Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NEW REVIEW: Curtis L. Alcutt - Sins of a Siren

Curtis L. Alcutt
Sins of a Siren
Available Now!
3.5 out of 5 books

As a teen, Trenda Fuqua thought she had it rough at home. With an overprotective father and a family so religious, she rebelled against the things her parents tried to instill in her. Tired of the life she lived, she took matters into her own hands and ran away from home. Trenda turns to the streets and does the one thing that she knows her family would disprove of: she becomes a drug runner. Making money hand over fist, she becomes very good at what she does.

Darius Kain is a crooked cop who sets up Trenda to take the fall for stolen goods from a Jamaican drug lord. Darius has a thing for the beautiful Trenda and her firey red hair. Unbeknownst to him, Trenda records a heated session between the two that also incriminates some of his shady dealings. When the tape falls into the wrong hands, it launches an internal investigation within his police department. Darius is determined to shut Trenda's mouth for good since he knows that if she is put on trial, it will ruin his career. The problem is that Trenda is no where to be found. Trenda is literally on the run for her life. With a drug lord, a crooked cop and even someone from her past all searching for her, Trenda knows she's as good as dead.

Sins of a Siren by Curtis L. Alcutt was a very good read. A story laced with plenty of action packed scenes and a lot of erotic sex that will have your pleasure zone thumping from the heat. Unfortunately, there was a bit too much sex, and I would have liked to see more background on Trenda and a few other characters. There were also a few scenes within the novel that were a little too convenient. Nevertheless, Mr. Alcutt writes a good story that is sure to have any reader flipping the pages, wondering how this story will play out. Mr. Alcutt is one of those authors that can delve into any genre and come up with great story-line. From Bullets & Ballads to Black Widow and the Sandman by L.L. Reaper (which he co-authored), this is one author that readers should really be keeping an eye on.

Reviewed by Leona for Urban Reviews

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NEW REVIEW: Lee Hayes - The Bad Seed

Lee Hayes
The Bad Seed
Available Now!
3.5 out of 5 books

The Bad Seed is a compilation of two short stories by author Lee Hayes. The Bad Seed enters into the world of evil, murder and vengeance. Out of the two short stories that were included in the book, the one that intrigued me the most was “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues.” Blues has seen a lot during his life and makes no regrets and apologies for the pain and havoc he has caused to others to get where he’s at. Blues marries a wealthy older man named Robert, but continues to play with fire by having countless affairs. When confronted with the truth and constant changes to his fairytale life slipping further and further away, Blues devises a plan to make himself even richer. Using pawns, he begins a deadly game of chess. What Blues didn’t count on was his past coming to haunt him in a deadly way. Will Blues plan be completed to success, or will he reap what he sows for his past transgressions?

I was excited to read The Bad Seed by Lee Hayes not only because it was affiliated with Zane but because of the content seemed quite intriguing. Once I started reading the novel, I found it hard to finish. I think the book had an overall storyline, but some of the subjects that it covered were redundant, causing me to lose interest.  I think The Bad Seed was good, but it was not one of the best novels I have read.

Reviewed by Kristin for Urban Reviews

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NEW REVIEW: Niobia Bryant - The Hot Spot

Niobia Bryant
The Hot Spot
Available Now!
4 out of 5 books

Zaria Ali gave half of her life to a man and she refuses to let that happen ever again! At age 42, Zaria is experiencing everything that she didn't have the opportunity to experience at 20, including younger men. She enjoys the company of younger men because they are willing and eager. That is, until she meets Kaleb Strong. Kaleb is one of those infamous Strong men that grey prematurely, but with their looks and body, it actually works for them. Kaleb is tired of dating and is ready to settle down and start a family of his own. When he meets Zaria, he thinks he may have meet the woman he has been searching for. That couldn't be further from what Zaria is looking for. She is in it for great sex and a good time, but with no feelings. Regrettably, your heart doesn't always listen to what your brain is telling it. Now Zaria may have lost everything that she didn't know she wanted and needed.

