BrookLyn’s Journey by Coffey Brown

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brooklynsjourneyncodPublisher/Date: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, June 2012
Genre(s): Young Adult, Coming of Age, Identity
Pages: 258
Website: http://www.coffeybrownbooks.com

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

There were times reading BROOKLYN’S JOURNEY by Coffey Brown I didn’t quite know what to feel.

On one hand, it’s an affecting story about 18-year-old BrookLynn Scott living an abusive home. On the other hand, the unlikely love story surrounding her and Gabriella Michaels is almost like an fanciful fairy tale, because Gabby saves her in a way BrookLyn never thought possible – with unconditional love.

Growing up with a belt-swinging father and a snitch of a mother caring only to save herself, Brooklyn is trapped in her own house. She is the baby of the family, her brother and sisters long escaped, and her goal is to excel in high school so she can attend college far away from her parents. Since she wasn’t allowed out except to go to school or church, no parties and definitely no boys, her plan seemed attainable.

It also seems like fate when she runs into Gabby, and her church mate uses this chance to finally be with dream girl BrookLyn. As Gabby confesses her affection for the quiet girl in the choir and asks for her trust, BrookLyn imagines a life free of pain. With an inheritance and her own home at 19, Gabby woos BrookLyn with promises of love, protection and most of all, normal teenage experiences. In every step of their relationship, it appears impossible that BrookLyn has found someone who will love her, scars and all, but she holds on tight to this impossibility – because if not, what else does she have left?

I applaud Brown for the message she sends with BrookLyn’s Journey, because the questioning BrookLyn has about her sexuality is authentic to what some teenagers face when they’ve been sheltered and discover their first attraction to the same sex. Her portrayal of the horrid emotions of child emotional and physical abuse, as unfortunate as it sounds, was too real. I wanted BrookLyn to leave this house or to have someone, her older siblings especially, to take her away from her awful excuse for parents. No one would save the studious girl who missed days at school so her bruises wouldn’t be noticed.

Yet when that someone comes in the form of Gabby, I was skeptical at first. With everything BrookLyn’s been through, I didn’t want to see her hurt again, and I couldn’t wrap my mind around how quickly they fell for each other, more so Gabby. She is totally in love with BrookLyn, and I think being in her situation, BrookLyn was grabbing on to any life preserve she could find.

But the one thing I love about BrookLyn is that she’s resilient; she may not know what love is, but she surely knows what love isn’t. And that’s what she sees in Gabby – someone who won’t hurt her again. That kind of love is powerful, and I wish every child, neglected or not, has someone – whether a parent, teacher, aunt or uncle, best friend or significant other – she can receive that kind of love from.

There are other things about BrookLyn’s Journey – the sometimes awkward dialogue, the plausibility of the love affair – that I question, but Brown does a decent job giving BrookLyn a voice that teenagers will undoubtedly relate to and cheer for.

Reviewed October 2013

About Coffey Brown

Stacey Pierce aka Coffey Brown was born and raised in Orange County, New York. She graduated from the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Fairleigh Dickinson University and New York University. She has been a social worker for almost twenty years. Stacey will be publishing fiction and non-fiction books in various genres hence the pen name. However, she will be using the pen name for LGBT fiction. She recently relocated to the Charlotte area with her partner of fourteen years. BrookLyn’s Journey is her first novel, followed by The Awakening of Graye Moon.


Technical Difficulties by Lee Loveless

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technicaldifficultiesPublisher/Date:  Lee Loveless, March 2013
Genre(s):  Romance, Erotica
Pages:  33

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

The Plot:  TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES by Lee Loveless establishes that if your cell phone technician looked like Raquel – an olive-toned beauty with hazel eyes – you’d probably find any reason to visit the Verizon store every day. Jackson, though, somehow remains all business around Raquel; she finds Raquel alluring, but too young at 25. At 32 years old, Jackson is a determined, hard-working director of a youth center, who doesn’t take time to smell the roses (or anything else for that matter). Her assistant director, Sharon, is the one who makes her recognize what she’s about miss out on. Can this do-gooder put her grant applications aside long enough to take advantage of another equally satisfying proposition?

