When I Was Your Girlfriend by Nikki Harmon

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wheniwasyourgirlfriendPublisher/Date:  Mt. Airy Girl Press; Jan. 2016
Genre:  Romance
Pages: 214
Website:  http://mtairygirlpress.weebly.com/

Rating: ★★★★½ 

How can you be sure that your first love wasn’t your true love? Dee Armstrong leads a seemingly charmed life. She has a successful midwifery practice, a supportive family, and an exciting romantic life. But when Dee mistakenly believes she will have to confront her first love and first heartbreak, Candace, it sends her tumbling back into her memories to re-live the terrifying and exhilarating joy of being a teenager in love … with another girl. Suddenly convinced that Candace was her one true love, Dee sets off on a tumultuous cross country journey to find her in hopes of renewing their relationship. Her quest leads to some serious soul searching and the realization that maybe love wasn’t the only thing that she lost all those years ago.

sistahspicklogoWHEN I WAS YOUR GIRLFRIEND by Nikki Harmon is a rich romance tinged with nostalgia, a refreshing story about a woman looking for her first love.

Dee Armstrong recognizes the good things in her life: a rewarding career as a midwife in a thriving Philadelphia practice; co-workers and clients she adores; family and friends who provide support and pull no punches when it comes to advice.

The only thing to give Dee pause is her girlfriend, Pepper. While Pepper is primed to take their relationship to the next level after six months, Dee is not sure this is where she wants to be. This hesitancy gives way to thinking about all the women she’s been with, and the only one woman that she could ever say she was in love with: her high school sweetheart, Candace.

For 31-year-old Dee, high school was a while ago. Thoughts about a woman whom you haven’t talked to since breaking up in your senior year would be just that: notions about where she is now, whether she’s married or single, or has children; if she ever thinks about you after all this time. Yet Dee takes this to a new level and tries to track down the one who got away. Interspersed with this journey to the past that includes a road trip, cross-country flights and internet detective work, Dee is reliving the rise and fall of her young love with Candace, a dimension that adds depth to the story.

I really enjoyed this jaunt Harmon took me on with Dee because she’s a likable character, even when she’s being a little selfish and a tad presumptuous in her love scavenger hunt. Ultimately, she has a great heart, and her friends, Viv especially, made this book so easy to fall into. I also loved the inside look Harmon offers in Dee’s occupation as a midwife, how passionate she is about her patients and the new lives she facilitates into the world.

The biggest part of this story – the mystery of Candace – is what I gravitated toward. I mean, there are times when I was cautious about what she would find, but I had to know, just like Dee, what happened to her former love.

Harmon’s writing is well done; her descriptions of Philadelphia (or wherever else Dee landed), made me feel as if I were there. However, I feel the pacing of the novel could be better; at times there are big jumps from days to weeks that seemed a little incongruent. There was also one plotline involving one of her clients that could have been left out because it added nothing to the story. As far as the ending, all I can say is I’m happy, but I wonder what will happen next.

When I Was Your Girlfriend is a romance I indulged myself in over a weekend because who doesn’t want to know where her first love is? Read this story, and it just might make you look her up on Facebook. Just maybe.

Reviewed April 2016

Read the Sistahs Pick Interview with Nikki Harmon

About Nikki Harmon

Nikki Harmon, an alumna of The Philadelphia High School for Girls, Wesleyan University and Temple University, has always pursued academic challenges. However, cursed with an overabundance of curiosity, she chose a creative lifestyle as a way to indulge her many interests. As a filmmaker, television producer and a teacher of the aforementioned, she gets to spend her days weaving stories and images together and trying to make sense of it all.

Writing her first novel began as a personal challenge, specifically, the NaNoWriMo write 50,000 words in a month challenge. And so, without any training or planning at all, she did. And out came a book. Despite the guilty pleasure that came with ignoring her three children that month, she didn’t write again for three years. Then, with the encouragement of friends, she decided to dig the book out, make it better and hope somebody else would enjoy reading it as much as she enjoyed writing it.

Having ruined her eyes at a young age reading Stephen King by flashlight, it is only fitting that this Philly native finally come full circle to squint at her own scratchings on the page. Here is one truth learned ….it takes much longer to write a book than it does to read one, especially when one has dropped out of typing class in high school.


