A Blessing & a Curse. ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Victoria Christopher Murray. 2017. 288 pages. Gallery Books. [ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] They’ve done it again! I swear, I never think there’s anywhere else for these characters (and more importantly the duo) to go … yet somehow Reshonda and Victoria find away to take them to the next level. The idea of Jasmine & Rachel being sisters seemed unrealistic until they started weaving the tale. Then it seemed so possible and as a long time fan of the series made you wonder “how did I miss this possibility!?” Expertly written, it’s still impossible to tell one writing style from the next. 5 stars and I’m literally salivating at the idea of FINALLY finding out just who Mae Frances is. I hope Victoria and Reshonda keep up their collaborations, this book is proof they’re still capable of taking these characters further!
Her Secret Life. Tiffany L. Warren. 2017. 320 pages. Kensington Books. [Source: ARC provided couresty of NetGalley.] “She’s a series of beautiful contradictions” … my favorite line in the book as Graham simply explained Onika. Similarly, the line encompasses my emotions about the main character … I was always conflicted. My feelings of empathy were a direct contradiction to the disdain I felt for her superior, entitled attitude. Onika was so caught up in focusing on the bad hand she was dealt as a child that she failed to realize that the adult negativity was all the root of her own doing and poor decision making. The showcase of how one lie will ultimately beget many others was a valuable and continuous lesson. In addition to how failure to accept your flaws will stunt your ability to grow despite them. An ideal book for many teachers for it’s clear message without forcing hard topics. 5 stars for the effortless way Ms. Warren wove this tale, as a D.C. Native and fellow Greek, she was true to the culture and environment and it only aided the overall work.
With each book I’m more impressed with the author. Once again sucked in and invested in the characters. I love how she keeps the town and the every dynamic involved. With newly arriving figures in the story, she managed to intertwine them in a manner that didn’t make you feel as though they took away from the others. So excited for part 3 – what’s on the horizon for Trent & Lily? Malachi and Bernadine? And most importantly Tamar (Lawd knows I’m not ready for her role to diminish). There’s just soooo many characters that I wish I knew personally … matter of fact where is the REAL Henry Adams, I may need to take a trip. 5 stars and beyond …
Bring on the Blessings. Beverly Jenkins. 2009. 383 pages. HarperCollins. [Source: personal copy.] Love love loved this book! When I opened and realized the entire “back” description was the opening pages, and that I wouldn’t be starting from Bernadine’s tragedy and reading her rise to triumph, I was immediately skeptical. But the book literally grabbed me and never let me go. In the first couple of chapters, you were overwhelmed with characters but the author ultimately formulated each and every one of them. Committed to reading the entire 6 book series now, I have to know what happens to the kids, the town and everyone receiving the Blessings thanks to Bernadine. Definitely 5 stars!
Lust: A Seven Deadly Sins Novel. Victoria Christopher Murray. 2017. 368 pages. Touchstone. [Source: personal copy.] Unusual that it took so long to complete a VCM book. Definitely not her normal writing style, and despite the characters being interesting it failed to truly captivate me. I was into it, but not committed enough to focus entirely on it. I’m definitely intrigued to see how the rest of the deadly sins series will go.