Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Mrs. Big
Maryann Reid
St. Martin’s Griffin
ISBN 0312341997
September 2006
Mainstream Fiction
Rating: 4 ½ Stars-Exceptional
Reviewer: Michelle Alexander

Loletta Hightower is a gold-digger who likes living large and having her mother and best friend Vernice share her lavish lifestyle. Although she calculatingly places herself where the money and the men who spend it freely are, she wants a more permanent and reliable source of cash: The celebrity athlete husband.

While working at a luxury car dealership, Vernice gets her lover Calvin to get Kavon “Big” Jackson to do some car shopping. Kavon and Loletta who were college classmates, have the ultimate class reunion that ends in Kavon proposing during his draft pick on nationwide TV! So Loletta has it all, or so she thinks.

She finds that being Mrs. Big means dealing with Kavon’s needs, desires, violent temper and desperate women who want to replace her. Loletta finds friends and allies in the most unlikely people and ultimately must act to save her own life! The book has steamy, exciting encounters where the reader inhabits the world of the rich, sexy and famous. But, the strongest message from this book is that nothing is worth your dreams or your life.

Weapons of Seductions
Maureen Smith
Kensington Publishing Corporation
Published September 2006
ISBN: 0-7582-1431-6
Contemporary Romance
Rating 4 Stars - EXCELLENT
Reviewed by Regina Hightower

If it's Romance, espionage Treason, betrayals, Kidnapping, moles, underworld mafia figures, gangland slayings and wars, double agents illicit affairs, you name it its in the book mystery and intrigue like you have never seen before will keep you on the edge of your seat so that you will not want to put the book down and also you will love the moments of secret romance between the hero and the heroine in my world of reading.

I read this book in 24hrs because it was so intriguing to me. It was well written like a classic who done it? You will laugh cry and feel all the emotional baggage that Korrine has to offer Rafe, and that is why it's difficult to put the book down. You will hate some characters and you will love others. You will feel sorry for some and want to get even with others. And you will trust nobody until you get to the shocking end.

There are two top author's when it comes to FBI series and they are Katherine D. Jones and Maureen Smith. These women must have a desire to be a secret agent.

Behind Those Eyes
T.P. Carter
Dafina Books
Kensington Publishing Corp
ISBN: 0-7582-1428-6
Published: September 2006
Mainstream Fiction
Rating: 2 Stars – OK
Reviewed by: Clara Sutton

The story deals with reincarnation and four people and the choices that they make.

Dr. Tailyer Richardson is a successful doctor who is supporting her two nephews at Hampton U. Her best friend is Shala Matthews who is afraid to tell her father about the love of her life. Nathaniel Woods has a wife and daughter and is best friend with ladies’ man Derrick DeCosta.

Tailyer and Derrick meets and become a couple. When she meets Nathaniel, there is a connection between the two that they can’t explain as if they know each other from another time. The choices that Tailyer and Nathaniel makes ruin the lives of the people that they are suppose to really love.

Shattered Trust
Leslie Esdaile Banks
Dafina Books
Kensington Publishing Corp
ISBN: 0-7582-1331-X
Published: September 2006
Mainstream Fiction
Rating: 3 Stars -GOOD
Reviewed by: Clara Sutton

A killing back in their hometown of Philly interrupts the peace that Laura Caldwell and her husband James Carter has found in the Grand Caymans. The couple must return to the states to find out who and why the major players in a big company are being killed if they want to stay alive. The quest for money, power and one man’s personal vendetta against the couple will involve the Russian and Italian mobs and FBI. The couple is aided by family and friends in their quest to survive an unknown assassin.

If you have read BETRAYAL OF THE TRUST and BLIND TRUST, you will enjoy SHATTERED TRUST. I haven’t read the first two books in this trilogy but I really enjoyed reading this book. I am going to read the first two books for a background and better understanding of how it all began.

Diary of a Mistress
A Touchstone Book
Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9780743281591
Published: August 2006
Mainstream Fiction
Reviewed by: Marguerite Lemons

Monica Vasquez and her husband Carlos have just returned from the surprise get away he planned to celebrate their tenth anniversary. Monica sorts through the mail as she waits for Carlos to return from picking up their twin boys from her mother’s house. When Monica opens a package that is addressed to her world begins to spiral out of control.