The Good:  It’s not just about the sex. Technical Difficulties gives a great back story to the lovers, so that we can see just how much of a workaholic Jackson is or how long Raquel aspired to be an engineering tech. Raquel is a bawse; while Jackson deems Raquel too young for her, but Raquel knows her mind and her worth. She’s a definite catch – one that maybe Jackson ain’t ready for. Throughout Difficulties, the relationship between Raquel and Jackson moves at a good pace for a short story, and Loveless also has a good ear for dialogue.

The Not-So-Good:  The grammar could use some work. Sharon, as the voice of reason for Jackson, can come off a little bawdy sometimes. Though explosively gratifying (ahem…), the ending was abrupt – only because I could have read more about these two.

The Bottom Line: Technical Difficulties, the first of the Happily Ever After series, is willing and able to give you the romantic fix you need. I’m looking forward to devouring more of what Loveless has to offer.

Reviewed September 2013


Interview & Review Chat | Turn Me Out by T. Ariez

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turnmeoutPublisher/Date: Amazon Digital Services, June 2013
Genre(s): Romance, Stud 4 Stud
E-Book Short

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

interviewreviewchatlogoAfter reading T. Ariez’s TURN ME OUT, I had thoughts — and questions — about the characters and Ariez’s motivation for writing this book. This resulted in an interview/review chat, and the transcript follows below:

Sistahs on the Shelf: Hello 🙂

Author T. Ariez: Hello!

Sistahs on the Shelf: How are you??

Author T. Ariez: I’m great and yourself?

Sistahs on the Shelf: I’m lovely.

Sistahs on the Shelf: Thank you for agreeing to this interview/chat.

Author T. Ariez: oh no problem at all, thank you for thinking of me.

Sistahs on the Shelf: You’re welcome. I did enjoy your book.

Author T. Ariez: Cool. May I ask where/how you found the book at?

Sistahs on the Shelf: I was searching Amazon.com for black lesbian books (as I often do) and came across it there. I purchased it that morning.

Author T. Ariez: Oh okay. That’s cool. I know I haven’t done as much advertising as I should, so I was really surprised when I saw that you were reading it.

Sistahs on the Shelf: Well, I troll for new books, so… 🙂

Sistahs on the Shelf: Okay, I have a few questions for you…

Author T. Ariez: Okay, shoot

Sistahs on the Shelf: Give readers a small background about you as an author.

Author T. Ariez: Well, I like to think of myself as someone who is not afraid to talk about the hard issues. I pick things that can be considered taboo or away from the mainstream because I know the real world, at least my real world, doesn’t work that way. Also I have been writing all my life, but it only been in the last 5 years, that I began to write for an audience.

Sistahs on the Shelf: What other books have you written or been featured in?

Author T. Ariez: Zane’s Busy Bodies: Chocolate Flava 4 and Stories in the Key of Erotica, which will release November 25th.

Sistahs on the Shelf: Sounds like you’ve been very busy. What does writing mean to you?

Author T. Ariez: Yes, I stay busy. Writing is like breathing for me. Even when I am not physically writing (or typing) I am always in my head thinking up another story. I have one project that I hope to have published by the end of this year and another that I am currently working on as we speak.

Sistahs on the Shelf: Is it a sequel to Turn Me Out, perhaps?

Author T. Ariez: Hmm, well… There is not a sequel, but I do bring the characters back in another book. It was important for me to let readers know what Ace and Angel are up to.

Sistahs on the Shelf: I definitely agree. I feel like Angel and Ace’s story has not ended yet.

Author T. Ariez: No it hasn’t. These characters mean a lot to me because they live a life a lot of people cannot live in peace. They have a conflict within themselves that many of us will probably never explore solely because of the “rules” in this game.

Sistahs on the Shelf: Very true. I really felt the conflict Angel felt in not fitting into the femme/stud box. But tell readers more about Turn Me Out. What’s it about?

