A Review ~ Monster by Francette Phal



Synopsis 72

Accidental Gold digger.

Circumstance forced Eden Mercer to sell herself to Dominic Armstrong for half a million dollars and in return she is to play the dutiful wife in public and submit to him completely behind closed doors.

The Tyrant.

Dominic is Ruthless, manipulative and sadistic but Eden is determined not to break under his cruelty. But how does one persevere when in the clutches of a Monster?

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Review 72

Excerpt 72

****The following excerpt is for 18+ only****

“Soon, sweetie, I promise,” he soothed. She moaned softly as he licked her ear, dropped soft warm kisses across her shoulder blades, he moved down her back, a wet tongue and hot mouth traced and kissed each vertebrae, making a slow and steady progress down her spine. It was a torturous progression that boiled the blood in Eden’s veins as she waited in bated anticipation. Breath stilled in her lungs, eyes widening when he drew apart her butt cheeks and ran his tongue down the wet crevice, from clit to the puckered rosebud of her hole and back again. It was undoubtedly one of the most erotic things he’d ever done to her body, and Eden didn’t know how to breathe properly. She gripped the sheets beneath her hands and bit down hard on her bottom lip to keep from screaming.

It was like a shot of adrenaline straight into her vein. It was blood vessels dilating, her heart galloping uncontrollably in her chest, it was gasping for breath when the air she drew in wasn’t enough. He owned her body, ate it like sun ripened peaches and drank the flowing juices of her weeping womanhood with his rapacious tongue. There were fingers there, slipping between the folds to dive deep into her blistering heat, while his thumb worked at her puckered hole, his wicked, wicked mouth showing Eden exactly how very little she knew her of own body. There was nothing but the explicitness of this act, the hyper awareness that made her feel like each inch of her body was struck by lightning, that killed her and gave her life all in one electrifying jolt. He was merciless and perfect, inviting her to shove her hips back and ride his face.

Death was imminent, sweet cataclysmic death seduced her into the gaping, welcoming arms of her orgasm. She plummeted, shattered into delicious little pieces on his tongue and fingers. Recuperating wasn’t in the stars for her as he gripped her hips and plunged into her depths in one long stroke. Pulling her arms and folding them at the small of her back, he held them there with one large hand as he sank in deeper, so deep that it hurt so good. Ass high in the air, face down in the sheets, Eden was at his complete mercy, filled to absolute capacity with his cock, and she whimpered, the vulnerability of her position giving her a sweet high.

“I’m going to beat this pussy, Eden, and you’re going to scream my name.”

And she did, a promise made completely true as he fucked her like a porn star. She screamed like the world was falling, his repeated strike against her G-spot making her see stars. It was too damn much, his jarring thrusts so deep that she could taste him, spurred her fall and she orgasmed on every inch of his cock.


The Author 72

Francette lives in Massachusetts with her amazingly supportive husband of ten years and her darling two year old son. Reading amazing books has led her to writing and she’s dabbled in fan-fiction before self-publishing her own works. She’s constantly thinking up new stories to write and does her best work when music is playing in the background. Romance is where she’s most comfortable but she hopes to one day venture in mystery novels. She has a weakness for coffee ice cream, tropical fruits and a good glass of wine.

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Francette Phal never ceases to give readers stories that entertain, amaze, and startle. Monster is just such a story. Dominic, particularly, is that startling character who grows so much you have to change your opinion of him, eventually.

If I had one criticism of the execution of the story, it would be the way he arrived there. Dominic’s backstory was so compelling, once we were let into it, you couldn’t help but have much sympathy for a man who endured what he had. However, waiting to let the reader into it so late may have colored the views of some readers who wondered why he chose to be such a brutal husband to his wife.

Eden is a sympathetic character whose early decisions we weren’t privy to until much later, as well. Ms. Phal wove conflict throughout the story, some via vivid showing, and others via telling. This is something many new writers, myself included, struggle with from time to time. While these are things a good developmental editor can catch and correct, the average reader may not be as interested in the mechanics as much as the volatility of the story.

Monster delivers the punch and visceral emotion one comes to expect of Ms. Phal’s stories and barring the aforementioned issues, the premise, as good stories should, grabs and holds you until the end. My rating for Monster is 3.5 out of 5.


