My Review of “Secret” and “The Art of Endings” by Nia Forrester

Secret: A Novelflatecover-2

Nia Forrester is very good at creating characters that are vivid, believable, vulnerable, and deeply flawed. This talent makes it very easy for me to immerse myself in her stories because the characters come across as very authentic. In Secret, we have Shayla, a woman of some mystery who befriends (as much as she allows herself to be friends with anyone) Tessa, the sister of Trey Dennison, a DC attorney who becomes Shayla’s landlord. Prior to this turn events, Shayla was a member of the same gym as Trey. From this vantage point, she’s watched him working his charm on a slew of women.

Shayla has no misconceptions that she might be just the woman to tame him. All she wants is a brief sexual encounter, because after all, a woman also has needs. After getting what she wanted from him, what she didn’t bargain on was him forging some kind of bond with her. This knocks them booth for a loop as they emerge reeling from a wild, sexy weekend.

Trey finds himself increasingly jealous of her interactions with others, especially men, and isn’t able to reconcile what Shay has made him feel, while Shay is also reluctant to give herself completely to a man, courtesy of that pesky secret she’s harboring. As the reader, you see that these two could solve ninety percent of their issues just by talking to each other honestly, but as great drama goes, the conflict kept simmering in this story is the lifeblood of good fiction.

Forrester is also excellent at making us care about her secondary characters. None of her characters come across as flat and unnecessary. In this story we are also introduced to Tessa, Darren, and Paige. The unique backstory shared by Trey and Tessa is the stuff of fairytales, albeit a sad one. Their relationship as a secondary plot is brilliant. It speaks to why Trey is the way he is, and it gives us a glimpse of how Tessa became the young woman she is. I was enthralled by their relationship almost as much as I was by Shayla and Trey’s.

Darren, Trey’s best friend, is a testament to the adage “birds of a feather.” They are each very attractive men who are both confirmed bachelors, that is, until Shay comes along for Trey. However, you also get the hint that Paige and Darren are feeling each other, and there’s some history between them that has been unresolved.

Going in, I knew that there would be a sequel to this book, so I wasn’t left unsatisfied in any way by how the story ended. The reader is made privy to Shay’s secret and it explains everything, but it’s what we don’t know at the end of “Secret” which is the stuff that will keep us intrigued until ‘The Art of Endings” comes along.

This book will have you rooting for Shayla and Trey almost as much as you find yourself upset with them both for being so pig-headed. It is a story that draws you in and keeps you because you grow to care so deeply about the characters, almost like they are friends of yours. When I find characters that I might consider friends in real life, is when I want to stay immersed in their story world forever. “Secret” is just such a world.

The Art of Endings: The Sequel to Secret

the-art-of-endings-cover1draftAs much as Secret was Shayla’s story, The Art of Endings is Trey and Darren’s stories and how they reconcile their pasts with the women who will be their futures. With Secret ending the way it did a reader might expect The Art of Endings to pick up there, but Nia surprised me yet again with her refusal to be boxed into a formulaic storyline to be populated by predictable characters.

Trey takes center stage in his and Shayla’s romance this go round, and he has a doozy of a situation to work through. A former hook-up who happens to be the daughter of someone who could make or break his career is holding the paternity of an unborn child over his head, while he’s simultaneously dealing with Tessa leaving the fold, and Shayla coming into her own career-wise. Not to mention, the looming specter of Shayla’s ex Justin Ford’s life possibly converging with theirs.

Darren finds himself soul-searching as he witnesses his best friend finding the kind of love that has always eluded him. In Paige Freeman he sees an opportunity lost, and a love that is forbidden, because she is the fiancé of his best friend who died in the military in the Middle East. He has set this woman on a pedestal and feels, as he always has concerning her, that he’s just not good enough. In college he’d been unable to reconcile their dissimilar backgrounds, so when his friend Clint came along who possessed the pedigree of a man he thought that a woman like Paige deserved, he stepped aside.

The Art of Endings is a well-crafted story, delving into history coming back to bite two men who were both womanizers for various and sundry reasons who finally realize the “more” they want out of life can be found with the women who are right under their proverbial noses. There, of course, are other themes, but I’m not going any deeper. You’ll have to read the book yourself to find the others.

