Sunday, February 26, 2023

New Review : The Color of Family : Jerry McGill








5 out of 5 books

Devon Payne snatched my heartstrings and played a song of brokenhearted dreams and the emptiness of retribution. Like the strings on a guitar, the Payne family members struck a different chord of feelings of abandonment of nurturing and love due to favoritism that they didn’t sit on the side of.

Like so many others, the less favored children tend to deal with the lack of what family should feel and look like. It’s normal for siblings to be competitive in wanting to be the best or go the furthest in life. But the tragedies of youthful ignorance derailed Devon’s dreams of life, love, and having his own family. It didn’t help to have to be separated from the people you are most familiar with to be halfway across the world only to be acknowledged for what you did wrong and are needed for something.

I enjoyed this story that Jerry McGill wrote as it addresses many family dysfunctions, turmoil, failures, growth, and forgiveness. This title is recommended to all who love Urban fiction as we can all find ourselves in each chapter intricately woven into the pages.

Reviewed by Lacha’ J

Get your copy of  The Color of Family today!


 

Saturday, February 25, 2023

The Exes : Brandon Massey

 




3.5 out of 5 books

The day Austin Dash has been regretting has arrived. His ex-wife, Naomi has been released from prison. Austin fears how this will affect his now peaceful life that he has with his wife, Brooke, their children, and his son Khari from his previous marriage to Naomi. Austin is afraid of Naomi who was imprisoned for brutally stabbing him during a jealous episode. There is no cause for the jealous behavior, but this is what Austin dealt with while married to Naomi, delusional, unhinged and violent episodes.  This last incident convinces him that he had to take action to keep him and Khari safe.

 

His new marriage to Brooke is everything that Austin wanted in life. He and Khari are able to move on and bond with the new family that Brooke and Austin create.  But Naomi wants her family back, both Austin and Khari. She will stop at nothing even including her spooky and crazy family to get what she wants. The antics of Naomi and Austin’s ex-in-laws, takes readers on a ride they won’t forget.

 

I love Brandon Massey! I will not put this book at the top of his other books but I stayed engaged throughout the book. There are several jaw-dropping moments that will have you wanting to throw the  book or holler at the characters.  A very intriguing read. 

Reviewed by Paula Allen  

 



New Review : Confessions in B-Flat : Donna Hill

 



4 out of 5 books

Jason Tanner has come to Harlem in 1963. His mission is to spread the word of passive resistance of his mentor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Anita Hopkins is a poet that believes in the teachings of Malcolm X and freedom is “by any means necessary”. But when Jason sees Anita performing her poetry at the B-Flat lounge, he is instantly drawn to her. Can Jason and Anita make a connection?


Civil rights, different ideologies, and a love story is what Donna Hill brought us with Confessions in B-Flat. From the iconic restaurants, record stores, and other local black community landmarks, Hill transports you to 1963 Harlem. You can literally see everything that is taking place in this story. The development of Anita and Jason’s love story is a steady build that readers will appreciate. Donna Hill hit just the right note with Confessions in B-Flat.


Reviewed by Radiah Hubbert


Get your copy of Confessions in B-Flat today!




New Review : Black Girls Must Die Exhausted : Jayne Allen

 







4 out of 5 books

Tabitha Walker is a 33-year-old local news reporter that is navigating through life. She plans to make a down payment on her dream home and has a steady boyfriend. But when a medical diagnosis threatens her ability to have children, Tabitha doesn’t know what her future will look like.


Black Girls Must Die Exhausted  is a good debut novel from Jayne Allen. Tabitha is a very relatable character. Allen paints a very accurate picture of the difficulties of balancing a career, love life, and fertility. Tabitha’s relationships with her friends and grandmother are nurturing and rewarding. Good character development and dialogue makes Black Girls Must Die Exhausted  a good start to this three book series.


Reviewed by Radiah Hubbert


Get your copy of Black Girls Must Die Exhausted today!


See the interview with Jayne Allen here!


New Review : Blindsided : Trice Hickman

 







4 out of 5 books

Bernadette, Tess, and Arizona are back with more drama than before. When Bernadette moved to a small town a year ago, she never thought that she would be pregnant and in a relationship. But Bernadette soon finds out that life is not that easy.  Tess is happily engaged to a successful restaurateur. But when she finds out she has difficulty conceiving, will her world fall apart? Arizona has married the love of her life. She is trying to help her husband to work out his intimacy issues in the bedroom. But Arizona’s husband has dark issues that she may not be able to solve.


Blindsided is a good follow-up to The Other Side by Trice Hickman. Both books are recommended. Hickman gives us an excellent update on these memorable characters. Just like in the first book, the characters in this story are memorable and relatable. Readers will find that there are some unexpected revelations in this book that makes this a true page-turner. Blindsided is a good book club pick and another winner for Trice Hickman.



