Surrender by Monique B. T. Thomas

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surrender2Publisher/Date:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, June 2013
Genre(s):  Romance, Mature Lesbians, Workplace Romance
Pages:  328
Website:  http://authormoniquebeingtruethonas.
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Rating: ★★★★☆ 

SURRENDER: TWO HEARTS AND A RAINBOW SERIES (BOOK 1) reminds me of the Harlequin romance novels I used to read sneakily under the covers at night when I was nine years old: swoon-worthy and full of feels.

That’s not to say that Surrender is a saccharine love story. It has the mature relationships and wisdom expected from Monique B. T. Thomas, the author of several titles including Love Relived and In its Rawest Form. In the start of a new series, Surrender offers workplace romance, criminal mischief, and a charming family storyline. Yet as in all her previous novels, the biggest draw is the chemistry between the main love interests, in this particular case, Robyn Sterling and Kenya Martin.

Robyn and Kenya serve two different stations in Pens & Things. Robyn is the CFO in the office supply company her great-grandfather built during the 1950s, now run by her father. While she toils at keeping the family business in the black, her love life is about avoiding relationships at all costs; the only long-term commitment Robyn values is to Pens & Things. So when the discovery of financial mismanagement in one of its stores launches Robyn, at her father’s request, into a scheme to save Pen & Ink’s bottom line, she’s eager to unearth the root of the store’s issues and get back to her normal routine. That goes awry once she meets Kenya.

A petite, dark-skinned lovely, Kenya is the overnight manager at the store Robyn’s supposed take over. Her job, which she takes seriously, is to handle the early morning deliveries and ensure stock is in place before the shop opens. Untouched by love also, Kenya is a respectful, dedicated and strong-willed worker, but finds herself flustered by Robyn – first by her gruff demeanor, then by her evident attraction to the commanding woman.

This is what sets everything – Robyn’s line of attack, a company cover up, and most importantly Robyn and Kenya’s love affair – into motion, a plot that Thomas handles so swiftly that it keeps the pages flowing.

Again, the best part is the romance brewing between the Pen & Ink employees. Two women who grew up in separate worlds – Robyn with a trust fund, Kenya in a foster home – both not expecting much from love, and finding what they needed in each other. It’s just an enjoyable love story that’s believable and great to immerse yourself in.

The supporting characters, most especially Robyn’s family members, are happy additions to the story. That’s also one of Thomas’ strengths: creating characters that are flawed but endearing.

There are some faults to Surrender – the editing could use work, the ending does wrap up too quickly – but honestly, I can’t wait to see where Part Two in the Two Hearts and a Rainbow series goes. If it’s just as engrossing as this one, I’ll be back to curling up on my couch with a good book.

[rating-report]

Reviewed November 2014

About Monique ‘Being True’ Thomas

Monique ‘Being True’ Thomas is a native New Yorker who has been in love with the written word since the third grade. At the age of fourteen she was a teen journalist for youth magazine, FCYU, writing featured articles about the trials and triumphs of youth in the New York foster care system.

She currently has 7 books available: Forever Tangled; Volume One: a collection of poems and short stories from the heart and between the thighs; Forever Tangled Volume II: Caught in the sheets of Emotion; Love Relived; In Its Rawest Form; Notes of Seduction; An Unexpected Gift; Feeling for the Wall.

Although Thomas began with a flair for writing short stories based on mystery and murder plots, she currently writes romance and erotica for all those lovers of love and temptresses of lust. She has also been a featured radio host on Lesbian Memoirs blog Talk radio show.

Thomas has been featured in lesbian anthologies Life, Love, Lust 2011 and Life, Love, Lust 2012 published by LM Inc. She was also a featured poet in Her Voice also published by LM Inc.


Pulling Me Back by GStarr

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pullingmebackPublisher/Date:  UrbanL Publishing LLC, Aug. 2009
Genre(s):  Romance, Drama
Pages:  261
Website:  http://www.urbanlpublishing.com

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

There’s always a fine line in friendships between women, a boundary that when crossed the pair is never the same again. That’s the invisible line Bre Morgan and Jordan Powers find themselves straddling when they become lovers in GStarr’s PULLING ME BACK.

The debut novel from UrbanL Publishing, run by authors V. Bella and GStarr, is a dramatic page-turner. Bre and Jordan never thought they’d end up with each other, especially since Bre is in love with a man at the start of the novel. Spoiled and sheltered, Bre oversees her father’s successful real estate firm and pretty much gets whatever she wants – except a commitment from her always-absent boyfriend, Sean. Dating for four years, they only see each other three times a month supposedly because of his job. Their fly-by-night relationship doesn’t exactly fit into Bre’s plans of being married with kids – she’s 33 – and his infrequent visits make her wonder what Sean is up to when he’s not with her.

Jordan, on the other hand, is 35 and avoids commitment like a trip to the gynecologist. While she doesn’t call herself a playa per se, her motto is “to satisfy yourself…first.” She can pull just about any woman, but when the thrill is gone, Jordan simply moves on to the next. Mya is her latest conquest, but the long-distance nature of their relationship is tedious, especially when she has eye candy like Bre to hang out with: perfect petite figure, long luxurious hair, small apple bottom ass.

The friends both believe they shouldn’t cross that line, but it happens one night not so unexpectedly. The sexual tension building between Bre and Jordan came together so smoothly that it scares both women. Jordan feels herself falling in love, and Bre is just trying to deal with being intimate with a woman for the first time. Is she a lesbian? What does all this mean? She already has enough to worry about with her family falling apart at the seams.

While it was inevitable that their friendship could translate into a romance, no one but GStarr could have predicted how volatile it would become. Secondary characters weave their way into Pulling Me Back in the most interesting fashion, and drama ensues. That alone makes GStarr’s first novel unforgettable.  I was drawn into the “will-they or won’t they” commotion between Jordan and Bre, and the sex scenes are sizzling.

Pulling Me Back will reel you in – and keep you hooked for pages on end.

Reviewed August 2010