Author T. Ariez: Turn Me Out is about a lesbian stud or a masculine of center female, Angel, who is starting to realize that she has developed feelings for her best friend, Ace. Ace is also a stud and for the two of them, their relationship has always been strictly platonic. When Angel realizes that her feelings are more than she should have for a best friend, she decides to risk losing it all and go for what she really wants, regardless of what anyone else might think about it.

Sistahs on the Shelf: And she does go for it. 🙂

Author T. Ariez: She definitely goes for it.

Sistahs on the Shelf: Lol.

Sistahs on the Shelf: Yet she does have reservations: about being in a relationship with her best friend, but mostly, being with another stud.

Sistahs on the Shelf: Stud-4-stud relationships are becoming more common, but we still have a way to go to acceptance of any relationship that doesn’t look like the mold not stud/femme model.

Author T. Ariez: She does. I don’t know if it is as bad now, times have changed, but 1, it could have been a really dangerous situation for her, and 2, being with another stud, for Angel meant doing things in bed that she wasn’t used to.

Sistahs on the Shelf: Did you think about this while writing TMO?

Author T. Ariez: Yes, I did. Writing TMO was honestly, a hard, but very exciting write. It was difficult writing from a first-person POV and having to put myself in the role as Angel. Initially I thought about what others would think of me, if they would think that I was also S4S. But by the time I finished I realized that it didn’t matter what others thought of me. The only thing that mattered is that maybe I could help someone who might be having these conflicting stories. When I first wrote it, I sent it out in an email to about 10-15 people. Most told me how good it was, but one said the story made her cry because she had struggled with being a stud and feeling more like she was fem.

Sistahs on the Shelf: Wow.

Sistahs on the Shelf: One of the things that I thought while reading was how true this story was, and how many “studs” struggle with their roles like Angel did.

Author T. Ariez: Yes. There are these unspoken rules that I have only noticed in the African-American lesbian community. It is really sad that we constrict ourselves to what I know now is hetero-normative roles, and we are, simply said, NOT heterosexual people. So why follow their gender and relationship roles?

Sistahs on the Shelf: Very true. It’s still hard for some black folks to see, and our own black lesbian community can be judgmental at times.

Author T. Ariez: Yes, we are extremely judgmental and that needs to change. We need to learn to be more open and accepting so that we can be a more happy people.

Sistahs on the Shelf: Shoot, we could be happy if we just minded our own business and lived by the expression “to each his own.” Or in Angel’s case, her own.

Author T. Ariez: Right! You will get no arguments from me on that one. Lol

tariezSistahs on the Shelf: So here’s the million dollar question: How much of yourself did you put into character Angel?

Author T. Ariez: Lol, that a good one. A sprinkle here and there. Even if I try to mold a character completely after me, they end up taking over and telling me who they are. So, probably just the stud part LMAO

Sistahs on the Shelf: You mean the stud-on-stud part??

Author T. Ariez: No, I mean the stud part lol. I am not stud-for-stud, and in a great relationship of 8 years tomorrow. She couldn’t be stud if she tried lol

Sistahs on the Shelf: LMAO…well, that answers my next question! j/k

Author T. Ariez: haha, really, I think my personality alone may be way too dominant for another stud, even that of a soft stud.

Sistahs on the Shelf: Speaking of personalities, what are your perceptions of what a stud really is?

Author T. Ariez: Well that depends because you have a whole range of studs, from soft to the very hardcore and touch-me-nots. I think that what I have learned over the years is that there really is no one perception or description really. Now when I think of another stud, then I usually expect them to be masculine of center and more “masculine” personalities and dress. But again, that isn’t the hard and fast rule anymore so there is a wide variety.

Sistahs on the Shelf: There are so many variations of both studs and femmes, and everyone has different definitions. I just wish people would accept that.

Author T. Ariez: I agree.

Sistahs on the Shelf: Okay, final question. What do you think a story like Turn Me Out does for lesbian visibility?

Author T. Ariez: Well I hope that it would bring much more visibility to the community and at least on a positive note. It certainly sheds a light on stud-for-stud relationships that that is something to me that can be akin to down-low brothas. We know about them, but we don’t talk about them much. I want people to start having that conversation and at the end of it, realize and understand that one person’s choice does not make or break you. Just let people live and let them be happy!

