The Beautiful People: New Orleans by Cheril N. Clarke

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beautifulpeopleneworleansPublisher/Date:  Dodi Press, Feb. 2011
Genre:  Gay & Lesbian
Pages:  24
Website:  http://www.cherilnclarke.com

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Four friends and a vacation is the premise of THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE: NEW ORLEANS, the first in an e-book series from Cheril N. Clarke.

Good friends Colin, Donovan, Vanessa and Yen jet-set to a different city every month, where they behold the sights — both of the city and the people.

Donovan is the type-a, men’s fashion designer, accountant Colin is entranced by beautiful faces — male and female; photographer Yen can’t seem to get her vices under control; and Vanessa’s attraction to Yen surprisingly reemerges itself for the business consultant.

Clarke packs a lot of energy into a short read. I enjoyed the friends’ interaction, and can’t wait to see what’s in store for them in the next installment.

You know what they say: what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Reviewed January 2012


Keesha & Her Two Moms Go Swimming by Monica Bey-Clarke and Cheril N. Clarke

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keesha_two_momsPublisher/Date:  Dodi Press, June 2011
Genre: Children’s Books
Pages:  30
Website:  http://www.cherilnclarke.com

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Parents, want a great book you can share with your children?

Pick up KEESHA AND HER TWO MOMS GO SWIMMING by partners Monica Bey-Clarke and Cheril N. Clarke.

Keesha & Her Two Moms is delightful. The daughter of lesbian parents, Keesha is a adorable girl who loves to share and have fun. Her mothers definitely raised her right.

You’ll see Keesha frolicking in the pool, playing with her bestie and making new friends. You’ll also see the love she has for her two moms, and that life for gay families are just like any other.

With colorful illustrations and animated writing, Bey-Clarke and Clarke make Keesha and Her Two Moms Go Swimming a must read for gay and lesbian parents. Kids will love to see their families reflected just as they really are.

Also check out a coloring and activity book titled My Family ABCs with Keesha!, as well as other titles from the Clarkes at  www.myfamilyproducts.net.

Reviewed January 2012


Erotic Escapes: Two Erotic Vignettes featuring Kenya from Intimate Chaos by Cheril N. Clarke

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eroticescapesPublisher/Date:  Dodi Press, Feb. 2010
Genre:  Erotica
Website:  http://www.cherilnclarke.com 

Illusions of Love –

Rating: ★★★★☆ 


Ecstasy –

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Quickies have become Cheril N. Clarke’s forte as of late, with two-part e-book series for your pleasure, EROTIC ESCAPES: TWO EROTIC VIGNETTES FEATURING KENYA. The e-book includes Illusions of Love and Ecstasy, both starring the sexual debaucheries of the infamous homewrecker who stirred up things between Sadira and Jessie. She’s still up to her old tricks, this time manipulating unsuspecting women with her sensual charms and cunning.

In the first installment, Illusions of Love, readers are treated to Kenya seducing Angela, an older woman with money and a body that rivals young girls. Kenya has told the Ivy League professor what she wants to hear to be taken care of in her usual spoiled fashion and lands on a Caribbean cruise. Yet, vacations aren’t enough for the lesbian vixen, and while on the way home, she’s already searching for her next score. She finds it with, Deb, but will it give her what she truly needs?

Ecstasy, the second round of Kenya’s games, continues where Illusions left off and is only a little naughtier than the first. Deb is sexually adventurous and introduces her to a new kind of high. The pair is wrapped up in their sensual cocktail – beginning with a swinging escapade in Illusions – and Kenya almost forgets what she came here for. Has she finally met her match?

Clarke’s down-and-dirty mission was accomplished with these e-books. There’s few flowery phrases, no professions of love — just romps with a woman who’s hedonism rivals that of Karrine Steffans (well, not that bad). Take it for what it is: a one-night stand you might want more of.

