The Black Kiss of Death


5 out of 5 books

Ok this review is going to be a tad different than normal. First let me tell you that Never Say Never by Victoria Christopher Murray was the first book I have ever read by her. To be honest I probably skipped over this author because she writes Christian Fiction, which I tend to stay away from. But…maybe it is because I am getting older and thus my tastes in reading are beginning to change that I am finding that Christian Fiction isn’t so bad.  
Now I originally picked this book up because I saw a 5-star rating for this book by a reviewer that does not give a 5-star review very often unless a book really impresses her. Also, another friend of mine told me that she read up to chapter 12 and had to put the book down because she found she was crying throughout the book. So I HAD to read this book. When I started the first chapter I was sucked into the story right away.
The character Miriam finds out that her husband Chauncey, a fireman, died while trying to rescue students from a burning school.  Miriam is now a widow of three boys and the love of her life has left her to raise these young men on her own. Although Miriam is surrounded by friends and family that are willing to try to do anything that they can to see her through her days but the nights are always hardest. No one but Chauncey’s childhood best friend and fellow fireman, Jamal, really knows the depth of her pain. Since Jamal loved Chauncey as a brother,  it just seemed natural that the person who Miriam gravitates to is Jamal. Just talking with him and vice versa seems to help the two. But what happens when it turns into something more?
Emily, Jamal’s wife and one of Miriam’s best friends’ is a child psychologist and with so many lives lost that day when the school burned, Emily is torn between wanting to be there for her husband and her best friend. When Emily meets one special little girl and sees the pain and heartache on such a young soul Emily is determined to save this child from herself.  Emily knows that her husband is a godsend because he is so understanding and loving. Never would she have imagined that he would do what he did. Never!
Never Say Never by Victoria Christopher Murray was an excellent novel. It was such an emotional read from the very first page all the way to the end. I literally could not put this book down. Ms. Murray did a wonderful job in making the reader really think if they found themselves in a situation what would you do? Because in all reality we can say what we would not do, but honestly never say never because you really do not know what you would do if you were in that particular situation until you are faced with it. The characters are easy to connect with and the pain of what the feelings of each one is sure to affect the reader. I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a good read, but I would suggest that if you recently suffered a loss I would suggest on waiting for a while before reading this because I am sure it will trigger sadness within.
Victoria Christopher Murray is a talented writer and really knows how to tell a story. I look forward to reading her previous novels soon.
Reviewed by Leona
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3.5 out of 5 books


After clocking out for the day as a police officer, Copper as they refer to them, where the story sets place in England, Dean Richards comes across a couple arguing and quickly steps in before it can escalate further. He follows the woman, Clarissa Morgan home to make sure she makes it home safely. What happens though after is something totally out of the ordinary for either one. They soon find themselves in the heated throws of passion and what was to be a one night stand turns into Clarissa having to make a decision on which man she wants. Clarissa does not see a future with her ex-boyfriend Lewis because he got caught cheating. Clarissa is not one to forgive as easily as her sister is trying to get her to do. On the other hand she is not sure what the future holds for Dean and her since they both come from totally different backgrounds.
On the surface Clarissa’s sister Adele’s marriage seems like a happy one, with a handsome husband, beautiful children and a huge house to boot, with no need to worry about money. So why is it that she chooses to make the decision to ultimately betray those closest people to her? Adele is selfish, rude and a b!tch to most and does not think of her consequences until it is too late. Will she wind up losing it all?
When Dean discovers what Clarissa does for a living it makes not only for an awkward moment but it takes Dean a moment to sort out his feelings. When a beautiful young woman is found murdered, their lives will intertwine in a way that they least expect. Both of them are left doubting, if the other can be trusted. The depth of this crime in linked and magnified to something unimaginable. Friendships and loyalties will be tested. The question is when this mystery unfolds what will Clarissa and Dean do? When it is all said and done they are going to have to do some things they never thought they would ever have to do. Will their blossoming relationship be able to withstand this test?
The Face Within by SJ Blenman is a story of love, relationships, criminal activities and murder. Although the story starts off with a slow start and it begins mainly with a relationship aspect to the storyline,  it slowly moves into the mystery/crime and the puzzle of the crimes slowly unravel. With a good developmental editor the story could have begun sooner with the mystery and crimes to keep the reader engaged from the very beginning. Aside from the fact that there were editing and grammatical issues within the story, the book in itself was a pretty good read.
Reviewed by Leona
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3.5 out of 5 books