Misbehaving by Tiffany Reisz ~ #Review #ASMSG #RomanticComedy

Misbehaving coverMisbehaving by Tiffany Reisz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beatriz, in Tiffany Reisz’s most recent offering, Misbehaving, probably has the most unusual occupation, bar none. She is a hands-on sex blogger. This is her fun job, which alone may not pay the bills, but she benefits from its other perks. The various toys and sex books she receives gratis bring her much pleasure. Pun certainly intended.

As Bea prepares to attend her sister’s wedding, her boss gives her a last-minute assignment, which she’s expected to deliver while she’s playing maid of honor. What she doesn’t know until she arrives at the wedding is that Ben, the groom’s best friend from college, whom she has history with, is there. And coincidentally, the book she’s agreed to review sight unseen, is actually a sex manual, which will require she have a sexual partner in order to try it out, as it were.

It is not hard to figure out who will become her sex partner during the wedding weekend, but the way the story is delivered was actually very surprising. This is not Reisz’s Original Sinners who practice BDSM unapologetically. This is a romantic comedy, which happens to feature a young woman whose job requires her to do things of a sexual nature without the guilt that the average twenty-something single woman might harbor.

Misbehaving is a hilarious romp through Bea and Ben’s libidos, their unfortunate history, and a current love affair that could become derailed yet again by circumstances beyond their control. Find out just what those circumstances are when you read Misbehaving by Tiffany Reisz.

I give Misbehaving five naughty stars!

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About The Author:
Tiffany Reisz lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her boyfriend (a reformed book reviewer) and two cats (one good, one evil). She graduated with a B.A. in English from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky and is making both her parents and her professors proud by writing BDSM erotica under her real name.Author PictureWhen not under arrest, Tiffany enjoys Latin Dance, Latin Men, and Latin Verbs. She dropped out of a conservative southern seminary in order to pursue her dream of becoming a smut peddler. Johnny Depp’s aunt was her fourth grade teacher. Her first full-length novel THE SIREN was inspired by a desire to tie up actor Jason Isaacs (on paper). She hopes someday life will imitate art (in bed).THE SIREN was awarded the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Erotic Romance 2012.If she couldn’t write, she would die.

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         Website Link: www.tiffanyreisz.com
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Cold Light by Traci L. Slatton (@tracilslatton) ~ My Review – #SEPT #AdultDystopian #ASMSG #Romance

15698800As is characteristic of her style, Traci L. Slatton begins Cold Light in much the same manner as Fallen–in the bosom of in medias res (Latin, in the midst of things). She begins just as the Roman poet Horace and Jack Lynch advises, in the heart of the story without preamble. The story also parallels Fallen because this time Emma’s eldest daughter, Beth, rather than her youngest, Mandy, is in danger. In fact, Beth is kidnapped by raiders and taken on horseback to places unknown as the book opens. Ergo, life in this post-apocalyptic increasingly dystopian society goes from bad to worse for Emma.

Fallen ended with Emma leaving Arthur, the man whom she had come to know as the other part of her soul, behind as her husband, Haywood, retrieved her and Mandy by Airplane via Canada. The family had been separated when the mists, the noxious gases created by a military experiment gone bad, consumed much of the technology, machines and modes of transportation made possible by the industrial revolution and the technological boom of Silicon Valley, leaving Emma and Mandy stranded in the Parisian countryside.

The world as they had come to know it had ceased to exist with many of the creature comforts they had come to enjoy now gone forever. And now, having her daughter kidnapped in the dead of winter, Emma and Haywood haggle over who will take on the daunting task of going to rescue her. After gathering intel and being told that the city they now call home won’t go in search of their taken residents, Emma and Haywood decide they can spare only one of them to take the dangerous journey through sub-zero weather to rescue Beth from none other than a man by whom Emma suffered being kidnapped herself.

As Emma walks through treacherous weather, she is stalked by a large cat, helped by some, and betrayed by others on the way to her destination. At the last outpost she comes to before she plans to attempt the rescue of her daughter, Emma encounters old friends and an extremely determined lover  who have no intentions of allowing her to continue her journey alone. Yet, she does not want them to risk their lives to save her child. Will Emma brave this rescue attempt on her own and succeed, or will love truly demand everything of her in this gripping Book 2 of the After Trilogy, Cold Light?

If you’d read Fallen, there is no way you can forgo Cold Light. I read this immediately after reading Fallen, but am just now getting to review. However, don’t let that lead you to believe that this book isn’t as stellar as the first. In fact, this book is more action-packed and the stakes have gone even higher than Emma and her family just avoiding the mists that can consume them. This is a do-or-die, life-and-death story that leaves you guessing at every turn–How is Emma going to get out of these newest pickles? Read Cold Light and find out.

