Urban Reviews - Your Source for the Best in AA Fiction!
Urban Reviews is the premier destination for all things relating to African-American Fiction. It's primary focus will be on the promotion of new and upcoming books by Black authors, but Urban Reviews will also include exclusive interviews, online Q&As, tour info, press release info, and industry news as well.
Graylin Alexander is a fourteen-year old with a bright future. But when he unknowingly gets involved in a sexting scandal, Graylin’s world could be changed forever. Jenny Ungerman is hired to defend Graylin. Jenny is ready to give this case her all until ex-prosecutor Angela Evans joins the defense team. Jenny and Angela are not on the same page. Can they resolve their differences in time to win this case? Meanwhile, Angela’s boyfriend Dre is dealing with a ghost from his past that could put them all in danger.
Abuse of Discretion is an excellent book that shows the consequences of sexting. Pamela Samuels Young gives us a signature courtroom drama and mystery that is anything but typical. You get a bird’s-eye view of the confusing juvenile criminal justice system. Young brought back some familiar characters from her prior books and introduced some new ones as well. Readers will be shocked when the truth really comes out in Graylin’s trial. Thisbookdrives the point home about knowing what your child is doing on their computers and cell phones at all times. Abuse of Discretion is a fast-paced, emotionally charged novel with surprising plot twists that Pamela Samuels Young is known for. Reviewed by Radiah
Sheena Binkley first discovered her love for storytelling when writing her first story for a class project at the tender age of nine. Since then, she has composed several short stories and numerous tales that are not only engaging, but simply entertaining. She is also a freelance writer, penning articles on various topics including education and entertainment.
To date, her best-selling novels include In Love With My Best Friend, Love Unbroken, Something Just Ain't Right, and The Love Chronicles.
In April of 2016, Sheena launched her own publishing company which focus strictly on romance books. Besides writing, she loves reading, shopping, and spending time with family and friends. She lives in Houston (where the weather is always unpredictable) with her husband and son.
About the Book
Shawn and I have been in love with each other since our first encounter in college six years ago. Despite our share of ups and downs, the two of us have a bond that no one could ever break. No matter what, we have supported each other; so when Shawn accepted a position in Atlanta, I wasn’t too happy about moving, but I would do anything for him. With living in a new state, things can become very complicated. I know our love is strong, but is it strong enough to get through the issues we’re currently facing?
I knew the first moment I saw Ri that she was going to be my wife someday. Although we had a few bumps in our relationship, we were able to get through them and is more in love than ever before. When I accepted a huge opportunity in Atlanta, I knew Ri wasn’t on board with leaving Baker, but she did it for me, which I was grateful for. But with new challenges facing us, including issues with my co-worker, I have to wonder was moving worth risking my marriage for?
Sylvia Hubbard knew she’d wanted to be a writer of romance long before she knew there were black writers in the world. Weaving stories magically as a summer past time to writing stories to get through the humdrum of school, she was able to create something from nothing.
Today, she has independently published over 40 books, is the founder of Motown Writers Network and The Michigan Literary Network, CEO of HubBooks Literary Services, runs over five blogs on a variety of subjects, host The Michigan Literary Network Radio Show and is a happily divorced mother of three children in Detroit, Michigan.
“I’m no superwoman,” she states with a smile that seems infinite on her lips. “I’m just being an asset in the world instead of a liability.”
About The Book
Madison wanted more than anything to be beautiful and meeting a tall, handsome stranger was the answer to her prayers. Yet, was meeting the stranger all a ploy to steal her valuable research? Or did he really love her? She must discover the truth, but will she survive or lose herself and everything she has worked for. Find the answers wrapped around suspense, drama, and romance in Beautiful, Author Sylvia Hubbard’s 40th Novel. Read chapters 1-5 of Beautiful for free
Terrell Warren is an African-American senator who is a rising star in the Democratic Party. He is currently on the party’s ticket and is very well liked. Senator Warren even has his beautiful wife Kianna at his side. Someone is trying to destroy everything that the Warren’s have worked for when Kianna is kidnapped. Senator Warren steps off the campaign trail to find his missing wife. But it’s more complicated than he imagined when the organization that’s responsible for Kianna’s abduction makes unreasonable demands. They are trying to revert American policy back to the “Cold War” days. If Senator Warren doesn’t comply, Kianna will die. What will he do?
