Wednesday, March 23, 2011

NEW REVIEW: Carl Weber - The Choir Director

The Choir DirectorCarl Weber
The Choir Director
Available Now!
5 out of 5 books

Scandal is still the topic at First Jamaica Ministries. Bishop T.K. Wilson has his hands full with the biggest scandal that has occurred at the church so far. Member start to leave the church when they find out that the choir director, Jackie Moss, is gay and has been trying to seduce the straight men in the church. With members leaving the church, this mean that the tithes and offering are starting to dwindle. If you've read any of the other novels about First Jamaica Ministries, you know that Bishop Wilson will do anything necessary to keep the cash flowing in the church. Bishop tries to get Aaron Mackie, one of the hottest choir directors on the East Coast. Aaron is from Virginia, has an angelic voice, and has the looks to match. But instead of Bishop Wilson enticing Aaron to join First Jamaica Ministries, he is pretty much blackmailing him. Aaron has a few secrets that he would like to keep in the dark; it's just too bad Bishop has found out about them. With things almost back in order, we find out that Aaron has a thing for the squeaky clean church secretary, Tia Gregory, but she is completely out of his league. However, someone else has their sights set on Aaron and that's Simone Wilcox, the chairwoman over the trustee board. But even Simone hasn't been the most trustworthy trustee for the church. There's so much drama going on at First Jamaica Ministries that it'll make your head spin. 

Every time I pick up one of Carl Weber's novels, it never disappoints. The Choir Director will have you laughing until tears are in your eyes. His stories about the scandals in First Jamaica Ministries will have you on the edge of your seat. It will leave you wondering if this is just his imagination, or if some of these things have actually occurred in a church.  I have always enjoyed the way the author captivates his readers. The drama starts immediately, and it doesn't stop until the last page. I like the way each chapter gives you details about the characters and what is going on in their lives. Mr. Weber will keep you coming back for more and more. 

Reviewed by Jackie for Urban Reviews

Order your copy of The Choir Director today! 

NEW REVIEW: Black Coffee - Time To Grow

Time To Grow: Time Will Reveal (Volume 2)Black Coffee
Time To Grow: Time Will Reveal Part 2
Available Now!
5 out of 5 books

Time To Grow brings an emotional aftermath following Stoney’s home-going, and vows of revenge reign supreme amongst the members.  Ebony’s newfound Houston friends come home to support her, but all among them aren’t genuine, which leads to more drama upon her return to Houston.  Ebony and Ajay’s relationship is challenged with his constant infidelity, his dominant attitude, as well as the killer mentality that he harbors. This all frightens Ebony, causing the thought of an unpredictable future with the love of her life.  Ebony excels at school in Houston, both in academics as well as in athletics, under the watchful eyes of her Big Mama and Poppa.  Ajay’s constant cheating antics spark trouble for Ebony in Houston as she’s confronted with lies and violent assaults that is disturbing to everyone and bring out the darker alter ego of Ajay.

Black Coffee’s voice was mos def  lyrically mesmerizing in Time To Grow as I felt her catch her rhythm as she penned  the heck out of this magnificent read!  This second installation was so intense, as certain scenarios unfolded, I felt like I could hear music in the background as if watching a television show.  Character development was entrancing, and the scenes were very relatable and spellbinding. This story was the nail in the coffin, dynamically executed in all aspects with each and every page and scene!  There are so many heart-stopping scenes, and the camaraderie between the characters is so realistic, you just feel as if you’re right there with each of them.  In reflection, I felt as if I read a much better depiction of Menace to Society without the barrage of violence.  A Time To Grow centered more on the feelings of their characters as they each grow into the shoes that are pre-destined and specially designed for each of them.  I can’t express how emotional this story is for ME!  Ajay and Ebony have become an iconic classic couple that will mos def go on the top shelf of my library!  Addictive, hypnotic, captivating, magnificent, enthralling, and intriguing are all the descriptions I can use to shout out kudos for this brilliant novel!  I admit there are still grammatical errors and structure is still in need of work.  But once you feel the charismatic atmosphere within the 343 pages, thats’s all just a distant memory!  Time to Grow is mos def A MUST READ!  

