2 Sides 2 the Rainbow by Unique Waterfall

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2sides2therainbowPublisher/Date:  Amazon Digital Services, Inc., Feb. 2015
Genre(s):  Romance, Drama, Studs and Femmes
Pages:  356
Website:  http://www.uniquewaterfall.com

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Say what you will about their love lives, but Ming, Nayla, Angie and Rachel know how to get down to business. The women of 2 SIDES 2 THE RAINBOW are good friends, but have professions that pair them with love interests that intersect in interesting ways. Unique Waterfall shows that the foursome is about their money, but when it comes to the studs in their lives, that’s where they mix business with more than enough pleasure.

Ming, the unofficial leader of the crew, is a lawyer trying to land a deal with the hottest stud in the modeling industry. There’s no way she can lose this account, even when a handsome samaritan stays on her mind after assisting her one night – unless that guardian angel is her new client’s agent. Even with that distraction, I loved Ming’s professionalism through it all; she seems to have her head on straight when it comes to what she wants and when her friends’ drama lands in her lap.

Especially with her friend Nayla. While her friends know her love for women, she’s apprehensive about coming out to her family. Even with her friends’ support, Nayla still can’t admit, even to herself, that she’s a lesbian. Meeting a stud who challenges her denial, Nayla is at a crossroads that one can sympathize with. Her struggle anchors the book and is the most compelling character to watch.

Angie, Ming’s assistant, is trying to find love also, but I mostly see her as comic relief to the other women. Rachel, hotel executive by day and opportunist by night, is my least favorite of the women, only because I didn’t get to know her enough throughout the novel. The stud love interests are passionate in their own special ways.

2 Sides 2 the Rainbow is a mix of fun and drama, but there are a a couple of hiccups: it needs an editor’s red pen in places, and the conversations between the women regurgitate too much what just happened in the scene before. However, Nayla’s struggles, Ming’s relationship and the bond between Ming and Nayla are the major pluses for me. Considering the book ended on the biggest cliffhanger, I’ll be happy to see how the women progress and what new they’ll get into in the upcoming sequel.

Reviewed February 2016

About Unique Waterfall

Unique Waterfall is an Illinois native that grew up on the Southside of Chicago, known as the wild hundreds. Born and raised in the Altgeld Garden Housing Projects, writing was an escape from the reality of living in public housing. The oldest of her siblings Unique was an outgoing but cautious child who always had something to read in her hand. Whether it was a book, magazine, or news paper she was constantly reading and writing. Unique is an avid lover of the arts and the Harlem Renaissance era, this love is what fueled her desire to write poetry. Writing was something that she only did for herself as a release from the pressures of everyday life she never shared her writings with others. But encouragement from her family and friends she started to share some of her writings online. After seeing the lack of positive representation amongst African American lesbians, in the literary world Unique started brainstorming writing a book. But it wasn’t until a tragic event that changed her life that she actually wrote and self published the novel 2 Sides 2 The Rainbow.


Sweat: Chapter One (A Lesbian Soap Opera) by LezIntellect

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Publisher/Date:  Amazon Digital Services, Inc., Feb. 2014
Genre(s):  Romance, Drama
Pages:  22 (e-book short)
Website:  http://diaryofablacklesbian.blogspot.com

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

The Plot:  SWEAT: CHAPTER ONE introduces twins Odessa, a womanizing, prodigal daughter of sorts and Olivia, the responsible older sister (by two minutes) who’s been running their father’s successful hair care empire while Odessa is away in the Big Apple. She’s returned home to her family’s sprawling home and decides as usual she wants what she wants without a thought to what’s been happening while she’s gone. If she had only made a phone call or two, she would have discovered that Olivia has been taking care of things just fine in Atlanta.

The Good:  Author LezIntellect makes it clear this first installment of Sweat is just the beginning. She has way more in mind for her characters; she promises Chapter Two will bring someone “dynamic.” She also knows a thing or two about how to write a descriptive setting and how to give her characters great backstories (even if we don’t know everything just yet), which makes me captived with Odessa and Olivia. And I love the cover artwork.