Shakir Rashaan has brought us an entertaining thriller with In Service to the Senator. Rashaan does a wonderful job of giving readers an insider’s guide to how seedy American politics can get. This story is very fast-paced and you truly don’t know what’s going to happen next. Of course no Shakir Rashaan novel would be complete without incorporating the kink lifestyle in this story. In Service to the Senator is definitely a page-turner.
The “Master of the Mindf*ck” has been creating mind-twisting stories for the better part of a decade, but Shakir Rashaan first rolled onto the national literary scene as a contributing writer to Z-Rated: Chocolate Flava 3 in 2012. The raw, vivid, and uncut writing style captured the attention of the Queen of Erotica herself, Zane. A year later, Rashaan’s debut novel with Strebor/Atria/Simon & Schuster, The Awakening, opened to rave reviews and a “Recommended Read” accolade in USA Today’s “Happy Ever After” literary blog. The follow-up in the Nubian Underworld series, Legacy, garnered even more success, with the third installment, Tempest, picking up yet another “Recommended Read” from USA Today, making the series one of the most unique and best-selling in the erotic romance genre.
Rashaan would later add to his impressive catalog with the debut of the Kink, P.I. Series in 2015, starting with Obsession and following up with Deception and Reckoning. Drawing comparisons to Walter Mosely’s Easy Rawlins series, Kink, P.I. has developed into yet another best-selling series, carving its place as a “throwback to the days of classic mystery books” in the mystery genre.
Further adding to his impressive portfolio, Rashaan is a regular blogger for USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog, where readers can find him at his “Manly Musings” personal blog, reviewing books, television shows and movies from a man’s perspective. He has done recaps for various shows for the STARZ Network, including The Girlfriend Experience, POWER, and Survivor’s Remorse.
In 2017, Rashaan exploded yet again, creating the standalone bestseller, In Service to the Senator, a sexy political thriller that has been called “heart-pounding” and “an edge-of-your-seat suspense” by several reviewers. With his prolific writing prowess and openness on his social media platforms making him one of the more popular authors in the literary world, Rashaan has plans to be a mainstay for years to come.
Radiah: Where did you get the idea for In Service to the Senator?
Shakir: I picked up the idea during the election cycle. No, really, it was like around the summer when we finally figured out who was going to be the Democrat and Republican nominees. I always tend to see around the bend, and I could see the circus coming just like everyone else did. So, I went to sleep one night after a particularly raucous evening watching the Republican rallies and Senator Warren showed up…and no, not her, but my fictional senator, who happened to share the same last name as Senator Elizabeth Warren.
He and I had a long chat, and by the time we were finished, the concept was born. I took National Novel Writing Month (NANO) to write the entire book, December and January to polish and edit, and there you have it. It was the quickest turnaround I’d ever done with any of my books, and not one I plan to duplicate any time soon LOL!
Radiah: This book is a bit of a departure from your previous novels. Were you nervous about how this one would be received?
Shakir: The one thing as an artist that I try to do is figure out what speaks to my creativity. Yes, I’d built a name and a platform on sexual creativity and freedom, but I felt that this was something that I could still tell a compelling story and still stick to my platform at the same time. Senator Warren is still a Dominant, but he isn’t in the same vein as Dominic in my Kink, P.I. series or Ramesses and Neferterri in my Nubian Underworld series.
I’m always trying new things (I actually created a paranormal novella that I plan to flesh out soon) to see what I can pull from my ever-expanding universe of characters, and it’s fun to watch what develops, even while getting back to the signature series that put me on the literary map.