Reviewed by Tazzyt2bossye for Urban Reviews

Order your copy of Time To Grow: Time Will Reveal (Volume 2) today! 

NEW REVIEW: Black Coffee - Time To Learn

Time To Learn: Time Will RevealBlack Coffee
Time To Learn: Time Will Reveal Part 1
Available Now!
4 out of 5 books

Ebony ‘Baby Girl’ Brown is everyone’s favorite and deemed to be ‘the special girl’ of the crew.  Anthony ‘Ajay’ Jackson is everyone’s rock and has a dark side to his spirit that is visible and respected despite his age.  A Time To Learn introduces such an ideal tight knit crew that reside in Cleveland, Ohio and has history from the grandparents to the grandchildren.  Young Ebony finally acknowledges her feelings for Ajay but upon them delving into securing their relationship, their bubble is burst.  Ebony has to leave for Houston, TX to stay with her ailing grandmother.  The parents are relieved because the separation comes at a crucial and intense time that brings about the testing of everyone’s patience and acceptance. 

A Time To Learn has a shaky beginning with it, starting with more of a narrative voice that didn’t grab my attention at first.  Upon my pressing forward with the storyline, I found myself enthralled as the plots opened up and full character development evolved.  It has a true hood story vibrance without a lot of the graphic violence, just the underlying admission that certain things do exist, do transpire, and that one and all are down for whatever and whenever.  A Time To Learn addresses various lessons pertaining to sexual activity, promiscuity, drugs, teenage defiance, love, insecurity, strength, weaknesses, loyalty, generational curses, sowing and reaping, and so very many more emotions teens face on a daily basis.  I really admired the fact that the majority of the children were raised in two parent homes with strong parental guidance and involvement, strong men, strong women, and with excellent depictions!  I also note that there is a necessity for this type of hood story, but I always find it distracting with the number of characters.  There were quite a few grammatical errors, and the structure of the print needs to corrected. But despite all of that, Time To Lean proved to be a exceptional read!  I am mos def a Black Coffee fan…no creamer, no sweetener, or milk…just straight BLACK COFFEE!!!   

Reviewed by Tazzyt2bossye for Urban Reviews

Order your copy of Time To Learn: Time Will Reveal today! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

NEW REVIEW: Naleighna Kai - The Pleasure's All Mine

The Pleasure's All MineNaleighna Kai
The Pleasure's All Mine
Available Now!
5 out of 5 books

Raven Armand is a very successful woman. She has wealth, fame, and a great son. All that's missing is that perfect man that will complete the equation. Pierce Randall has been so occupied with his business due to a partner that's trying to take everything from him. He has no time for love or even a simple romantic rendezvous. When Raven's agent and her son try to get these two together, sparks fly. When the first encounter is over, will they be able to keep the romance alive or will it start to fizzle?

When reading The Pleasure's All Mine, I knew that Naleighna Kai had done it again. She had a hit with Every Woman Needs a Wife, but she has another great book on her hands with The Pleasure's All Mine. While reading, you can easily place yourself in the story. Whether it be an emotional scene with her best friend, being a mother, or being someone that is just looking for some spice in their life. Kai has a way of putting real life issues in a fictional book. Once you start reading this book, you won't want to put it down. Every emotion you can think, you'll certainly have while reading this book. This was one of the best books I've read because of how relative the story is. I recommend you read The Pleasure's All Mine.

Reviewed by Jackie for Urban Reviews 

Order your copy of The Pleasure's All Mine today!

NEW REVIEW: S. M. Gant - Mahogany's Soul

Mahogany's SoulS. M. Gant
Mahogany's Soul
Available Now!
3 out of 5 books

Mahogany Harrison is a beautiful, ambitious young sista on the rise, climbing the corporate ladder to success. The only thing she cannot seem to get right is finding a good man to settle down with. Mahogany is the type of woman that refuses to deal with any BS a man gives her. It takes 1 strike and you're second nor third chances with her. The one man that seems to hold her interest and captivate her heart is that of Jon Lawrence Butler a.k.a. Trey.

Trey is a well-known and respected hustler. Although he cares for Mahogany, he is not quite ready to settle down. As time moves forward, their on-again, off-again relationship comes full circle, and they become engaged. These two will face quite a few hardships and obstacles that just may very well prevent them from ever becoming husband and wife. Will Mahogany and Trey be able to stand the tests of time?