Hot Spot is a good read by Niobia Bryant. Bryant did a wonderful job with keeping the story flowing. She does an excellent job with character and plot development. She has a way of bringing her characters to life and getting you involved in the story. She was able to take this once taboo subject and show that age is just a state of mind, especially if the heart is involved.

Reviewed by Tenecia for Urban Reviews

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NEW REVIEW: Girly G - Boss Bitches: Drugs, Money, Murder, and Mayhem

Girly G
Boss Bitches: Drugs, Money, Murder, and Mayhem - 
Available Now!
3.5 out of 5 books

When I began reading Boss Bitches: Drugs, Money, Murder, and Mayhem, I didn’t know what to expect. Girly G takes us on adventure in Dade County, Miami, and drops two short stories. I will review one of short stories titled “Prison Wife.”

Kim had everything she wanted: a good husband who provided for her every need, a beautiful home, and many luxury cars at her disposal, That all changes one day when Kim receives that dreaded phone call that her husband Ace has caught a case and is facing a life sentence. How will Kim be able to maintain without her lifeline there by her side?

When things take a turn for the worst, Ace is facing mandatory time in prison. Ace gives Kim one instruction: to hold it down until he gets out. Being a woman with both emotional and financial needs, Kim finds it hard to abide by Ace’s rules. Tired of living the role of the Prison Wife, Kim enters i to several dangerous relationships that puts herself and Ace in jeopardy. When Ace is killed in prison, Kim goes on a hunt to find her husband’s killer. Discovering who the key players are in her husband’s demise, Kim stops at nothing to make them pay. Kim thinks all of her problems are solved when a person from her past shows up and helps her, but then things go wrong when two men are now vying for her affection. Kim doesn't know who to believe, and she's confused about the situation that she has gotten herself involved in. Who will get the last laugh...Kim or her enemies? Will vengeance come back with a force, leaving Kim to face the ultimate price for all her wrong ways?

"The Prison Wife" was my favorite story out of the two in the Boss Bitches. I enjoyed the twist and turns the story had to offer. At times it was difficult to follow which character was saying what, but overall I think Girly G did a good job with Boss Bitches.

Reviewed by Kristin for Urban Reviews

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NEW REVIEW: Electa Rome Parks - True Confessions

Electa Rome Parks
True Confessions
Available Now!
4.5 out of 5 books

Kennedy Logan has her good days and her bad days while trying to find her birth mother and dealing with her over-controlling mother and her abusive ex-boyfriend. She's even tried to commit suicide, but her attempt failed. At the request of her therapist, Kennedy starts to keep a journal. She writes down everything that is going on in her life. She tries to find out what happened, and what events made her think of taking her own life. Well, that was easier said then done. Between her mother, Dorothy Logan, who was just always in her ear about everything, and her ex-boyfriend Drake, it was hard for Kennedy to find out how to just live for herself and no one else.

Kennedy's mother, Dorothy, moves in with her daughter and she's determined to get her child's life back on track. And the first order of business is to get rid of her boyfriend, Drake Collins. Drake has it all: looks, wealth, and he can charm the clothes off anyone. At least. that's what he thinks. Drake is determined not to lose Kennedy, and he'll do anything to make sure that does not happen. Will Kennedy finally see Drake for the man he really is? Or will she keep on the blinders and go on like nothing ever happened?

I have read several of Electa's books, and I can say that True Confessions is one of the best. This book sparks your attention at page one. I loved how Kennedy's character can relate to so many people out here that do not love and respect themselves first. She gives details about Kennedy's struggle with Drake, and how he had a lot of control over her. Also, there is her mother, who could be just as controlling as Drake. Eventually you see Kennedy breaking out of that shell and becoming her own person. True Confessions is truly a great read from beginning to end.

Reviewed by Jackie for Urban Reviews

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

NEW REVIEW: Ericka K. F. Simpson - Reality Check

Ericka K. F. Simpson
Reality Check: Sometimes One Dose of Reality Isn't Enough
Available Now!
4 out of 5 books

Suzanne Tucker knew deep down in her heart that her husband Ellis was cheating, and it was confirmed when Ellis confessed in a drunken daze. Soon, Ellis moves out and ultimately moves in with his mistress. Suzanne wants her husband back and is determined to win him back at any cost.