Radiah: Are we going to see any more of these characters in the future?
Shakir: I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about whether or not the Distinguished Gentleman from California and his triad, with particular interest in how things began between Terrell and Lea before Kianna showed up. One never knows, but I’m never ruling anything out when it comes to my literary universe.
Radiah: What made you decide to introduce your readers to the world of kink in your books?
Shakir: I think the more important question is what made me decide to introduce my readers to the world of kink and how WE (meaning people of color, black people specifically) do things in my books. In that vein, I did it because we have only “their” representation of how things are done in the kink world, with no real characters that they could identify with. That’s how the Nubian Underworld was born in the first place; there are so many books written by authors across the aisle, so to speak, so I felt a sense of obligation to showcase the “soul” in kink. The rhythm in which we do things, the music, the innate cadence that we know, all of that. And doing it from a healthy place; I’m so sick of reading books where one of the main characters of the love interest is mentally unstable or needs to be rescued from their situation. Yes, it happens, but damn, can we showcase the beauty of what can happen if one delves deep enough? *Stepping off soapbox now*
Radiah: How do you feel about how mainstream media portrays this lifestyle versus how it really is?
Shakir: They’ve been screwing it up for the better part of thirty years now, so why should I expect any better? The way this thing we do really is would be considered boring, and mainstream media loves drama because drama sells books, papers, magazines, etc. I don’t begrudge the job they have to do; hell, I work for USA Today, and there are things I love doing for Happy Ever After, but let’s be real. Even a mainstream relationship is considered boring if it doesn’t have a healthy dose of drama in it. It’s the American way!
Radiah: Can you give us a sneak peak of your next novel?
Shakir: Why yes, yes, I can…
I’ve been playing with old manuscripts in an effort to spruce it up until I get the bug to put new material out toward the end of the month, so there are two that I’m in the midst of re-releasing. The first of those re-releases is titled Unthinkable, which takes us into the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry. I’m updating it for current times, so I get to play around with some outright craziness LOL!
Keion has had his heart broken by a former girlfriend, but in his need to throw himself into his work to keep from getting caught up again. That all changes with a happenstance meeting with Alexia, who happens to be a part of a singing group that the entertainment group Keion works for as a filmographer wants to sign to a long-term deal. There are a whole lot of moving parts with this one, so you’ll have to try to keep up as the pieces fit together.
Radiah:Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
Shakir: Everything starts at “home”. You can find my work at www.ShakirRashaan.com and run through my blogosphere, my catalog and other things.
"Tell Mr. Mitchell I'll see him as soon as I finish with this conference call."
Chrystina smiled inside. He was making Mitch wait on him. Good for him. She knew Myles was talking to Ms. Daisy on the phone, but had hung up a few minutes ago.
"Mr. Dunning will be with you in a few minutes. Would you like to have a seat while I get you a cup of coffee?"
"I'll stand and I don't want any coffee," William snapped. "What is so important to make me cancel my afternoon appointments?"
"I have no idea, Mr. Mitchell. But I don't believe Mr. Dunning will be too much longer."
"Don't give me that brush-off. We all know you are his right arm, for the moment that is. So what does he want?"
Chrystina did not like the implication, but was used to shielding her thoughts. After all, technically, Mr. Mitchell was her boss so she sweetened her reply.
"I was only asked to make the appointment, sir. I really do not know what the meeting will be about. Perhaps it's concerning whether or not you are going to continue in the role as Vice-President of the bank."
Mitchell was stunned by her response. "Of course I am," he said with an air of superiority as he adjusted his blazer. "He cannot run this bank without me. Huh, if anyone should be concerned about their tenure here it should be you." He looked Chrystina up and down. "There is no way Myles is going to take you down the hall to the corner office." He smirked.
The office door opened and William's whole demeanor changed. "Myles." He turned with his hand extended with an air of sincerity all knew was manufactured. "I understand you wanted to talk. I'm here for you, son. What do you need?"