Mahogany's Soul by S. M. Gant was a story of love, lust and control. The story was very slow moving for the first 100 pages, then picked up for about 30 pages just to slow right back down again, making for a difficult read. The story was way too detailed, much like filler pages. Also, the characters talked like a well versed Hallmark card, which would have been okay if it would have been every once in awhile. It's hard to fathom a so called thug talking like that ALL the time. There are two particular moments in the book that the author did a very good job in describing the scenes. With all of this combined, Mahogany's Soul just made for an okay read.

Reviewed by Leona for Urban Reviews

Order your copy of Mahogany's Soul today!


Friday, March 18, 2011

NEW REVIEW: Kimberla Lawson Roby - Love, Honor, and Betray

Love, Honor, and BetrayKimberla Lawson Roby
Love, Honor, and Betray
Available Now!
5 out of 5 books

The Blacks are back in rare form. But this time, it's not Curtis kicking up's his beloved wife, Charlotte. When Curtis's mistress, Tabitha, passes away and Curtis's two year daughter, Curtina, comes to live with them, things start to take a turn for the worse. Charlotte cannot accept Curtina living there even though it was okay that she had an affair and tried to pass off a child that was not Curtis's baby. So Charlotte gives Curtis an ultimatum: Either your daughter goes, or she goes. Of course when Curtis picks Curtina, this sets Charlotte on fire. Since Charlotte believes she has been shunned by Curtis, this pushes her into the arms of an ex that she gets reacquainted with on Facebook. While Charlotte is having her fun, Curtis starts to notice a difference in her behavior. Will Curtis and Charlotte reconcile, or will Curtis go back to his old ways??? 

Each time I read a book in the series of Curtis Black, it gets better and better, and Love, Honor, and Betray is no different. Author Kimberla Lawson Roby always seems to put a little twist in the stories of the Black Family. In this installment, Charlotte is 
actually the villain and not the innocent first lady of the church. When reading this book, you can't help but think to yourself, "What goes around, comes around," and now it's Curtis's turn to be on the receiving end. If you loved the other Curtis Black stories, you'll definitely enjoy Love, Honor, and Betray.

Reviewed by Jackie for Urban Reviews

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Contest for Winter Break by Kayla Perrin (Winners Announced!)

Winter BreakContest for Winter Break by Kayla Perrin - Details Inside...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NEW REVIEW: June - This Game Has No Loyalty II

This Game Has No Loyalty II - Hustle for LifeJune
This Game Has No Loyalty II
Available Now!
3.5 out of 5 books

Part II of the The Game Has No Loyalty begins where we left off in the first book. Junior learns some hard lessons in his journey of trying to conquer the rule of his castle.

Junior has had some hard losses lately, and he is just trying to stay afloat. Friends that he thought were his friends have shown their true colors, and he is just trying to keep his situation tight. His life has been in an downward spiral ever since he had lost his lieutenants in an untimely demise, and now he is sitting in a precinct facing a possible murder charge.  Junior has to get his mind right, his relationship with Shondra is on a hiatus, and his new affair with his mistress Muffin is treading into the danger zone. Will Junior be able to get it together and mend the mess he has made, or is the Game just not for him?

In a chance encounter, Muffin runs into her ex-boyfriend Junior, and they then begin a hot and heavy romance. Muffin understood getting into this relationship that Junior had a main girl and she was the mistress. Muffin was okay with that at first, but as she began to spend so much time with Junior, in her eyes she was his main girl. Muffin violated and confronted Shondra in many ways, and eventually becomes dangerous as she has no regards for how the game is played. Will Muffin come to grips about her position in the relationship with Junior, or will her love for Junior cause her to get in a situation she can’t get out of?

The Game Has No Loyalty II is a continuation into the life of Junior. In Part I, Junior learned some hard lessons and is coming to grips with the consequences. His building empire is almost down to nothing, and haters are always lurking to take over what he has accomplished.  This book was suspenseful, and I think June was again on point.  Overall, The Game Has No Loyalty II was a good read.