Limbo was a major player in the drug game  and had to uproot his family to move away because of some problems he ran into. His wife told him that he needed to be there for the kids and her and if he uprooted them again or got arrested again, she was not going to do another bid with him…no matter what or how long the time. She was tired and she wanted Limbo out of the game.  Apparently Limbo did not take to heart the words his wife told him because after he gets locked up shortly thereafter, he receives divorce papers while in prison.
While in prison another inmate hooks him up with one of his girls’ friends to come visit Limbo, to keep his spirits up. When the white bombshell Rhapsody walks in, she reminds Limbo that they have met once before. They just never got the chance to get to know one another. While Limbo is locked up, Rhapsody is holding it down for him. She constantly writes him letters, puts a little money on his books and accepts collect calls from him. By the time Limbo is released from prison they both have caught feelings for one another. The two begin a relationship and Limbo quickly jumps back into the game. Rhapsody could care less because Limbo is everything she has ever wanted in a man. The only problem seems to be with everyone that surrounds Limbo, warning him that they have a bad vibe from Rhapsody. Which may very well lead to his downfall. Will he listen before it is too late?
White Heat by Oasis & Mrs. Oasis was a story of love and deception.  A quick read that will have the reader quickly turning the pages to see what happens next. The main complaint I had about this story is how it ended.  It just abruptly ends with a shock at the end.  With the way the story played out I am not sure if a sequel would be necessary for the authors to write, but I kind of feel cheated, like maybe an Epilogue could have been used at the end to show the repercussions of some of the characters decisions and how they played out in the end. All-in-all this was a good story.
Reviewed by Leona

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4.5 out of 5 books


Miss Nobody is the first book in the Shaw Family Saga. At 15-years old, Charlene Shaw runs away from home in search of the bright lights of Hollywood. On the way to reaching her dream, she faces many obstacles that try to block her path. One of these obstacles is her infant daughter Raven. She decides to leave her daughter behind while she continues on to Hollywood. Raven is raised by her grandparents in her mother’s hometown of Bellwood, North Carolina. As Raven gets older and is determined to move on with her life, she is determined to find out more about her mother and why she abandoned her. When mother and daughter finally meet, Raven requests two major things of her mother. Are these requests worth the destruction they will cause?
Nicole Dunlap did an excellent job with this book. She didn't just tell a story, but she painted a picture. We learned about each of the characters in great detail. I also enjoyed how she allowed the characters environment to play a part in the story. By learning about character’s backgrounds, it allowed the reader to have a greater understanding of the actions that were made by each person. I am hoping that in the upcoming books the author will reveal more about the secrets that were briefly touched on in this book. I will be continuing with his saga to learn more about the Shaws and to see where it goes next with them. Kudos to you Nicole Dunlap!
Mary Green
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4 out of 5 books
Why is it that some folks think the grass is greener on the other side?  Think about it…we have all at some point, even if it was a fleeting thought, thought that your friend, neighbor, family member etc. (from the outside looking in) that they had the “perfect” life. They had something that you desired. Well, in the story of Dream Girl Awakened, Aruba Dixon is a beautiful woman that is married to James, a sexy man and a good father to their son. But the thing that is tearing their marriage apart is the fact that James cannot keep a job. When James quits his fifth job in seven months, Aruba is fed up. This is where she begins to make plans to exit her marriage.
Victoria Faulk is a beautiful woman, conceited and is a woman that knows her husband is proud to show her off on his arm. Victoria is caught up in her status as being the wife of a prominent doctor. She knows that they can afford anything her heart desires, and if he doesn’t give in right away to her high-priced demands, she withholds sex from him, until he gives in. Not to mention that they have a beautiful mansion with the décor of a magazine and a nanny to help her care for her daughter and clean house. What more could a wife want?  Victoria is so self-centered she complains to Aruba of all the late nights because her husband is always working and other little things. Victoria does not see (at the time) the sacrifices that her husband makes for her and their family. So she does not take time to appreciate him or the things he is able to provide. Aruba beings to devise a plan to capture the heart of Victoria’s husband because she knows more than anything she would appreciate him the way he deserves to be treated.
Now on the flip side of things, James loves his wife and although he cannot hold a job worth anything, he makes the mistake of stepping out on his wife. He knows that Aruba is the best thing to ever happen to him but he just keeps messing up. Will he be able to straighten up before he loses the best thing in his life? Will he eventually get the motivation he needs to hold down a job and quit his philandering ways?
Two couples lives will collide and after it is all said and done will they be able to move past the hurts and betrayals of each other? What will become of them? Because we all know what looks good on the outside, is not always great on the inside.
Dream Girl Awakened by Stacy Campbell was a very good debut novel. It is a story about love, betrayal, honoring one’s vows and friendships. Ms. Campbell wrote the perfect tale on how the grass is not always greener on the other side. So before you look at someone else’s life and think they may have it all, trust and believe you are only seeing the outside of what that person wants you to see. No one but that individual knows what is really going on behind closed doors. I definitely recommend this novel and look forward to reading more by Ms. Campbell.
Reviewed by Leona
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4 out of 5 books