Angela Williams has made it a habit to attach herself to married men. She feels as if she has more control over the relationship by being the other woman, and when things aren’t going her way she just walks away. That is until she meets Carlos and decides she wants more.

Carlos is a loving husband and father who unknowingly risk’s everything he holds dear when he befriends Angela.

Diary of a Mistress shows the lengths that some people will go to in order to get what they want. I believe the question of whether or not married couples can have “good” friends of the opposite sex has been answered with this story.

Miasha has written a riveting story. I was unable to put this book down until I had read the last page.

The Rolexxx Club
Meta Smith
Warner Books
ISBN: 0446696781
Published: July 2006
Mainstream/Urban Fiction
Rating: 4.5 Stars-EXCEPTIONAL
Reviewed by: Xaviera Tate

A fast paced, high energy, solid written urban tale of money, deception, and love with an unexpected Christian twist. The story of Desiree will keep you entertained and quickly turning the pages. You will follow “Dez” as she goes from bootie shaking for b-ball stars to laying tracks for her solo album, all the while searching for money, acceptance, and love.

The Fever
Simon & Shuster
ISBN 0743272374
Published: July 2006
Mainstream Fiction
Rating 2 ½ Stars-GOOD
Reviewed by Michelle Alexander

This is the story told from the viewpoint of a music executive operating under the pseudonym of Dark who discovers and develops the newest hot male artist named Brian Barnes with the help of former lovers and friends. But as Brian grows in popularity with women, the endless supply of adulation and sex begin to affect his loyalty to Dark. In short, Brian gets, “The Fever.”

The story realistically addresses issues like family, the girlfriend who gets in the way of stardom, and the business of getting a contract and moving up as a star. But Fever, seems to set up scenarios as settings for one sexcapade after another. Almost every chapter has a sexual conquest by Dark or Brian. No woman can resist Dark whether an ingénue at Freaknik or a seasoned television journalist.

This reviewer would have liked a more balanced perspective in the writing and greater character development. Dark has a great story to tell, but needs to include female voices and more details to make a good book a great one.

Trinity’s Hope
Melissa Ewell Miller
Published by Melissa Ewell Miller
ISBN: 1-4116-3646-5
Published: July 2006
Rating: 3 Stars – VERY GOOD
Reviewer: Patricia Woodside

A touching tale of first love, Trinity’s Hope by Melissa Ewell Miller, explores the perils of dating from the vantage point of young adults who, at an early age, have committed their lives to Christ.

Trinity Hope Carondolette graduates high school and embarks on her journey into womanhood, beginning by attending a small Black college in Louisiana. Trinity hails from a family of overachievers and, more importantly, of believers. All have established themselves in their careers and are dedicated Christians. Expectations run high for Trinity who figures the best way to remain focused on her academic goals is to keep men at bay. Her plan flies out the window her first day in Baton Rouge when she literally runs into Christian Stephenson. The story primarily follows Trinity and Chris through their first year of college and the early days of their relationship, as they both struggle with how to succeed according to heaven and earth.

Ms. Miller takes us from Trinity’s high school graduation day to her wedding day in a well-paced plot. The first few pages, filled with Trinity’s grandmother’s story, however, were slow going. Fortunately, like Trinity, I possess a certain amount of persistence. This book would benefit from a good edit resulting in snappier dialogue, tighter sentence structure, and less passive narrative. Although the overall story is one of encouragement and faith, I found Trinity’s attitude toward non-Christians impatient and condescending, hardly an exemplary witness. Yet, this very flaw helped the book, by causing Trinity to become a real person. Eventually I found myself captivated.

In the end, Trinity’s Hope is an endearing story of love and determination between two young Christians. It is an inspiration for young believers. Had I had a story like this to encourage me in my Christian walk when I stepped foot on an ivy-covered campus, perhaps I’d have made fewer missteps. Trinity’s Hope is worth the read.

Marilynn Griffith
Revell Books
Published June 2006
ISBN: 0800730410
Christian Fiction
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars – EXCEPTIONAL
Reviewer: LaShaunda C. Hoffman

Jade is the second book in the Shades of Style series. Lily Chau is trying to be the perfect daughter by taking care of her ailing mother. Her commitment to her mother almost makes her forget about her own dreams, of being a designer.