Reviewed by Kristin for Urban Reviews 

Order your copy of This Game Has No Loyalty II - Hustle for Life today! 

NEW REVIEW: Michael L Goines - Sailor

SailorMichael L Goines
Available Now!
1 out of 5 books

The year is 1971.19 year-old Bro G has just found out that his main girl is pregnant. Bro G then decides to join the Navy with the intentions of being able to provide a life for him and his family.

When Bro G enters into the Navy, it is an opportunity of a lifetime for the young sailor. At each port, he quickly makes friends and beds different women. To make extra money on the side, he enters into the drug trade. Bro G is making some great money, but as time goes by, he realizes that he will eventually have to pull out before he winds up in jail or worse...dead.  Bro G will also have to make the decision if he is going to persue a relationship with his main girl in New Jersey or the one who has been in and out of his life where he is stationed.

Sailor by Michael Goines read more like a memoir of a sailor. After each main entry, there is a sentence or two printed in bold as a "lesson to be learned" of sorts from that entry. An example would be the entry where he described having just met a female who in turn invites him back to her place. She has a roomate, who just so happens to be her lover. They, in turn, ask him if he wants to have a threesome. The moral or the point he puts in bold print was: "Would a hungry man eat a burger?"  The author's description of this encounter: " Let's do it!" and they got it on.

Everything in Sailor was so cut and dry. I thought it was totally unbelievable that the character known as Bro G could walk into a bar and a woman would just gravitate to him and offer to bed him before she even introduced herself.  The time frame of the story is very unclear, and the story lacked much detail. The story itself is in need of a serious developmental editor, and the editing needs to be more on point. I could not in good conscious recommend this book to anyone.

Reviewed by Leona for Urban Reviews

Order your copy of Sailor today!

NEW REVIEW: Dasaya Cates - Bloodlines

BloodlinesDasaya Cates
Available Now!
3 out of 5 books

The Lang's are one of the most wealthiest families in Atlanta. They are multi-billionaires, powerful and highly respected within the community. Unfortunately, one of the Lang's has been keeping a secret from the family. It's a secret that she is willing to keep at all costs, no matter who she has to pay off or what she has to do to keep it quiet.

Blair and Reynold Lang are newlyweds who seem to be the picture perfect couple. As soon as the rings were exchanged, that's when Blair seemed to change. Blair becomes borderline obsessed in conceiving Reynold's child. Reynold is so irritated with all the baby talk that he begins spending more and more time at work. Eventually things take a turn for the worst.

Bloodlines by Dasaya Cates was a story of family, lies and secrets. I found that the part in the story where there is the reading of the grandfather's will was a bit much, especially considering how much the family was already worth. Aside from this, the story was a little slow but moved full throttle ahead near the end the story, leaving the reader wanting more. I think if the story would have moved more like the ending, and had more of the suspense throughout the book, the book would have made for a better read. All-in-all, Bloodlines was an okay novel.

Reviewed by Leona for Urban Reviews

Order your copy of Bloodlines today!

NEW REVIEW: Devon Vaughn Archer - Pleasure In Hawaii

Pleasure in Hawaii (Kimani Romance)Devon Vaughn Archer
Pleasure In Hawaii
Available May 24, 2011
4 out of 5 books

Sloane Hepburn has landed her dream job as director of guest relations at one of her companies' resorts in Maui. Sloane is focused on moving her career in the right direction. She has it in her mind that a serious relationship could jeopardize all that she has worked to accomplish. Somebody forgot to tell that to her heart as she was literally swept away by B & B owner Gene Malloy. Gene has been divorced for over 2 years now, but he is in no hurry to go down that road again. So when Gene saves Sloane from being swept away by a sneaker wave, he has no idea that she would have him feeling like maybe he could take the plunge again. Sloane and Gene are both determined to let there relationship progress naturally. Neither wants to assume anything. Will their blossoming romance survive their tropical paradise, or will it wither and die?

Pleasure in Hawaii is a good read by Devon Vaughn Archer. Pleasure in Hawaii is truly a romantic story from beginning to end. It is a classic story of boy meets girl, boy likes girl, and they live happily ever after. It was refreshing to read a romance that didn't have a lot of drama or some major problem that caused a wedge between the main characters. Devon Vaughn Archer does a good job of developing the characters. Having the story set in Hawaii adds to the whole mystic of falling in love in paradise.