My favorite and least-liked character was Darren. He’s my favorite because he was so flawed, complicated, and more likely to eff up. And he was my least-liked because he did some trifling things as a result of his inability to reconcile his feelings for Paige early on. I wanted to send him off to a therapist several times in the book–or beat his ass, one of the two. However, I feel like he was thoroughly redeemed, despite everything he put Paige through. In fact, I believe I also liked Darren so much because he reminds me of a guy one of my best college friends fell for back in the day. They are married now and have a beautiful family, but she endured much of what Paige did before they finally got there. This goes to show that sometimes, it takes a very special woman/man to love that person that many see as totally unlovable.

I had to read The Art of Endings the moment it was released because I wanted to find out what happened with Shayla and Trey, but also to get a three-dimensional view of the lives of the secondary characters I’d grown to love almost as much as the primary characters.

~*~

Secret at Amazon

The Art of Endings at Amazon

Secret at Barnes & Noble

The Art of Endings at Barnes & Noble

My Interview and Giveaway for Acclaimed Author Brenda Jackson! (Part One)

577046_179063822242027_1312775605_n

I am not a lucky person. I don’t win things often. So, imagine my surprise when I entered a prompt writing exercise on my Writer’s Review and Resource Group (WRSRG) on Facebook and actually won the opportunity to interview acclaimed romance author Brenda Jackson (author of What A Westmoreland Wants,  Bachelor Unclaimed, One Winter’s Night, A Brother’s Honor, and so many more I can’t name them all)! I had participated in interviews with my group before, but never conducted one. Then to make this an even more daunting proposition, I was told by our fearless leader, Nia Forrester (author of Commitment, Unsuitable Men, Maybe Never, and Secret), that I would perform the group’s inaugural live audio FanChat. No pressure for a writer who’d never done an interview. Right?

In preparation, I studied everything I could find on the internet about Ms. Jackson. Then I had the awesome opportunity to contact her prior to the interview. I found Ms. Jackson to be approachable and utterly delightful. Not that I expected her to be otherwise, but it is always a pleasant surprise to be treated so kindly by such an iconic individual. I chatted with her like an old friend and discussed the hit TV show Scandal just before she had to dash off to a personal appointment. The the day of the interview came and the residual nervousness I brought with me fell away as I began to ask her the questions everyone was dying to have answered.

Due to the length of the interview, I have split it into two parts. At the end of each part of the interview, I am giving away a bundle of Ms. Jackson’s e-books, a couple of my own and a two bookmarks! So, without further ado, I give you part one of my interview with Brenda Jackson.

_.-*-._.-*-._.-*-._.-*-._.-*-._.-*-._.-*-._.-*-._

Transcript of FanChat with Brenda Jackson:

Hello, I’m Nia Forester, of  The Writers Review and Resource Group (WRSRG), a virtual community of indie writers and readers who support each other. A fan club of the art of writing and for people who enjoy reading.

 

Conducting the interview this evening with Brenda Jackson is L. V. Lewis, author of indie hit, Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever, a parody of the very popular book, Fifty Shades of Grey.

 

Brenda Jackson writes contemporary multi-cultural romance novels. She was the first African American author to have a novel book published as part of the Silhouette Desire line and has seen many of her books reach the New York Times and the USA Today’s best sellers lists.

 

Her first novel, Tonight and Forever, was published in 1995. Ms. Jackson is the recipient of the RWA Nora Roberts Award 2012, highest honor bestowed by RWA in recognition of significant contributions to the romance genre and an NAACP Image Award nominee 2012 for outstanding literary fiction for her novel, A Silken Thread.

 

We are honored you have given of your time and talent to be with us tonight.

 *-._.-* 

L.V.:  Briefly describe for us a day in the life of Brenda Jackson. What does your writing space look like? What are your most treasured writing resource books? How much time do you spend writing daily?

 

B.J.:  When you sent the questions over I really had to think. I appreciate all of you taking the time to listen to what I have to say. So I commend you for your time, your talent, and for just wanting to be writers. I was at one time where you are now, when I was just a wannabe. Authors gave of their time, authors like Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Jayne Ann Krentz. No matter how many books you’ve written, you can all do better. So thank you for allowing me to spend this time with all of you.