Sistahs on the Shelf: AMEN!

Sistahs on the Shelf: Well, thank you so much for this interview/review/chat.

Author T. Ariez: Well you are welcome and thank you. It was really a pleasure.

Sistahs on the Shelf: For me, as well.

Sistahs on the Shelf: And early Happy Anniversary! 🙂

Author T. Ariez: aww thank you.

Sistahs on the Shelf: –End chat–

Reviewed/Interviewed July 2013

About T. Ariez

T. Ariez is a Texas native currently living in Dallas. He has been writing since the second grade but only started exploring writing for an audience a few years after graduating high school. He enjoys reading in his spare time, playing board games with his family and watching football.


It’s Complicated: Misconceptions by Erika Renee Land

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itscomplicatedPublisher/Date:  Ezarie Publishing, Jan. 2013
Genre(s):  Romance, Drama
Pages:  254
Website:  http://twitter.com/elandthewriter

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Why does it seem as if in some lesbian breakups that we never really break up, at least not completely? There’s that unfinished business that gets pushed aside, not resolved, as we move to the next woman.

Enter IT’S COMPLICATED: MISCONCEPTIONS, the debut novel from Erika Renee Land. It’s a whole mess of things going on this book, mostly surrounding Laila Morriston and her 8-year relationship with Victoria. Good as all are relationships are, their romance dwindles due to Victoria’s infidelity. Laila can’t trust Tori, and in my eyes, should have left her a long time ago, but Laila is still holding on to that connection they still have when times are good.

Just when she thinks things are getting back on track, Tori pulls the disappearing acts again. Acting secretive. Leaving the house at all hours of the night. Laila has had it up to here, and decides that Tori needs a taste of her own medicine. Enter Camille, the stripper she meets on a night Tori got missing. What transpires between them was nice, but Tori is still the love of Laila’s life and she wants to put things back right between them.

As always, though, things are good, and then Tori acts shady again. This back and forth causes them to separate, and Laila believes it’s truly over this time. Enter Nadia, another woman Laila meets at a vulnerable time, an assistant to a client of hers, and a dynamite woman. They could talk about anything, and bonded over loved cultural events and books. Nadia was someone she could see herself with – if she weren’t still wondering about and pining for Tori. Dating Camille and Nadia at the same time, both women are smart, beautiful and open up Laila’s eyes to new possibilities. The problem is Laila isn’t truly honest about her unresolved feelings for Tori; neither woman knows just how deep Laila’s feelings still run for her ex.

When Tori returns, what’s a woman to do with the new relationships she’s entered into in the meantime? Is she willing to drop everything for the woman who left her, or take a chance on someone new?

A fast-paced read, there is more to this story than I should put in this review, but trust me, you’ll read all about the deception, heartbreak and betrayal (plus crazed stalkers) in It’s Complicated: Misconceptions. One thing I should say is that everything is not what it appears. What is transparent is that Laila and Tori’s back-and-forth relationship was something that could have been resolved if they were more mature about how they handled each other. But after 8 years of cheating, why was Laila still even with Tori? As 32-year-old landscape architect at a respectable firm (one that is unbelievably tolerant of her messy personal life), she’s smart, but naïve and too into her head. We’ll see if she learns the game in the sequel. Hopefully.

Reviewed June 2013


Forever Tangled: A collection of poems and stories from the heart and between the thighs (Volume 1) by Monique ‘Being True’ Thomas

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forevertangledPublisher/Date:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Nov. 2012
Genre(s):  Romance, Erotica, Poetry, Short Story
Pages:  112
Website:  http://authormoniquebeingtruethonas.wordpress.com

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

The Plot:  In the first volume of FOREVER TANGLED: A COLLECTION OF POEMS AND STORIES FROM THE HEART AND BETWEEN THE THIGHS, Monique ‘Being True’ Thomas invites you “to the playground of love and seduction” to “enjoy your time playing on the jungle gym” of her thoughts. Her erotic material – such as “Watched” and “Wet” –  will surely get your heart rate (and other things) up; at the same time, Thomas brings love to the table, like in “All I Wanted to Do” and “Reflection” (my personal favorite). Poetry also rounds out this first installment.