Reviewed by Tenecia for Urban Reviews

Order your copy of Pleasure in Hawaii (Kimani Romance) today!

Contest for Who Said It Would Be Easy by Cheryl Faye (Winners Announced!)

Who Said It Would Be Easy?: A Story of Faith (Zane Presents)Contest for Who Said It Would Be Easy by Cheryl Faye - Details Inside...

Monday, March 14, 2011

NEW REVIEW: June - This Game Has No Loyalty

This Game Has No LoyaltyJune
This Game Has No Loyalty
Available Now!
4 out of 5 books

When you enter into the world of hustling, there are rules and guidelines you need to follow. Trust no one, and always be ahead of the game. But when you start to let your guard down, chaos can erupt!

Junior was an up-and-coming dealer in the Baptiste area. Junior had a lot to prove, especially since he wasn’t from the area and was claiming territory. With schooling from his older cousin, Junior assembles a team to get his product moved throughout the Baptiste streets. With things running smoothly, Junior's world is turned upside down when there is a traitor inside of his camp. Junior learns fast about the game and who is really loyal in his camp. But will Junior take heed to his cousin’s advice, or will his being too trustworthy lead to his ultimate demise?

Shondra was born and breed in Baptiste. She was an around-the-way girl who was known for her fighting skills. She didn’t sleep around and was held on another level then most girls in the area. Shondra began a relationship with Junior, and became a ride or die chick for her man. Shondra has held Junior down for 3 years and are engaged to be married. But when all the changes start happening in his camp, Shondra notices a change in her man. They begin to argue, and it seems like he is drifting farther and farther away. Will Shondra still hold her man down, or will their relationship be tested for the last time?

This Game Has No Loyalty by June was a good book. June did an excellent job of painting the picture of Junior and the trials and tribulations he goes through in the game. Throughout the read, I think the book stayed true and had me anticipating what was going to happen next. I can’t wait to read Part II.

Reviewed by Kristin for Urban Reviews

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Contest for Push Comes To Shove by Oasis (Winners Announced!)

Push Comes to ShoveContest for Push Comes To Shove by Oasis - Details Inside...

NEW REVIEW: Lisa Y. Watson - Interview With Love

Interview With LoveLisa Y. Watson
Interview With Love
Available Now!
4 out of 5 books

Sienna Lambert is a consumer psychologist who has a hard time keeping her life together. Therefore, she throws herself into building her company. When she attends a function that one of her clients is throwing, she is literally knocked off her feet by a handsome creative director named Vaughn Deveraux. After making sure she was okay, Vaughn and Sienna hit it off, until she questions his work. This causes their pleasant encounter to turn not so pleasant. Vaughn thinks that he has no chance of even becoming friends with Sienna after that disastrous afternoon. With Sienna being one to never be proven wrong and Vaughn being one that doesn't give up easily, they find themselves back on the friendship path. After awhile, Sienna thinks there is something wrong with her because Vaughn has not shown any romantic feeling towards her. On a trip to Arizona, the two finally confess their feeling for one another but a string of unfortunate events keep them from consummating their relationship. As time goes on, their feelings for one another continue to grow. However, a misunderstanding could jeopardize all that they have built.

Interview With Love is a wonderfully written story by Lisa Y. Watson. The main characters are very well developed, as are the secondary characters, which play a major roll in making this story a success. There are a few lagging moments in the story, but Watson does a good job of recapturing the reader. The main character also has some major issues, and Watson uses imagery very well to help paint a picture of what is going on with her and why. There are also some unexpected surprises thrown in. Interview With Love is a great read.