Reviewed August 2010


Love and Marriage: The Gay and Lesbian Guide to Dating and Romance by Cheril N. Clarke

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loveandmarriage2Publisher/Date:  Dodi Press, Jan. 2010
Genre:  Relationship Guide
Pages:  24
Website:  http://www.cherilnclarke.com

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Want hundreds of tips to kick start, rekindle or preserve your relationship? Then get your hands on LOVE AND MARRIAGE: THE GAY AND LESBIAN GUIDE TO DATING AND ROMANCE by beloved novelist Cheril N. Clarke.

Not only is Clarke the author of lesbian contemporary romance novels, she’s also a happily wedded woman of three years. That helps when perusing these helpful suggestions that list everything from scrapbooking to playing hide-and-go-seek to lap-dancing – all in an effort to keep the romance brewing.

The e-book is broken up conveniently into three sections: Getting to Know Each Other, Commitment and Marriage. Each pointer is marked with a symbol indicating the cost and activity type. As a word of advice, she states that you should make this book your own and not try to do everything at once.

If you’re on a first date or starting a new relationship, Clarke offers out-of-the-box plans for first dates. Things like taking a hot air balloon, having dinner in a castle, or walking under the stars on moonlight night will surely set a very good first impression.

For those in monogamous relationships, she doesn’t forget about you. To strengthen your bond, why don’t you take your girlfriend to a bed and breakfast or write her an old fashioned love letter?

And to cherish your union and combat the long-term itch of marriage, among Clarke’s hints are commissioning an artist to paint a couple’s portrait, having personalized china made, and attending a hedonism retreat.

By reading Love and Marriage, all couples should find something to fit their fancy – from the simplest declaration to the most elaborate arrangement. Clarke has your relationship in mind.

Reviewed February 2010


Losing Control by Cheril N. Clarke

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losingcontrol1Publisher/Date:  Dodi Press, June 2009
Genre:  Romance
Pages:  216
Website:  http://www.cherilnclarke.com

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Brianna Anderson knows love and politics oftentimes lead to scandal, so she’s covering her bases in LOSING CONTROL, the latest from revered author Cheril N. Clarke. The author of best-sellers Intimate Chaos and Tainted Destiny has delivered another captivating novel, this time following Brianna and her bid for City Council.

In case you forgot, Brianna is the go-getter in Tainted Destiny who left Sadira to pursue a career in the public sector. Brianna is now running for office in Rockville, New Jersey, a depressed city marked by unemployment, homelessness and political corruption. Brianna’s intentions, while she doesn’t have much experience, are pure and motivated by lifting the fog of hopelessness blanketing the city’s poorest residents.

Her opponent, however, is a woman led by pure greed. Three-term incumbent Colleen Smith, the councilwoman elected for three consecutive terms, wants to defeat the green candidate at any cost. Colleen could care less about her impoverished community, but rather reaping the wealth her position has afforded her on the backs of the people she serves.  With the stones Colleen’s throwing, Brianna cannot allow her deepest secret to be uncovered and therefore denies her sexuality – even as her attraction is growing for city treasurer Pam Thompson.

The pair meet somewhere along Brianna’s campaign trail, and are instantly drawn together. Brianna can’t help but feel something toward Pam, an intelligent, gorgeous woman, but indulging their feelings would mean Pam would have to deny something, also: her husband. And imagine the scandal that would erupt if Brianna’s opponent were to find out. She’s worked too hard, and there’s too much at stake for both her and Pam to lose.

Clarke’s Losing Control combines an involved love story with the behind-the-scenes action of a campaign. The romance between Brianna and Pam builds slowly, and takes a while to reach its peak – figuratively and sexually – but is worth reading to see how it ends. Clarke is proficient when it comes to the agony of love, and Losing Control shows what happens when the sacrifice is worth it.

Reviewed November 2009


Tainted Destiny by Cheril N. Clarke (Aug. 2007 Pick of the Month)

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Publisher/Date:  Dodi Press, Oct. 2006
Genre:  Romance
Pages:  254
Website:  http://www.cherilnclarke.com

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Face it—you’ve been Sadira before: a woman with a deep obsession for someone else. You’ve experienced it at least once, maybe twice in your lifetime.

