Sunday, December 20, 2009

His Invisible Wife by Shelia Goss

Urban Soul: July 2009
Reviewer: Missy
Rating: 3.5

Shelia Goss is at it again a man and a woman coming together under not so normal rules.

Jacob Banks was about to lose it all until his uncle leaves him with the opportunity to save his business. However, there are stipulations that he has to make happen before he’s allowed the cash he needs to save his business. This stipulation is named Brianna "Bri" Mayfield, a woman with her eyes set on revenge. Jake has to marry Bri to cash in on the inheritance. Brianna is determined to destroy Jake and his company. Jake's proposal will provide her with a large sum of money and the perfect opportunity to accomplish her goal. What neither Jake nor Brianna count on is their attraction to each other.

His Invisible Wife was a fun and quick read with one major downfall. I could not find a clear description of Brianna anywhere in the book. I could give you a description of Jake from head to toe but we never get a description other than Jake stating she was a little healthier than most women he dated.

Shelia has produced another thought provoking intriguing book that left me captivated.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And Mistress Makes Three By Francis Ray

St. Martin's Griffin, Jun 2009
Reviewer: Missy
Rating: 4

Francis Ray has created a loving yet touching story about how far love will go to make people realize their needs for one another.

Gina Rawlings is the wife that most men would die for she never questions her husband about his coming or goings and always believes in him when he does not give reasons for things he does. She takes care of her home and put everyone before herself. When he walks away to go on to share his life with a better woman as he comes to bring to her attention she is left to pick up the pieces. With two children, no support from her husband and a business that has seen better days Gina finds
herself trying to hold on to her mental state.

With the opening of Journey's End, the bed & breakfast that his wife wanted, Max Broussard is taking his deceased wife's dream and making it a reality while still dealing with the fact that she is gone. When Gina goes to visit the B&B for her business, she finds a lovely location with lots of potential, in need of some touches to make it a step above the other B&Bs in the area. On the other end, Gina's travel agency needs help. If it were not for her family and friends, it would be making little to no income at all. Max knowing an expert eye when he sees one makes an agreement with Gina to help her with the technical side of her business if she would help him make the B&B the place he wanted to create for his wife. Max is very gentle to the eye and an instant spark flies between the Gina and Max but Gina and Max are both at war with these feelings. Max is not sure about her relationship with her ex-husband and Gina is at odds with her body due to the weight she has gained over the years.

Gina's best friend, Celeste de le Vega is an interior designer that many would call a heart breaker. She has been engaged three times but none of these men has made her heart stop and start again leading her down the aisle to forever. When Celeste meets Alec Dunlap, she realizes he may just be the one. However, Alec would not be easy. Alec, a dedicated police officer, is unable to perform his duties due to his guilt over the shooting of a man in the line of duty. Alec is at his brother's house building him and his new wife a gazebo while they are on their honeymoon. Celeste is at his brother's house redecorating the couple's bedroom. This causes Alec and Celeste to cross paths constantly. Alec is trying to fight the attraction between them but Celeste is trying everything in her power to ignite the fire. When Celeste is taken hostage, Alec has to deal with his feelings and bring them to the table with Celeste.

And A Mistress Makes Three was not what I expected I totally love how Francis took each of her characters and made them stand out as individuals before bringing them into their unique places within the book. This book is great as a standalone but I get the feeling I am going back to look at the Invincible Women of Charleston, SC. As a Charleston native, I would say that Francis hit this on the dime and made everything visually stimulating. KUDOS to Ray for doing it again.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Not Even If You Begged by Francis Ray

St. Martin's Griffin, Jan 2008
Reviewer: DD
Rating: 4

The voluptuous Traci Evans has an iron gate around her heart. Multiple wounds inflicted by her cheating deceased husband and her nasty mother have almost destroyed Traci’s faith in love, her trust in people in general. Despite all this, her attraction to the sexy Ryan Gilmore, her best friend and neighbor’s son, will not be denied. Traci is not Ryan’s type or at least he did not think so until he met her. Still Traci’s lush curves, generous breast, childbearing hips combined with a heart of gold makes Ryan want to know Traci inside and out.

The slim and trim, 59 years old, Maureen Gilmore loved her husband dearly. Now 4 years a widow she is missing the intimacy and the bond she had with her husband. Can the sexy police office, Simon Dunlap, fill the growing void in her heart despite the fact that he is almost 10 years her junior. Will Maureen let her feelings for Simon overcome doubts and fears due to the age difference?

Francis Ray has done it again. Not Even If You Begged is a page-turner from beginning to end. The characters in this book come to life so naturally you almost forget your reading fiction. I felt Traci and Maureen’s pain as they dealt with their personal struggles. I wanted them to find the love they both deserved with the hot men Francis Ray created to take my breath away. I fell just a little bit in love with both Simon and Ryan for they had qualities most single women look for when they imagine their life mate. The story itself flowed effortlessly. Francis Ray combined the budding romances with sub-plots that gave this story an essence of realness and gave you insight into the characters you can only see when they interact with people outside of their budding relationships. I closed the book wanting to read more but still satisfied with what I was given

(Book Originally Reviewed For BBW Reviews)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gunmetal Black by Daniel Serrano

Grand Central Publishing: September, 2008
Reviewer: LaShonda S
Rating: 4

Fresh out of jail, the last thing Eddie Santiago needed was to become entangled into the illegal dealings of his childhood best friend Little Tony. Eddie had plans to leave behind the streets of Chicago and the memories they held and move to Miami. His love for Latin music and the congas had Eddie ready to take his money and become legit by becoming a partner in the Salsa record label his prison cell mate wanted to start. But Eddie has to fight to wash the grit of Chicago off his hands and take back what is his for he is haunted by the ghost of a favor owed to Tony, memories of his father's murder and being set up by his old boss Pelon.

From the opening flashback Gunmetal Black gives you a peek into the troubled life of Eddie Santiago. Living a life plagued with violence and crime it is no wonder that the first part of this story centers on Eddies time in jail. It is during this time that we witness the growth of Eddie beyond his criminal past. Filled with intricate criminal plans and deception with every turn, Gunmetal Black is a gritty street novel with just enough drama to hold your interest from beginning to end.

I recommend this book to urban lit fans that enjoy a good plot and mystery with their story. The use of flashbacks to fill in the blanks along with the real life situations the characters are placed in makes this an interesting read. There are no over the top antics and unrealistic finales to disappoint the reader.

Bare Necessities: Sensuous Tales of Passion by Hazel Mills

Xpress Yourself Publishing, LLC: February, 2008
Reviewer: Lashonda S
Rating: 3

Bare Necessities is a collection of erotic short stories featuring combination of lesbian and heterosexual encounters. It is the perfect quick read to spice up your night. The stories are short enough to be read to your mate as bedtime stories. I recommend this quick read to erotic readers who enjoy diverse story lines.