The Good:  Thomas’ stories have a familiar feel, if you’ve remember or read some of her other works featured on Kuma2.net and in the Life, Love, Lust series by Lesbian Memoirs. The love scenes are extremely sensuous, and her poetry is expressive.

The Not-So-Good:  A couple of the stories have a been-there-done-that quality.

The Bottom Line: Forever Tangled is a small read with big of heart.

Reviewed April 2013


the other by amir

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theotherPublisher/Date: Lulu.com, June 2012
Genre(s):  Romance, Transgender, Straight Books with Lesbian Characters
Pages:  320
Website:  http://www.soulfulbooks.webs.com

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

The Plot:  Three best friends – Alex, Tyrell and Jewel – confront issues in their lives while holding on to their friendship in the other. It ain’t easy, though. Writer Alex, who made the transition from woman to man years prior, attempts to work through the tumultuous relationship with his late father – and then a new love steps into his life. Jewel has a new love, as well, but can’t put doggish ex Kyree out of her mind. Speaking of canines, compulsive cheater Tyrell has a gorgeous fiancé, Samantha, at home – and many others behind her back; he chalks up his behavior to being a “man” and Sam not giving him what he wants sexually. Despite the friends’ internal and romantic dilemmas, the one thing they never let go of is each other.

The Good:  The friendship is the best thing about the other. No matter what crazy situations the friends find themselves in, one is always there to be the voice of reason. the other also has a great voice in Alex, the deepest one of the trio, and Jewel is a diva with heart. Tyrell on the other hand…

The Not-So-Good:  Tyrell is a mess. How can one man be so heartless? I guess you’ll find out just how much. And at 320 pages, I think some pages could have been trimmed to make a neater story.

The Bottom Line: the other is for you if you like a thoughtful, drama-filled, character based story.

Reviewed April 2013


Royal BLU by Feral Kitty

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royalbluPublisher/Date:  CreateSpace, Oct. 2012
Genre(s):  Romance, Drama
Pages:  362

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

It all started on a Friday night in ROYAL BLU. A simple start to the weekend that begins DJ Royal and her three closest friends on a long, wild expedition to love and drama.

Bold, italics, and underline on the drama.

Taking center stage in author Feral Kitty’s debut novel is Royal Ann Hanson, a 27-year old DJ still living at home with her grandparents and her 11-year-old daughter from a teenage relationship. With beautiful golden brown skin, slim athletic frame and long brown cornrows, she’s a magnet for the ladies, straight or lesbian, attached or single. While she may use them for what they offer, she also knows she’s not ready for a real relationship. Royal is content with life, her friends, her car (a vintage candy-apple red 1970 Cadillac Coupe de Ville), and her job at Club BLU, but recognizes that she needs a true equal; and she finds a worthy opponent in Asia, her best friend’s roommate.

Despite their age difference, Royal and 20-year-old Tiana are best friends, and Ti looks to Royal as a role model of sorts; her own stud swagger is owed to watching Royal’s antics. Her come-ons pay off on that fated Friday night when Ti has an affair with someone outside the stud-femme box, but Ti worries more about what her best friend will think instead of letting herself fall.

KC, though, fell for the completely wrong woman, and everyone knows it. Her girlfriend, Ebony, is too rowdy for this white butch lesbian, who’s always had a thing for sistahs. Her friends want her leave Ebony’s melodramatics behind and see past her fighting, cheating, and abusive ways. On some level, KC is waiting for the love she longs for from Ebony. Yet how long to is too love to love yourself?

Paul, owner of Club BLU, is the older voice of reason in the foursome. In a 17-year relationship with wife Candi, they find raising a daughter working full time doesn’t allow much time for romance. Paul stays true to their love, but that’s not to say temptations don’t find her every now and again.

Royal BLU is, on one level, an entertaining, comical novel that you can’t put down. On another, it needs a lot of polishing – with punctuation and grammar especially – to make it a great novel. The characters were a hot mess a times, but truth be told, we all know people like them (or at least I did in my 20s). In its favor, Royal BLU brings up a few issues in our community about labels and slut-shaming that are important, and also shows flaws from both sides of the femme-stud dynamic.