Reviewed by Tenecia for Urban Reviews

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NEW REVIEW: Carolyn Moncel - Encounters In Paris

Encounters in Paris: A Collection of Short StoriesCarolyn Moncel
Encounters In Paris: A Collection of Short Stories
Available Now!
3 out of 5 books

This book is a collection of four stories that are all set in Paris. The first story titled Pandora's Box Revisited introduces Ellery Roulet, the main character of all five short stories. She's a wife, a mother of twin daughters, and has just been fired from the company that she started. She becomes so distraught over these recent events that she turns to her husband of 10 years who she knows is cheating on her. The second story is titled A Haunting in Courbevovie. This story takes Ellery to the oldest Catholic church in Courbevouie. Ellery is there because she has recently found out that her mother has died and she is feeling guilty about not being there for her like she said she would be. The third story in the book is titled A Brief Indiscretion. In this story, Ellery goes to meet the man she should have married. They have both since married other people and have children. Ellery tells him about how her husband has cheated on her several times and the reason she has chosen to stay. During their reunion, they end up sharing one last intimate night together. Next up is Until It's Gone. In this story, Ellery goes back to Chicago and is not sure if she will return. This chapter tells the story of how her and her husband meet. Now she is contemplating whether or not she can continue on with their farce of a marriage. The final story is some Birds of a Feather. In the story, the author uses two birds who visit her window sill to symbolize her now deceased parents.

Encounters in Paris is an interesting book by Carolyn Moncel. It is very random. The title suggest that they are independent stories, but they could be thought of as chapters. Without knowing for certain which one, it made it very difficult to really understand which angle to view the book from. It is easier to think of them as random, independent stories about Ellery's life. On a positive note, the book gives interesting insight on Paris.

Reviewed by Tenecia for Urban Reviews

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NEW REVIEW: Lisa Campbell - Blindfolds

BlindfoldsLisa Campbell
Available Now!
3 out of 5 books

Ashley Stevens and Natalie Johnson become quick friends the first semester of college. With most college experiences, it’s a time when we begin to experience life and all of its wonders.
As Blindfolds opens, we find out that Ashley is bi-racial and raised white. While Ashley’s mom and dad were dating, Ashley’s mom got pregnant with her. Her father Anthony was married and wouldn’t leave his grieving wife, who had just miscarried, so Ashley’s mother moved on. By the time Ashley was four, her mother married Eric, and he adopted Ashley. Moving forward, Ashley and her mother’s relationship left much to be desired.
While visiting her mother’s house one day, Ashley came across a shoebox filled with letters. The letters were addressed to her and her mom, so she read them. They were from a woman named Yvette Williams, a name she was not familiar with. By the time she finished reading the letters, not only did she know who Yvette was, but she also found out that her father didn’t give up his parental rights as her dad. He was not allowed to see Ashley. Her already rocky relationship with her mother took a nose dive after finding out her own mother kept Ashley's dad away. Armed with this additional information, Ashley’s questions begin.
Life continues to throw Ashley blow after blow. And like her mom, rather than face her truths, she wears blindfolds. Campbell did a wonderful job writing this story about what can happen while away at college and the discovery of life. I believe that young adults would absolutely benefit from reading this book because discovery alone is scary, but knowing Ashley's story might make it a little easier. I must say I wish the publisher would’ve used a larger size font; these old eyes are not what they use to be. Trying to read what look like a size 8 font was truly a strain. But the fluidness of the story kept this reader turning pages.

Reviewed by Missy for Urban Reviews

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NEW REVIEW: Deja King - Rich or Famous

Rich or Famous...Rich Because You Can Buy FameJoy Deja King
Rich or Famous
Available Now!
3 out of 5 books

Dior is a superficial beauty that is arm candy for superstar Sway Stone. Ever since she was a little girl, all Dior wanted to be was famous...but at what cost? Being on the arm of Sway entitles her to such luxuries as having all the hottest designer clothes, attending exclusive parties, and hanging out with all the stars.

When Dior walks in the room, all eyes are on her. When she captures the attention of Lorenzo, he is intent on making her least for the moment. With all the drama surrounding Lorenzo, he would have never expected falling for this shallow beauty. When it's all said and done, Dior needs to make a decision. Would she rather be rich...or famous?

Rich or Famous by Joy Deja King was an okay read. It had the potential to be a five star read, but I felt there were too many gaps left unfilled and not enough substance to the story. The story needed to have more in-depth background on the characters in order for the reader to get attached to them. I also would have liked to read what happened in between certain scenes to really feel everything that was going on. The story was too cut and dry, leaving for a rushed storyline.

Reviewed by Leona for Urban Reviews

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