Brenda Jackson

I retired in 2008 and that was not an easy decision for me. I had worked as a file clerk at State Farm and worked my way up the ladder. I loved the corporate world—loved it all. Once State Farm found out I was publishing my first book, they embraced it. I told the CEO everything I would be doing. And he said you can say you work for State Farm because we are proud of what you are doing. They made a lot of what I needed to do for writing a part of my job at State Farm. They sponsored many black events as one of the main corporate sponsors around the country. They made sure they sent me to represent the black community for book signings. I really appreciated what they did. So leaving in 2008 wasn’t an easy a decision, but Harlequin made me an offer I couldn’t refuse—to write full-time from home.

I retired at fifty-five and my husband jumped at the chance to retire with me. When we retired, we vowed never to be dictated by a clock again, so we removed most from our home and used the ones on the microwave and stove and the radio in the bedroom and the time on my computer. So we walk around not sure what time it is because we don’t have to. I love it.

Usually I get up at seven mostly because of my two Yorkies, Mookie and Capone, who are early risers. I handle my social medial business by nine, and the rest of the day is spent writing. My goal is twenty pages a day. I don’t always reach my goal, but I split it up. At least ten pages in the morning and try to fit a few more in the afternoon. I try to take a two-hour nap break around three, spend time with Gerald my husband, and start writing again around nine in the evening. I’m in the bed usually by midnight. My day is spent writing. My family knows not to bother me because it’s beneficial to them for me to write. I stop the phone calls and allot time just to write.

I added 3,300 more square feet to my home that consists of an indoor swimming pool, my office, an entertainment room for parties, and a room that is what I consider my theater room or my room to chill. My most treasured resource books are a dictionary, a thesaurus, and the Romance Writer’s Phrase Book.

*-._.-*

L.V.: Since 1994, you’ve written an astounding ninety plus books. I can only dream I’ll ever be as prolific. What’s your secret, or do you employ a formula as some writers such as Nora Roberts have admitted to?

B.J.: My secret is the belief that writing relaxes me because it takes me to a world that I’ve created. I love writing and most times, I have to pull myself from the computer. My books are character driven versus plot driven, so I know my characters. Once I get to know them I can come up with situations just for them. I don’t do book outlines or chapter breakdowns. I don’t have a formula. I just write. I try writing in chapters and try to never end the writing day without ending the chapter. Then while I’m sleeping, I think about what I want the next chapter to be about.

I had an author who had a dossier of everything. I admire that, but I am not that disciplined. I just write. I know my characters and write. I write family sagas. My latest book is my one hundredth book. I have to get to know all my characters of all the previous books so I can write this latest book.

It’s not a science, parking my behind in the chair and writing the characters I’ve known since they were young. I admire Nora that she’s got a formula. I’d like to know it so I can write faster. We have lunch or share a drink whenever we get together at an RWA convention. I’m going to have to ask her about her formula.

*-._.-*

L.V.: Are you agented, or do you submit your own work? Any advice on how to proceed in obtaining an agent for those of us who might aspire to have one?

 

B.J.: Yes. Giving up 15% of your book is a lot; at least I thought it was a lot. Kensington wasn’t paying a lot for the African American market. They didn’t offer the same amount to the African American author as opposed to the white writer. They didn’t know how the market would work. You either took the contract or you walked away. They didn’t negotiate. It wasn’t the best contract, but it was one I could live with. I only decided to get agent when Kensington sold my books to BET. BET didn’t have any publishing knowledge; they were entertainers. The first contract they sent me was an entertainment contract not a publisher contract. I recognized that. I refused to sign it.

My agent is Pattie Steele-Perkins out of New York. I wrote over eight books before getting an agent. I just want to write and enjoy having an agent take care of the other stuff. And because they work for you and you don’t work for them, my agent tries to get me the best deal because when I get paid, she gets paid. I would suggest talking to other authors who have worked with particular agents before settling on one. Do they try to get you the best deal? Are they prompt in sending you your checks? Do they support you in other areas?

*-._.-*

L.V.: Your Westmoreland Series is probably one of the most beloved and long-standing of all with more than twenty books credited to this family saga. As a Florida native, what drew you to Texas as a setting? What process did you use, and how did you go about creating this series?

