Wednesday, July 02, 2008

REVIEWS: February 2008

To Love a Stallion
Deborah Fletcher Mello

Kimani Romance

ISBN-13: 9780373860548
Pub. Date: February 2008

4 Stars – Excellent
Reviewed by: Regina Hightower

I enjoyed reading this book. It had a great plot, the main character, and the supporting cast was really outstanding. I loved the family connection in the story. The 'Stallion Men' are to die for. This ought to be a great series.

Whatever Gets You Through The Night
Teri Devine

St. Martin's Griffin
February 2008
ISBN-10: 0312364296

Women's Fiction

Rating: 3 - Very Good
Reviewer: Patricia Woodside

WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH THE NIGHT is a poignant tale about a young woman who rises above modest beginnings yet remains tethered to the less than desirable environment she's left behind.

As with many young women, Bari Jordan's big heart, with its oversized capacity for love and compassion, blinds her to the behaviors, secrets, and petty jealousies that swirl around her and eventually threaten her very existence.

At a high school skip party, Bari meets Earl Jordan. He's completely intoxicated but something about him endears him to her. She graduates, goes on to college, and marries Earl, who doesn't go to college but has a decent job working in his father's business. Bari secures a great job, has good friends, and enjoys a supportive family. But her marriage is not quite as successful. When marital problems arise, Bari isn't sure what to do. She digs in her heels and tries her best to make a go of the toxic relationship, even turning to a spiritualist for assistance. Except Bari doesn't get the help she needs and she hides her feelings and torment from those who care the most and who best can help her.

There are some aspects about the story that I could easily describe as clichéd like the college-educated African-American woman whose income outstrips that of her undereducated husband or the uneducated man whose life spirals out of control due to the pull of illegal drugs and alcohol. I winced a bit as I read these storylines. But the writing is fresh and touching. It makes the reader want to like Earl even as his behavior and mental state deteriorate and place Bari's life in jeopardy.

The ending felt like the story stopped abruptly, and on a melancholy note at that, rather than reaching a conclusion. Bari recognizes her need to examine her choices but readers don't get to see the benefit of that examination. A sequel is in the works, perhaps?

Overall, WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH THE NIGHT was an enjoyable read and an impressive debut from author Teri Denine.

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