All in all, I’m looking forward to what this Kitty brings next.

Reviewed April 2013


Bi-Curious by Natalie Weber

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bi-curiousPublisher/Date:  Urban Books, Jan. 2011
Genre:  Romance
Pages:  204
Website:  http://www.urbanbooks.net

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

When Serenity arrives for her first year of college, she knew she would discover an entirely new world – what she didn’t expect to find was drama and murder.

And it all began when she unlocked her hidden lesbian fantasies in BI-CURIOUS, the first book in the series by Natalie Weber.

Serenity wants to whet her appetite for women, and college seems like the best place to discover what her older sister, Carla, has always known as a stud. Her guardian since their mother passed away, Carla would never let anything happen to her baby sister.

But her sister is not there to protect her when Serenity’s curiosity lands her in the trap of the hottest stud on campus: Sadie Smith. She’s the one that ladies – gay or straight — want in their beds, and the dude that other dudes envy. Her wealth makes her stand out, and her parties are legendary. Never without a woman, Sadie is determined to add Serenity to her stable of beauties. And what Sadie wants, she gets.

Soon, Serenity is plunged into a world of sex, drugs, and possessiveness…all courtesy of Sadie. She has a hold over Serenity that leads her down the wrong path, to the point it’s affecting her studies and her relationship with Carla. When she tries to leave, Sadie’s manipulations lead her back. Can Serenity escape the dangerous web Sadie has spun around her before she gets hurt?

Weber, sister-in-law to famed author Carl Weber, definitely follows in his storytelling footsteps. Bi-Curious is full of spicy sex and drama you’d expect in an erotic tale. Not all of it is believable, but it does make for a juicy read. Bi-Curious 2 is already out, with Bi-Curious 3, coming soon, and I wonder just how far Weber will take Serenity’s story.

Reviewed February 2013


Stud by Sa’id Salaam

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studPublisher/Date: G Street Chronicles, Aug. 2012
Genre(s):  Bisexual, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 142
Website: http://www.gstreetchronicles.com

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

What we know as a masculine lesbian takes on an entirely different definition in STUD, the book from street lit author Sa’id Salaam.

Stud apparently has many descriptions, but Salaam portrays protagonist Andrea “Dre” Coleman as a drug-dealing, gun-toting young woman with an identity crisis.

It wasn’t always this way, though.

Tomboy Dre never wanted to wear pink or ribbons. Dressing like a boy for protection, she emulates her hustling older brother, Bernard, and prefers beating up the boys and playing lookout for big bro. Bernard is her hero, and when her brother is killed, it’s up to Dre to take over the game in Bernard’s honor.

Easier said than done. Dre finds it hard to gain respect when you’re a girl filling in bigger shoes.

Luckily, Dre’s best friend Ramel, is her partner-in-crime. The two make a great pair, and when things get rough, or somebody needs to become a nobody, Ramel is in the trenches with her. Doing the kind of work they do, it bonds them without many words being said.

This attraction between Dre and Ramel is what throws the reader completely off when reading Stud. You’ve been introduced to Dre the stud and her romps with women, but you end up knowing Dre the bisexual. And if that’s what she wants to be, that’s fine. But the book’s title seems misleading. Was the author trying sending a message or creating a confusing character for entertainment value?

As entertaining as it may be, it’s also a head-scratcher. What Stud has in its corner is that the writing is decent, and some may like this urban tale. But what Salaam is writing about brings about the issue of what defines a stud. Do clothes or attitude make a stud, or is it a combination? Who’s to say what a stud is?

Sadly, you won’t find out by reading Stud.

