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.
Malcolm Black is a man with everything but the woman he wanted.... Cinnamon Dubois Brown.
Keith Thomas Walker - The Finley Sisters' Oath of Romance - Available Now! - 4 out of 5 books -
rekindle their friendship from high school at their 10-year class reunion. Mona
Pratt has done well for herself since high school. She is the owner of her own
real estate company. Rene Packard has
done pretty well for herself as a sale executive for a major corporation. The
last member of the trio, Dawn Wright, has not done as well as her other
sisters. She works for minimum wage at the local dry cleaners in Overbrook Meadows,
TX, the town that the trio group up in. The one thing that the three have in common
is their issues with men. Mona has the philosophy of "love 'em and leave 'em" without feelings getting involved. On the other hand, Rene has been hurt by
love, and wants no part of it even though she has had an
"agreement" with the same guy for over 2 years. Dawn is staying in an
abusive relationship because she feels like no other man would want her because
she has gained weight and has 2 children by two different men. They are all a
mess! So when they reunite at their 10 year class reunion, they decide to take
a cruise together and rekindle their friendship. Their cruise was about
repairing relationship, self reflection, and looking toward the future. It's
not going to be smooth sailing to get to where they want to be, but the Finley
Sisters know that this is one wave they want to ride all the way to the end.
The Finley Sisters' Oath of Romance by Keith Thomas Walker was a good read. This is the third
book I have read by Walker, and once again he does a fantastic job with plot and
character development. He seamlessly weaves three stories into one book while
keeping the story flowing. The Finley
Sisters' Oath of Romance causes you to reminisce about your high school
days and wonder about those people you haven't kept in touch with. It also
helps renew your hope that time and distance doesn't affect true friendship.
J. Leon Pridgen II - Color of Justice - Available Now! - 5 out of 5 books -
James Pruitt had no questions about being adopted. His bond with his parents was tight, and he never felt the need to search for his biological mother and father. He realized early on how lucky he was to even have parents like William and Mamie Pruitt. However, on his death bed, James' father used his last breathe to tell James that he loved him but what came next set the tone for the entire book: “have…brother, help him.” The author didn't put much into this scene; you could almost pass right by it. James has much more on his mind at this time then to realize the magnitude of what his father has just said.
While going through his dad’s things, James finds a box filled with newspaper clipping, photos and several different articles, all about Warren Johnson...the same Warren Johnson that was in the newspaper on Friday, the same paper James never had a chance to read. After pondering about the box, James comes to one conclusion; his father has a love child.
Out of respect for his mother, he tries to hide the box but she asked for it. James tries to deter her by saying he already went through the box and “it’s nothing.” But his mother is standing waiting for James to turn the box over to her, and he does.
Mom tells James that she knows about the box and who the young man in the paper is. She tells him it’s his half brother by his biological mother. Shocked, James asks “"you know who my mother is?" Very soon after this conversation, James is told some information that will be the catalyst for his actions throughout the next hundred pages or so.
Color of Justice is my second book that I've read by Pridgen. Hidden Secrets Hidden Lives was my first and both books proved to be very satisfying reads for this reader. His storytelling skills are direct and to the point. It doesn’t matter whether he is portraying a corporate or human issue, your heart will be engaged. This time my heart was lost in this story and as it came to a bitter sweet end, the emotions from James and his family and friends left me wondering how far would I go for family?
If I was a weather person I would tell you there’s a chance of rain take your umbrella with you today. As a reviewer I’m telling you to read this book because it is filled with the food needed that makes a good story.
Dell Banks - Shady - Available Now! - 3.5 out of 5 books -
Giselle Whitfield has found love that she yearned for as a child while she was abused by her malicious mother, Greta. She has put her dreams of acting on the back burner because of her fiance’s desire to take care of her. Penning her innermost thoughts and feelings proves to be therapeutic but could also prove to be destructive. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer proves to be an understatement in Shady.
Shady is a common tale of sheisty people victimizing one gullible individual for no apparent reason but pure greed and vindictiveness. The storyline had a choppy flow and poor editing that was a bit distracting. Shady did have potentially good scenes but failed with the delivery. There were too many open subplots and poor character development, ultimately hindering a potentially good read.
Roze - Body Snatchers - Available Now! - 2 of the 5 books -
After escaping their native land of Haiti after a robbery gone horribly wrong, twin brothers David and Jerry flee to the United States to live with their aunt in New York. The boys continue to go to school during the day, but at night, they are known as Major and King. They quickly get into the drug game but soon realize that there is another more lucrative way to make money... kidnapping. They dub themselves as the Body Snatchers.
Major and King are surrounded by a loyal group of Haitian men who are willing to do anything to get the job done. When they kidnap a man that they think has a lot of money, they soon realize that the man they kidnapped is the son of the Governor of New York. Not only that, but their past is about to catch up with Major and King. Not only do they have the FBI after them, but they also have someone from Haiti that wants them dead.
