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Welcome To SORMAG's Blog

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

REVIEWS 2007 PT2

In Between Men
San Culberson

Kensington Publishing Corp.
ISBN: 0-7582-1522-3
Publish Date: December 2007

Fiction
Rating: 4 Stars – Excellent
Reviewed by: Delores Hines

Hope Williams was a woman who had it all, the successful husband, the beautiful big house, three handsome boys, the powerful job. Yet there was something missing. Hope was feeling smothered by her husband’s desire to obtain the American dream.

Hope finds friendship in a man named Tony. Shortly after, they’re taking their lunches together and hanging out on the weekends under the guise of working. Hope tries to keep the relationship platonic but the situation gets out of control and her world falls apart. After cashing in her perfect present for greener pastures, Hope realizes that everything she ever really wanted she already had

This book had a very authentic feel to it, it made you want to reach out and touch the characters to get them straight. Their story is so typical of the American way; we climb and climb for success while ignoring the very people who are most important to us. Hope and Ray had a good marriage but lost the relationship along the way. This story reminds us to stay focused on what’s important in relationships, people. This book was very well written but could have done without Hope’s foul language in many instances.


Antony and Cleopatra
Colleen McCullough

Masters of Rome Series
Simon & Shuster
1416552944
December 2007
Historical Fiction

Rating 4 Stars-EXCELLENT
Reviewed by Michelle Alexander

Antony and Cleopatra is the seventh in the Masters of Rome Series and tells the story of ill-fated love of Marcus Antonius (Marc Antony) and Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt.

Written in extremely well-researched detail, McCollough provides the reader with all of the background of the characters and prior events that as time unfolds and the actions of Antony, Octavian, Cleopatra and the myriad other persons such as Herod, become understandable. One sees how all the players are subject to intrigue, manipulation and the failings of their own personalities. History unfolds in panoramic detail and you walk away knowing an enormous amount of information about the persons and their times.

At times this book can be a laborious read to the non-history buff. But not for the storyline, the book would almost be non-fiction. But the storyline ties all the details together skillfully. Not a light read, but a must for those interested in all the facts of this star-crossed couple and their noble demise.

From My Soul to Yours
Dywane D. Birch

Strebor Books
Simon & Shuster
1593091249
November 2007
Adult Romance

Rating 4 ½ Stars-EXCEPTIONAL
Reviewed by Michelle Alexander

In this sequel to Shattered Souls, we revisit Chyna, Britton, Damascus (Tee) and the unforgettable Indera. At this point Indera and Tee are married, with much conflict and indescribable sexual exchanges that will have readers, rereading for tips.

Britton has found himself a single parent since Lina has come to LA to be a star, and two new but troubling characters emerge in Chyna’s daughter Sarina who has descended into madness and has escaped to New York and Celeste a woman who after having one of our two male character’s child is convinced that she will win back the man of her dreams-despite his being married. Indera is in rare form in this sequel, particularly in meeting Celeste at a major sorority convention.

As the story unfolds, there are twists, turns, intrigue, and surprises around every corner.


Can’t Get Enough of Your Love
J.J. Murray

Kensington Publishing Corp.
ISBN: 0-7582-1399-9
Publish Date: November 2007

Fiction
Rating: 4 Stars – Excellent
Reviewed by: Delores Hines

Earlana Joy Cole is a single woman living life to the fullest. She enjoys the company of the three men in her life. Each man in her life brings out a different part of her personality. At any given moment she could be Earlana, Lana, or Joy.

Earlana, Lana, or Joy spends time juggling relationships with these three men, she’s not willing to choose being with just one so she makes them all fit into her schedule. Will the paths of the men intersect at some point? Will they all leave her and have Earlana completely alone? Or will one of them have a forgiving heart?

J.J. Murray takes a role that’s stereotypically male and spins it with a woman in it. Earlana is a character we love to hate, preying on the type of man most women would love to have. She makes no apology for her actions at least in the beginning but when the rubber meets the road she explores the reasons for her actions. The soul searching helps her face some tough issues but will the reasons matter in the end? Mr. Murray has put a new twist on an old story. Well done.


Hot Like Fire
Niobia Bryant

Dafina Books
Kensington Publishing Corp.
ISBN: 0758214618
Published: November 2007
Contemporary Romance

Rating: 4 Stars – Excellent
Reviewed by: Clara Sutton

When widower Kade Strong, decided that it was time for him and his seven year-old daughter Kadina to leave his parents home and move back into his own home, he started getting unwanted attention from all the single females in Holtsville. He just wanted to raise his daughter and continue to work the family ranch. Needing someone to take care of his daughter while he worked, Kade hired Garcelle Santos and things stared to change.

