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.


She Wants Her by Tasha C. Miller

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shewantsherPublisher/Date:  Creative Afflictions Press, Apr. 2012
Genre:  Romance
Pages:  336
Website:  http://www.tashacmiller.com

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Jacqueline Tripp knows exactly what she wants: Cleopatra Giovanni.

You’ll see just how far – and it’s far – she’ll go to capture this stud’s heart in SHE WANTS HER, the captivating debut novel by Tasha C. Miller.

Cleopatra is unquestionably a catch. The successful New York City real estate executive is brilliant, ambitions and gorgeous. She enchants almost every woman that crosses her path, from straight to lesbian. Not to mention her sexual prowess is legendary from borough to borough; what woman hasn’t heard about the “snake.”

Jacqueline has heard all about Cleo’s sexploits – and is determined to be the one femme who can make Cleo fall in love. Surprisingly, she does. Jacqueline turns on her feminine wiles and engages her like no other woman before her, an impossibility for someone like Cleo.

Women were disposable to Cleo. If they weren’t up to her standards mentally, or had no interest beyond her lovemaking skills, time was up. Jacqueline was the first to truly learn whom she was underneath her hard edges and love her from the inside out. Cleo appreciated and needed that in her life, considering her rough upbringing. She trusts Jacqueline with her heart – something she’s never given to any woman.

Soon after their honeymoon phase ends is when Cleo realizes Jacqueline has secrets. Secrets that she uncovers from someone else other than Jacqueline. Cleo doesn’t want to believe that the first woman to ever break down her walls is a liar. It can’t be true…can it? What if there’s some reasonable explanation?

With 323 pages of She Wants Her, Miller creates a multi-layered drama with sex, intrigue, and love in a deceitful place. The secondary characters add an extra spice to the tale. While I do have some questions and some side-eyes at how Jacqueline’s lies played out, I like a femme who will do anything to get her stud.

Reviewed December 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


Nothing Short of a Rainbow by Kaution

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nothingshortrainbowPublisher/Date:  Big Works Publishing/CreateSpace, Feb. 2009
Genre(s):  Romance, Studs & Femmes
Pages: 298
Website:  http://www.kaution-online.com

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

With NOTHING SHORT OF A RAINBOW, writer/artist Kaution aspires to take urban lesbian storytelling to the next level. As such, you should be forewarned because her debut novel is a gripping story full of the twists and turns of betrayal between best friends.

Seniors Teren Ramsey and Ray Romero are dogs for life, seeing each other through women, basketball and more women at ASU. The studs have been best friends since meeting as full-scholarship freshmen at basketball orientation, admiring each other’s passion for the game, and eventually, their passion for pretty femmes. That’s where there similarities end. Teren, the more reserved of the two, has trouble finding sincere, lasting love, while Ray has too many girls to juggle. It gets Ray into trouble that usually Teren has to get her out of.

One woman Ray dogged is fellow teammate and good friend Nia Alverez, who long carried a torch for the womanizer. Ray never gave her the time of day, leaving Teren to pick up the pieces of younger girl’s broken heart. Soon Nia catches feelings for Teren, who’s had a crush on the thick-bodied beauty for a while. When their affair goes public, Ray is the one who has the biggest problem with it.

Seeing Nia with Teren triggers Ray to see what she was missing, and a restless night ends with Nia and Ray in a compromising position. When Teren discovers the deceit, she abruptly cuts both out of her life.

Five years later, Teren has moved forward, but she still holds on to the loss and daydreams of what could have been with Nia. When Nia reappears, Teren realizes that she has a second chance. However, the past is something she can’t let go of, especially because Nia reminds her of the hurt she endured from the two people she loved most – her lover and her best friend.

Let me tell you, Nothing Short of a Rainbow is chock full of delicious sex, drama and duplicity. Secret crushes are revealed, the women are mad hot, the sex is explosive and several relationships are tested. That aside, the writing is choppy in places and changes narration abruptly, which slows down the reader.

But if it’s excitement you want in a novel, watch out – Kaution’s gonna give it to you.

Reviewed November 2009


Girls Just Don’t Do That by Natalie Simone (June 2009 Pick of the Month)

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Publisher/Date:  Bookshelf Global Publishing, Sept. 2005
Genre(s):  College Life, Romance, Studs & Femmes
Pages:  230
Website:  http://www.nataliesimone.com

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Few understand the ordeals black lesbians go through in relationships, but Natalie Simone has compellingly portrayed what we feel in her debut novel, GIRLS JUST DON’T DO THAT.

Through the eyes of several main characters, the tale of six college women at the University of Georgia takes on several types of relationship woes.

First is Delia, a pretty tomboy type with a seemingly shy demeanor and thoughtful personality. She is the loner type, preferring to have a small circle of friends. Though her strikingly good looks could pull any woman on campus, Delia doesn’t play games with women’s hearts. So why she becomes involved with Jayne, her old high school nemesis, is beyond comprehension.

