 2018
Publisher:Self Pubbed
Genre:Contemporary, Romance
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Lena Ward is an unhappy travel blogger with a less than 24 hour layover in her hometown. She spends the day with Tony Dembélé, a podcaster she's been flirting with for a few months online. In their brief time together Lena confronts some hard truths about her life and her past and the two test the waters of their connection. This is a short story with a sweet and satisfying happy for now ending.

Review + Rating
For such a short novel, wow--a lot was packed into this. 

 Okay. Lena, travel blogger, music playlist maker extraordinaire, is running. 

Okay, she's traveling, but she's running. Running from the grief of the loss of her mother; and the things she can't understand--like home, a foundation, and what exactly is she doing with her life?

While working her travel blog, through social media, she meets, Tony. Tony and his boy Kwame, have a podcast, that has catapulted them in to a sort of stardom. In the process, he and Lena connect. They chat, they flirt, before finally, Tony sets up and interview with Lena while she's in town.

Their encounter was intended to brief, at least for her--but the impact and the "music," they make is permanent. 

 Told in tracks, like the sides of cassette tapes, with music and travel as it's base--Layover was a punch of a novel, hitting all the right notes, and leaving nothing to be desired

I do not do novellas, normally. They tend to be incomplete, rushed, and a waste of my precious time, and coint. 

 However, Layover made me a believer. I say, it made me a believer. 

A solid background, flushed out characters, charm and an encompassing sense of nostalgia, made Layover a great novel.

 I was able to connect with Lena fairly easily despite the book's short length. Her path in life, and where she was in it, was so close to my own--that I found myself hoping for the ending she desired.

 I was completely charmed by Tony, his feelings, the way he carried himself, and his work. Even though you would think there wasn't much room for the author to write an impactful, or even romantic romance--she accomplished that effortlessly. You believed in the love in this story, and for a novella that's no easy feat. 

 Again, effortlessly. I'd describe most of the novel that way. Despite its length--the flow, the plot, and the pacing, all flowed and worked together effortlessly. I'm thoroughly impressed and happy with this one.

It's very well done. It's the perfect read for the train, for the beach--just about anywhere you have time to read. You'll easily get sucked in and before long you'll be done and begging for more--more books that is.

Try out some of Jackson's other books:

Friday, April 20, 2018

Trouble (It's Complicated, #1) by Ann Christopher


Trouble (It's Complicated, #1) by Ann Christopher
Grab a copy on: Amazon
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Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Published: August 26th, 2015
Blurb:Defense attorney Mike Baldwin has never lost a trial. He knows he can trust his razor-sharp instincts, and defendants who are straight up with him walk free. But those instincts always seem to fail him in his personal life. He's been burned before, very badly, yet when, at a party, he meets his younger brother Sean's date--law student Dara Williams--the chemistry is undeniable. Dara, though strong-willed and whip-smart, closely guards a painful past; the only time she was intimate with a man, her trust was betrayed. She doesn't want another man, and that includes Sean. As Dara begins an internship at Mike's firm, the two deny their growing attraction until their smoldering desires just can't be contained. But Mike prides himself on his honor and hates the thought of betraying his brother, and Dara continually wonders if she can truly put her trust in Mike. Can love heal the deepest wounds of the heart?


It's often difficult to like books with hard-headed, irrational characters. When it comes to romance, the expectation is that two characters will get together, they might argue, but it will end in the anticipated HEA (happily ever after.) Fear in love will often have characters acting irrationally, leaving behind a very frustrated reader.

This book is probably going to do that you, and while I won't argue the level of frustration a single person can take, I have to say the pay off on this one, was well worth it.

Nothing in life comes easy, and neither should love.

Dara is a law student, who has a happenstance meeting with law firm, owner, Mike at a party.

Their chance encounter sets off a ripple effect, that neither of them will ever recover from.

What I really liked about this book was despite the frustrating back and forth, (which I for one, find to be a form of delicious torture) there was always a lingering sense of hope--hope that things would turn out the way they were intended to be. 

I think it's easy to overlook that when all you want to do is smash their heads together, and have them, "just do it already."

But I like my love hard, and difficult and slow-building--because once we get to that precipice, that climax of togetherness, it's so much better, and that much more fulfilling. 

I also liked how well developed the characters were. Sure, they had the hots for each other, but the backstory seemed both realistic and fitting to the story and the progression of the relationships and the overall plot.

The novel wasn't perfect, it almost scared me off using the word titties at the beginning. I mean, clutch my pearls, who says that, anymore?

But the novel was a depiction of perfectly imperfect love, the kind of love that had some kinks in, but the kind you could have hope for. 

Mike's feelings towards Dara were intense and almost Christian Grey like in nature.--but, it felt genuine, even if it might rub some of you the wrong way. 

I don't mind to see that kind of intensity in romance, towards romance--as long as it's not abusive. 

There's a lot you can complain about, but I found the book enjoyable, intensity, frustration and all  A solid read with decent characters.

I'd give it a go. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Adore You (Accidentally in Love, #1) by Nicole Falls Quickie Review


Adore You (Accidentally in Love, #1) by Nicole Falls
Grab a copy on: Amazon
Add it to your: Goodreads

BlurbDevorah Lee has spent her adult life searching for a guy who has The Zing, but has a penchant for falling for the wrong guy… 

…enter Ellis Taylor — the notorious playboy brother of her ex who’s on a mission to show her he’s Mr. Right.

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Published: July 25th, 2016
Publisher: Silent N Publishing


Even I have to admit, that's one sorry blurb. It does NOT do the story justice, at all. But, don't be fooled by the lackluster synopsis --this is an outstanding book.

Humor and romance are aplenty in this novel, and I could not get enough. 

Devorah doesn't know a lot about love, but she does know Ellis, her ex's brother, is not it.  

Ellis doesn't feel this way. He know's Devorah is the one. She's just going to take some convincing.

Devorah and Ellis were the perfect combination of push and pull--and if you don't know this about me--I love good back and forth. Devorah pulled, and Ellis pushed--in his sexy, one-of-a-kind way.

Devorah's fear of her mouthy mother and aunts, kept her from the love that was so clearly in front of her. She did this by avoiding the truth, pissing Ellis off, and being downright humorous. 

Ellis was less fearful--but he kept his self at bay for fear of scaring Devorah away. I thought it was pretty considerate, even though it was killing him to hold back. He was very considerate of her feelings, even though at times I wanted to strangle her--and smack their heads together in a kiss, like two poorly dressed, or undressed Barbie dolls.

I had so much fun with this book. I really can't say much about it--except that I adored the familial relationships, the banter between Devorah and Ellis. Devorah's fierce protectiveness of her friends, her apprehension--and the overall love between all of them.

It was funny, it was romantic--and through out it all, it was realistic. I can't say it any other way. Read the book!

This author sat herself right next to the Queen of Black Romance, Christina C. Jones. Highly recommend it!

Favorite Quotes:
"Cel, you know I'm a lover, not a fighter, but if you want me to let that ***** know these hands are rated E for everybody, just say the word, sis."
"I'm so serious, Cel. Where's his place? I'll roll up; hit him with The Stevie. Here's your fade, baby. Signed, sealed, delivered--it's yours. Or THE Oprah if he got a new ** in there. You get a fade, you get a fade, everybody gets a fade."