The Not-So-Good:  Sweat‘s sentence structures can be a little redundant, but I have a (kind of) bigger issue. The thing about soap operas: every time you get closer to the truth, in comes a commercial. That’s how I felt when I got to the end of Sweat. Waiting chapter by chapter is going to be the death of me. *cue death music* *cut to commercial*

The Bottom Line:  I have to know what happens next. I guess there’s a reason LezIntellect calls it Sweat.

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Reviewed April 2014

About LezIntellect

LezIntellect is the woman behind Diary of a Black Lesbian, a oft-posted blog about life, love, and the occasional rant. There she describes herself as “a young, sexy, African American feminine tomboy living, breathing, and loving women in ATLANTA, GA.”

LezIntellect is the author Sweat: Chapter One (A Lesbian Soap Opera) presented in chapter form. She also penned Diary Of A Black Lesbian Uncensored Vol. One. She’s currently working on Sweat‘s second chapter.


The EXchange by Nikki Rashan

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Publisher/Date:  Urban Books, June 2013
Genre(s):  Romance, Drama
Pages:  272
Website:  http://www.nikkirashan.com

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Exes as friends…an interesting concept. There are usually two camps on this phenomenon. One says exes are exes for a reason, so why be friends; what is there to discuss after the words “It’s Over.” The other school of thought is that as long as it wasn’t a harrowing break-up and/or you were friends before you hooked up, why not be friends after.

If only Kyla and Asia decided to follow the former and not the latter, THE EXCHANGE would have played out a lot differently. Luckily, Nikki Rashan knows how to craft a story of drama with the realities of love. It’s not all pretty, though.

It’s been some years, but you might remember Kyla from Double Pleasure Double Pain as a naive 26-year-old trying to decide between her “good man” and the blossoming romance with a female classmate. Then in You Make Me Wanna, Kyla hops from bed to bed in her new home of Atlanta, until she meets the love of her life, Asia. Nine years later, love and commitment equal boredom for Kyla and Asia in The EXchange‘s onset, and instead of Kyla being honest about it, she deflects Asia’s nightly relationship quizzes and finds her excitement in her good friend Angie, who recently went through a horrible split from her own girlfriend. In case you forgot, Angie and Kyla had a sex-only relationship in You Make Me Wanna, an arrangement that ended once Asia captured Kyla’s heart. While Kyla found her happily ever after with Asia, she and “friend” Angie always kept the platonic door open; Kyla and Asia even double-dated with Angie and girlfriend, Deidre, occasionally.

Now that Angie and Deidre have called it quits, she needs Kyla’s “friendship” to fill the void. The more they spend time together, the more Kyla discovers that she never knew more about Angie other than her strap size. She’s actually very sweet and attentive — and Kyla is somewhat swayed by Angie’s special treatment. Could it be that the excitement of a new love could erase the stability of a long-standing love? Kyla is about to find out.

The EXchange is a cliffhanger of a book – one, because Kyla takes us on a crazy jaunt through whether you can truly replace something old with something new; or two, because the ending seems destined to have another installment. The back-and-forth between Kyla and Asia is a page-turner for sure. It also raises a lot of interesting questions about keeping the fires brewing in long-term relationships, and I can see The EXchange being hotly discussed in many lesbian book clubs.

Rashan’s writing is solid. The game-playing and bed-hopping also makes The EXchange a gripping story – it’s a lot fun to read; you should have heard me yelling, “No, Kyla, nooo!” when she did something foolish. But as for Kyla and Asia, they could have easily solved their boredom by something anything else other than bringing people confusion into their relationship. She appears to have grown up in the nine years since being with Asia, but she slightly regresses through much of the novel to the indecisive Kyla she was in Double Pleasure. Asia, with her shoot-from-the-hip attitude, is no walk in the park either; I could have used less of the blame game she pulled about Kyla’s past.

But she was right about one thing: that in the end, love does truly win.