Jayne is the complete opposite of Delia. She’s a sorority-girl type, an arrogant, gorgeous beauty who was once overweight and made life miserable for Delia back in the day. Jayne’s homophobic behavior toward Delia pitted them against each other, but when they are now paired up on a class project, Delia lets go of the past and sees Jayne for the dime she’s turned into. She can’t help but become enraptured by Jayne’s charm, and they begin a one-sided relationship, where Jayne reaps all the pleasurable benefits. Delia knows she’s being played, but can’t free herself from Jayne’s cunning spell.

And while Delia is being used, her best friend Shavonne is being abused by her girlfriend, Tracy. She lives on eggshells night after night, not knowing what mood could set Tracy off on a rampage, especially when Tracy comes home drunk. In Shavonne’s eyes, it was all so good in the beginning, as in most abusive relationships. As the disrespect worsens every day, Shavonne felt she couldn’t tell anyone what was happening because “girls just don’t do that.” Who would believe that a woman could beat another woman? One thing Shavonne does know is that she has to get out – one way or another.

If someone had asked Stacy three months ago would she ever be attracted to a woman, the answer would have been no. Yet somehow Stacy – an aspiring lawyer from a well-to-do family – spots Kendal and is infatuated with what she thinks is a handsome dude. When she discovers Kendal’s a woman, Stacy can’t help being turned on by her feminine/masculine appeal. Though she has a boyfriend, Stacy’s body betrays her head when she’s around Kendal. Now Stacey has to decide whether to leave her two-year relationship headed toward a white-picket future, or be with the woman who completes her emotionally and physically. Girls just don’t do that, remember?

Simone’s Girls Just Don’t Do That, written several years prior, still resonates with readers. You’ll be drawn into these women’s lives and inner turmoil as they decide what’s best for them to be happy. As an added bonus, Simone includes “Dyke Categories” at the end of the book, which describes several types of stud and femme black lesbian personas. I like the fact Simone not only has the potent gift of storytelling but can also impart knowledge, as well.

Simone has a new novel coming soon, one that follows the scandalous Jayne, a person who refuses to declare herself bisexual even after sleeping with several women. After reading Girls, that’s one I’ll definitely pick up.

Reviewed June 2009


Consequences by Skyy

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consequencesPublisher/Date:  Kings Crossing Publishing, Feb. 2009
Genre(s):  College Life, Romance, Studs & Femmes
Pages: 304
Website:  http://www.simplyskyy.com

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Love. Sex. College. Studs. Femmes. It’s all one big circle in beloved author Skyy’s newest installment of lesbian drama, CONSEQUENCES, which follows our favorite ladies and gents as they navigate their senior year together.

Consequences begins exactly where Choices concluded, with Lena readying herself for marriage while still pining over Denise. Despite having what appears to be all she wants – a fiancé who’s pro-basketball player, money and a chic apartment – she can’t help but imagine another life with Denise. The kiss they shared at the end of last year changed everything, and even the love of Brandon can’t stop her fantasies of the stud who stole her heart.

Denise, meanwhile, has tried to move on from feeling like Lena’s second choice. The women she’s been spending her time with aren’t up to par – one is a certified nutcase – and they certainly aren’t Lena. It’s hard to see her former roommate, whom she fell in love with, marry another man. But Denise doesn’t want to let go of their friendship, and only hopes Lena will realize how deep her loyalties lie before she walks down that aisle.

Cooley, Cooley, Cooley. It took Misha to tame that wild heart of hers, but when she did, Cooley wound up alone after being caught in some mess that wasn’t her fault. No worries, though, Cooley’s had the summer to get hoochies out her system and conspires to win back Misha. However, she didn’t plan on Misha being with someone else or settling for being “just friends” when Cooley’s heart says she’s the one. This is a move the former player surely didn’t see coming.

And finally Carmen, the previously portly beauty, has maintained her relationship with Nic. While the couple plans their future as they approach graduation, Carmen’s past threatens to destroy their present. She still has insecurities when she sees Nic around other women, no matter how much Nic professes her devotion. Carmen can’t believe she’s found someone who loves her so much – and begins to sabotage what she has. Can she see what she has in front of her before Nic gets fed up?

There’s a lot more in Consequences than I can describe here, but I don’t want to give it all away.

Most will agree that Skyy is the new queen of black lesbian romance, and the writing of Consequences proves it. She’s our version of E. Lynn Harris of Invisible Life fame, but with a style truly all her own. Despite its long wait following Choices, Consequences was well worth the pure uproar women created about the fate of Denise, Lena, Carmen and Cooley, and who would end up with whom. We sincerely care about these characters as our own, as the animated discussion at my book club proved.

Skyy’s Consequenceswill not only answer your questions, but will gladly provide you with cliffhangers to the next chapter in these women’s lives. When the next book arrives, I’m 100 percent sure Skyy won’t disappoint.

Reviewed June 2009


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