Wednesday, July 02, 2008

REVIEWS - 2007 - PT1

Nikki Jenkins

ISBN - 13: 9787593090463
Mainstream Fiction

RATING: 2 ½ - Good
Reviewed by: Dianthia Lemons

Natalie Kelly is a stay at home mother and wife. Anderson Kelly is her handsome, business oriented spouse who owns his own personal gym. Natalie takes care of the house in every way, cleaning, cooking and caring for her twins and her man. She is the back bone of what could be considered a dysfunctional family matrix. Her mother is a spoiled diva and her sister is the family drug addict. She has a man hungry best friend Leslie and a husband who has a history of adultery prior to their marriage. She goes through her day doing the same thing but that little voice in the back of her mind, her conscious is trying to tell her something. Through all the family drama, nothing can prepare Natalie for the heartbreak and betrayal she is about to endure.

Ms. Jenkins tried hard to keep the story interesting but it wasn't. The story line was dull and lacking good character development. The Natalie character was boring and at times confusing. Natalie sounded like she needed to spend a lot of money on therapy. Most women would have been down at the gym before the first week went by if their man was staying at work long hours. It was a good effort but this book needs a lot more time and development of the characters and a definitive story line with flow.

Corey A. Burkes

Skyelight Books
Skyelight Literature
ISBN: 9780979635205
July 2007
Mainstream Fiction

Rating: 4 ½ - Exceptional
Reviewed by: Dianthia R. Lemons

Gisela Thompson, aka BUTTA, has lived through devastating life events at an early age. She witnessed the murder of her entire family at the hand of Lingo Stein. She has grown into a beautiful woman with one motive in mind, REVENGE.

Lingo Stein, wealthy, powerful and the head of Stein Diamonds International. His network of friends is vast and they do whatever Stein tells them to do. Stein is about to celebrate his fifteenth anniversary of producing the world’s largest diamonds. He is set to unveil his baby, a 112 story building with a high-tech vault fitted with the deadliest security system ever designed.
Butta is well aware of the upcoming fifteenth anniversary. It will prove to be the opportunity needed for Butta to take revenge for her family’s death and to prove that Lingo Stein’s wealth was a result of a stolen process developed by her father. Butta’s quest is to break into Stein’s safe and take the life of the man who cost her a family.

This is a debut novel for Corey A. Burkes and he succeeds with high marks. He takes the time to develop his story and keep the characters different and interesting. He also leaves open to questions periods of time in his character’s lives that beg for sequels. Bravo Corey.

Allison Hobbs

Strebor Books International
ISBN: 139781593091194
July 2007
Erotic Fiction

Rating: 4 stars - Excellent
Reviewed by: Dianthia R. Lemons

Milan Walden, a beautiful young woman in a business that caters to making women feel and look good. She has brought Pure Paradise Spa into the spotlight with hard work and business savvy. She thinks and acts like she has it all. Milan’s world takes a serious nose dive when it’s revealed that her College Degrees are as bogus as a home spun weave. She finds herself unemployed and facing some serious criminal charges. She does what any sista in trouble would do, she runs for the safety of family. Even though she has to listen to “I told you so” from her sister, she is determined to start over.

Milan has to do something to keep out of sight, so she takes a position as a live-in companion for sickly millionaire Noah Brockington. Living in the lap of luxury starts Milan’s scheme to become the heir to the Brockington fortune. Her need for extravagance leads her to an alliance with the millionaire and a bizarre but impending wedding.

Scandal, temptation, quirky sex and greedy family members are only the tip of the iceberg. Reading this story is the only way you will put all of the puzzle pieces together.

Allison Hobbs does a great job with this tale of greed, lust, and secret passions. She keeps you reading until the end when you say “OH, THAT’S WHY”

Mike Warren

Life Changing Books
ISBN: 9781934230954
May 2007
Mainstream Fiction

Rating: 3 Stars – Very Good
Reviewed by: Dianthia R. Lemons

Sean, a young husband and father is in the military to support his wife Venus and their son. Sean doesn’t get the loving he used to from his wife before the baby was born and that creates a problem. Extreme sexual frustration and no outlet, leads Sean to seek release anywhere he can.

Enter Cameron, Sean’s roommate who the entire company knows from boot camp is gay.
Sean can’t get another room and through time, learns to appreciate his roommate and his quirkiness. Cameron opens Sean’s eyes to the world of gay and bisexual men and Sean begins to question his sexuality on a daily basis.

Sean soon gets caught up in an erotic, wild, triangle that has him finding his sexual peak and his alternative lifestyle. The twists and turns will keep you turning the pages

Mike Warren does okay with this story. There needed to be more development of the character’s to let us know what was really going on with them. It seems that everyone in the story, especially the men had the down low attitude and nothing was ever mentioned about safe sex or HIV. It’s okay but there is much room for improvement.

What A Woman Wants
Brenda Jackson

St. Martin's Griffin
January 2007
ISBN-10: 0451222288

Women's Fiction

Rating: 3 ½ - Great
Reviewer: Patricia Woodside

WHAT A WOMAN WANTS is actually the story of what four women want. Childhood friends Faith, Shannon, and Monique reunite in Hilton Head following the suicide of their friend Cely. Stunned by Cely's death, the women decide to spend a summer in tribute to their deceased friend-living life based on their wants and needs, with no regrets and with no expectations but their own. On the island, they meet and befriend another woman, Adrianna, who has her own tie to their late friend. In short order, the three old friends and one new discover they must face their pasts in order to embrace their present…and that the future contains a few unexpected surprises.

Ms. Jackson demonstrates why she is one of the most well-respected and prolific writers of romantic stories featuring African-American characters. She deftly weaves the stories of these four women into an intriguing and satisfying tale about finding love and happiness while making peace with one's past, all equally satisfying. No matter how you like your romance, from sweet romance to sizzling hot, there was a love story here that will appeal to you.

At times I felt as though I'd entered a movie and had missed the opening act but the story captured and held my attention and I quickly caught up. In fact, I later discovered that several of the central characters appear in previous works by Ms. Jackson. I enjoyed the story so much that I'm certain I'll find and read those preceding stories.

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