Quinton, a co-worker has been eyeing Suzanne for the longest, but due to the fact that rumors had it that Quinton was sleeping with the boss, Suzanne never gave him the time of day; that is, until a night out with the girls. Quinton claims he is a man of God, but his one downfall is women. Abstaining from sex is the one thing he fails short of. Suzanne thinks that Quinton is just like the rest of the men out there: a liar and a cheat. So she decides to use Quinton as a pawn to make Ellis jealous. She eventually gives Ellis an proposition that he would be a fool to refuse.

As far as Suzanne's career as a journalist, she decides to take a step in a different direction. She begins to report some "real" news on what is really going on around town. She starts up an anonymous blog and with the topics she is discussing, it becomes a quick success. Then Suzanne takes the blogging a little too far and in doing so, incriminates herself in something that turns into something bigger than she could have ever imagined. It's so big that it may have her lose even more than she bargained for.

Reality Check: Sometimes One Dose of Reality Isn't Enough by Ericka K.F. Simpson was a very good debut novel. Reality Check is a story of love, hurt, betrayal, friendship and murder. It also has a little bit of Christian Fiction thrown into the mix. There are lot of great quotes and underlying messages within the pages of this novel. It grabs you from the very first page and keeps you gripped until the very last. It will have you shaking your head at times and thinking, "Is she really this stupid or just plain crazy?" Aside from some minor editing issues, I had a hard time believing that everyone in her hometown would be reading this particular blog, especially with so many blogs on the internet that everyone just happened to be reading hers. I normally do not like sequels, but considering that Ms. Simpson came with a nice thick novel, I would like to see a sequel so I can find out how these characters are doing or what is going to happen with them next. Looking forward to your next novel, Ms. Simpson.

Reviewed by Leona for Urban Reviews

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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

NEW REVIEW: Ashley & JaQuavis - Murderville

Ashley & JaQuavis
Available Now!
5 out of 5 books

Liberty and A’shai have a love that can stand the test of time. But time is not on their side as Liberty is dying of a fatal heart condition. Her dying wish is to have A’shai tell her the story of how they met and how their journey leads to their current love affair. A’shai is hesitant to do this and wants to just spend these final moments enjoying the love of his life. But A’shai tells Liberty the story that started long ago in Sierra Leone and ends in the land of opportunity – America.

Ashley & JaQuavis brought a fresh twist to the street literature genre with Murderville. These authors gives readers an up close and personal view of the horrors of Sierra Leone, blood diamonds, child sex trafficking, and drug trafficking. Ashley & JaQuavis were able to incorporate these harsh and difficult realities into this story and made it relatable to the reader, which is the mark of a good writer. Ashley & JaQuavis did an excellent job of painting such vivid scenes that readers can actually visualize everything that is happening. You can tell that these authors really did their homework in regards to the research for this story. Liberty and A’shai are characters that you’ll be rooting for until the very end. Murderville is definitely thought-provoking and entertaining. It will be interesting to see how the next two installments will unfold.

Reviewed by Radiah Hubbert of Urban Reviews

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Monday, November 07, 2011

NEW REVIEW: Tina Brooks McKinney - Snapped

Tina Brooks McKinney
Available Now!
4 out of 5 books

Merlin and Gavin Mills are twin brothers who had a very dysfunctional upbringing. Merlin decided to just leave his horrible family behind when he became an adult. With a wonderful wife name Cojo, Merlin’s life seems to be going great. His evil twin Gavin steps back into the picture, and nothing but chaos and disorder comes with him. Gavin has never liked his brother Merlin and sets out to do anything he can to destroy him. But Gavin also has his sights on Cojo and will stop at nothing to steal her away from Merlin.

Tina Brooks McKinney brought us another crazy and entertaining story with Snapped. This story is filled with non-stop drama that continues throughout the book. You see how twin brothers who are supposed to be close are actually worlds apart in terms of their relationship. You’ll also see how Merlin & Gavin’s mother’s own questionable behavior shaped their lives well into adulthood. As you get to the end of this story, you’ll wonder if a sequel is in the works. Snapped is yet another page-turner by Tina Brooks McKinney.