Reviewed February 2013


Love After Atlanta by Samantha Underwood

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loveafteratlantaPublisher/Date:  Lulu.com, Apr. 2012
Genre:  Romance
Pages:  204
Website:  http://loveafterseries.com

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

The Plot: Sometimes a bullet can give you clarity, make you view the whole world differently. That’s Leah Fiento’s opinion after a being shot in action in LOVE AFTER ATLANTA, author Samantha Underwood’s debut novel. Leah, a 31-year year old Georgia Bureau of Investigation officer, leaves Atlanta for FBI in Washington, D.C., where she’s paired with a top-notch team that includes the lovely Dr. Carla Ward. The sparks fly as soon as they are introduced.

The Good: Leah and Carla’s attraction is searing – and forbidden, if anyone were to discover the colleagues’ affair. Carla’s feminine charm and Leah’s bravado captivate this fast-paced tale with crime and intrigue thrown in the mix.

The Not-So-Good: Some of the situations the agents find themselves in didn’t seem totally realistic. And the writing could have been tighter.

The Bottom Line:Love After Atlanta is a page-turner worth the sex and romance. Who can resist an FBI agent?

Reviewed December 2012


Rumors Ring True (Maxi’s Place) by Literary Stud

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rumorsringtruePublisher/Date:  Amazon Digital Services, Inc., Aug. 2012
Genre: Romance
Pages:  47
Website:  http://twitter.com/literarystud

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

The Plot: RUMORS RING TRUE, the first in the Maxi’s Place series, promises “drama, deceit, and maybe a little love.” Maxi’s Place electrifies with great food, ambiance, and music. Behind the scenes, a romance steams between hostess Ava Russell and saxophonist Bailey Thompson. Because restaurant owner Cole Washington frowns against workplace romances, Ava and Bailey hide their budding attraction. Yet it’s unmistakable. The question is: what they are going to do about it?

The Good: A quick read, Rumors sets up a good story you could see yourself reading more of. Ava and Bailey play a cat-and-mouse game that some may find appealing.

The Not-So-Good: The cat-and-mouse game. Will they or won’t they? That’s mostly what this first installment was about. It would have been nice had Rumors incorporated other characters a little more.

The Bottom Line:Rumors Ring True is one of those Kindle stories to read on a lazy afternoon. I’m just curious enough to see what happens next.

Reviewed December 2012


Still Strapped by Sharon D. Smith

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stillstrappedPublisher: Lulu.com, Dec. 2011
Genre(s): Romance, Suspense
Pages: 160
Website: http://www.facebook.com/authorsharondsmith

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

The Plot: It’s Silk’s turn to narrate the story, STILL STRAPPED, about her relationship with fellow stud, Taz. Lovers from the previous Strapped, Silk and Taz’s bond has grown and become more organic, but it doesn’t sit well with others. All the couple wants is to share their lives, and interlopers from Silk and Taz’s past want to do them dirty – Zodiac, Silk’s former pimp; Reece, Taz’s femme ex who’s still irked she was left for a stud; and Nic, a relic from Silk’s gang-banging days she’d rather forget. Can’t they just let these studs be great and in love?

The Good: The plot moves swiftly. It’s a good portrayal of stud-4-stud love. I enjoy Taz and Silk’s interaction. I hope their portrayal helps to break down the negativity surrounding this type of relationship.

The Not-So-Good: There are a few twists that come off implausible, like the revenge scheme against Silk and Taz, but it’s easy to roll with the story.

The Bottom Line: Read Still Strapped for Taz and Silk’s love story and allow it to show you another side of black lesbian love. And another installment, Strapless, is soon on its way.

Reviewed December 2012


Fantasies, Sex, Lies, & Love… Chronicles of the Heart and Mind by Harmonie Reigns

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fantasiessexliesandlovePublisher/Date:  CreateSpace, Feb. 2012
Genre(s):  Romance, Erotica, Poetry, Short Story
Pages:  212
Website:  http://harmoniereigns.wix.com/harmonie#!info

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

The Plot: In most cases, relationships usually include FANTASIES, SEX, LIES & LOVE…CHRONICLES OF THE HEART AND MIND in some fashion. That’s what Harmonie Reigns asserts in her collection of dramatic short stories and corresponding poems. Love can be reunited in (“The Encounter”) or reassuring (“In the Blink of an Eye”) or life-changing (“The Librarian”). On the other hand, it can also be deceitful (“The Office”) or simply about the panties (“The Truck Stop”). With Reigns, you never know what you’re gonna get.