Garcelle Santos thought Kade was the meanest one of all the strong men. Garcelle worked for Kade's brother Kahron as his housekeeper to pay her way through college to become a nurse. She accepted Kade's job offer to be Kadina's nanny and the sparks started to fly between the two.

Garcelle respected Kade's privacy and at every opportunity she intervened between him and his unwanted admirers. In steps Zorrie Kintrell, Rema Strong's best friend since childhood who had plans to be the next Mrs. Strong.

Zorrie was so transparent that even Kadina could see that she was after her father but Kade only thought that Zorrie was just being a good friend. When Kade is injured in a horse race with his siblings, he really gets to see the true Zorrie.

When it seems that Kade and Garcelle are not going to find happiness together, a storm hits and Kade's rushing to Garcelle's home to make sure she is ok. The raging storm outside is nothing compared to the raging storm of passion taking place inside between two people who has finally found love again.


Francine Craft
Never Without You Again

Kimani Press
October 1, 2007
ISBN-10: 0373860374
Contemporary Romance

4 Stars - Excellent
Reviewer: Renee Motley

This is a heartwarming story about long lost love coming back into your life. The main characters, Theda Coles and Hunter Davis were high school sweethearts. Unfortunately they were separated in college by an illness which forced him to leave college. He never explained to Theda why he left. They went on to marry others, but still shared a love for one another. Theda husband dies and Hunter is now divorced. He returns to their hometown to enroll his son into the local high school and bumps into Theda. They rekindle their love affair and then his ex-wife decides she wants him back. She even uses their son to break up Theda and Hunter. Then a near tragedy brings them closure to the plot to separate them.

The story has a very slow start to it. However it does gain momentum as you continue on. The storyline is a good one, but there were times that I felt as if something was missing. I would have liked to have a little more detail about some of the characters and a little less of others. There were times that felt like we missed an entire stage of the story, but all in all it was a quick read and enjoyable novel. Predictable, but enjoyable. If you like a romance story with a little suspense, you will not be disappointed with this one.


A Girl’s Gotta Eat
Michelle Valentine

St. Martin’s Griffin
October 2007
ISBN-10: 0312360592
Urban Fiction

Rating: 4 - Excellent
Reviewer: Patricia Woodside

Rementa “Remmi” Broughten has a plan. She’s gonna be somebody, no matter what it takes. With only a high school education but possessing a strikingly beautiful face and body, she’s pretty sure she knows what success will require. After all, she learned this lesson early from her mother. “A girl’s gotta eat.”

With Shannelle Anderson, her best friend since grade school, now a stripper in a Harlem club by her side, Remmi schemes to transition from an extra in music videos to a star in the entertainment industry. All she needs is a break. And she’ll take one wherever and however it comes, whether by getting the best of a criminal enterprise or laying with a married mover and shaker in the entertainment industry.

Yes, both Remmi and Shannelle know what success requires—scheming and exploiting their bodies to get ahead—but do they really know what such success will cost them? When unexpected tragedy befalls Remmi and Shannelle, Remmi begins to reevaluate her choices. Too bad she has to tie up a few loose ends—and she’ll do it the only way she knows how—before she’ll be free to enjoy the success she so desperately craves.

A GIRL’S GOTTA EAT examines the choices made by young women who desire celebrity, fame, and fortune and who learn way too early through sad and difficult circumstances that their bodies are a valuable commodity. The fast-paced story draws the reader in and keeps her riveted until the last page, even when the main characters and their choices are, at times, contemptible. Michelle Valentine presents an all too real slice of urban life in excellent fashion. She paints Remmi, a bright young woman, as someone equally deserving of empathy and dislike. Because empathy wins in the end, A GIRL’S GOTTA EAT is a recommended urban fiction read.


The Way You Aren’t
Karen White-Owens

Dafina Books
Kensington Publishing Corp.
ISBN: 0758218796
Published: October 2007
Contemporary Romance

Rating: 4 Stars - Excellent
Reviewed by: Clara Sutton

Krista Hamilton was an IT Specialist at Dexter Kee. She was also the fuel that fed the office jokes because of the way she dressed. At the company picnic someone pushes Krista into the lake and everyone laughs at her but Brennan Thomas. This wasn’t the anything new to her because all through high school she had been made fun of. She was surprised that the handsome Brennan Thomas would come to her aid.

Brennan couldn't believe that the people he worked with could be so cruel to a co-worker especially one who they all depended on for computer help. After helping Krista to her car, he ripped into his co-workers but they just laughed more. Disgusted he walks away only to be stopped by rival sales director Flynn Parr.