Reviewed July 2013


chatlogoKyla attempts to rekindle feelings with her ex, Angie. So that brings up a though for discussion. Today’s Chat It Up question is: Can exes be friends?

You can vote in the poll, add your own answers, or leave a comment below.


Dying to Live by Harmonie Reigns

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dyingtolivePublisher/Date:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Mar. 2013
Genre(s):  Abuse, Drama, Romance
Pages:  224
Website:  http://harmoniereigns.wix.com/harmonie#!

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Why is it that everyone can see the signs but you? Or do you see and ignore the red flags?

Is it cute how she dotes on you, asks you when you’ll be home, always wants to know your constant whereabouts? Or is it suffocating but you don’t know the way out?

Can she make love to you like no other, toe-tingling, mind-blowing sex that tells you just how much she loves you? Or is that just the calm before the storm, or it’s to make up for the blows she sent to your face earlier?

It was all those things and more for Naomi Harris in DYING TO LIVE,  the newest novel from Harmonie Reigns. Naomi is pursued by the charming Sheena at the party of one of best friends, and soon after is enamored of the way she’s treated by the soft stud in the beginning of their relationship. (What she should have done was take stock of how pushy Sheena was in pursuing her at the party.)

Of course, Sheena has her game-face on, sending flowers, cards, candy and jewelry to her office, making Naomi the envy of her friends. It was charming how attentive Sheena is, popping up at work to take her to lunch or to see Naomi’s beautiful face, but Naomi begins to feel suffocated by the attention. And she realizes she’s spending less and less time with her loved ones, her family and group of five best friends: Lynzi, Tina, Star, Dena, and Zela.

Of the five, Zela is one who recognizes Naomi’s predicament and knows something ain’t right with Sheena. She sees the signs of an abusive relationship, because she’s been there. Naomi knows it, too, but writes off Sheena’s behavior as “caring.” “She just doesn’t want to lose me.” “Maybe I was wrong.” Anything to justify Sheena’s atrocious behavior.

Yet after cracked ribs, a broken nose and being cheated on, Naomi finally has enough — and that’s when the real game begins for Sheena. She always told Naomi that if she couldn’t have her, no one else will. And she means it. Which also means that Naomi is in a fight to get her life back, even if she has to take one in the process.

Dying to Live is a very involved book, one that portrays the fallout of an abusive relationship and what it does not only to a woman’s pyche, but how it affects the woman’s family and friends. Naomi is lucky she has a big support system, as some battered women do not. Naomi’s friends, who each have a personality all her own, added life to a story made somber by the dark subject matter. Dying can be a tad melodramatic at times and the writing could be tighter, but Reigns deftly details the emotions and thoughts of a battered woman trying to put her life back together.

Reviewed July 2013


Full Circle by Skyy

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Publisher/Date:  Urban Books, May 2013
Genre(s):  Romance, Drama
Pages:  354
Website:  http://www.simplyskyy.com

Rating: ★★★★★ 

This is what happened when I opened my mailbox to find FULL CIRCLE waiting there…

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Why the jig? Because Full Circle is the fitting end of a series that began with three best friends – Denise, Cooley, and Carmen – at Freedom University, and finalizes the family they’ve made with Lena, Misha and Nic. What happened in the three previous books – Choices, Consequences and Crossroads – comes completely together in Full Circle and is so good it’s worth the back-and-forth these characters experience page after page.

At first reading, it seems as if everybody is living in the past. Lena, mother to 4-year-old Bria, can’t help thinking about the what-ifs with Denise, only because she’s single and hasn’t had a relationship since Crossroads‘ Terrin. Seeing Denise everywhere – on TV, in movies, on gossip blogs with her girlfriend Farih – only furthers the helplessness she feels about her mundane life. Thus the pining begins…

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Denise, the once-college basketball star, is rising actress in New York and also a part of a powerful lesbian couple with girlfriend/model Farih. Dubbed the black Portia and Ellen, their life appears magical, but behind the scenes, Farih is obsessed with reviving her waning career at Denise’s expense. All Farih cares about is being back on top, and it leaves Denise time to wonder why she and Lena couldn’t make it work. Seeing Lena in Atlanta brings those feelings back, and again they circle around one another without landing the plane…