This is a dystopian romance for the mature set, (Hunger Games and/or Divergent on steroids). Don’t ignore this wonderful series.

I give Cold Light Five out of Five Stars!



Traci L. Slatton is a graduate of Yale and Columbia, where she taught freshman composition. She lives Traci L Slattonin Manhattan, though her love for Renaissance Italy inspired her historical novel Immortal [Bantam Dell], which is currently in film pre-production and reached bestseller status in Italy, Russia and Brazil. Also the author of The Botticelli Affair and the After trilogy (FallenCold Light and Far Shore [forthcoming late spring 2013]), Slatton has published The Art of Life, a photo essay about figurative sculpture; a book of poetry; as well as a non-fiction title on science and spirituality, Piercing Time & Space. Her forthcoming novel, The Mission, is a meaty historical saga set during World War II.

To learn more, visit, http://tracilslatton.com/ / http://parvatipress.com/

Find Traci on Twitter & Facebook

Traci L. Slatton Blog Tour – I’ve Fallen for “Fallen”

stacks_image_244I’ve Fallen for “Fallen”

Let me just throw this out there: I love dystopian books.

A few other things you might want to know about me is 1) I love science fiction, 2) I love the conflict of man against nature gone wrong, and 3) I love a hearty romance thrown in there for good measure. Fallen had all of these ingredients, and more.

In Fallen, author Traci L. Slatton has built a world where noxious mists have killed off a goodly number of the earth’s inhabitants, dissolved much of its commerce, and crippled civilization to the point where humans are forced to live as they had before the industrial revolution. Horses are again the mode of transportation, and those who’ve survived have had to learn to scavenge abandoned communities for food, or to live off the land again.

A New Yorker stranded in Paris, Emma, the book’s heroine has by default become the caregiver of seven other children besides her own child, Mandy. Through ingenuity and a bit of luck, they have learned to avoid the mists for a little over a year together in the Parisian countryside. The story opens with Emma believing that Mandy is about to breathe in and be consumed by the mist. As this harrowing situation plays out, a miraculous thing happens–a band of men on horseback ride up and drive the mist away.

Since the proliferation of the mists, human beings have acquired abilities they didn’t have before. For example, Emma has healing properties in her hands, her daughter Mandy sees shadows of people who’ve been in places before, and her charge Newt is psychic and sees the future. Armed with knowledge from Newt that these men are good and not a group of marauders that rape women and kill children like some, Emma decides to proposition their leader, Arthur for food and shelter for her and the children.

Arthur agrees on the condition that she doesn’t expect commitment and doesn’t nag him. The story unfolds as Emma and her children assimilate into the camp community these men have created. Heretofore, the men kept to themselves out of fear that the mists might make them do unspeakable things to women and children. However, over time Arthur and his men grow to appreciate having a woman and children around, and learn to live fairly well in this post-apocalyptic society.

The conflict in the story is caused by nature, by desperate people, by family thought to be dead still alive, and by old grudges borne by another charismatic leader who wants Arthur to suffer as much as he has. As the daily lives of the people in Arthur’s camp unfold, we get to see a relationship grow between Emma and the camp leader that neither of them expected. Word spreads that a woman who can heal is among the people of Arthur’s camp and this gift unwittingly makes Emma a target.

Will Emma be able to avoid being taken by other camps who covet her service? Or will she be lost to Arthur for an entirely different reason?

Full of action, adventure and a very intelligent read, I absolutely loved this story. There were only one or two things I could nitpick about it. The first being: although this is a dystopian trilogy, it is billed as a romance. The love that grows between Emma and Arthur is epic in nature and that should have been shown more. Most of their intimate moments were of the “fade to black” variety. As this is an adult dystopian book, I certainly could’ve handled a few more of their sexy times together. The emotion underlying could certainly have been shown more, as well.

The second was the handling of Mandy as Emma’s child by a husband she’s certain is still alive, yet there was no treatment of exactly how Emma explained her behavior with Arthur to this child. As time went on, she didn’t try to hide the fact that she slept in the tent with Arthur, nor did they hide their PDA from the children. It just would have been nice for that bit of conflict to be handled in some way and not ignored.

Fallen ends in a place where you know there will be a sequel, and this was fine by me, because I wasn’t ready to let go of this world Traci L. Slatton had created so beautifully.

