Tuesday, July 21, 2009


EDITOR’s NOTE: My apology to those waiting patiently for reviews. Due to a series of issues, our reviews were on hiatus. We are currently catching up with the reviews and will be posting more as they come in.

JUNE 2009

Best Foot Forward
Michele Sudler

Indigo Love Stories
Genesis Press, Inc.
ISBN 13 DIGIT: 978-1-58571-337-0
ISBN 10 DIGIT: 1-58571-337-6
Published JUNE 2009
Mainstream Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars – SUPREME
Reviewed by: Vicki Brooks

Author Michele Sudler put her “Best Foot Forward” when she wrote this novel. I was pulled into the story from the very beginning, starting with one of the many nightmares Tonya Perkins had been repeatedly having for years. In the dreams, she witnesses her fiancĂ© being beaten and killed by mobsters – so she thought. This real life event has been haunting her for 3 years now and has left her a young recluse. Because of this incident she hasn’t left the doors of her home in 3 years. This is an illness she has been struggling with and working to overcome. She doesn’t have much success until her brother’s handsome frat brother, Jaimer Lambert moves in next door. He is enjoying his new place of residence while assisting Tonya with her daily struggles. Along with Jaimer, she gets lots of help, wanted or not, from her nosy family members. With both of their help she begins to make progress. She really puts her best foot forward when one of the family members gets shot and she needs to go to the hospital to ensure there’re okay. Without giving away too much of the story, it is a worthwhile read.

MAY 2009


May 2009
ISBN: 13-978158571338-7

Rating: 4 Stars - EXCELLENT
Reviewed by: Dianthia R. Lemons

Garrett Martindale is an R&B singing sensation. Born and raised in a strict Christian home, he was not allowed to listen to secular music. Once exposed to the sounds of Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding , Garrett knew his future was singing R&B. Garrett is coming home to get a little rest and relaxation after the NAACP Awards show. He wants time with his family and there is someone else he would love to see again and her name is Trinity.

Trinity Blake is an old childhood friend of Garrett’s and is now a fifth grade school teacher. Growing up together and singing in the church choir both found happiness together. After Garrett left the church for the secular world, Trinity stopped singing and got on with her life. She has never forgotten Garrett and wants to fall in love, get married and have children. What Trinity does remember is the only date they had and wonders what would have happened if they would have remained in contact with each other.

Garrett and his sister were both raised in a strict Christian home. Instead of being a parent, their father preached to his children and for a while, they made what their father felt were horrible mistakes. Their father had to learn that children grow and have to be responsible for their own actions in life. Trinity had to learn to trust again after having her heart broken and to trust in love.

Set in Columbus Maryland, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, the story has a consistent pace that allows the reader to be in every situation and to want the good to triumph. Hoping for a good outcome and believing in the characters and the story made IT’S IN THE RHYTHM a great book for reading.

Sammie Ward did a great job writing a wonderful story.

MARCH 2009

That Devil’s No Friend of Mine
J.D. Mason

St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 0312368852
Published: March 2009
Mainstream Friction

Rating: 4 Stars – EXCELLENT
Reviewed By: LaVern Perscell

Bishop Fontaine dies and oh how his death affects so many people. His daughter, Kristine is looked at as the poor, sheltered child. What is she going to do with herself, her father made all the decisions for her. But little do we know the secrets that she and his business partner, Lamar are keeping. Also, little do we know that what Kristine wants, she usually gets with or without that person’s knowing what is happening. J.D. Mason manages to keep you on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. An excellent read!


Temptation and Lies
Donna Hill

Kimani Romance
Kimani Press
ISBN: 0373861001
Published: February 2009

Rating: 4 ½ Stars – EXECEPTIONAL
Reviewed by: LaVern Perscell

What happens when an orderly, precise person’s life is suddenly turned upside-down? Well, welcome to Mia Turner’s world. She is a very precise young lady who runs a successful event planning business, lives with her drop-dead handsome boyfriend and is a member of a secret organization who fights crime among the rich and famous. Everything is going great until she is given the assignment that involves a former lover who she never really said goodbye to. Will she try to relive the past or stay in the present? Dona Hill in her usual incredible writing style will keep you biting your nails to the last page. An exceptional read that I highly recommend.


