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.


Technical Difficulties by Lee Loveless

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technicaldifficultiesPublisher/Date:  Lee Loveless, March 2013
Genre(s):  Romance, Erotica
Pages:  33

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

The Plot:  TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES by Lee Loveless establishes that if your cell phone technician looked like Raquel – an olive-toned beauty with hazel eyes – you’d probably find any reason to visit the Verizon store every day. Jackson, though, somehow remains all business around Raquel; she finds Raquel alluring, but too young at 25. At 32 years old, Jackson is a determined, hard-working director of a youth center, who doesn’t take time to smell the roses (or anything else for that matter). Her assistant director, Sharon, is the one who makes her recognize what she’s about miss out on. Can this do-gooder put her grant applications aside long enough to take advantage of another equally satisfying proposition?

The Good:  It’s not just about the sex. Technical Difficulties gives a great back story to the lovers, so that we can see just how much of a workaholic Jackson is or how long Raquel aspired to be an engineering tech. Raquel is a bawse; while Jackson deems Raquel too young for her, but Raquel knows her mind and her worth. She’s a definite catch – one that maybe Jackson ain’t ready for. Throughout Difficulties, the relationship between Raquel and Jackson moves at a good pace for a short story, and Loveless also has a good ear for dialogue.

The Not-So-Good:  The grammar could use some work. Sharon, as the voice of reason for Jackson, can come off a little bawdy sometimes. Though explosively gratifying (ahem…), the ending was abrupt – only because I could have read more about these two.

The Bottom Line: Technical Difficulties, the first of the Happily Ever After series, is willing and able to give you the romantic fix you need. I’m looking forward to devouring more of what Loveless has to offer.

Reviewed September 2013