TUESDAY TEASER: Keeping with the theme of infidelity, here is a greatly-anticipated sequel to Vera Roberts’ Where I Wanna Be featuring my favorite D’Amato brother Eli. Yes, it is a story of infidelity, forgiveness, and true love. It was a deep read for me, and I hope this new story answers all of the unresolved issues from Part 1. Got my 1-click fanga ready!
“Am I the only one seeing any of this?” Tony asked.
“Seeing what?” Eli questioned. “Fool, I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.”
“Are you for real?” Tony moved his cards around. “Wow…”
“Tony, I really don’t…”
“Simone and Faye got pregnant around the same time, bro. If I remember correctly, the time between Faye and Darren breaking up and her reconciling with you were only a matter of days.”
Eli settled his cards down and took a long swig of beer. “You just need to hurry up and say it.”
“Say what you’re already thinking and feeling?” Tony questioned. “Say what everyone else in the room is probably wondering? You don’t want me or anyone else saying it because if we do, it means the possibility is there and let’s be real for a moment, Eli, can we?…
“I rate this book 1-star because there is no excuse for a man/woman to cheat on their spouse, and that’s just something I can’t forgive…” BLAH, BLAH, BLAH….REALLY????
I honestly do not understand how some readers get so decisively enraged when they read a work of fiction that involves infidelity-no matter what the circumstances may be! I am a member of several reading groups on FB, and this is a heated source of contention when the subject comes up. And I mean heated! The book could be a superb work of fiction that details real-life, complex situations in a relationship, and the fact that someone cheated will reduce this masterpiece to nothing more than a piece of smut.
Now I get that infidelity may be a sore subject to some readers for personal reasons. But what I don’t understand is the hypocrisy of it all. These are the same readers who can read a story about a man who emotionally and physically sodomizes his wife yet forgive him because of his “rough childhood”, yet if a man and wife are having unresolvable marital issues, and he meets another woman and falls in love, Nope, nah uh…HE’S A LOUSE!
This week’s picks both have something in common: They both blend hood life with IR romance. Now I call it hood life because one or more of the central characters are from, well, the hood (I refuse to say ghetto because it has a negative connotation, and it’s just damn demeaning.) To me, hood signifies a community of people who happen to have less economically than those who live in the suburbs, but still go through the same shit-different folks, same strokes-but at varying levels. But I digress… Now, I present this weeks picks!
First up is a novella from a newcomer on the IR scene. Married To The Mob: Detroit by Charmaine Saquea. This is a good fusion of urban lit, interracial romance, and mafia madness.
Clarissa and Francesco come from opposite sides of the tracks-well ocean if you want to keep it real. She’s a down-ass hood chick, and he’s the underboss of Detroit’s biggest and most powerful mafia family. Of course there are family members who strongly disapprove of their union even after 6 years together, 3 of them being as a married couple. Even with 2 kids between them! I really like Rissa (as she’s referred to throughout the book) because she commands respect even though she knows she is hated and sometimes feared by the family and constituents. Talk slick, and she will cut you-literally. Frankie, on the other hand, has a quiet air of authority because his respect is automatically given simply because of his name and position.
This story is funny, serious, and sometimes WTF (I think her baby daddy Ricky is just too close for comfort). I thought Rissa was a big hypocrite for leaving Ricky because of his lifestyle, yet she’s embroiled in this mob life, and as much as I enjoyed this story, I wish we could have gotten a little more background on Frankie and Rissa’s relationship. Although we’re told briefly how they met through a flashback, I would have liked to read more interaction between them as a couple. Overall, not a bad story at all. I look forward to reading the rest of the saga.
And lastly is an oldie from Deatri King-Bey entitled Ebony Angel. This is a novel-length read.
Let me start off by saying that this was a really good read. I think the synopsis may have turned some people off, and those who did decide to read it, entered with all sorts of preconceived notions of what to expect. Yes, this story takes place in the ‘hood. Yes, there are some ‘hood elements in this story (naturally, duh). But Ebony, the heroine of this tale, is far from ‘hood or ghetto. From the beginning, I found her endearing, sweet, and with a good head on her shoulders. She is smart and goal-oriented, and she doesn’t let her past or economic circumstances deter her from getting the things she wants in life-and that includes Richard, the white love of her life.
For Ebony and Richard, it was literally love at first sight, and from there you read about the journey they take coming to terms with these sudden feelings while dealing with issues of race, economic status, family drama, and everything else in between. The problem they both have is this savior complex where they feel compelled to save everyone around them (including each other) but themselves and this causes all kinds of turmoil. Some parts can be a little frustrating because of their do-right attitude, but still worth the read in my opinion.
