Category Archives: Book Reviews

Review on Power & Beauty by Tip “T.I” Harris

Power & Beauty begins with a deadly fire at Charlie’s Disco, owned by Charles “Slim” Simmons, which kills Charlotte Clay, mother of Paul “Power” Clay and adopted daughter, Tanya “Beauty” Long. As the two teens cope with their loss they find themselves clinging to each other for consolation. Their first night alone concludes with an experience that they both vow never to speak of again, but their silence speaks volumes as they cannot seem to quiet their innermost thoughts and desires from that day forward.

 Slim steps up immediately and not only takes care of Charlotte’s funeral expenses, but offers to move the two into his home so they can be provided for in the wake of their mother’s untimely death. Power is eager to experience the lavish lifestyle Slim leads, but Beauty is apprehensive and untrusting. When Wanda Washington, their mother’s good friend and the owner of Wanda’s Wigs another of Slim’s establishments, steps in, she plays devil’s advocate and tries to make the scenario more appealing. Either way, the decision is out of their hands and they ultimately wind up in Slim’s care.

 This arrangement is short lived as Beauty decides to leave to attend an arts high school inNew York, and stay with one of Wanda’s friends. The only catch being that Slim cannot know where she is or that Wanda is helping her. Beauty’s warnings to Power about Slim fall on death ears as he decides to stay inAtlantaand follow whichever path Slim leads him on.

 The first section of the book trails Power on this journey as Slim introduces him one by one to “real life teachers” put in his path to educate him on life lessons he could never learn in school. Each teacher is more bizarre than the next and it’s a drawn out process to figure out whatever lesson Power is supposed to be learning. Beauty isn’t seen or heard from until the second section, which hurriedly brings us up to speed on her life after leavingAtlanta. The only common ground the two share in their years apart is always having the other on their mind.

 The book ends with a planned reunion for Power and Beauty once she realizes that she was right about Slim all along and Power may now be in imminent danger. What happens next is abrupt and unexpected.

 *** SPOILER ALERT BEGINS ***

 As Power and Beauty finally lay eyes on each other again after all these years, their meeting is cut short as Power is grabbed by two men and thrown into the back of an Escalade that speeds off before Beauty can reach it. The End!

 The conclusion will follow in Power & Beauty: Book Two – A Love Story Of Life On The Streets.

 *** SPOILER ALERT ENDS ***

 Power & Beauty wasn’t a great read, but it wasn’t a bad one either. It was middle ground, with some highs and some lows. I think the book would have read better if there were alternating chapters between the two storylines as opposed to Power’s story followed by Beauty’s. For this particular set-up, the monotony of each individual account took away from the momentum of the book as a whole. I feel there should have been stronger character development, because everyone was an “on the surface” type of personality with no real depth.

 However, for a first time effort, it was a good one. I will definitely follow T.I. to see where this story takes him. I’m just hoping there will be intertwining storylines, better character development and some closure next time around. I’m anxious to see what’s next from T.I. with David Ritz.

 Rating: 3 Stars

 Michelle Cuttino

AAMBC Reviewer

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Suspicions By Sasha Campbell

Three women are about to learn more than they ever wanted to know about secrets—and the men who keep them. . .

As the owner of Situations, the hottest beauty salon on the south side of Chicago, Noelle Gordon has a direct line to the private lives of her clients. But when an abandoned baby girl appears on her doorstep, Noelle finds herself at the center of a personal drama. Could the baby be her husband’s? Or maybe her grown son’s? Both men deny it—but Noelle is sure one of them is lying. . .

Meanwhile, Noelle’s employees are discovering that their own romantic relationships harbor a secret or two. The truth isn’t always pretty. But can they find the strength to live with it—and with the men they love?

“It’s a sticky situation! Filled with teasing twists and eye popping, craftily written scenes, this novel will heat your seat, causing you to stay with it until you’re finished!! I offer readers six words…KEEP YOUR EYES ON SASHA CAMPBELL!” —Brenda Hampton, author of the Naughtyseries

“This novel will heat your seat!” —Brenda Hampton, author of the Naughty series

AAMBC Reviews 5 *****

Sasha Campbell’s literature mysteriously intrigues those who love romance.  This novel tells the story of three professional women, Noelle, Candace, and Tiffany.  Noelle is a businesswoman, wife of an unfaithful man, grandmother of an abandoned granddaughter, and grandmother of a grandson born to her Cougar best friend!  Noelle’s life has enough drama for her own novel; yet Campbell wets the reader’s appetite a bit more.  Candace has a thug baby daddy and a pedophile for a boyfriend while Tiffany is engaged to a thief with an STD!  Through tears and betrayal, the women do end up happier than they started.  The plots in the novel are not new to the avid modern reader and they do relate to real life.  As Campbell grows, she can rise above other authors with her talent.
 