 

B.J.: I was big Dallas fan and I grew up on westerns (Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Rifleman etc). It was time with my dad. Men in Texas were giants in my eyes. So when I went to write a series, I wanted them to be giants. I love my westerns and wanted to write about men in the West. I smile when people say my Westmoreland Series is my most beloved series. But the one that started me was the Madaris Series, but those bad boys of Westmoreland have really taken over. The books are smaller and so there are more of them. The Madaris books are bigger. Westmoreland is what you call a series book. You can’t deviate from what the others are doing in the series. You have guidelines and you follow them. To me, writing those books is pretty easy. I’ve been known to write one of them in two weeks. I can write two hundred and ten pages in two weeks.

*-._.-*

L.V.: Are you firmly in the “write what you know” camp, do you advocate “the sky is the limit, just research well,” or somewhere in between?

 

B.J.: I am comfortable with writing what I know, but to keep things interesting, I go outside the box at times.

*-._.-*

L.V.: You have many interviews and updates on the Westmoreland characters on your blog. Are they your favorite characters?

 

B.J.: All my characters tend to be my favorite, but my foremost favorites will be from my first book—Justin Madaris and Lorren.

*-._.-*

L.V.: You have enjoyed a prolific and very illustrious career as a traditionally published author. What do you make of the burgeoning independent publishing scene via Amazon and other platforms?

 

B.J.: I think it’s wonderful that others are getting their work out there. I wished it was available when I was writing. I got enough rejection letters to plaster my wall—over twenty-plus times before I finally sold my first book. Now you don’t have to wait to be chosen by a publisher. They can now create their own company and get published like I did. I started my own publishing company in 2008 because I wanted to know how it worked. I put out one book a year under the Madaris Publishing Company.

One thing that can be improved when using the independent platform would be more standards in the pricing—the $.99 pricing. You price your book low and hope people will read it. One of my books that hit the New York Times Best Sellers List was free. I know that’s a good way to get new readers. But you don’t want to underprice your book because that’s your hard work and you shouldn’t undervalue it, and I think some authors are doing that.

But I think the independent arena is wonderful. And now that so many authors are out there, it’s hard to pick a diamond out of the stack. And it’s even more important to connect with your readers. You have to do something to set yourself apart, market yourself, get your name out there. I had to promote myself before my publishing house did.

_.-*-._.-*-._.-*-._.-*-._.-*-._.-*-._.-*-._.-*-._

CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!!

Giveaway Time

Tax Weekend Romance Sale!

romance sale 1

Taxes can be a real buzzkill, but this weekend doesn’t have to be that way for romance lovers. Myself and five other authors have come together to bring you a Tax Weekend sale to take the sting out of the tax deadline. So finish your return, go off to Amazon, 1-click and enjoy some great stories from authors you love, or new to you, authors. These are a great bargain for the price!

~*~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever

by L. V. Lewis

Discounted from $2.99 to $.99

Amazon

Summary:

Keisha Beale and her roommate Jada Jameson have half the money they need to start their dream business. A hookup from Jada’s well-connected father gets them a meeting with the elusive venture capitalist Tristan White. The only time slot he has available is the close of business on a Friday afternoon when Jada has a nonrefundable ticket  for a sorority week in Sin City. Keisha goes to the meeting alone and almost flubs their chance at getting the much-needed start-up capital they require. During this one chance meeting Tristan White discovers he wants a little coffee in his cream. Thus begins his pursuit of Keisha Beale, the only woman who can quench his raging case of Jungle Fever!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Taboo

Roxy Queen

Discounted from $2.99 to $.99

Amazon

Summary:

He’s the eighteen-year-old lifeguard at the pool. I’m a twenty-eight-year-old woman babysitting for the summer, before going to grad school. He’s one step away from jailbait (his birthday was eight days ago. Yes, I checked). I’m not necessarily a cougar yet, but closer to cougar than high school girl. He’s hot, and by hot, I mean holy crap. And by holy crap, I mean, when I first saw him, I thought he was twenty-one. Minimum. But he’s not twenty-one. He’s eighteen and off limits. But he has this back and these shoulders and everything about him is yummy and I just want to touch him. Once.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Elle Insatiable: Book One

by The Black

Discounted from $4.99 to $1.99

Amazon

Summary:

To her employees and friends, Gabrielle Archer is the epitome of the self-made, strong black woman. With her aggressive style and razor tongue she’s made it in a man’s world with room to spare and bodies in her wake. She’ll put anyone who crosses her – especially any man – in his place, and then she’ll despise him for his weakness. No man dares challenge her…except one.