Goslyn County by A.M. McKnight

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Publisher/Date:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Nov. 2015
Genre(s):  Mystery, Romance, Crime
Pages:  320
Website: https://ammcknight.wordpress.com/

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

 

A mostly black community with its roots in farming, Goslyn, Virginia lay just south of the State’s Capital. The once small, close-knit county had grown rapidly in the past two decades and boasted a population of just over fifty thousand. But the county’s crime stats had grown as well, and the latest offenses included several break-ins and rumors of a meth lab. Time had brought many changes, and many of the longtime folks of Goslyn no longer recognized their community and longed for days gone by. Goslyn PD Detective Olivia “Ollie” Winston loves her family and friends and shows it through her sense of humor. Just like her neighbors, she too worries about the recent events, and it’s her job to find out who’s behind the crime spree. While investigating three burglaries, Olivia meets IRS Special Agent Maureen Jeffries who is pursuing a tax fraud suspect. Their cases are connected, and both soon discover they have much in common, personally and professionally. 

Last year, I was really into cozy mysteries. Quick and satisfying reads, I was enamored by the kind of mysteries set in sleepy towns where everyone knows your name, and the crimes always wrapped up nicely.

That’s why I was so drawn to GOSLYN COUNTY by A.M. McKnight, a story set in a predominantly black community in Virginia. This mystery-romance featuring detective Olivia “Ollie” Winston finds her trying to unravel the recent break-in of a local tax filing office and the theft of its customers’ personal information. Ollie is good at what she does – rising from beat officer to detective within 10 years – but her small town’s department doesn’t have the technological capability to track down the offenders; that’s where Ollie depends on best friend, Pat Henley-Rice, owner of an IT service provider, to assist in the case. Down with each other like four flat tires since elementary school, Ollie and Pat have this friendship that’s more like sisters, and Pat is refreshingly funny.

Ollie also has help from the feds in this criminal matter, namely IRS special agent Maureen Jeffries, who is investigating a tax fraud case in nearby Atlanta that could be related to Ollie’s break-in. When the two begin comparing information is when *ta-da* sparks begin to fly. Shy around each other at first, the professionals slowly cultivate a relationship with lunches and long conversations. Everything about it is old-fashioned, but not stuffy, and it’s a grown-woman romance.

To tell the truth, the entirety of Goslyn County is grown-folk relating to each other. The richness of the town and the characters are what really drew me in. Every chapter is a revolving look into why people do what they do, including the criminals themselves. We get to know why Ollie and Maureen are hesitant about love, and why Ollie should really watch her back when it comes to her job. That’s one of the things what A.M. McKnight does best with this novel.

Like with any mystery revolving around detectives, the behind-the-scenes of an investigation is important. I got that message clearly in Goslyn County. McKnight places you there, right along with Ollie and Maureen as they both chases leads separately and together. While I think the ending did wrap up a little too quickly, the ride – and the exciting car chase – is what’s important.

I’m glad McKnight is planning a sequel, because I’m raring to see what else little ole Goslyn County can cook up next.

Reviewed March 2016

About A.M. McKnight

A.M. McKnight grew up in the south and practices law as a first profession. She decided to try her hand at writing after getting hooked on reading lesbian crime and romance novels.


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.
wordpress.com

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.


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.


The Highest Price for Passion by Laurinda D. Brown (Oct. 2008 Pick of the Month)

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Publisher/Date:  Strebor, Aug. 2008
Genre(s):  Historical Fiction, Romance
Pages:  272
Website:  http://www.ldbrownbooks.com

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

The past comes back to haunt in Laurinda D. Brown’s fifth solo title, THE HIGHEST PRICE FOR PASSION. Beginning in the volatile pre-Civil War era, her latest novel follows illicit exploits of slaves and masters as their lives intersect in the most perilous ways. Several characters narrate the story filled with infatuations and horrors that arise during a time when blacks were no more than tortured servants for white masters.

The fiery tale begins from the eyes of Amelia, a slave who recounts her life and the terror she endured escaping her master. Amelia, born from a white mother and slave, grew up knowing she wasn’t like the other workers around her. Yet because of the time and place she inhabited, she had to keep the appearance of being like the other black folks around her. One night her lineage is discovered, and it eventually leads to her disappearance.

But Amelia’s roots trace back far before her birth, tied to a shaky family tree with unspeakable secrets. Passion explores her heritage from her descendents and to a host of other characters from three generations ago – ones whose desires lead them to destructive behavior. There’s Massa Gray, who after years of rumors, can’t deny his attraction to the male form, including his own slaves; McKinley Wellsworth, whose notoriety as a hard-nosed master, is essentially a product of his tortured upbringing; and then there’s her own father, Josiah, whose attraction for Amelia’s mother couldn’t be contained and produced a love child he had to abandon.

Amelia, as she tells her life story, is aware of the passions that consume those around her, including her master and mistress. Both have strong connections to the beautiful slave, and she’s treated somewhat better than other blacks on the plantation. But Amelia knows her destiny and that there’s something more out there for her than a life of servitude.