Natasha Hines
AAMBC Reviewer

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A Good Excuse To Be Bad By Miranda Parker

Smart, gorgeous, and too tough for her own good, bail recovery agent and single mom Evangeline Crawford moved to the burbs for a quiet life. Fortunately, it’s not turning out that way…

Angel has to admit she’s feeling restless. The only excitement in her new life is her schoolgirl crush on the town’s new pastor, Justus-too-Hot-to-be-Holy Morgan. But a fateful encounter and a job gone wrong at Club Night Candy in underground Atlanta is about to change all that… Soon, Angel’s trying to save her divazilla twin sister from her big mouth and a scandalous murder charge, and probing a church cover-up-with none other than Justus by her side. But Angel has one more pressing concern: will Bella be ready for kindergarten? Only time will tell for this bad girl gone good whose days are once again far from boring-and hopefully far from numbered…

***** 5 Stars

What do get when you intertwine the lives of a gorgeous pastor, female bails bondsman, a twin sister, and a Brit?  Parker has the answer in her thriller/murder mystery, A Good Excuse to be Bad.  Reporter turned bails bondsman, Evangeline aka Angel, finds herself trying to solve the most complex case ever, the death of her brother-in-law.  While trying to acquit her twin sister of her brother-in-law’s death, Angel reluctantly falls in love with her new pastor, Justus.  Rumors of a pregnant woman and fraudulent accounting swirl around the saga making it difficult to determine who to trust. 
When the murderer is revealed, it is neither obvious nor surprising, but it does leave ample room for a cliff hanger, which is exactly what Parker does.  The lines between siblings, mother and daughter, and pastor and congregation become blurred as the plot thickens. 

Natasha Hines
AAMBC Reviewer

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Mistress No More By Niobia Bryant

In this sizzling and suspenseful novel, Niobia Bryant thrills readers with a bold, sexy story about a mistress who’s ready to reveal all her dirty little secrets…

Jessa Bell shocked the hell out of her three best friends when she announced she was having an affair with one of their husbands–then refused to say which one. She has been reveling in watching her friends self-destruct as they try to figure out which dog of a husband has been getting some on the side.

But now, caught between an ex-lover who won’t let her go and a new lover who’s more than happy to, Jessa’s ready to confront the ladies, reveal the truth, and move on. But soon she’ll find out that revenge isn’t just sweet–it’s dangerous. Because nothing will ever be the same when Jessa Bell decides she is a mistress no more…

AAMBC Reviews 5 Stars *****

Message from a Mistress was a banger when I read it in 2010, but only to be stunned that I wouldn’t discover the big secret was a downer. So when I was able to finally get my hands on part two Mistress No More, I was more than ready to see which husband was carrying on with the mistress. This sequel was definitely a standalone and really you don’t need to read part one. Sometimes the scenes were gut twisting funny, to heart wrenching intense which made this book a page turner from the very first line. All characters are back and in the lives of Aria, Renee, and Jamie they will face some of their own demons. Yes their lives were torn upside down by their former friend, the mistress of one of their husbands, but karma got in the way from their own secrets. One by one each lady comes face to face with their own demons because their former friend Jessa spilled the beans to their husbands about their lies. They thought that the message from a mistress was the worst part that could happen in their lives but when drama bigger then one of their husbands creeping in the sheets with their best friends, starts to unveil each life is dealt a bad hand, and the worst thing about it is there’s no way to undo some of the mess they have created.

In the end you discover the cheating husband, and everyone’s secrets come out to bite them in the ass. This book was one of my favorites by Niobia. This was a funny, intense, sexual, and all around memorable read. In the end you learn that when you point a finger there’s three more coming right back at cha. Go read this book you want be disappointed.

Tamika Newhouse

AAMBC Reviewer

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Sweet Little Lies by Michele Grant

 

You know the one: a little bougie, a little opinionated, knows it all, has it all, and is a total perfectionist. But Christina’s perfectly crafted world isn’t really so perfect. Her third engagement fizzled three days before the wedding, her family expects her to solve their problems, and her friends are more than a little bit out of control. To keep it all together, she dedicates herself to her work, because it’s the one thing that won’t let her down. But when her latest assignment leads her to sizzling hot professor Steven Williams, the one man who sees through her efforts to outsmart and outmaneuver her way through every situation, Christina can’t believe she’s falling for a man who may be a key player in the scandal she’s investigating….

AAMBC Reviews 5 Stars *****

 

HAVE YOU EVER FALLEN IN LOVE WITH A FICTIONAL CHARACTER? WELL BE PREPARED TO FALL IN LOVE WITH STEVEN WILLIAMS. STEVEN IS ONE OF THE PRIMARY CHARACTERS IN THIS NOVEL. HE IS FINE, INTELLIGENT, CHOCOLATE COVERED AND EVERY WOMEN’S DREAM MAN. CHRISTINA BRINSLEY OUR FEMALE PRIMARY IS A WOMEN OF CHOCOLATE HUE ALSO WHO NEEDS JUST WHAT STEVEN HAS TO OVERCOME. THIS TALE HAS US WONDERING SHOULD WE JUST JUMP IN THE PAGES OF THE BOOK AND TAKE STEVEN FOR OURSELVES OR ROOT FOR CHRISTINA NOT TO LET THIS ONE GET AWAY. SWEET LITTLE LIES IS A PAGE TURNER THAT WILL LEAVE US WANTING TO READ MORE FROM MICHELLE GRANT.

