Sin of a Woman. Kimberla Lawson Roby. 2017. 320 pages. Grand Central Publishing. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] Without question, Kimberla Lawson Roby’s Curtis Black series books are always masterfully written in comparison to her other works. Unfortunately, Sin of a Woman failed to reach the relatively high bar. It’s intriguing that she elected to almost duplicate the plot of the most recent saga of Dillon Black with Raven, but appropriate. There was a ton of potential to show once again the self appointed calling, rise and ultimate fail of a misguided “pastor.” However, riddled with redundancy in the background of the characters and the current interactions, the book didn’t fully captivate or advance. Drawn out to unnecessary lengths, the actual deceptive action could have happened a lot sooner granting more time to highlight the growth of other characters. Raven was predictable, Porscha was unbelievable (especially her ending sermon), and Dillon and the Black family were essentially unnecessary. For the first time ever, I’m thinking Mrs. Roby may need to find another set of characters. How much more can the Black Family endure and/or be apart of?!
One Night. Eric Jerome Dickey. 2015. 370 pages. Dutton. [Source: public library.] I consider myself an Eric Jerome Dickey fan that’s fallen off the wagon. I began reading his novels in my early 20s, and after I read Chasing Destiny, Genevieve, and Pleasure, he could do no wrong in my eyes. I’ve since expanded what I read, so it’s been a few years since I checked for him. I was surfing my public library’s audiobooks when I came across One Night and was completely intrigued by the description. Two strangers, one night, murder, lies, etc? I was sucked in immediately. Unfortunately, the book failed to live up to my lofty expectations of EJD. One Night is a few hours short of a day in the life of former actress Jackie and The Man from Orange County. Seriously, that’s how he is referred to throughout the book. The book chronicles their introduction and parting in painstaking detail, giving minute-by-minute accounts. It starts with Jackie trying to scam the wealthy, attractive man at the gas station into purchasing a iPad. It ends with a body in the trunk of a luxury car with sirens approaching.
Sold:! J.L. Campbell. 2016. 161 pages. The Writers’ Suite. [Source: Kindle Unlimited.] I was drawn to this book more because of a profile about its author than the plot itself. I wanted to check out J.L. Campbell, and the description for Sold! seemed appealing as an entry into her works. This isn’t a bad book by any means, but it isn’t something I feel is a necessary read. Sold! features Feechi, a single mom whose sense of self-reliance tends to keep the opposite sex at bay. Carsten is a wealthy businessman who sees something special in Feechi, both as a business partner and as a life partner. The majority of this book centers on Carsten’s attempts to court her, even while trying to keep his independence. He comes across as a guarded and toes the line of arrogant. In reality, he’s very focused and doesn’t mince words. He’s an interesting foil for Feechi because is fairly observant and intuitive regarding her hand-ups. Feechi, on the other hand, is cautious to a fault, and gets in the way of her own happiness on several occasions. She’s been hurt in the past, and her inability to get past that affects nearly every aspect of…
Please Come Home for Christmas. Kahillah Fox. 2016. 65 pages. HeartBeat Press. [Source: Kindle Unlimited.] So, I love all things Christmas. Sure, I grumble about the cold, the stress of decorating and gift buying, and dinner planning. But I also permanently change my radio station to 97.1fm the day after Thanksgiving because that’s when the Christmas music starts. So when I came across Please Come Home For Christmas last night on Kindle Unlimited, I said why not have a little Christmas in April. I’m clearly a glutton for punishment. This book is centered around Zahara, who reluctantly returns home to Maryland for Christmas. She’s been living the life in California, and the slow, cold style of Maryland just doesn’t fit her. When she arrives home, she finds her parents have invited over her ex-boyfriend, Adrian, and he’s on a mission to win back her heart. Throw in some drama with her younger sister and a surprise pop-up from her boyfriend Christian, and you’ve got all the makes of a holiday (maybe) romance that will at least entertain you while you sip your egg nog.
The Couple Next Door. Shari Lapena. 2016. 320 pages. Pamela Dorman Books. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] Like playing a game of Clue, minus the board, the players, and the hope that when it gets to the end it’ll make sense … Ironically, the book reminded me of a notable case from Colorado where nothing makes sense and there’s a bunch of missing pieces to even the most trained eye. However, the mystery and crazy degrees of separation didn’t distract from a well written book.