Toi Underwood has recently been scorned by the man she thought she was going to marry. Unbeknownst to her he was planning to get married…just not to her. After a nearly fatal decision, Toi decides it was time to step back and reevaluate things in her life and takes a break for a while from dealing with any man. That is until the night she goes out with her girls and it is the first time in a long time that someone catches her attention to the point she is ready to let her guard down. But she is soon about to find out she is about to play the “other woman” in this scenario. Will it all be worth it in the end?
Carlton Thomas is a sexy, career driven man that is more than willing to provide for his family. The only thing is his wife Lisa is always complaining about something or another. One day after an altercation between the two, Lisa does the unexpected and Carlton decides to leave to stay with his cousin. Lisa was just so angry she reacted out of spite but she wants her husband to come home. Little does she know Carlton has met someone else, Toi. Although Carlton is honest with Toi about his marital status, Toi makes the decision to continue to see him. When Lisa gets wind of the affair she is determined to get her husband back. Toi begins to wonder if being with Carlton is worth the drama. Will Lisa get her husband back or will she eventually let him go? Will Toi continue the affair after all the drama and lies?
Havoc of a Homewrecker by Mz. Robinson was a fast, drama filled novel that will have you guessing until the end. Just when you think you know how the story is going to end….well read the story and you will understand what I mean. Mz. Robinson definitely knows how to tell a story to keep her readers engaged in the story and the characters. One minute you are rooting for one character the next you find yourself siding with another.  I really enjoyed this novel and I look forward to reading more by her.
Reviewed by Leona
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4.5 out of 5 books



Eboni Harrison is one if the lucky ones. After her parents were killed by a drunk driver, she was adopted by a wonderful family. Eboni got way more than she bargained for, with three very overprotective brothers. Now that she is all grown up, she has gotten a place of her own to assert her independence. When she meets her new neighbor, she wants to assert more than just her independence.

Darren Grayson has had the hots for his new neighbor from the first time he laid eyes on her. Once he meets her, he realizes that Eboni is different from any other woman he has dated since his divorce (including his ex-wife). However they have both got to learn to trust and get over their past. 

Wayne Jordan is a phenomenal writer that gives a much needed male perspective on romance. He gives insight on what males feel, their insecurities, and how they think when in a relationship. I'll Stand By You is no exception. It is a page turner from beginning to end. It is the first book in a new series by Jordan. So he does a excellent job with character introductions and development. He also leaves you wondering and speculating. I'll Stand By You is a must read!

Reviewed by Tenecia
Urban Reviews

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3 out of 5 books



Dapper Carter is the type of man who is married but lives the single life. Hanging out, partying with the guys, going to strip clubs and having sex with other women. His wife of six years, Kennedy, finally gets fed up with his bullsh!t and the way that he spends her money so she files for divorce. Something that Dapper never thought his wife would ever do. Never thinking of the consequences of his actions. When he talks to his boys, they are blunt, reminding him of all the stupid things he did to mess things up with a good woman like Kennedy. Although still hurt by the fact that Kennedy left him he decides to move from New Jersey to Brooklyn, New York for a fresh start.