Body Snatchers by Roze is a story about drugs, loyalty, murder and mayhem. The dialect for the Haitian language or broken English was not present in the beginning of the book, nor was it there when the boys came to America. The author makes mention that the boys spoke broken English, but I would have liked it if the author would have written how they spoke. Not only that, but the timeframe was unclear, making the story a bit confusing. The author failed to have the characters have a voice of their own. At times, I was not sure what character I was reading about because there was no real distinction between them. There were also a few scenarios that were simply unbelievable. I think with a little more development with the storyline, Body Snatchers could have easily been written into one novel and the rating could have rated higher.
Christopher Herz - Pharmacology - Available Now! - 4 out of 5 books -
Sarah Striker is a young woman that moved to San Francisco from Kansas City in order to live out her dreams. She also was looking for some steady income. Sarah is soon recruited by an advertising agency who wants to target a new drug to her own demographic. She loves the money, but Sarah is leery about what this drug actually does to people. Sarah decides to publish an underground magazine to expose what this pharmaceutical company was doing. But Sarah has to make sure that she’s not getting sucked into this world that she’s writing about.
Christopher Herz brought us an interesting look into the pharmaceutical industry with Pharmacology. This book has an interesting storyline with an entertaining protagonist in Sarah Striker. You see how Sarah gets deeper and deeper into the life that her new job creates. There are also some strange secondary characters in Sarah’s life that makes the book all the more intriguing. Herz also throws in a surprising twist that will make you question everything that you read in this story. Peppered with old school hip hop references and songs as the backdrop, Pharmacology is definitely a different kind of novel.
Jae Henderson - Someday - Available Now! - 3 out of 5 books -
Someday by Jae Henderson is the story of Tina "Tee" Long, one of the best event planners in Memphis, TN. Instead of a search for Mr. Right, she prays for a righteous man to come into her life...a man that will understand the fact that she chooses to remain celibate until she is married. The problem is that most of the men she dates proclaims to understand her views on sex before marriage, but they fail to go the distance and stick around. Tee is beyond hurt with her latest beau.
After a knee injury that ended his career as a NFL superstar, Michael Stokes is hired as a motivational speaker at one of the events that Tee is throwing. Once the two meet, sparks fly. The chemistry between Michael and Tee is evident. Michael seems like he is willing to take things slow and really get to know one another. Unfortunately, they may have to put their budding relationship on hold because a woman from Michael's past is unwilling to let him go.
Someday by Jae Henderson is a blend of Christian fiction and Romance. The auhor does a great job in the underlying messages to be learned throughout the novel. Personally, I did not care for the "crazy ex-girlfriend" aspect of the novel. In the very beginning and throughout, it makes mention that she is crazy enough to "kill" but I did not see anything throughout the novel that would lead me to believe that she was crazy enough versus just being a woman scorned. On another note, I was pleasantly surprised when I read that the character Michael was from my hometown. But the problem lies in the fact that the places that are mentioned just are not accurate. Aside from some minor editing issues, Someday was an okay read.
Tyora Moody - When Rain Falls - Available Now! - 4 out of 5 books -
At a young age, Candace Johnson witnessed her mother being murdered. As time passed, she learned how to deal with her grief. She met and married Detective Frank Johnson. With their two children, Candace thought she had finally put her nightmares behind her. That was until her husband was killed in the line of duty. Now widowed, Candace leaned on her children, and best friend, Pamela Coleman, for support. Right when Candace was picking up the pieces and trying to get her life back on track after her husband's death, her best friend, Pamela, was killed. Throughout all the tragedies that have occurred in Candace's life, will she be able to move on?
Recently divorced Detective Darnell Jackson recently relocated from California and was in need of a new start. He partnered up with Frank Johnson's former partner, Steven Brunson, to handle the murder investigation of Pamela Coleman. He soon finds out that his new partner is a hot head, and basically leaves Darnell to investigate the case alone. Since being assigned to this investigation, Darnell finds out that this case may be more than he can handle because Pamela is the daughter of a high-powered judge. When Darnell goes to question Candace about her best friend, sparks start to fly between them. Darnell will soon learn that you cannot let the conflict of interest get the best of you.
When Rain Falls is an interesting read by Tyora Moody. It has a lot of suspense, twists, and turns. But it also has a Christian feel to it. In this book, each of the main characters deal with some life-changing experiences, and they will question God as to why this is happening to them. Throughout the book, you will be on the edge of your seat. There is an interesting plot to this story. At some point, you will read the main character, Candace, praying and trying to gain enough strength to find out what happened to her best friend. I am normally not a reader of mystery/suspense novels. However, while reading When Rain Falls, it was hard for me to put it down because I wanted to know who the killer was. And when you find out who it is, it'll definitely surprise you. This story is a good book to start off with as your first mystery novel. When Rain Falls is not predictable at all, and as you read it...you will see why. Reviewed by Jackie for Urban Reviews Order your copy of When Rain Falls today!