Chrystina looked over William's back at Myles then rolled her eyes. She could tell Myles held his laugh as he shook William's hand, then patted him on the shoulder.
"Let's go into the office and talk."
Myles shot Chrystina a look. She raised her eyebrow as she watched them closing the door.
"He is right you know," Nancy said from the hallway as she leaned against the opening to Chrystina's office.
Chrystina looked over at the slim blonde with the fake eyelashes, nails, and booty pads.
"Right about what?" she asked as she fumbled with papers on her desk.
"There is no way Myles is going to take you down the hall to his new office." She took a step inside and shrugged her shoulder. "Oh, I don't think for a minute he is going to let you go. However, I just don't see you fitting in down the hall."
"And why not?" Chrystina looked at the woman with a curious brow raised.
Nancy laughed. "Come on, Chrystina. You know why."
"No, I don't. Enlighten me."
"Now, Chrystina, Mr. Hep selected every person in the front office for two reasons. They look good and they know how to socialize with the elites." She shook her head. "No disrespect intended, but you don't fit either category. I, on the other hand, grew up with the socialites. I know how to mingle." She flipped her long blonde hair across her shoulders. "And the looks, well, we both know I have you heads over heels on that front."
"Some people in this building are chosen for their skills and knowledge. Not on what you can do with your mouth." Chrystina tilted her head, then turned back to her computer.
"You are right." She removed her lean body from the doorframe and smirked. "But none of them is in that office down the hallway." She ran her hands down her hip-hugging short skirt, then looked over her shoulder. "This mouth will get me where you want to be." Nancy took a step to walk away and stopped. Turning back to Chrystina, she placed a finger on her cheek. "You know, I think I will go down to the mailroom to get a few empty boxes. I'm pretty sure I will be moving soon." She walked out of the office smiling.
"You are right. You will be moving straight out the front door," Chrystina mumbled to herself. But inside she knew the wench was right. Everyone in the front office looked and acted the part. None of the females were bigger than a size six and the men...well most of them looked like GQ magazine cover models. Every one of them had come to her for help when they could not find the answer or figure out exactly what Mr. Hep needed. But, they weren't friends that would look out for her. They were co-workers who used her when it benefited them. She knew even if Myles wanted to take her along, she would not fit in with the group. That meant she would probably no longer work directly for Myles. A new boss would not be too much of an issue for her, because she knew her stuff. The thought of being without Myles would shatter her world.
For the last ten years he'd been more than her boss. Myles was her mentor, her confidant, her friend, her wildest fantasy. Myles Dunning was her everything. Opening her eyes in the morning there was a picture of him on her nightstand. The last voice she heard at night was Myles, on her recorder. A message he sent telling her to get well soon two years ago when she was sick. All day, very day, Myles was around, needing her, more now than he ever did before. That need materialized right before her eyes the night before his father's funeral. One minute she was consoling him, then the next minute...well, all she could say was her fantasy world became a reality.
The way he drove himself into her still made her inner lips moist, her thighs shake and her knees weak. To this day she had not told anyone what happened between them. That was a memory she was keeping tucked away, in her heart. The feel of him inside of her, even though she knew deep down it was just a weak moment for him, filled her in a way no man ever did before and she had no doubt if anyone will in the future. Her inner lips were throbbing at the memory.
Award winning author, Iris Bolling, published her first novel, Once You’ve Touched the Heart in 2008. This self-published work was the first of the five additional books to complete the Heart Series. The popular Heart Series has captivated the hearts of readers and awarded Iris the Emma Award as Debut Author of the Year in 2010
In May of 2011, Iris introduced a new cast of characters in her in Night of Seduction Series. The second book in the series, The Pendleton Rule was reviewed in USA Today and received, the 2014 Emma Award for Suspense of The Year.