Simon Bishop knows what buttons to push – not to ignite Gabrielle’s wrath – but to strip away her emotional armor to reveal the woman within – the woman she yearns to be: Elle.

Elle has no power and no control. Elle is free to give herself over to a strong man, a man she trusts to take care of her so that she can give all to him. And what Elle has to give is a fiery passion that that knows no boundaries and no shame. Elle is the woman that every real man desires, and the woman that every other woman, deep in her heart, wants to be.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Laura’s Two Ice Cream Boys (Complete Collection)

by Mimi Strong

Discounted from $3.99 to $.99

Amazon

Summary:

“A smashing, gorgeous story that takes the reader on a rollercoaster, to the heights of ecstasy and the depths heartache. The series climax is one of the most original and sweet engagement proposals you’ve ever read. This is a wonderful romance, packed with moments ranging from jaw-dropping outrage (Sharise!) to happy-tears-making.”

Laura’s always been a good girl. She doesn’t speed or smoke or swear. She’s only given her body and heart to one boy. He repaid her by dumping her at the wedding altar. She threw up on her wedding dress.

Laura’s done being a good girl.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Love Under Fire ~ The Complete Set – The Tested Series

by Nikki Walker

Discounted from $2.99 to $1.50

Amazon

Summary:

Love Through The Fire

Marcus and Naya have been separated five years. Marcus gets injured in an accident.  Naya is a physical therapist-the best in the region.  After Marcus fires one therapist after another, his best friend, Trey steps in and convinces him to let Naya help him to recover from his injuries. Their past relationship is put to the test when Naya has to move with Marcus to start his rehabilitation. Can they rekindle the love they once had or has their divorce created a brick wall that cannot be knocked down?

“Been There -Done That”~ In Flames

Andrea is grieving the loss of her daughter.  Det. Zane Perkins enters her life over a pick-pocket breakfast. Using her daughter’s memory to build her gift basket business, her focus is soley on her business.  Andrea is convinced that she has ‘been there and done that,’ but Zane convinces her to change her mind.

Hearts On Fire

Trey is burnt out and in need of some rest and relaxation and now Sherri is run-down from her superior who wants her dead,  to the one person that she feels safe with, Trey. But, how does she deal with being in such close proximity of her love crush? Trey has watched Sherri grow up, he’s always treated her with care but now he sees her for more than just a little sister. While keeping her safe from those who are trying to harm her, can he convince her that his heart belongs to her eternally?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Seduction of Dylan Acosta

by Nia Forrester

Discounted from $3.99 to $1.99

Amazon

Summary:

When Dylan marries Mets superstar short stop Mark Acosta. Practically overnight, her life changes, and despite her best efforts, she feels herself being pulled deeper into a world of disaffected and deceitful baseball wives, designer clothes, celebrity parties and multi-million dollar homes. Though Dylan struggles to remain the simple, down-to-earth girl that Mark fell in love with, she feels the lure of the seductive trappings of her new life. The closer she is to becoming the quintessential “Baseball Wife” the farther apart she and Mark become . . .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Future Of Our Past

The Future of Our Past (The Remembrance Trilogy, Book 1)

by Kahlen Aymes

Discounted from $3.99 to $.99

Amazon

Summary:

Julia Abbot and Ryan Matthews have been inseparable best friends since the moment they met. Each of them fight an internal battle, unwilling to risk their incredible friendship, but unable to quell their deep longing for the other. On the verge of Ryan’s departure to Harvard Medical School and Julia’s for her new job on the opposite coast, they are forced to face the undeniable truth of their deeper feelings and find themselves enthralled in a passion like neither has ever known.