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Meanwhile, Cooley is still on the grind as manager to both Denise and Sahara, her long-time girlfriend. Cooley has settled into a great relationship with Sahara, something we never could have predicted based on Cooley’s playa mentality three books ago in Choices. Cooley thinks Sahara is the best thing since sliced bread, and would give her just about anything – her heart included. So when something sinister happens to test Cooley’s love, we find out whether Cooley slips back into her trademark way of using sex as a band aid, or trusts that being in love can help you get over the hurt. Let’s just say the growth from Choices Cooley to Full Circle Cooley is tremendous. She’s not the same, and though she slips, she never falls. Skyy truly shows Cooley’s growth as a character.

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Things get more complicated when Misha is back in the picture. Cooley’s first girlfriend, the first one she ever gave her heart to, is back hanging with the Freedom University crew, still married with a husband and son. There are so many things she had to give up to be married – her education, her career, her dreams, lesbian pussy – that she wonders if it’s all worth it. Her husband is stifling her in the worst way, but this is the life she wanted when she left Cooley, right? Right?

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Back in Memphis, Carmen is set to walk down the aisle to Nic, her hardworking stud. They’ve settled into domesticity, and along with her tedious job as a teacher, Carmen finds her life boring as compared to Denise and Cooley’s fast-paced, sumptuous careers in entertainment. They can afford things Nic can’t, and though she would never trade Nic for anything, her envy could ruin her impending nuptials. All she wants is the fairytale wedding…

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I truly enjoyed this book. Full Circle is just a fun, thoughtful read. It’s a page-turner, and definitely something that will get readers talking. The writing, though slack in parts, is some of the best Skyy’s done.

In this final book, she gives readers what they wanted, and if you’re a true fan of Skyy, Full Circle is a fitting end to a series you’ve followed for six years. Skyy built characters we love for better or worse. Despite their many faults, we’ve trailed from undergraduates to grown women, seen their mistakes, yelled at them when they just couldn’t get it right (yes you, Lena!), cussed Cooley every which way, and shed a tear when love brought them together (here’s looking at you, Carmen & Nic). You can’t ask for much better than that.

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I wonder what characters Skyy will create next. She’s got a hard act to follow, but I think she can do it.

Reviewed June 2013

all gifs from mariahgifaday.tumblr.com


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


Broken in Soft Places by Fiona Zedde

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brokeninsoftplacesPublisher/Date:  Bold Stroke Books, May 2013
Genre:  Bisexual, Romance, Drama
Pages:  264
Website:  http://www.fionazedde.com

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Leave it to Fiona Zedde to come up with a tantalizing theme for her latest book – polyamory – a subject that black folks might do, but don’t talk candidly about. Being a part of a couple that openly allows the other to have sex with someone outside their relationship is usually left to whispered conversations. Zedde shows us in BROKEN IN SOFT PLACES that it’s not only possible, but there may be a reason why people engage in or stay away from this type of coupling.

Sara Chambers could never resist the enigmatic Rille Thompson since their first meeting at a college party, Sara as an innocent freshman to senior Rille’s big-lesbian-on-campus status.  Sara spent a good amount of time wishing Rille could be hers only, however, Rille resisted being tied down to anything singular in nature, including her lovers – be they female or male. Sara and Rille attempted to find freedom in each other for different reasons, but their feverish connection proves combustible right before Rille graduates.

Fast forward to present day, and the pair found their way back to each other, despite the many wounds Rille inflicted on Sara way back when. Much hasn’t changed, except now Sara is an attorney and Rille is a physics professor. And they have someone else occupying their bed. A man named Steven.

Sara never liked this arrangement from the start, and it weighs on her, never having Rille to herself, a situation Sara has allowed since their college days. The good thing is Sara recognizes why she stays with Rille, a woman with no self-control, and why being with Rille makes her feel somehow feel whole. Or does it? Can she untangle herself from Rille’s dominance as she allows monogamy to pass her by? Will she keep allowing her heart to be baby-sat by a woman someone who doesn’t know what love is?