In 2012, she began the Gems & Gents series with her novel Teach Me, which generated an importune shoe contest on Facebook that spanned the international waters. It continued with the release of the very popular Book of Joshua I and Book of Joshua II. The series has earned Iris several awards including 2014 Hero of The Year and 2015 Heroine of The Year.
The beginning of her third series, The Brooks’ Family Values, was introduced in her novel Sinergy in 2014, followed by book 2 Fatal Mistake and Propensity For Love, both released in 2015. Propensity For Love was awarded the Villain of The Year honor and has been nominated for several 2016 Emma awards.
Iris received the honor of being named Author of The Year twice since the inception of her career, 2012 and 2014.
In 2014, Iris stepped into a new venture geared towards bringing books to film. She produced The Heart, a television series based on her popular novels. Season two aired in the spring of 2016.
Adding more to her resume’ Iris is now doing quest-speaking engagements and indie publishing workshops to share her experience and to encourage others to follow their dreams.
Currently, she is gearing up to work on film production for two iconic women in literature, Beverly Jenkins and Brenda Jackson.
Iris currently lives in Richmond, Virginia where she is working on her next series.
After her humiliating and very public divorce from Dillon, Rachel was trying her hardest to get her life back in order. Dillon tried to destroy her but Rachel didn’t let him. Unfortunately, Rachel is slowly becoming just as vengeful as Dillion. She soon realizes that playing with people's lives takes her down a dark path that she isn’t prepared for. Is it too late for her to change course?
I have always been a fan of Kimberla Lawson Roby's Curtis Black series. This series never disappoints. I really enjoy how she gives you an in-depth look as to what is going on with each character and how they are affected by it. In each one of these books, Kimberla always brings you back to how as a child of God, you’re supposed to forgive those who have wronged you. Sin of a Woman an excellent read . If you have not read the other books in the Curtis Black series, I highly recommend you do. You will not regret it.
Misha is a 44-year-old real estate agent who yearns to be married with children. She thought that she had a future with Carson but it was not to be. They broke up and Carson got married the next day. Misha is on the road to single motherhood as she prepares for IVF with her frozen eggs. She’s so focused on the upcoming procedure that she has no time for another relationship. But when Dr. Devonta Hill suddenly enters the picture, Misha may be having second thoughts. Will Misha give him a chance?
Marissa Monteillh paints a very accurate picture of how the dating scene is for a professional woman in her 40s with The Practice Wife. There are so many women out here like Misha who spend time “cleaning up” a man and get nothing in return. Monteith does a good job of including heartbreak, humor, and an unexpected love story in this novel. The Practice Wife is a refreshing read that would be a perfect book club selection.
Being a granddaughter of a pastor, Tiffanie’s life has basically been laid out for her. Everything changes when she meets Damon. Damon is a very successful businessman in the entertainment industry and a former drug dealer. Their life together seems like a match made in heaven until Damon's best friend and former partner Trey gets out of prison. Trey blames Damon for everything that has happened to him and wants to get payback. Trey will stop at nothing to bring down his former friend and whoever else is in the way, including Tiffanie.
Author Victoria Christopher Murray does an amazing job of telling the story of Tiffanie who leads a structured life. I've always enjoyed reading the novels of VCM, because of how she brings you into the story. You can imagine how the characters feel emotionally, their looks, and how they deal with each situation they encounter. Her stories deal with situations that you can understand.
Lust is definitely a good book and keeps you at the edge of your seat until the last page. You will not be disappointed with this novel by Victoria Christopher Murray. Reviewed by Jackie
To imitate someone is to pay the person a genuine compliment, often an unintended compliment. In this case, it was more of an obsession. Simone Phillips and Traci Calloway Cole realized they had so much in common when Simone contacted Traci regarding her future career goals. Traci was a successful author who didn't mind helping out a fellow author to get her career started. It soon became obvious that Simone not only wanted to be like Traci, she wanted Traci's life. Will Traci find out how psychotic and twisted Simone is before it's too late?