That’s what makes TAINTED DESTINY, Cheril N. Clarke’s sequel to Intimate Chaos, so compelling. It’s the fact that as women we can relate so well to having that one person in our lives we can’t shake.

For Sadira, that person is her former lover, Jessie. Where things ended horribly between them in Chaos—complete with heartbreak and scandal—Destiny picks up with Sadira still nursing her wounds, but realizing that she has to get over the woman who could never completely offer her heart even after their many years together. Leaving their home in Miami to move back to New York, Sadira plans to rid herself of the pain, and finds she has many distractions to do so.

One is Brianna, a college student who offers Sadira a new outlook on life. Another is Olivia, a strong-willed chick who won’t take no for an answer. And another is Tricia, an old flame that becomes rekindled over time. It’s Tricia whom Sadira falls for, but memories of Jessie still plague her.

Sadira can’t let go of the past she shared with Jessie, even with a good woman like Tricia by her side. When she discovers Jessie is back in New York, it’s only a matter of time before they reach out again. Soon Sadira is torn—between the reciprocated of Tricia and the unrequited love of Jessie—and it’s up to her to figure out which one is her true destiny.

Tainted Destiny, simply put, is gripping. Clarke manages to unearth emotions that ring true and paints a true picture of a woman in love turmoil. With every page, you sink deeper into her despair. Just like with Intimate Chaos, you want smack some sense into her, while at the same time hug her when her pain gets unbearable. Though sometimes a bit wordy, Clarke is a writer who pulls you in and takes you there.

Cause love is a truly a battlefield—with complete with wounds to show for it.

Reviewed August 2007


Intimate Chaos by Cheril N. Clarke

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intimatechaosPublisher/Date:  Dodi Press, July 2005
Genre:  Romance
Pages:  219
Website:  http://www.cherilnclarke.com

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

We’ve all been in Sadira Cooper’s shoes – loving someone we know, deep in our hearts, is all wrong for us. But we believe beyond hope that she will become the perfect woman for us.

Sadira faced this dilemma and more in Cheril N. Clarke’s INTIMATE CHAOS.

The novel opens with a letter from Sadira’s ex, Jessie, apologizing for the mistakes made in their tumultuous relationship. Sadira’s reading of the letter takes her three years back, when she first met Jessie. Traveling on the subway, Sadira spots the dreadlocked beauty and is instantly attracted to her. She oddly asks for Jessie’s email address, and they exchange messages, getting to know each other and eventually dating.

Yet the more Sadira becomes acquainted with Jessie, the more Jessie runs away because of issues from her past. Meeting a thoughtful and romantic woman like Sadira scares her; it’s something Jessie’s never had. When things are good between them, Jessie pulls disappearing acts, going in and out of Sadira’s life without notice, hurting her in the process. She breaks dates, holds back her feelings, and doesn’t appear to genuinely care as much as Sadira does about their relationship. And every time Sadira tries to break loose from Jessie’s hold, she finds some way to come back into Sadira’s life.

Sadira knows that Jessie’s revolving door behavior and standoffish attitude is not how she wants to be treated. Even after friends and her twin sister, Khedara, all warn that Jessie is not the one, she still moves their relationship forward, and the two relocate to Miami to begin a new life.

With the move, things are good at first, and then their relationship spirals into its old patterns. Jessie still hasn’t opened up completely with Sadira and spends far too much time at work instead of being home. Things get so bad that Sadira is contemplating sleeping with her neighbor Kenya. It all comes to a head in the most dramatic fashion.

Intimate Chaos is simply that indeed. In Clarke’s novel, you’ll be exposed to Sadira’s innermost thoughts as she falls in love with a self-absorbed woman. Throughout the book, you get caught up in Sadira’s grief, almost to the point where you want to yell at her, “Wake up!” But you don’t; you simply feel her pain, as we’ve all been there before.

Clarke’s writing is enjoyable, and I look forward to other books by her. I just hope in the sequel, Sadira finds love with someone who’s emotionally available to love her in return.

Reviewed November 2005