The Good: Reigns delves into hearty plots with each tale. She draws you into the characters, allowing you to care about the two (or sometimes three) people in the relationship that matter the most. And the sex found between the pages is scorching.

The Bad: Although the stories were hot, the excessive grammatical errors were not. It did slow me down at times. Also, some of her poems I couldn’t quite get into.

The Bottom Line: Read Fantasies for the love and the lust, and you won’t be disappointed.

Reviewed August 2012

Fantasies, Sex, Lies, & Love… Chronicles of the Heart and Mind by Harmonie Reigns
CreateSpace, Feb. 2012
212 pages
Contemporary Romance/Erotica/Poetry/Short Story
http://harmoniereigns.wix.com/harmonie#!infoRating: 3 out of 5

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

The Plot: In most cases, relationships usually include FANTASIES, SEX, LIES & LOVE…CHRONICLES OF THE HEART AND MIND in some fashion. That’s what Harmonie Reigns asserts in her collection of dramatic short stories and corresponding poems. Love can be reunited in (“The Encounter”) or reassuring (“In the Blink of an Eye”) or life-changing (“The Librarian”). On the other hand, it can also be deceitful (“The Office”) or simply about the panties (“The Truck Stop”). With Reigns, you never know what you’re gonna get.

The Good: Reigns delves into hearty plots with each tale. She draws you into the characters, allowing you to care about the two (or sometimes three) people in the relationship that matter the most. And the sex found between the pages is scorching.

The Bad: Although the stories were hot, the excessive grammatical errors were not. It did slow me down at times. Also, some of her poems I couldn’t quite get into.

The Bottom Line: Read Fantasies for the love and the lust, and you won’t be disappointed.

Reviewed August 2012


Erotic Tones…Sensual Moans: A Mixture of Sensual Erotic Poetry & Short Stories by Stacey M. Rice

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erotictonesPublisher/Date:  Rycemoore Horizons, Dec. 2011
Genre:  Erotica
Pages:  120
Website:  http://www.rycemoorehorizons.weebly.com

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

The Plot: Twenty-three short stories and poems convey the erotic overtures between women in EROTIC TONES…SENSUAL MOANS. Author Stacey M. Rice captures the raw and sweet with tales like “Oooh Boi,” a stud-4-stud treat and “Thrill of the Chase,” where a bookstore patron doesn’t accept no when it comes to the store owner.

The Good: Rice definitely mixes it up. The stories are fun, and the poetry is passionate. The depth of the book heightens as you read.

The Not-So-Good: While the tales were heat-inducing, there were a couple of moments when the characters would head-hop, and you don’t know who’s putting it on whom. And I would have liked a little more background on some of the characters, as well.

The Bottom Line: Rice spares no time and delves straight to the point in Erotic Tones. You will be satisfied.

Reviewed June 2012


A Little Sumthin’ Sumthin’ by Imani True

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alittlesumthinsumthinPublisher/Date:  NCM Publishing, Feb. 2012
Genre:  Romance
Pages:  220
Website:  http://www.truerrotica.blogspot.com

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

The Plot: Tired of his manhandling ways, Fatima Strong leaves her husband of more than 20 years in A LITTLE SUMTHIN’ SUMTHIN’ by Imani True. Though Malcolm used to be sweet as pie, his brutal demands push her to finally choose herself. In doing so, she flourishes career-wise and meets Xiomara, everything Malcolm is not – loving, kind and generous. However, when he catches wind of his ex-wife’s new love, someone is going to pay dearly.

The Good: True’s book is fast paced and pretty straightforward. The writing is okay, suggesting a great moral: know your truth.

The Not-So-Good: As I said, the writing is okay, but the timeline between Fatima leaving Malcolm and getting with Xiomara is sketchy at best. The sex scenes could be hotter, as well. If the re-worked and edited better, Sumthin’ could be a much better novel.

The Bottom Line: Grab A Little Sumthin’ Sumthin’ as quick afternoon read.

Reviewed June 2012