I give Fallen 4.5 out of 5 Stars!



Traci L. Slatton is a graduate of Yale and Columbia, where she taught freshman composition.

Traci L SlattonShe lives in Manhattan, though her love for Renaissance Italy inspired her historical novel Immortal [Bantam Dell], which is currently in film pre-production and reached bestseller status in Italy, Russia and Brazil. Also the author of The Botticelli Affair and the After trilogy (FallenCold Light and Far Shore [forthcoming late spring 2013]), Slatton has published The Art of Life, a photo essay about figurative sculpture; a book of poetry; as well as a non-fiction title on science and spirituality, Piercing Time & Space. Her forthcoming novel, The Mission, is a meaty historical saga set during World War II.

To learn more, visit, http://tracilslatton.com/ / http://parvatipress.com/

Find Traci on Twitter & Facebook

Broken City Is A Fabulous Movie — How Could The Critics Get This So Wrong?

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Director, Allen Hughes, may have been vilified by the mainstream movie critics for Broken City, but my take on it is the absolute opposite of theirs. I consider it a half star short of brilliant. In a brief prologue in the beginning of the movie, we witness Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg), a former cop, beating the rap for a vigilante murder despite demonstrations for justice in the Hispanic community that rivals what we witnessed recently all over America in the Trayvon Martin case. Taggart’s innocence is suspect by a beleaguered Police Chief Fairbanks, played by the inimitable Jeffrey Wright, but hailed as heroic by smarmy New York City Mayor Hostetler, played by Russell Crowe. The Mayor promises not to forget Taggart in the future even as he is relieved of his badge by the police chief in the wake of his acquittal.

Fast forward seven years (with no apparent term limits), Mayor Hostetler is up for re-election and his opponent is a beloved City Councilman, aptly named Jack Valliant, played by one of my favorite character actors bar-none, Barry Pepper. Billy Taggart (Wahlberg) is now working as a private dick and specializes in uncovering spousal indiscretions. However, he’s such a good-hearted fellow, his clientele often takes his kindness for weakness and doesn’t pay him for his hard work. One of the best scenes in the movie involves Taggart and his hilarious office assistant, Katy Bradshaw, played by Alona Tal (one to watch in my opinion), doing collection calls when he learns that his uncollected fees amount to about $40,000.

A ring of corruption in New York’s City Hall that involves the Mayor and his closest supporters and friends is the backdrop for this ambitious political thriller. A week before Election Day, Nick Hostetler (Russell Crowe), the gruff, conservative mayor, who was seemingly the only public servant on Billy Taggart’s side when he was facing murder charges, enlists the private eye to follow his wife Cathleen (Catherine Zeta-Jones) whom he suspects of infidelity. In the process, Taggart becomes a pawn in deadly cat-and-mouse electoral machinations, and also in Hostetler’s love/hate relationship with his now Commissioner of Police (Jeffrey Wright).

The intense, intelligent acting by the whole cast is matched by tight cinematography that captures the authenticity of the city’s locations. Coupled with airtight storytelling, with more twists than a labyrinth, and witty dialogue that keeps the plot moving from beginning to end, Broken City is, in my humble opinion, one of the best and most entertaining films I’ve seen in a while. It only slowed down once, and that was when Allen inserted the film-within-a-film plot device, involving Billy attending the première of his girlfriend Natalie’s (Natalie Martinez) big break in a stereotypical independent movie. Billy’s struggle with alcoholism is stretched to the breaking point when he witnesses the woman he loves in a hot, naked sex scene with the film’s leading man, which throws him into a tailspin that almost compromises his investigation. Billy realizes when City Councilman Valliant’s Campaign Manager, Paul Andrews (Kyle Chandler), ends up dead, that he wasn’t just investigating a simple case of infidelity.

At its core Broken City is a movie about how corruption at the top affects the lives of everyday people, and how those everyday people will expose corruption for what it is, even if it means sacrificing oneself for the greater good.



Sometimes, I think critics forget, we don’t go to movies to analyze them to pieces. We go to movies to be entertained!

I give Broken City 4.5 out of 5 stars!