Reviewed by Radiah Hubbert


Get your copy of Blindsided today!




New Review : The Black Magician : KayCee Jones









4 out of 5 books

 

When the ancestors were stolen from Africa, the slave catchers were taking kings, queens, princes, princesses, and doctors. Highly intelligent individuals who carried their knowledge, secrets and gifts with them to America.  THE BLACK MAGICIAN is a tale that portrays the strength, intelligence, and resilience of those who are enslaved. George is such a person, gifted with the ability to read the aura of individuals, he uses this to identify slaves who are mentally strong and highly desire freedom from the bonds of slavery.

 

With the aid of his grandmother, affectionately referred to as “Granny’ by all, George learns the history of his people, the power he possesses and the secrets of plants and herbs that she learned from her ancestors who were doctors and scientists.  George’s responsibility on the plantation is as a blacksmith. He is recognized by his master for the inventions he made that the master is secretly patenting and selling as his own inventions to maintain income for his plantation. With the help of Indian Red, Master Smith’s lovechild, Shelby who is an abolitionist in Philadelphia, George’s ability to make things with his hands and Granny’s secrets to deceive and escape the slave catcher, those who desire are able to taste freedom.

 

I enjoyed this book because most people don’t recognize the intelligence and ability of our enslaved ancestors. They were not able to display that knowledge for fear of retaliation, not recognizing that they gathered slaves from different tribes together on plantations so that they can’t speak to each other, and they lack the ability to read the English language. Therefore, there was no means to carry on their native language to future generations.  The book shows how they overcome those barriers to discern and know that they can one day be free.

           Reviewed by Paula Allen 

          Get your copy of The Black Magician today!


 


New Review : Love, Honor, Betray : Mary Monroe








 

3.5 out of 5 books

In LOVE, HONOR, BETRAY, we find ourselves back in the lives of Hubert and Jessie Wiggins in the third installment of Mary Monroe’s Lexington Alabama series.  Things pick up right where the second book of the series ended, the serial murders are still plaguing the town with no clue as to who the culprits are. The killings have become more sinister with racial undertones as the victims are no longer young black women but now includes black men who are being hung in trees.  Everyone is afraid and on high alert. This is beneficial for Hubert’s business as the funeral home director, but the potential threat to their lives is instilling fear. Especially considering the Klan may be on the loose and the police investigation is hitting too close to home to the appalling act they are keeping secret.

 

Hubert has managed to keep his secret affair with his lover Leroy hidden but things change, sending Hubert in a downward spiral. Jessie is dealing with the frustrations of being in a marriage without intimacy. She takes up an affair with a married man who proves to be too much for her.  Will the secrets they share as well as the ones they are keeping from each other be the downfall of their marriage of convenience?

Although I enjoyed my journey with Hubert and Jessie and their messy marriage, I find this book to be a bit repetitive and wordy. The book provides some of the shock value as MRS. WIGGINS, but they are predictable moments as well. You can count on Mary Monroe to bring the drama and I am here for it! 

Reviewed by Paula Allen   

 


 



New Review: Pride : Victoria Christopher Murray

 




3.5 out of 5 books

PRIDE is the tale of Journee Alexander, a successful real estate broker in Houston, TX. Journee is proud of her accomplishments and her ability to rise above homeless and parental abandonment. Journee’s life turns around when her best friend Vivian Wallace invites her to join her uncle Simon’s real estate mortgage company.  Simon takes Journee under his wings as a mentee and the two engage in practices that was not above board. A tragic event that took place because of their schemes drives Journee to pull away from Simon and start her own mortgage firm.

 

Someone knows about Journee’s past shady business dealings and is threatening revenge for her actions.  She enlists the assistance of her ex-boyfriend Ethan Thomas, a criminal defense attorney to get ahead of the threatening text and potential lawsuit as her former boss and mentee may be facing criminal charges. Journee’s situation becomes more dire as she refuses the advice of those who are trying to help her, thinking that doing it her way is best. Her meddling presents more challenging issues and exposes her to her nemesis.

 

Journee’s character is so full of pride and caught up in self, that she thinks no one is better at doing things than she is, and she can’t advice from others. Her character comes off as gullible and na├»ve, until you recognize she exhibits that type of behavior because she thinks so highly of herself.  Proverbs 16:18 states “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” and Murray clearly pens this in a modern-day tale. This is the fifth book in her Seven Deadly Sins series, and I am trying to get my hands on each one. 

Reviewed by Paula Allen  

 


Book Excerpt of the Month : Love's Remnant : Regena Bryant

  When Avery Thomas inherits D Allen Designs she must piece together the tattered shreds of her life after the death of her best friend. Now...