Layers upon layers disintegrate the more you get to know the people in Broken in Soft Places. I can’t say enough about the flawless writing Zedde endows the reader, words coming together seamlessly and alluringly like Zedde knows how to do. She also dug deep in her portrayal of the war-torn Sara and Steven, and to a smaller extent, Rille. *sigh* Rille is so callous and as I read, she just got under my skin (the sign of a good character). I couldn’t stand how she treated Sara, and really anyone who stood in the way of her pleasure principle (Freud would have a field day with her on his couch). Yet, I did feel some sympathy for her that she couldn’t open up herself to love. And frustrated that Sara couldn’t find the love she wanted and deserved.

Reviewed June 2013


 5 Quick Questions for Fiona Zedde about Broken in Soft Places5qqlogo

Polyamory is such a taboo subject in the black community. And you’ve written Broken In Soft Places, such an invasive book about it. What was your motivation? Is it a taboo subject? I didn’t realize that. I know it’s not overtly accepted in most mainstream spaces but I think many people live it. There are women who know about and accept their wife or husband’s other lover. Couples that regularly have threesomes or identify as swingers. Groups of friends with benefits. My motivation for writing Broken In Soft Places as I did came from needing to talk about one of the elephants in the room; something we all know about but seldom explore in fiction. These polyamorous relationships exist but discussing the truth around what happens with the people involved is what can be considered taboo.

What do you say to readers who are surprised by the three-way relations in your novel? That’s a good question. I’ve already had readers express a certain amount of shock by the plot and characters of the novel. My response is that I wanted to write something different, true and challenging. I don’t exactly think of it as controversial, but it could be thought-provoking. I’ll always write lesbian characters (like Sara) but their sexual relationships may not always be monogamous or even easily defined by the constructs of accepted social behavior. And their stories, just like in real life, may not end as expected.

Sara is a fractured soul and Rille is a free spirit if I’ve ever seen one. What did it take to write both characters who seem polar opposites? I started off writing about Sara and all the pain she was suffering. And it was through her “broken” spirit that Rille’s character was born. I wondered what type of woman would Sara be attracted to and why? When the answer came to me, it wasn’t about how this woman would look and identify, but about her attitude in the world. This attitude is what Sara wants to embrace for herself. She desires freedom. She wishes she didn’t care what the world thinks. She wants to be stronger. Rille is the embodiment of all these yearnings.

Have you ever been in a poly relationship? No, I haven’t. I’ve been approached about being in one; it isn’t for me.

If you could have a threesome with any celebrities, whom would they be? Michelle Rodriguez and Eve, but Michelle would have to be tied up. I’ve heard she gets violent.


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


My Woman His Wife 3 by Anna J.

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mywomanhiswife3Publisher/Date:  Urban Books, Oct. 2012
Genre:  Erotica
Pages:  288
Website:  http://www.allthingsannaj.com

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

You would think four years was long enough to get over a threesome almost ruining your marriage, but not so for Jasmine and James Cinque. They lived through Monica’s games in My Woman His Wife and The Aftermath, and four years later, Monica’s mischievous ass has returned to Philly with a purpose in MY WOMAN HIS WIFE 3 by Anna J.

After she wreaked havoc on James and Jasmine’s household, became pregnant by James, and left the child with the couple to raise, Monica relocated to Atlanta to start fresh. Launching a few companies and a career as a successful artist, something still nags at her, and she decides to visit Philly to check in on things, most especially her son.

Monica arrives in the nick of time, because just as her plane touches down, tragedy has struck the Cinques. In a weird sort of way, she might be just what the Cinques need to put their marriage back on track – despite the temptation she poses to them.

But Monica has more than just lingering feelings to worry about. All the dirt she’s done in the past is catching up with her. Her enemies know she’s in town, and some of them want vengeance.

Can Monica handle her business and escape back to the ATL? Or does life have other plans for her?