Here is where he begins to look at himself and decides to make a few changes within himself. But are those changes really any better from before? Dapper decides after a brief time of wallowing in his self-pity that it is time to get back into the dating scene. In doing so he comes up with his own 8 rules of dating that he decides to follow. With these rules will he be able to find another good woman or will he just learn to appreciate dating and do a little better with the types of women he deals with?

Dapper Carter's 8 Rules of Dating by Alan Mitchell was a quick read. The story is told in first-person. At times it was unclear in the very beginning of the story what the first few rules were, but still these particular rules of dating are not your average type rules that most men would follow in trying to date. Basically this is not a self-help novel for men that are looking to for dating advice. This is just fiction! The story lacked substance, and it could have easily been avoided had the author just wrote one novel instead of having a sequel in the works.

Side Note: Although this does not affect my rating on the novel, I would like to point out to Mr. Mitchell to remember the first thing that catches a readers eye is the cover. Honestly, if I had not received this book for review I would have passed on it by the cover alone. With a woman who is nearly naked on the cover it is a turn off to female readers. The cover was not relevant to the actual story. Too many authors are putting half dressed/naked women on these covers, thinking sex sells, so it will sell my book. I am just suggesting that you take this into consideration and for your next cover have the cover pertain more  to the actual story or be more creative with the cover.

Reviewed by Leona
Urban Reviews

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4 out of 5 books


Lola Jones is a beautiful thirty-seven year old woman of three children. Three years prior, Lola and her husband divorced, so the income that the household had was immediately cut in half. Lola was not worried though because she was a successful independent, high producing health/life insurance broker and felt confident that she was set to maintain the lifestyle her and her children lived. They have a beautiful five-bedroom house on 2.5 acres of land, and wanted for nothing. About a year after her divorce the economy took a turn for the worst and it began to affect her income. The money she had saved was totally dwindling away and she was so far behind on her bills and house payments that she was in danger of losing their home.


After talking to a close friend and co-worker about some of her struggles and the guilt she felt that she no longer could afford to do for her children the way she once was and that they were close to losing the only home they knew, she casually mentions that she was willing to do ANYTHING to get the money to take care of her family. With the kind of money Lola needed, her friend gave her two options, to either work as an escort since that was a sure fire way to make good money or to meet up with a man by the name of Blasé that could be of help in another way. The second option she had to think over carefully. The reason being is that once she agreed to Blasé terms, there will be ‘No Turning Back’ after she has made her decision. Ultimately this will wipe out her debt but the ramifications of this decision will affect her family in more ways than she could have imagined. The question is does Lola have the heart to do either one of these things?

I am going to be honest, I purchased this book knowing that Brenda Hampton is a great writer and I am especially a fan of her Naughty series. Not to mention the fact that she teamed up with Oasis who is another talented writer. I had no idea what the book was about because there was no synopsis on amazon. When I got the book I just cracked it open and started reading it. I never bothered to look at the synopsis on the back. Which I am going to say was to my benefit because once I glanced at the synopsis on the back cover prior to writing this review I felt the synopsis gave a part of the plot of the story away. But I digress, I would like you (the reader) to really think about this question while you are reading this book, if you were a single mother and had no help would you even entertain either one of the options that Lola felt she had in order to keep up the lifestyle you and your children were used to? This novel would make for an interesting book club conversation.  The story is drama filled and has quite a few twists that the reader does not see coming. Author Oasis really brought out a different side to the Brenda Hampton we are used to seeing. Which is a good thing, because she teamed up with someone else and they both brought out the best in each other. This is definitely a book I would recommend.

Reviewed by Leona
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4 out of 5 books




The Dark Hunger by Joelle Sterling is the second installment to the Eternal Dead Series. The first book left off with Jonas returning back to Haiti in search of Mamba Mathilde to see if the curse that was put upon him could be removed. Holland is sent away to Stoneham Academy, a school that she will be able to learn more about the witchcraft she possesses and how to use it.