What Doesn’t Kill You
Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant

A Division of Simon and Schuster, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-6420-1
ISBN-10: 1-4165-6420-9
Published: January 2009
Mainstream Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars – SUPREME
Reviewed by: Vicki Brooks

It has been a long time since I’ve read something written in the first person, but needless to say Virginia and Donna did an outstanding job of getting (the reader) into the head of Thomasina Hodges – better known as Tee, the main character. Tee is very much real and like all of us, doing well, or so she thought until all hell breaks lose and she realizes she really controls nothing.

She has raised a beautiful daughter alone and given her the storybook wedding. She is now in the empty nest stage of life, but can’t really enjoy it because she just lost her job after twenty five loyal years of employment. Her life is turned upside down and inside out, but through it all she comes out on top. As the old folks used to say “What doesn’t kill you, will only make you stronger!” You have to read about Tee’s journey, it is one we all can relate to at one time or another.

Meesha Mink and De'Nesha Diamond

Touchstone Fiction
January 2009
2009ISBN13: 978-1-465-7709-6

Rating: 4 Stars - EXCELLENT
Reviewed by: Dianthia R. Lemons

If you like reading the series "The Bentley Manor Tale", then you will surely enjoy this installment titled THE HOOD LIFE. There are three different but intertwined characters in the book. Tavon, also know as Sweet is a pimp among pimps. He is so hard core, his mother hooks for him. Demarcus is an ex-con, trying to stay on the straight and narrow but a crime he committed ten years ago, haunts his very soul. Kaseem is the village drug man who has the life, clothes and money but wants more than anything to be free of the life. Lastly there is Rhakmon, the player man, who has women at his beck and call but his downfall is his player ways and a woman.

This book covers all the entities of life in the hood. You have your pimp all the way down to your player. The problem lies when the bad guy wants to reform him or herself and others either refuse to let them seek another future. There are those people who are out there because they want what you have and will do anything to obtain it. The one thing each character learns is that things from your past will always come back into play in your future. So you should always be careful how you treat people on the way up in life because on your way down, you'll see them again. Meesha Mink and De'Nesha Diamond have once again captured the attention of true readers and did a great job intertwining the characters lives and their stories.

Sinful Chocolate
Adrianne Byrd

Kimani Romance
Kimani Press
ISBN-10: 0-373-86097-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-86097-5
Published: January 2009

Rating: 5 Stars – SUPREME
Reviewed by Vicki Brooks

This story is about Charlie Masters, the player of all players. You know the one that has vowed to never give up his player card; the one that has vowed to never turn in his player keys; the one that has vowed to never marry. That is until he sets his sights on Gisella Jacobs, the new girl in town who happens to be from France. Not only is she beautiful, and sexy, but that French accent is to die for. She has her own bakery, Sinful Chocolate, and wow does it live up to its name.

Coincidently, she is hired to bake the birthday cake for Charlie’s surprise birthday party. When introduced, it’s love at first sight for both of them. He is attracted to Gisella and her delectable desserts. He’s hooked! She loves his sexy smile and broad shoulders. That is until she gets the scoop from the ladies of the Lonely Hearts Club and one of Charlie’s ex-scorned souls who is very bitter and out to get back at him.

Charlie is in love for the first time in his life, but along with love comes a life and death personal crisis. Charlie has to decide what is more important – falling in love with Gisella or dealing with his personal crisis.

This is a GREAT read. The chocolate descriptions were so good; I could taste and smell the chocolates while reading it.

The Reunion
John R. Williams

Xpress Yourself Publishing, LLC
ISBN-10: 0981809448
ISBN-13: 978-0981809441
Published: January 30, 2009

Rating: 2½ Stars – GOOD
Reviewed by: Vicki Brooks

If you like erotica, the first chapter starts out with a BANG! And if you like drama mixed with a little humor, this is the read for you.

This is a story about Sean and Eva. Sean is a bald, sexy chocolate drop with dreams of becoming the next writer extraordinaire. And Eva is his soon to be Ex; she just doesn’t know it yet. She’s smart, sexy and will do anything to keep her man. And I do mean anything. While Eva’s making plans to become Mrs. Sean Jiles, he’s making plans to drop her like a hot potato. But Eva’s not taking the break up seriously; she thinks they’re getting back together.

During all of this, Sean receives an invitation to his 10 year class reunion. Immediately his mind navigates to his high school sweetheart, Jade. You’ll have to pick up the book to see who wins the prize.

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