If you enjoyed Anna J.’s first two novels about Monica, you’ll enjoy My Woman His Wife 3. It stays true to the previous novels, adding a few twists, and the sex is just like Anna J. knows how to do.

Reviewed December 2012


Girl in the Mirror by Alix B. Golden (Aug. 2012 Pick of the Month)

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Publisher/Date:  I Bleed Ink Publishing, Aug. 2012
Genre:  Romance
Pages:   204
Website:  http://www.alixbgolden.com

Rating: ★★★★½ 

You can’t run from your past, and you certainly can’t run from the GIRL IN THE MIRROR.

While the prequel to this novel, Girl, Shattered, is available now, Mirror is its full-length story from blogger turned book author Alix B. Golden with many layers – a surprise love, suspense, drama, parental woes – yet the center of them is Christen Calhoun. The by-day bank teller is uninspired by her job and only finds comfort in her camera; it doesn’t pay the bills, and it doesn’t suit her father’s dreams for her.

Neither does dating women. Especially the ones Christen involves herself with. Still reeling from her last burn with thieving ass Alicia, she decides a no-strings attached relationship is exactly what she needs in Kam, a writer she meets online with a girlfriend. Christen sees nothing wrong with the two having a fling. At least that’s how it begins. It ends just as badly.

*girl in the mirror shakes her head*

Christen could never tell her Pops about these dead-end hookups. Since a young girl, it’s always been just the two of them after her mother’s passing. He never understood her decisions – staying in Savannah after graduation instead of returning to Atlanta, why she couldn’t find a man and make him a “Grandpappy” – nevertheless he did want to see her happy.

The problem is Christen can’t please herself. She suits her personality to the women she dates, and every bad romance she gets her further away from whom she is. When she looks in the mirror, the truth stares back, but then loneliness sets in and fools her heart into thinking it’s love.

It’s only when the worst imaginable happens that Christen returns home to find the love she needs – and makes the girl in mirror finally smile back.

Golden’s Girl in the Mirror shines. What I liked most about Mirror is its dimensionality. The storyline took several twists and turns, tying nicely to make an enjoyable novel. In Christen, you see a woman with so much potential go from settling to avoid being alone to realizing her true reflection is what’s important.

Reviewed August 2012


Midtown by Alix B. Golden

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Publisher/Date:  I Bleed Ink Publishing, June 2012
Genre:  Romance
Website:  http://www.alixbgolden.com

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

MIDTOWN, ATLANTA — Four friends sharing a house in the gay-friendly, upwardly mobile area of downtown Atlanta contend with love and life and drama in this entertaining book by popular blogger Alix B. Golden.

You should know Golden from A Brown Girl Gone Gay (and if you haven’t, you should). There, she writes about her Southern lesbian lifestyle with humor and flair, and her first novel is no different.

Midtown follows four lesbians under one roof, so you know that means — drama.

But not in a scandalous way (well, a little scandal). Ed, Ash, Ki and Brie became best friends while attending Florida A&M University, better known as FAMU, who got into plenty of mischief at the school.

Now as cohabitating adults, the four are living, working, and sleeping together (literally and figuratively). That’s where the drama comes in.

Ed can’t stop her woman, Taylor, from being unfaithful, despite giving her a manager’s position in her bookstore.  Ki and Brie can’t seem to settle down and find the right women, but decide to gain a cuddle buddy in each other. Rounding out the crew is Ash, the straight friend, back into town and ready to declare her newfound sexuality, and hopes they accept her.

Between these women is an unbreakable friendship, but their romantic connections are definitely complicated.

Golden’s Midtown is a crazy ride in a fast car — in a good way. The characters are appealing, and feel like women you might have known during your undergrad years — and you’d still hang out with them now.

Reviewed July 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


Chaos by Sherry Michelle

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chaosPublisher/Date:  AuthorHouse, Mar. 2011
Genre:  Romance
Pages:  220

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Chaos is living in this dreadful economy.

Chaos is getting divorced after only 72 days (yes, I’m speaking to you, Kim Kardashian).