The lovers are faced with forced separation, great distances and others who try to sabotage their relationship as both of them work to build the shared future they both dream of. When their lives begin to finally gel, Julia is offered a promotion that will jettison her career to new heights. Ryan is left angry and bereft as it will only postpone their reunion yet again. In light of the sacrifices she has made for him, he can hardly deny her, and Julia is faced with the most difficult decision of her life. Will she choose the chance of a lifetime or the love of her life?

The Future of Our Past is the first book in The Remembrance Trilogy, a transcendent love story about the type of powerful and passionate connection we all dream of.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dont Forget To Remember Me

Don’t Forget To Remember Me (The Remembrance Trilogy, Book 2)

by Kahlen Aymes

Discounted from $3.99 to $.99

Amazon

Summary:

Ryan Matthews has everything he ever wanted. Close to graduation from Harvard Medical School and on the verge of marrying his gorgeous and accomplished girlfriend, Julia Abbott, his dreams are about to come true and all of their sacrifice is finally at it’s end.

When tragedy strikes, their relationship is hurled into turmoil that leaves Ryan devastated. His sorrow drives him to keep his distance yet leaves him aching; consumed with desire and love he refuses to let manifest.

Julia is inexplicably drawn to Ryan and longs to build a future with him, but his agony over the loss of the heart-stopping memories she no longer shares with him, leaves him unable to trust that she could truly love him without the brilliant past he clings to.

When love so unforgettable has been forgotten, can Ryan find enough faith to believe that Julia’s heart will remember, even when her mind can’t?

The second book of The Remembrance Trilogy follows Ryan and Julia’s quest to rebuild their stunning past. An incredibly beautiful and heart-breaking romance, full of passion, intensity and truly immeasurable love that will leave you spellbound, breathless and longing for more…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tax Weekend Sale: Romance and Erotic Romance Authors

romance sale 1

Taxes can be a real buzzkill, but this weekend doesn’t have to be that way for romance lovers. Myself and five other authors have come together to bring you a Tax Weekend sale to take the sting out of the tax deadline. So finish your return, go off to Amazon Friday, April 12-Monday, April 15, 1-click and enjoy some great stories from authors you love, or new to you, authors. These are all great bargains for the price!

~*~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever

L. V. Lewis

Discounted from $2.99 to $.99

Amazon

Summary:

Keisha Beale and her roommate Jada Jameson have half the money they need to start their dream business. A hookup from Jada’s well-connected father gets them a meeting with the elusive venture capitalist Tristan White. The only time slot he has available is at the close of business on a Friday afternoon when Jada has a nonrefundable ticket  for a sorority week in Sin City. Keisha goes to the meeting alone and almost flubs their chance at getting the much-needed start-up capital. During this one-chance meeting Tristan White discovers he wants a little coffee in his cream. Thus begins his pursuit of Keisha Beale, the only woman who can quench his raging case of jungle fever!

Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever, the comedic run-away hit by L. V. Lewis for only $.99? Fairy Hoochie Mama and Triple-G can even afford it (but you have to read the book to find out who they are).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Taboo

Roxy Queen

Discounted from $2.99 to $.99

Amazon

Summary:

He’s the eighteen-year-old lifeguard at the pool. I’m a twenty-eight-year-old woman babysitting for the summer, before going to grad school. He’s one step away from jailbait (his birthday was eight days ago. Yes, I checked). I’m not necessarily a cougar yet, but closer to cougar than high school girl. He’s hot, and by hot, I mean holy crap. And by holy crap, I mean, when I first saw him, I thought he was twenty-one. Minimum. But he’s not twenty-one. He’s eighteen and off limits. But he has this back and these shoulders and everything about him is yummy and I just want to touch him. Once.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Elle Insatiable: Book One

by The Black

Discounted from $4.99 to $1.99

Amazon

Summary:

To her employees and friends, Gabrielle Archer is the epitome of the self-made, strong black woman. With her aggressive style and razor tongue she’s made it in a man’s world with room to spare and bodies in her wake. She’ll put anyone who crosses her – especially any man – in his place, and then she’ll despise him for his weakness. No man dares challenge her…except one.

Simon Bishop knows what buttons to push – not to ignite Gabrielle’s wrath – but to strip away her emotional armor to reveal the woman within – the woman she yearns to be: Elle.