Brown has a tackled a novel with historical significance with Passion, a book worlds apart from the contemporary novels she’s written such as Fire & Brimstone, UnderCover,Walk Like a Man and Strapped. The drama is still there, only from an earlier time and place. Brown has done her research with this story, and offers something different for black lesbian readers with Passion, a tale we should read not only for its compelling subject matter, but so that we can gain perspective with how far our race has come.

Reviewed October 2008


Choices by Skyy (Feb. 2008 Pick of the Month)

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Publisher/Date:  Kings Crossing Publishing, Aug. 2007
Genre(s):  Romance, College Life
Pages:  255
Website:  http://www.simplyskyy.com

Rating: ★★★★★ 

It truly is a “different world” from where you come from – nothing is more evident than in author Skyy’s debut novel, CHOICES, a spellbinding story of four friends at a HBCU navigating lesbian life.

Hearts are broken, friendships are tested, and lessons are learned by the richly-drawn characters who come to life from the very first chapter. More like family, Denise, Cooley and Carmen are out lesbians on campus and best friends aiding each other through love and life; adding Lena, the sexy new roommate of Denise, only enhances their friendships.

Lena is the new girl on campus. Her heart belongs to Brandon, the star of the men’s basketball team. That, combined with her wealthy background, makes her the most envied girl on campus, especially since she’s set to be the wife of a future NBA superstar. Despite that, Lena finds something intriguing about the tomboy she shares a room with – and her curiosity about Denise begins to get the better of her.

Denise is the unattainable stud athlete, with mad skills on and off the court. Her heart has been closed since her last failed relationship – until she walks into her dorm room the first day of school and discovers Lena unpacking. While noticing her curvaceous form, Denise soon realizes Lena is a remarkable woman with a good heart, and can’t help but fall hard for the beauty. It’s a move she’s not sure she wants to make.

Completely opposite of Denise is Cooley, the smooth player of the bunch, the stud who’s managed to have any woman – gay or straight – that she sets her sights on. Christened as “Killa Cap” for her sexual prowess, Cooley has played more games with females than Milton Bradley. One woman, however, doesn’t seem to take no for an answer and makes her life a living hell, possibly ruining Cooley’s one chance at a real relationship.

Tired of the “big girl” blues, Carmen takes hold of her life and drops enough dress sizes to be a dime. Carmen figures losing the weight will help her ex see her in a new light, but she still can’t shed the self-esteem issues that plague her. Will Carmen finally find someone to accept her for whom she is, and even better, learn to love herself?

Skyy’s Choices amounts to a story with heart. The author has taken the black college experience and made it her own – lesbian style. Classes, parties, sororities…all of it creates a fresh story that hasn’t been done this well in black lesbian novels. Bravo, Skyy!

Now where’s the sequel – cause you can’t leave me hangin’.

Reviewed February 2008


You Make Me Wanna by Nikki Rashan (Jan. 2006 Pick of the Month)

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Publisher/Date:  iUniverse, Nov. 2005
Genre:  Romance
Pages:  202
Website:  http://www.nikkirashan.com

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Kyla, Kyla, Kyla.

The naïve heroine from Nikki Rashan’s Double Pleasure Double Pain is back in YOU MAKE ME WANNA, this time armed with the truth about who she is. This sequel picks up where Kyla left off, trying to decide between the man she is to marry and the woman who stole her heart. When she finally does choose, Kyla has lost them both, and instead heads to Atlanta with out-cousin David to begin her newly-minted lesbian life.

In “the gay Mecca of the South,” Kyla throws herself in numerous sexual affairs with women, avoiding at all costs a deeper connection. She’s still holding on to the hurt she felt from her two previous relationships that went sour. It prevents her from giving herself completely to another woman, afraid to feel any type of pain again.

Until she meets Asia, the exotic beauty Kyla spies one afternoon. Enraptured by her luxurious locks and ebony complexion, Kyla wants to meet this woman and does after a set up by David’s boyfriend, Marlon. And just one meeting with Asia tells Kyla that she’s the one. They begin a courtship, and Kyla has to deal with letting go of her past to commit to her future. Their relationship is built slowly, as Asia’s been hurt, as well, but their love for each other heals the wounds.

You Make Me Wanna definitely keeps your attention. Kyla is an engaging character who has an honest voice. You will journey with her through love at first sight and on her way to happily ever after. The secondary characters — David, Marlon, and friend Nakia – added something extra to the tale, as the three characters deal with their own issues.

Rashan wraps up the Kyla saga very well, settling all unanswered questions from the first book, and manages to make Kyla a character to remember. She feels like an old friend who’s coming back to catch you up on her life…and you’re hanging on to every word.

Reviewed January 2006