In the meantime the city of Frombleton seems to have gone crazy. The once peaceful town is now under a shroud of terror. A foreman of one of the onion fields that the immigration workers tend suddenly turns on one of the field hands named Pedro, and bites his flesh all the way down to the bone. Pedro is sent to the hospital. His wounds are so bad that it is a wonder he has survived. Or, has he? When Pedro awakens in the hospital madness ensues and no one, not even the hospital employees are safe and no one on the streets of Frombleton or the surrounding area is either, with these Zombies/flesh eaters on the prowl for fresh meat.

Not only are there zombies roaming the area but there is a new Vampire that has come to town since the demise of the leader, and his purpose is to become not only the leader but to rule the town of Frombleton.  His idea: that humans are to be at the vampires beck and call when their hunger arises. If not, then they will be punished severly.

Although, before leaving, Jonas promised to stay in touch with Holland he feels as if Holland would be better off without him. He refuses to reach out to her, with the hopes that Holland would just forget about him. The love he has for her causes him to ache to kiss and touch her but he knows deep down that she is better off without him. Unfortunately, he is unable to rest with the image embedded in his mind that Holland may be in danger. Not only that but his mind will not let him rest with the cries and screams from those he has spawned. Now it is up to Jonas to go back to lead those of his pack and hopefully get Holland out of harm’s way before it is too late.

The Dark Hunger by Joelle Sterling was a very good read. It has more action than the previous book, Midnight Cravings, and it has the reader on the edge of their seat wondering how this story is going to play itself out. Who will survive the zombies or the vampires? The story is very graphic when it comes to the flesh eaters but Ms. Sterling does a great job in being as descriptive as she can, the story will play out like a well scripted movie in the readers head.

Reviewed by Leona

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5 out of 5 books



Keeping Score by Regina Hart is the 3rd book in the Monarch Basketball series. The Brooklyn Monarchs are in the spotlight again. This time it is veteran guard, Warrick Evans. However, Warrick is not sharing the spotlight alone. His wife, Dr. Marilyn Devry-Evans, is also feeling the effects of her husband’s new found stardom. Marilyn liked it so much better when it was just her and Warrick. Now she has to share him with all of New York. All Warrick wants is his wife home and a championship, but the media is putting both in jeopardy, along with an outrageous allegation. Will love be enough to give Warrick everything he wants?

Keeping Score is an awesome read. Ms. Hart is an excellent writer. She does a fantastic job with character development. She has a knack for taking the primary and secondary characters and meshing them together, so that the story flows nicely. This was a great addition to the series!

Reviewed by Tenecia
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3.5 out of 5 books



Catherine "Kitty" Franklin has been cleaning up her father's indiscretions for so long she no longer knows the difference between right and wrong. Kitty Franklin is an attorney to her father, Congressman, Roosevelt Franklin. He views Kitty as the son he never had since he winded up having three daughters. Kitty will do anything to keep her father's name clear, but lately she is starting to wonder if she wants to continue living this way. It is putting major stress and a strain on her relationships with her sisters and mother. When she by chance meets the new executive director of the Franklin Family Life Center, she cannot believe that someone this good has been placed into her life.

Davis Thornton has come to Washington to meet with Congressman Franklin after accepting his dream job. Coincidently, he meets Kitty under very unusual circumstances. The two fall for each other hard, heavy, and quick. However, there are so many obstacles in their way trying to keep them apart, the biggest being her father. But after the Congressmans latest indiscretion, Kitty now has to choose between her father and the man she has fallen in love with, all while keeping her family intact.


Believe In Me is a pretty good read. There are moments throughout the story where it does not flow well and the writing is a little choppy. Other than that, Ms. Bryant, does an excellent job with the character development. There are also several storylines happening simultaneously, which the author does a terrific job of giving in-depth descriptions of. For this being a debut novel,  Believe In Me was a well written novel.

Reviewed by Tenecia
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3 out of 5 books



Maribel Alvarez “aka” Fancy was born into poverty but was trained to use her looks and assets to attain material things.  With no true goals in sight, Fancy flounces through life with the image of living a glamorous life when in reality she is not. Playing the part is the hardest job that Fancy will tackle, but is she equipped to continue the façade that she even hides from her friends?  Will Fancy continue to run game until she finds her pot of gold?  Will her assets be able to captivate a Prince Charming that will love her and all her liabilities?

