The EXchange by Nikki Rashan

Posted on

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.


Living With 3 Strikes Against Me: Life Through My Eyes as Black, Female and Gay by Ericka K. F. Simpson

Posted on

livingwith3strikeslesbianrealife

 

 

 

 

Publisher/Date:  Amazon Digital Services, Inc., Aug. 2012
Genre:  Lesbian Real Life
Pages:  149
Website:  http://www.ekfsimpson.com

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

After authoring countless novels, such as the outstanding I Am Your Sister, Ericka K. F. Simpson has finally written her own life story in LIVING WITH 3 STRIKES: LIFE THROUGH MY EYES AS BLACK, FEMALE AND GAY.

The messages Simpson imparts descend from her reactions and responses to life experiences. She started writing Living when she was 23 and was still learning her way in the world. Now she’s summoned the courage and confidence to be herself and share this knowledge with others.

Simpson has a testimony. Growing up in a religious household, it didn’t feel right having crushes on girls. She tried to deny it by dating guys, but it was a losing battle. What she felt was real. Denying it and carrying the pain literally made her sick, developing stage 3 colon cancer; stress and anger from trying to please others festered into a tumor that could have killed her. Only then did Simpson begin to live for herself.

Living is divided into seven categories, ones that talk about her early life, love, women, religion and parental controls; a section of Simpson’s poetry is included, as well. These segments provide insight into the author, who displays a maturity that should rub off on younger black lesbians.

Simpson offers these gems:

Love: “Trust me, there is someone out there who will appreciate you for who you are. They will love you the way you need to be loved and most of all, they will fight for that love. Wait for that person, wait for that moment, wait for that kind of love then you fight to keep it.”

Sex: “The point I’m trying to make is this, whether you have good pussy or bad pussy, clean or raunchy, give good head or no head, you’re offering something that all women have the ability to provide. And your pussy being ‘well used’ don’t make it better than most.”

Religion:My point is, for those of you who are gay and love God, worship Him anyway. Don’t let the church make you feel ashamed to love God and someone of the same sex. People do not know your heart but God does and He’ll know if the relationship you have with him is real.”

If you read Living With 3 Strikes Against Me and take it in, you will be blessed with information and humor that you can apply to your life. It’s said that God places people in your life for a reason, and Simpson’s story is definitely not in vain.

Reviewed December 2012


Lesbian Funk: A Journey Into the Oblivion by The Lesbian Goddess (Nov. 2009 Pick of the Month)

Posted on

lesbianfunk1potmlogo

 

 

 

 

Publisher/Date:  Women of Choice, Apr. 2009
Genre: Erotica
Pages:  149
Website:  http://www.womenofchoice.com 

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

The road to pleasure is paved with great sex, and The Lesbian Goddess is your chauffeur with her newest novel, LESBIAN FUNK:  A JOURNEY INTO THE OBLIVION.

The third installment of the Orchids series is narrated by Kaili as she discovers what makes her tick through a roller-coaster orgasmic journey. In each episode, her hidden fantasies become real, those desires she never thought would surface. Her first adventure involves a woman, and Kaili is bewildered by what this means. Coming from a failed, sexless marriage to being seduced by a woman – her therapist, nonetheless – leaves her gloriously spent but confused.

Following this, Kaili changes venue and relocates to Arizona. She thought leaving everything behind would suppress her lesbian tendencies, yet moving only magnifies her problems; she ends up in more relations with women, each exploit more captivating and hotter than the last. Kaili can’t believe what has become of herself; it’s as if she’s someone else.

And it’s somewhat true. Throughout her romps, Kaili is led by an unknown female voice taunting her psyche, there from the initial affair with her therapist. Who is this mysterious spirit directing inner-most desires, telling her how and where to get off? That’s what Kaili wants to know, and her search guides her to a sexual height she’s never known.

The Lesbian Goddess is known for her poetic raunchiness, an erotic wordsmith who’s not afraid to go there. Just like her previous collections, Lesbian Funk is no different. It paints a vivid picture of a woman enjoying the pleasures of the female form, and celebrates it through prose and poetry, the latter introducing each chapter. While the metaphysical aspect of the book may throw some readers, it’s unlike anything you’ve read before.

After all, everyone has a sexual alter ego. Sasha Fierce, anyone?

Reviewed November 2009