My Review of Worth The Wait by Synithia Williams

untitledTasha Smith is the quintessential “good girl.” A Preacher’s Kid who has been taught abstinence all her life, and the golden rule of saving her virginity for the marriage bed since she was old enough to know what sex was all about. Her hope had been to find a man who wanted her for more than just a romp in the hay, to be married and start a family, but all of the above somehow manages to elude her. Angie, her sister and most of Tasha’s other friends have managed to find love and settle down, but Tasha is on the cusp of turning thirty and no Mr. Right is in sight. Well, she thought he might be when she goes on a date with Charles “Mr. Wrong” Worthington, who tells her that if she wasn’t giving it up, it wasn’t going to work out for him.

This date from hell is the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. Tasha emerges from that experience determined to get the monkey of virginity off her back. She convinces herself that if she sleeps with a man and rids herself of her pesky cherry, she’ll be able to cross that hurdle and move on to find love and commitment. And Tasha knows just the guy to help her out of her little situation. Her friend, Jared “sex-on-legs” Peterson, is a man whose picture is next to the definition of “man whore” in the dictionary. He’s an Atomic Dog to the tenth power, and because he has such a wealth of experience, Tasha is certain his technique is just the ticket to provide her with a memorable (and exceedingly pleasurable) first time.

After some cajoling, she manages to enlist Jared to do the job, and they agree that no strings will be attached and this one-time occurrence will be the extent of their involvement. Now we all know what they say the road to hell is paved with, right? And good intentions abound, but once the forbidden fruit is tasted, all bets are off for both Tasha and Jared. A protracted period of indulging in a “friends with benefits” relationship stirs feelings in them both, and then things become complicated.

Never fear though, reader, because although we know kind of how this is going to go, Synithia Williams managed to throw a few curves in this cautionary tale. This story is about a good woman whose fatal flaw happens to be her naïveté, and a successful man who has trust issues that go back to his broken relationship with his own mother. Will their sexy, uber-hot journey of sexual discovery lead them to love, or will it ruin their deepening friendship forever? You must read to see how they get to the end of the journey, because I’m not spilling the beans.

You won’t be sorry you bought and read this wonderful book, because just when you think you’re going to be able to predict what’s about to happen next, the author throws a wrench in those thoughts and the story goes into a whole ‘nother trajectory.

I absolutely loved Tasha from the start, and despite his doggish ways, in the end I found myself caring for Jared just as much, even though I wanted to give him a swift kick in the rear on more than one occasion, he definitely grew on me, as I’m sure he will on you. The author’s writing is stellar and her style so straight-forward, I experienced almost none of the hiccups you get from a lot of the e-book offerings out there nowadays. Some of the dialogue may have been a tad clunky, but it was clean grammatically as far as I could tell, and superbly edited for punctuation and development.

I give Worth The Wait 4.5 Stars!



My Review of Hearts on Fire (Tested Love Series) by Nikki Walker

Some authors have a knack of writing characters that you really wouldn’t mind having as your friends. I’ve met two such authors recently, but this review is dedicated to Hearts on Fire a book in Nikki Walker’s Tested Love Series.

First off, I have to say that I love how she’s written this series in such a way that you don’t necessarily have to have read the other books in the series in order to enjoy one of the books.

However, I will warn you that you might fall so completely in love with the characters, you’ll want to go back to the other books so you can read your fill and get a the fix you will definitely need for these characters. Not to mention how she skillfully hides little nuggets in the story that will have you wondering what happened in the lives of the characters before and after this particular book.

Regarding Hearts on Fire, as it begins you think it’s Trey’s story, but it reads more like Sherri’s story once she gets going, then in the end you realize, it’s both their stories. Trey is an attorney and friend of Sherri’s Uncle Marcus. Burn out at work sends him to his cabin in Vermont for a little R&R. He has a history with Sherri that has been purely platonic up until this point, but he finds himself ready to take that leap of faith and explore something deeper with her.

Sherri’s refusal comes by rote, believing Trey’s motives to be less than honorable. However, events on her job that occur upon Trey’s departure have her scrambling to get to him. The irony is, he’s the first person she thinks of when she’s in crisis, and this speaks volumes.

Follow Sherri and Trey on this pulse-pounding, suspenseful love story that will have you either on the edge of your seat, worried for Sherri and Trey’s safety, or have you all hot and bothered by the sizzling chemistry they create on the page. What I really love about Nikki’s story is, while it is chaste in comparison to many I’ve read (and hell, even the ones I’ve written), it doesn’t leave you wanting the bump and grind. The suspense keeps you engaged, but it’s the romance itself that keeps you rooting for these two until the end.

The editor might have missed a few things in cleaning this up, but the story is one you’ll want to read regardless of those tiny faux pas.