Elle has no power and no control. Elle is free to give herself over to a strong man, a man she trusts to take care of her so that she can give all to him. And what Elle has to give is a fiery passion that that knows no boundaries and no shame. Elle is the woman that every real man desires, and the woman that every other woman, deep in her heart, wants to be.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Laura’s Two Ice Cream Boys (Complete Collection)

by Mimi Strong

Discounted from $3.99 to $.99

Amazon

Summary:

“A smashing, gorgeous story that takes the reader on a rollercoaster, to the heights of ecstasy and the depths heartache. The series climax is one of the most original and sweet engagement proposals you’ve ever read. This is a wonderful romance, packed with moments ranging from jaw-dropping outrage (Sharise!) to happy-tears-making.”

Laura’s always been a good girl. She doesn’t speed or smoke or swear. She’s only given her body and heart to one boy. He repaid her by dumping her at the wedding altar. She threw up on her wedding dress.

Laura’s done being a good girl.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Love Under Fire ~ The Complete Set – The Tested Series

by Nikki Walker

Discounted from $2.99 to $1.50

Amazon

Summary:

Love Through The Fire

Marcus and Naya have been separated five years. Marcus gets injured in an accident.  Naya is a physical therapist-the best in the region.  After Marcus fires one therapist after another, his best friend, Trey steps in and convinces him to let Naya help him to recover from his injuries. Their past relationship is put to the test when Naya has to move with Marcus to start his rehabilitation. Can they rekindle the love they once had or has their divorce created a brick wall that cannot be knocked down?

“Been There -Done That”~ In Flames

Andrea is grieving the loss of her daughter.  Det. Zane Perkins enters her life over a pick-pocket breakfast. Using her daughter’s memory to build her gift basket business, her focus is soley on her business.  Andrea is convinced that she has ‘been there and done that,’ but Zane convinces her to change her mind.

Hearts On Fire

Trey is burnt out and in need of some rest and relaxation and now Sherri is run-down from her superior who wants her dead,  to the one person that she feels safe with, Trey. But, how does she deal with being in such close proximity of her love crush? Trey has watched Sherri grow up, he’s always treated her with care but now he sees her for more than just a little sister. While keeping her safe from those who are trying to harm her, can he convince her that his heart belongs to her eternally?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Seduction of Dylan Acosta

by Nia Forrester

Discounted from $3.99 to $1.99

Amazon

Summary:

When Dylan marries Mets superstar short stop Mark Acosta. Practically overnight, her life changes, and despite her best efforts, she feels herself being pulled deeper into a world of disaffected and deceitful baseball wives, designer clothes, celebrity parties and multi-million dollar homes. Though Dylan struggles to remain the simple, down-to-earth girl that Mark fell in love with, she feels the lure of the seductive trappings of her new life. The closer she is to becoming the quintessential “Baseball Wife” the farther apart she and Mark become . . .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Future Of Our Past

The Future of Our Past (The Remembrance Trilogy, Book 1)

by Kahlen Aymes

Discounted from $3.99 to $.99

Amazon

Summary:

Julia Abbot and Ryan Matthews have been inseparable best friends since the moment they met. Each of them fight an internal battle, unwilling to risk their incredible friendship, but unable to quell their deep longing for the other. On the verge of Ryan’s departure to Harvard Medical School and Julia’s for her new job on the opposite coast, they are forced to face the undeniable truth of their deeper feelings and find themselves enthralled in a passion like neither has ever known.

The lovers are faced with forced separation, great distances and others who try to sabotage their relationship as both of them work to build the shared future they both dream of. When their lives begin to finally gel, Julia is offered a promotion that will jettison her career to new heights. Ryan is left angry and bereft as it will only postpone their reunion yet again. In light of the sacrifices she has made for him, he can hardly deny her, and Julia is faced with the most difficult decision of her life. Will she choose the chance of a lifetime or the love of her life?

The Future of Our Past is the first book in The Remembrance Trilogy, a transcendent love story about the type of powerful and passionate connection we all dream of.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dont Forget To Remember Me

Don’t Forget To Remember Me (The Remembrance Trilogy, Book 2)

by Kahlen Aymes

Discounted from $3.99 to $.99

Amazon

Summary:

Ryan Matthews has everything he ever wanted. Close to graduation from Harvard Medical School and on the verge of marrying his gorgeous and accomplished girlfriend, Julia Abbott, his dreams are about to come true and all of their sacrifice is finally at it’s end.