CHOICE WILLIAMS
AAMBC REVIEWER

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Who Said It Woul Be Easy By Cheryl Faye

Charisse Ellison is a beautiful twenty-nine-year-old single woman who is new to her faith, but convinced that her relationship with God is the only way to have the truly fulfilling life she desires—one that includes a husband and children.

Stefàn Cooper is a thirty-three-year-old bachelor who has no desire to change his ways. Tall, muscular, and strikingly handsome, Stefàn is used to getting what he wants from the opposite sex but is intrigued by Charisse’s seeming indifference to his charms. The couple’s intense romance leads them on a journey that challenges the bravado Stefàn has held on to for most of his adult life and forces Charisse to see that God’s answered prayers don’t always come packaged the way we expect.

Who Said It Would Be Easy? is a story that offers hope in situations that, at first seem hopeless, and shows that through faith in an all-powerful God, even the most painful experiences can culminate in true joy and peace.

AAMBC Reviews 5 Stars *****

If you are looking for a novel that captures the joy and pain of various types of love, look no further.  Through the lives of Cherisse and Stefan, Cheryl Faye, engulfs the reader with emotional struggles and lessons between families, friends, husbands and wives, and God and humankind.  Stefan and Myra learn to love after having their heart broken by a teenage girlfriend and a father, respectively.  When Stefan meets Cherisse, his lifestyle and everything he swears against comes to a screeching halt as he allows his heart to overrule his head.  When Myra meets Barretto, she experiences her first attachment to one of the opposite sex; her relationship with Barretto completely changes her demeanor and aspirations.  Julian helps Stefan, his best friend, through his struggles and coming to his own realization that his ex-wife is his life partner.  Cherisse, with unwavering faith in God, falls in love with Stefan and helps him to establish and maintain a relationship with God. Through their trials as a couple, including their inability to conceive, Cherisse is Stefan’s rock.

The novel is abundant in life lessons and religious expressions which often came across as too preachy and repetitive.  Cherisse, took a vow of abstinence when she became saved, a few months before meeting Stefan. This fact was mentioned several times, until the couple was married.  I wanted to shout, “I get it! She is celibate; that’s great. Let’s move on!”  There were also instances when the author told the story instead of showing and letting the reader experience the story.  This usually happened with the author was trying to pass time or advance the story months or weeks ahead.  I felt cheated because Faye does an excellent job in setting the scene and capturing emotional tendencies.

This is the first work I’ve read by the author, but I wouldn’t hesitate to read another and tell others about her.

Natasha R. Hines

AAMBC Reviewer

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Valentine By D.V. Hent

Sassia Santinos loves her life. She’s carefree, financially independent and most importantly, sexually adventurous. Loving her job as an ‘executive companion’, she seems not to have a care in the world. But unknown to everyone, Sassia has a secret: she’s an assassin by the name of Valentine. Charlie is an attractive, ex-Navy engineer, who’s about to be married. On the outside, everything seems fine, but internally she feels as if her life has no meaning. After her mother dies, purpose returns and ignoring her fiancé, she decides to follow in her father’s footsteps. A loner by nature, Sassia eventually opens up and befriends Charlie, but after a yearlong friendship, Charlie suddenly decides she wants to become a Houston police officer. Not long after Charlie becomes a cop, someone close to her is murdered. Seeking justice, she searches for the killer and puts herself in the crosshairs. Charlie isn’t the only problem on Valentine’s plate. Along with the help of C.T., a professional hacker, Valentine is desperately searching for Charles ‘Boogie’ Jackson-a man whose betrayal nearly cost her her life. Now it’s up to Valentine to not only find Boogie, but to make decision. Does she help Charlie track down the pieces to the unsolved murder; and in doing so, divulge who she is and what she does, or does she walk away like she’s done so many times before?

AAMBC Reviews 5 Stars *****

 

Valentine, is not your average novel at all. It’s better than that. When first seeing this book I figured a sexy erotica tale. But boy was I wrong in a good way that is. The story develops around Valentine/Sassia who lost her parents at a young age and soon met a man who would change her life forever and not for the better in my opinion. She would soon succumb to the life of sex and murder and not necessarily in that order. When I read this book it was so fast paced that the anticipation of what’s going to happen next had me nearly biting my nails in agony.   I didn’t expect this book to be suspenseful, action packed, sexual, and mind blowing all at the same time. I literally had a movie in my head. DV Hent is also known for writing orgasmic sex scenes and he did not disappoint either. This book allowed me to see that you can blend in sex, murder, drama, suspense, and everything up under the sun and in the end you get a five star novel. Valentine is a top notch read in my opinion.

Tamika Newhouse

AAMBC Reviewer

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