Ms. Walker weaves powerful tales of inspirational romantic suspense that you can read with veritably no guilt.

Beautiful Bastard – A Beautiful Departure From Billionaire Alpha-Male Dominants


My Review of Beautiful Bastard

by Christina Lauren

The authors of Beautiful Bastard and the publishing company openly reveal that this story was once a fanfiction. The publishing industry has validated fanfiction, intentionally or unintentionally, as fair game to publish given their overwhelming reception for Fifty Shades of Grey. That being said, I’m not at all sure why reviewers are making such a big deal out of it. The fact that Fifty Shades was a fanfiction didn’t stop Ms. James from selling millions upon millions of books . . . but I digress. This review is about Beautiful Bastard.

Beautiful Bastard opens with one of the most improbable scenarios I’ve ever had to suspend belief and go with in a story, but it made for really high drama. It also kept me on my toes waiting through the rest of the book for the other shoe of discovery to drop. In reminding myself that this was fiction and erotica, I got over my earlier misgivings and dove into the rest of the book with alacrity.

There was a love/hate relationship between the male and female protagonist that was epic given that they worked closely together every day. Denial must be the new aphrodisiac because these two threw themselves into getting it on all over the place! And then I reminded myself again, that this was erotica. The sex was undeniably hot, but that didn’t turn me on as much as their verbal sparring did. Several times throughout, I found myself laughing out loud at their antics. Admittedly, there were a few places where the dialogue just didn’t seem natural, but when Bennett and Chloe were on, they were like a veritable comic duo.

Is this a literary masterpiece? No. Is it an entertaining contemporary erotic romance? Yes. If you read for entertainment and not a riveting plot, or literary turn of phrase, this is your book! This certainly is a welcome respite from the over-done plot of billionaire alpha-male dominants (and I say this with tongue thoroughly in cheek because I jumped on the bandwagon and wrote a parody of one).

I was given an advance copy of this book by NetGalley in return for an objective review.

I give Beautiful Bastard Four out of Five Stars.


My Review of Commitment By Nia Forrester


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!

A Satisfying Ending To A Great YA Series!


When I went to Amazon to buy this book in December, I had to pace myself with reading it, because I knew that once I finished, Samara and Caleb’s story would be over (unless Jaime Reed decides to visit them as adults?). So, I had to savor this final book, and savor I did!

At the end of book two, our girl was taken over by her roommate, Lilith, who went off with Tobias while Samara was kicking and screaming in her own body. Of course, when this happened, I naively believed book three would pick up where that one left off in this kind of linear storyline. Well, I was wrong.

As I began Fading Amber, it rang like one of those old soap opera’s or sitcom’s that ended on a BIG cliffhanger, then when the season premiere came, it was explained that the character had been “dreaming.” Ugh! I hated those types of cliffhangers because the device became very popular and shows were using it left and right.

I should’ve known Jaime Reed wasn’t about to employ that kind of device, because even though she is a self-described lover of 80’s pop culture, I just knew she wouldn’t go there! Well, she did, and she didn’t. Let me explain. Ms. Reed figured out a way to do it that wasn’t cheesy at all, but fell in line with the capabilities of the entities that inhabit both Samara and Caleb. And that’s all I’m going to say about that, because otherwise I might be kind of stealing your thunder. So, if you want to find out how this is ingeniously done, you’ve got to read Fading Amber for yourself!

It is true that book three is the place where Samara and Caleb grow up, so all the snark and barbs they threw at one another in books one and two had to go on hiatus. Some serious stuff was about to go down, so I understand why a lot of the funny business went away, and they fought a lot, but they made up a lot too (smexy times). And I have to be one of the second (or maybe third) reviewers to say, this didn’t bother me in the least, because I was ready for them to resolve all the lingering questions. Would the ruling family of Cambions descend into their sleepy little town and take the situation in hand? Will Samara and Caleb have to do the deed to finally derail Tobias’ plans? Will Samara’s father find out she’s a Cambion? Will Samara’s Mom finally find true love? Will Mia and Dougie reconcile? Will Mia ever forgive Sam? Dont worrry. There was still plenty of levity in the story, but Ms. Reed used it sparingly, and in all the right places.

I know, I’ve got this rambling review going on with not very much substance, but let’s just suffice it to say, you need to read book three, not only because it is awesome with its many plot twists and turns, but it brings our Cambion Trilogy to the wonderful close we expect from a good series.