When tragedy strikes, their relationship is hurled into turmoil that leaves Ryan devastated. His sorrow drives him to keep his distance yet leaves him aching; consumed with desire and love he refuses to let manifest.

Julia is inexplicably drawn to Ryan and longs to build a future with him, but his agony over the loss of the heart-stopping memories she no longer shares with him, leaves him unable to trust that she could truly love him without the brilliant past he clings to.

When love so unforgettable has been forgotten, can Ryan find enough faith to believe that Julia’s heart will remember, even when her mind can’t?

The second book of The Remembrance Trilogy follows Ryan and Julia’s quest to rebuild their stunning past. An incredibly beautiful and heart-breaking romance, full of passion, intensity and truly immeasurable love that will leave you spellbound, breathless and longing for more…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A PRIMER FOR ANYONE WHO’S EVER LOVED SOMEONE WHOM SOCIETY DEEMS “THE WRONG ONE!”

My Review of Commitment By Nia Forrester

commitment-nia-forrester-paperback-cover-art

Riley and Shawn aka “K Smooth” Gardner had me from their first encounter, when their easy, erudite banter leapt off the page at me. Wait, Nia Forrester’s writing style had me from the first sentence. Yeah, that’s a more appropriate beginning for this review. It’s not often that you read a story about the black romantic experience that is this intelligent and well-informed. When you are an African American young woman who has lived a life comparable to the Huxtables (which oddly I allude to in my current offering I’m in the process of writing), and you’re well-educated and a writer for a political magazine, it is safe to say you really don’t have a whole heck of a lot in common with a rapper. And more often than not, we believe our own stereotypes.

Riley Terry has every reason to believe the hype about Shawn that is ingrained in all of our psyches courtesy of the images we see portrayed in music videos of the young men who populate the hip-hop music genre. Most are products of the inner city, or they perpetrate being so, simply because you’re not credible if you haven’t done your due diligence in the trenches of the hood. It is probably very unfair to lump them all into a category, but this is what we do when we hear their rhymes, which extol their drug use, drug dealing, womanizing, and thuggish ways. Or they may be the other types who talk more about club life, the balling, and big-pimping lifestyle they’ve come into since making it big in the rap game. Unless they happen to be Talib Kweli or someone of his ilk.

These stereotypes almost make Riley eschew the interview of K-Smooth, whom Newsweek has extolled as “hip-hop’s prophet or pariah?” But once Riley meets him, she is surprised to find he isn’t a walking cliché. Their chemistry is instantaneous and after they have engaged in the best verbal foreplay since, well, ever she makes a spontaneous decision that sounds the death-knell for some of her closest interpersonal relationships. And in order not to spoil what I’m sure will be a wonderful adventure for you as a reader to take with Riley into figuring out how to navigate her own life as she falls in love with a man who is everything she isn’t. His resume certainly doesn’t impress her radical feminist mother, her beautiful, out-spoken best friend, or another important person in her life that she forgets until she realizes just how invested she’s become in Shawn. Then of course, she has all the other friends in her life who are more impressed by his bank account and celebrity than what he has come to mean to Riley.

Commitment is a huge tome at five hundred plus pages, but I found it a very easy read because I “got” the characters. I was willing to be immersed in their world for the time that I was because they resonated with me. Now with the next reader, maybe not so much. Writing craft decries that we should cut anything that is too wordy and doesn’t advance the plot. There were probably such places in Commitment, but I wasn’t at all upset that the author left them in, because it gave me such a complete picture of these characters that had me captivated at “hello.” Even the stereotypical hip-hop groupies were so well-drawn I could see and hear them in my imagination so well, it was like I was watching, “Commitment” the movie.

This is a book that has a lot to say to readers of all ethnicities and walks of life about loving someone who doesn’t fit the mold your loved ones have crafted for you–and loving despite how flawed we and the people we love are, through all the drama, and the mistakes we as human beings, ultimately make.

I happily give Commitment four out of five stars!