Lily wants to have her own line, and she might have a chance by competing on a reality, t.v. show, The Next Design Diva, unfortunately she didn’t expect to fall for Doug LaCroix, the mentor the show provides. This new aspects complicates her already full life.

Their romance is hot and is exactly what Lily needs even though she doesn’t want to admit it. Doug isn’t perfect, but their relationship shows him what his life has been missing and he’s willing to see what God has in store for them.

Mrs. Griffith invites us into Lily’s life and we learn along with Lily how to let God rule our steps. That you can have a life and still care for a love one and there is time for real love in a complicated world.

The story revisits the other characters we grew to love in the first book, Pink. Everyone has gotten over their hurdles and moving on to new ones.

One of the things I enjoy when I read one of Marilyn’s books, is the characters seem so real. They’re not perfect people. They have their faults and it’s not cleared up on one page. You see them grow and change throughout the book. I also love the support they give each other. They are true examples of friends.

This book touched home for me because I’m a caregiver and I could empathize with Lily as she made different decisions concerning her mother and her own life.

I look forward to reading Jane’s story, Tangerine.

Bloodlust: Midnight Shadows
Marilyn Lee
Ellora’s Cave
ISBN: 1419906550
Published: June 2006
Erotic Interracial Paranormal Romance
Rating: 3 Stars – VERY GOOD
Reviewed by: Kaia Alderson

Full-blooded vampire Tatiana Madison-Forester made the mistake of sleeping with vampire hunter Jason Makefield once. Unfortunately, it was the best sex that either had experienced and now Jason wants more. Can Tatiana get past the fact that Jason had once tried to kill one of her brothers and give into the bloodlust that she feels for him?

On the flip-side, Tatiana is trying to hook up her twin brother Andrei with her best friend, human Dacoda. Dacoda’s brown, voluptuous curves are a far cry from the pale blonde beauties that he usually prefers. Then, Andrei gets a taste of Dacoda’s brown sugar. He doesn’t want to keep her for himself but he’ll kill any other man who even attempts to sample her goodies.

This story was my first introduction to Marilyn Lee’s Bloodlust series. I didn’t realize that Midnight Shadows was the fifth installment until I had read about a third of the book. I felt like I had been dropped off in the middle of a crazy vampire soap

I highly recommend starting from the beginning to keep the large ensemble of characters and their relationships to each other straight. Marilyn Lee should be applauded for the rich story lines that follow the dozen or so characters.

The Spirit of the Wolf
Karen Kay
A Berkley Sensation Historical Romance
Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 0-425-20920-2
Published: April 2006
Historical Romance
Rating: 2 Stars - OK
Reviewed by: Marguerite Lemons

Grey Coyote, an Indian Warrior and scout, has been given the task upon his birth to solve a riddle that will remove the curse placed on his people by the Thunderer. Since his tenth birthday, he has allowed nothing and no one to come between him and his quest to save his tribe.

Marietta Welsford, was sold into servitude by her uncle, after the death of her parents when she was a child. She is contacted by a solicitor from England when it is discovered that her uncle had taken control of her inheritance illegally. Marietta must now return to England post-haste or risk losing what’s left of her family’s legacy.

Marietta unwittingly becomes Grey Coyote’s wife when the guide she hired to conduct her to St. Louis gives her to him to cover his gambling debts. Grey Coyote doesn’t need the complication of a wife because his journey is a dangerous one. He and Marietta must learn to work together and trust each other, or neither will succeed in saving that which is dearest to them.

The Spirit of the Wolf is an in-depth view of some Native American history peppered with romance. There were some interesting facts, but overall it was predictable and slow moving.

Destiny In Disguise
Angie Daniels
BET Publications
ISBN: 1583144463
Published: December 2005
Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 Stars - EXCELLENT
Reviewed By: Xaviera Tate

Angie Daniels penned a romantic suspense novel that leaves you completely exhausted! Desiree Davidson is a girl on the run with a killer following her every move. While running from a maniac Desiree crosses paths with a handsome handyman who is willing to be her ‘maintenance man’. Destiny in Disguise is a well written suspense novel loaded with plenty of twists and turns to leave you absolutely breathless.

1 comment:

Gwyneth Bolton said...

Great reviews. Looks like I have several titles to add to my to-be-read pile.


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