Reviewed by Radiah Hubbert of Urban Reviews

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NEW REVIEW: Imani True and Dreama Skye - Strawberries, Stilettos, and Steam

Imani True and Dreama Skye
Strawberries, Stilettos, and Steam
Available Now!
2 out of 5 books

Strawberries, Stilettos and Steam by Imani True and Dreama Skye is a collection of erotic shorts. The book starts off with a woman about to slip into a hot bubble bath with a glass of champagne and a bowl of strawberries beside the tub....all in front of a webcam. She opens a package that she received earlier in the day that included a book that just so happens to be Strawberries, Stilettos and Steam, and she proceeds to read. There's a story about a student that attends classes online and just so happens to to get it on while class is in session; A woman who is bi-curious and meets someone online to quench her fantasy; A young man in college notices his best-friend's mother who is bound and determined to show him he's not a little boy anymore; A masked man that is going around climbing in the window of the women in the courthouse and sexing them; a cop that fantasizes about her partner and many more.

Strawberries, Stilettos and Steam by Imani True  and Dreama Skye was just okay...nothing more, nothing less. The first story in the book called "Detour" had a lot of conflicting scenes, not to mention the story with the courthouse. If a good developmental editor would have read these stories, they would have surely caught what I am referring to. There are also some editing issues, and the sex scenes were not as descriptive as they could have been. Saying they had sex for hours is not telling me exactly what they did in that time frame. There also seemed to be more girl on girl sex than any other stories. I understand that erotic is supposed to be heavily laced with sex but with a story. Unfortunately, Strawberries, Stilettos and Steam lacked the story and went straight to soft core porn.

Reviewed by Leona for Urban Reviews

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Sunday, November 06, 2011

NEW REVIEW: Various Authors - Nikki Turner Presents Street Chronicles: A Woman's Work

Various Authors
Nikki Turner Presents Street Chronicles: A Woman's Work
Available Now!
5 out of 5 books

I was very excited to be reading this collaboration of short stories. Nikki Turner Presents Street Chronicles: A Woman's Work is a comprised of four different authors with short stories that cover the topic of drugs, jail, escort service, and many others. I will pick two of my favorite short stories and give a review on them overall.

“Star”- Keisha Starr

Melissa was a PK (preacher’s kid) who grew up in a strict Christian household with rules she was required to follow. Melissa had a beautiful voice and dreamed of making it big by joining the up-and-coming R&B group, Pretty in Pink, but her parents would not allow her to give the church a bad look by participating in ungodly activities. Melissa continuously refused to follow rules in her parent’s house. When she is caught in a web of lies, she is given a choice to either abide by the rules or leave. Melissa chooses to leave and reality begins to set up. Melissa realizes that not everyone has her best interest at heart. Melissa is used, abused, and mistreated and soon becomes known in the industry as a washed up groupie. Melissa hits rock bottom and given a death sentence that will have lasting effects on her life forever. Will Melissa change her life and decide to make the right choices instead of the wrong ones, or is Melissa just a lost cause?

“Southern Girl Escort Service”- Lakesa Cox

Abie was one of the top escorts working at Southern Girl Escort Service; she was a beautiful, young lady who also serves as a recruiter to bring girls into the establishment. Abie had been around a long time and knew she was the cash cow at the Escort service. The mysterious madam only communicated with the girls via telephone. No one had ever seen the boss, and Abie devises a plan to get what she feels is entitled to her. With big plans, Abie and her boyfriend Scoot plan to extort money from the Madam. If she didn't comply with Abie’s demand, then her real identity would be revealed. Things don’t go as planned and ultimate consequences lie ahead for Abie and Scoot. When you break the rules, what consequence should you pay? Will Abie’s plan for extortion backfire and leave her regretting her choice?

All four of the short stories in Street Chronicles: A Woman's Work were great. I was very impressed at how even though the stories were short, they packed a punched. Street Chronicles: A Woman's Work is a must read novel, hands down. Each story takes you to a different place, and you will not be disappointed at all.

Reviewed by Kristin for Urban Reviews

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