I have been reading and reviewing Kimberla Lawson Roby's books for a very long time and I have yet to be disappointed. Copycat was a short book (about 200 pages), but from beginning to end you become intrigued in what's going to happen next. You’ll wonder how could one character be so clueless as to what the other character was doing. Roby gave enough detail to each character in a thought provoking way. Some parts of the book were a little predictable,but not much. It was a quick read because you want to know if Traci will get tangled up in the craziness of Simone. If you want to read a novel that’s not a long and drawn out, Copycat is for you.
Kameron Peace is a walking zombie. Her past haunts her every day and her only therapy is a daily diet of vodka. Cameron feels that she has nothing to live for until she runs into an old colleague. This colleague refers Kameron to a therapist so that she can start the healing process. But is she ready for it? Bridget Garrett is trying an unorthodox treatment on her new client Karmeron. But Bridget is still searching for her psychotic husband that disappeared five years ago. When she hires a private investigator to find her husband, she finds the task daunting at best. Through the therapy sessions , Bridget and Kameron get the shock of their lives when a truth is revealed that neither one of them are prepared for.
After a four year hiatus, Monique D.Mensah is back better than ever with Death’s Companion. The two main characters in the book are extremely flawed, human, and likable. Just when you think you’ve figured out the who, what, when, where, and why, Mensah turns everything upside down with her signature plot twist. Readers will be absolutely shocked at the ending that you won’t see coming. Death’s Companion is a perfect psychological thriller by Monique D. Mensah. Reviewed by Radiah
Amon Mikende and Patrice Flowers seemed different as night and day. He was a sought after young architect. She was a struggling college student. He was sensuality personified and she was undeniably intrigued. Amon wasn’t thrilled by their ten-year age gap, but he found Patrice impossible to ignore. For a time, she forgot her past. She forgot that in college, there were always back doors that resulted in secrets best kept hidden. Those secrets would haunt her longer than she could ever imagine.
This is not your typical love poetry book. This book explores the depths of a relationship that are often ignored or concealed. All aspects are explored as topics of love and pain and is presented in a raw unadulterated manner. Alphabetical Attractions: 26 stages of love and pain explores love, hate, one night stands, spirituality and much more while spelling it out from letters A to Z. Do you know your alphabet?
Open Season : Growing Up Black in America is a wonderful collection of poems by Darryl Harvey. Harvey does an excellent job summing what it is to be black in America today with this book. From The Price of Hate, a poem dedicated to Trayvon Martin, to the revolutionary poem Open Season, you feel the raw emotion of Harvey in these poems. This book will definitely make you wonder what can you do to make your community a better place. Open Season : Growing Up Black in America is a thought provoking poem collection by Darryl Harvey.
Reverend Curtis Black's "secret son," Dillion Whitfield Black has decided to come back home. The family has decided to let the past be the past, but they distance themselves from Dillion. When Dillon moved back home, he met Raven and soon they were married. Dillion decided to follow in his dad's footsteps and become a Pastor of a mega church. Though the church was not big as his father's church, it still has almost a thousand members.
Alicia was the only child of Curtis Black that reached out to Dillion and to give him some family support. So Alicia decides to join her brother’s congregation. It was hard for Alicia to decide to leave her dad's church. But she had no choice because she knew her family would not accept her husband and forgive him for his past.
But Dillon wasn't the holier than thou Pastor he pretended to be. Dillon is obsessed with the fast life, women, power, and money. Little did Dillion know, Raven had her own agenda and would do anything to make sure she gets everything she wants. Secrets and lies will soon be exposed and no one will trust each other again.
I have read every book in the Curtis Black series and this author has yet to disappoint. I have always enjoyed how Kimberla Lawson Roby uses events that could definitely happen in real life churches. Roby gives just enough details of every character and it's never excessive. Each chapter flows right into the next. I am always excited to read one of her books, especially the Curtis Black series. I hope you enjoy A Sinful Calling as much as I did.