Fancy was basically just your everyday read about a young girl seeking love and luxuries all the while faking the almighty funk.  There was no true spice or original flavor to the storyline.  I never felt any connection with any of the characters or their plights.  The storyline was consistent but there was not enough spark of excitement or anticipation

Reviewed by Tazzy
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3 out of 5 books



K103.5 is a popular radio station in Dallas, TX that features a Love Forum Divas session.  It is so well received that the guys felt intimidated and wanted to voice their opinions and thoughts on this 'thing called love.'  Introducing: DK, Quentin, Miguel, Michael, Donnell, Pastor Levine, Dr. Houston and Brass…deemed The Brotherhood.  These brothers come together as raw and realistic as they can, trust and believe it gets quite competitive, raunchy and heated as egos are bruised, secrets are revealed and the lines are crossed. 

Mr. Byrd poses a question for the ladies: Am I drinking the right cup of coffee?  Black Coffee was a mediocre read that has the potential to be a very good read, but there were too many characters, numerous plots, and scenarios that tended to blend a little too much and proved to be confusing at times.  Reading the story will most definitely benefit the reader because there are constant references to its characters and their connections that the reader will easily relate to.  Black Coffee delves into relationships, friendships, loyalty, jealousy, trust, betrayal,  love, life and laughter in its purest essence. 

Reviewed by Tazzy
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     4 out of 5 books


After three years, Yasmin Lewis realizes that she is worth more than being some man's mistress. Especially, with that man being married pastor, Sidney Wells. For three years, Yasmin has made herself available to Sidney whenever and wherever. Yasmin was not delusional enough to think that he was going to leave his wife and kids for her or anything, but she did want something more. When she is set up on a date with Ambrose Hunter, an attorney from California, she realizes just how much she has been missing.
As always, “what is done in the dark will come to the light.” It is now time to flip the switch on Sidney and Yasmin's indiscretions, but at what cost?
Broken Commandments by Janie De Coster was a good read. The character development of the primary and secondary characters were excellent. However, there are times when the sentence fluency does not flow as well as it should have; which, at times, required rereading particular sentences. However, it does not take away from the overall story, which was a page turner.
          Reviewed by Tenecia
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2 out of 5 books


Secret Affair by Melissa Love revolves around Carter Perry and his wife Keisha Perry. Carter and a group of guys from the office hang out weekly where the men discuss any and everything. Lately, the discussions have been about Carter and his philandering ways. Carter eventually feels like the tables have been turned and that Keisha may be cheating on him, but could it just be his conscious thinking that or is she really? If she is cheating the question is with whom? Will Carter find the answer to this looming question or is he just paranoid?

Secret Affair by Melissa Love had a good plot but I would have liked to have seen more character development. With a little more patience and development this could have easily been a book of 200 pages instead of the 75 pages it actually was. The story had numerous errors and typos ranging from punctuation to past and present tense. There is a twist in the end but the whole book is given to you in the synopsis which leaves nothing to the reader’s imagination.


Reviewed by Sophia
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3 out of 5 books


Assariyah Jones is used to getting what she wants at any cost. When Assariyah finally meets her “prince charming” Cameron Simmons, they begin a whirlwind romance. Everything is perfect as Assariyah and Cameron plan to become man and wife but things come to a screeching halt when a woman by the name of Jasmina objects to their nuptials and reveals her darkest indiscretions. How will Assariyah recover from this disaster?

Broke, alone and embarrassed Assariyah resorts to becoming an escort to maintain the lifestyle she has become accustomed to. Coming into contact with various men, Assariyah is involved in many dangerous circumstances especially with the promise of her biggest payout to date. Assariyah is on her last job when she realizes that her arch enemy’s husband is her last client. Things take a turn for the worst with an unexpected pregnancy, murder, and extortions. Will Assariyah get the ultimate payback that she is looking for or will her plan go up in smoke?


Assariyah-Money Over Everything by La'Toya Makanjuola was a good book. The story flowed nicely and was a different kind of read because it took place in London. 

Reviewed by Kristin
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