Brennan and Flynn both are up for a promotion and the only way they will get the promotion is by competing to see who's sale team will come up with the best add for a major automaker. Flynn made a bet with Brennan that he couldn’t turn Krista into a diva in two months. To get Brennan to agree, Flynn agreed to have his sales team to leave Krista alone plus he added cash to sweeten the deal.

Brennan agreed and enlisted the help of his sister Liz. Things were going well until Krista and Brennan fell for each other and then Brennan didn't know how he was going to tell Krista about the bet but he needed to tell her before someone else did.

Brennan must convince Krista of his love for her or lose her forever. Krista isn't going to make winning her love easy for Brennan because she has a few rules of her own that he must agree to.

FIRE AND DESIRE
MONIQUE LAMONT

PARKER PUBLISHING LLC.
OCTOBER 2007
ISBN: 9787600430152
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Rating: 4+ - Exceptional
Reviewed by: Dianthia Lemons


Trevor Lewis is out for revenge and has been plotting for the past five years to get it. Christopher Manning murdered his best friend and now, Trevor has the opportunity to evoke his revenge, thanks to his aunt and an elite bachelorette party. Tiffany Hatcher is the governor's only daughter and has been by her father's side since her mother's death. She has a business outside her father's political arena and is known in Virginia as the party planner extraordinaire. She would never do anything to embarrass herself or her father. Tiffany is giving a bachelorette party for one of her friends in Las Vegas and Tiffany meets Trevor. Trevor is busy plotting the elements of his revenge and ignores his immediate attraction to Tiffany. Tiffany on the other hand wouldn't be caught dead with a male stripper, talk about embarrassment. Well, as luck would have it, Trevor and Tiffany both get drunk when they meet again in one of the casinos. In the morning, when the alcohol has worn off, Tiffany is naked and married to the stripper she knows nothing about. They part company with Tiffany thinking that the answer is a quickie divorce and that what has happened stays out of the media.

FIRE AND DESIRE is a story that teaches us not to judge the book by its cover. Tiffany assumes that Trevor is nothing more than a man who makes a living with his body. Trevor just sees Tiffany as a means to an end, getting revenge on Christopher Manning. Both fail to realize that they have feelings for each other that run deeper than the immediate attraction they first felt in Las Vegas. They never divorce outside influences help them both to see the love they have for each other. Even though they were married for all the wrong reasons and they did have to go through some pain in hearing the truth, true love comes to the fore front in the end.

Monique Lamont wrote a great one.


Deliver Me From Evil
Mary Monroe

Dafina Books (Kensington)
ISBN: 0758212178
Published: September 2007
Mainstream Fiction

Rating: 4-1/2 Stars – Exceptional
Reviewed by: Flashette Shirer

Monroe ’s novel unravels the life of Christine Thurman, a young woman who is looking for love in all the wrong places. Her once happy marriage to a millionaire businessman, JR, is now a burden and she wants to find a way out. Enter Wade, her first love and a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Together the two of them devise a plan in order for Christine to get the money she needs in order to leave her marriage with enough left over for Wade to again pursue his failed acting career.

The title of the novel is a bit misleading because Christine’s life is full of her running to evil. From her dysfunctional home life to her promiscuous past, Christine’s life is no where near drama free. This type of drama is what follows her into adulthood and eventually into her marriage.

Mary Monroe has weaved a wonderful story full with just enough plot twists to keep the reader hooked. Monroe is also a brilliant storyteller with quirky characters that are so vivid that this reader had many laugh out loud moments.


Every Man for Herself: A Novel
Maryann Reid

St. Martin’s Griffin
ISBN: 0312369093
Published: September 2007
Mainstream Fiction

Rating: 4 Stars – Excellent
Reviewed by: Flashette Shirer

Nina Bettus is ready for a change. She leaves her husband, family and small Texas town and heads for New York City . When she arrives, she begins to live the life she’s always dreamed about. Working as a massage therapist at an exclusive salon, Nina is reinventing herself. However, she soon finds out that a change of scenery and a new career do not guarantee an escape from her past.

Only a few days after her arrival in Brooklyn, Nina meets a mysterious spoken word poet and begins a steamy, sexual relationship with him. Then, after starting her new job, she meets a handsome lawyer who dotes on her, but her company policy forbids her from dating him. Now Nina must decide which man she wants to keep in her life while unraveling the ties that each has to her past.

Although the happily ever after ending is a bit trite, “Every Man for Herself” is, overall, an engaging story. Reid incorporates just the right amount of sex, excitement and mystery to keep the reader entertained.

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