CHAOS is also the debut novel from Sherry Michelle, which follows protagonist Danielle Cyrus, a Miami marketing manager in love with her married boyfriend. Talk about chaos.

She settles for a convenient affair with boyfriend Malik, a powerful businessman with serious clout, bank, and a naïve wife. Both get what they want from this illicit arrangement, but Danielle begins to question herself and their relationship after they have a ménage a trios with Ariel, a night that was supposed to be a one-time deal.

The way Danielle feels at the touch of Ariel’s hand and lips coaxes her for more. Malik can no longer satisfy her the way a woman can. Coming to terms with her newfound sexuality, she leaves her boyfriend and begins a new relationship with Lexy, who caters to her body and mind.

Then Danielle discovers she’s pregnant with Malik’s baby. Once telling him the news, Malik demands Danielle abort their child. After much thought, she realizes her baby is the most important person in her life. But her life is soon threatened when Malik learns his ex is still pregnant.

Danielle then has to resort to desperate measures to protect her unborn child.

Chaos is drama-packed, from adultery to bisexuality to crazy baby daddy woes. And some of it works; some of it doesn’t. The story is fast, but the ending left me cold. Also, Danielle as a character was very selfish for most of the book; her relationships with women seemed one-sided and shallow. It appears she only changes with the conception of her child. And her classifying her transsexual friend as not “natural, God made beauty”—not cool at all.

Reviewed January 2012


Crossroads by Skyy

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crossroadsskyyPublisher/Date:  Urban Books, Jan. 2012
Genre:  Romance
Pages:  418
Website:  www.simplyskyy.com

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

CROSSROADS, indeed!

The cast of Skyy’s much-acclaimed series featuring Denise, Lena and Cooley is back for another episode of love and drama. We’ve been with them through undergrad beginnings in Choices, seen their Consequences unfold as upperclassmen, and now, Crossroads sees them travel paths in the real world – both joyous and painful – to learn just how difficult adulthood is.

After eagerly reading, it’s hard to write this review without giving everything away, but I’ll try. 🙂

Let’s begin with Denise. After graduating from Freedom University, she’s excited to sign with the WNBA’s New York Liberty, but a snag threatens Denise’s career before it begins, and it crumbles her. Feeling as if years of discipline, hard work and self-sacrifice have been in vain, she has to rethink what she wants for her life. While Denise tries to rebound, this setback makes her think maybe she should let go of some other dreams, namely Lena.

Speaking of Lena, last we saw of her, she was pregnant from Grizzlies star hubby Brandon Redding – and still in love with Denise. With her mind made up, Lena finally decides to get her woman. Yet seeing Denise is far from the welcome home she expected. Lena realizes from her parents, to Brandon then Denise, she’s never completely been on her own. Is it time to give up on Denise and figure out exactly what she wants?

And Cooley. The scarred stud hasn’t opened her heart since Misha’s betrayal. No worries, though. Her new job as an A&R rep at an Atlanta record label will keep her mind occupied and help get her swag back. Cooley is paired to promote rising R&B songstress Sahara, whose curves are dangerous temptations. Wisely, Cooley knows business shouldn’t mix with pleasure. Can Cooley resist, especially when Sahara can see past her damaged heart?

Y’all, this is just the tip of the iceberg, because Crossroads delves into much more. You’ll see the characters in a different light, along with new love interests and tests they have to overcome. Lena, Denise, Cooley and even Carmen (in a smaller role) have truly grown up.

That’s not to say the women don’t have their moments: Cooley still stumbles when things don’t go her way; Lena is indecisive at best; and Denise isn’t always aware of her worth.

Whatever shortcomings Crossroads has – grammatical errors, places where the writing could have been stronger – the engaging storyline more than made up for it. What I loved most was the Denise-Lena love story that kept me on edge, rooting for the pair at times and railing against them at others.

I will say this: it may be wishful thinking, but Lena and Denise’s chapter doesn’t seem over.

We’ll just have to wait for what Skyy has planned next.

Reviewed January 2012