I’m discovering so many hidden gems on Kindle Unlimited that my TBR pile is becoming a volcanic eruption! There are so many talented writers out here who don’t get enough shine, and I hope to give them just a little glimmer when I recommend their work because they all deserve a fair shot too. Add them to your list today!
I love this blog, but I don’t know what direction I want to take it. I know I don’t want it to be a strict review site. That’s boring to me, and there are so many good blogs and fan pages dedicated to just that. I really want this to be an interactive space where I incite dialog by talking about controversial topics or giving you a fabulous author spotlight. My point is, I just don’t want this to be another “fan” blog where the visitor looks at the content and reads nothing but “Wonkwonkwonk…” ala Charlie Brown’s teacher.
I know a few people don’t like me, and I’m totally cool with that. That only tells me that I’m doing something right, but please bear (or is it bare) with me as I get my shit together. I’ll try to make it more interesting…
Oh, and let’s not forget shifters. This is all I am practically seeing in new IR releases lately, and truthfully, I am so over it. I know there is a designated group of fans who love to get lost in an alpha-asshole billionaire tale or the hot, hunky, loner military dude with a chip on his shoulder who comes to rescue some damsel in distress. but I am desperately seeking sum’n new and sum’n fresh. I think I have about enough billionaires, marines, and werewolves to last me a lifetime. And please do not take my commentary as shade towards those authors who specialize in these types of stories. More power to them, make your paper, but I’m a chick who likes to read a variety of romance-more specifically, romance rooted in realism. I wanna read about the everyman who meets a fine sista, they’re feeling each other, they fall in love, go thru some shit, work it out, and ride off into the sunset. I wanna read about some dude who’s down on his luck, meets a sista who’s got her shit together, and she takes a chance on him cause she sees the potential, and they uplift each other, and ride off into the sunset. I wanna read about a guy that’s got his shit together who meets a sista who’s got her shit together, they vibe, but some shit goes down that could break them up, but they work it out and ride off into the sunset. Don’t trip, this is but one sista’s opinion…
In this week’s edition of Kindle Unlimited Hidden Gems, I present 3 offerings that I’ve actually “purchased”. I enjoyed these stories very much. Each of these books have some serious undertones, but not heavy-hearted themes. If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited, consider the 30-day trial, and read as many books as you can “for free”. As always, click the pic to be taken to the purchase page.
And I shall return next Friday with an all-new lineup of fresh picks!
Latrivia Nelson has big things poppin! I personally cannot wait for The Grunt 2! It was one of my very first IR reads, and I am still in love with that book some 3 years later…Peep what else is on the horizon from the mastermind behind The Medlov series…
I decided to do something different with my reviews now. Instead of giving my unsolicited opinions, I will also include visuals-cause that’s how I roll. I need to envision the setting, the characters, and the events that shape the story. Please keep in mind that these images are my vision only and not the author’s, but I hope I did some justice, so without further ado…
This is the story of Kyle and Breanna, and I absolutely loved it!
Our story takes place in the city of Cleveland (as does all TLB novels). Kyle is recently divorced and still dealing with the fallout of his failed marriage, leaving him bitter, broken, and sworn off of women for life. His life is an empty shell. Breanna, on the other hand, is striking out on her own for the first time after leaving her fiancé, a wealthy pro basketball player. She seems strong and determined on the outside, but she’s got issues too. Our couple meets when Breanna or Brea starts a new job as a sales rep at a coffee distributor where Kyle is her supervisor. To say they got a rocky start would be an understatement. They fight the attraction to one another while still trying to come to terms with their own issues making for some interesting, and sometimes funny confrontations, but it’s all rooted in realism. This is the stuff that real people go through-it ain’t all wine and roses, and that’s one of the reasons that I love Toye Lawson Brown’s books. She not only makes the couple work for the HEA, but she makes the reader work for it too by sticking with the story when you’re like come on y’all get it together!
The storytelling is excellent as usual. I get so caught up when I’m reading. It’s not all niceties and sex, but a just-right mix of angst, drama, and romance. This couple may seem like a mismatch, but they really do compliment each other well. They recognize and acknowledge their racial, economic, and social differences without making it the focal point of their relationship, but instead working together as colleagues and as a couple despite them. Kyle is really an understated alpha male, but Brea ain’t no punk either! She comes from the school of hard knocks so she not only has the book smarts, but the street smarts as well. Whether you’re new or an existing reader of TLB’s books, give this one a shot. It’s good.