Mine to Keep. Ashley Nicole. 2016. 201 pages. [Source: Amazon Kindle Unlimited.] Noelle has terrible luck with men. That’s why when she begins to fall for her next door neighbor Jaylen, she’s hesitant with good reason. Too bad her hesitance is well-founded: the man has a stalker. Jaylen didn’t think much of the creepy notes that were being left on his windshield. Signed SA, he simply thought it was a secret admirer who’d reveal themselves and keep it moving. That changed when the notes became more angry and “coincidences” in his life became more violent.
Heated Harmonies. Alexandra Warren. 2017. [Source: Kindle Unlimited.] A weekend of great reading continued with the release of Heated Harmonies. It’s centered on pop icon Zalaya as she tries to redefine not only her image but also her sound. She fixes her sights on unknown producer Gabriel, but instead of jumping at a chance at stardom, he wants nothing to do with Zalaya or the music industry. Zalaya is used to getting her way. Being harshly rejected by a “nobody” is a bitter pill to swallow, so she doesn’t. In fact, she’s a bit relentless — if not reckless — in getting Gabe on her musical team. However, in trying to find musical chemistry, they actually find a nice amount of personal chemistry as well. It really stands out that their “relationship” actually started from platonic (even if it doesn’t always stay that way).
Something Like Love. Christina C. Jones. 2017. Warm Hues Media. [Source: Kindle Unlimited.] “He’s just a guy; she’s just a girl. They’re just falling in love.” Spoken by the author herself in a pre-release video message, these words are a very apt description for the plot of Something Like Love. The story, which is the sixth book in the Serendipitous Love series, takes a refreshing look at love and sexuality through the courtship between Eddie and Astrid. Eddie holds a generally one-sided animosity toward Astrid, who for her part just seems to be amused. She’s not quite sure where the hostility came from, but quickly decides Eddie’s just mad because he wants her. The problem is that both of them have more or less sworn off relationships. Sure, they’re up for no-strings-attached arrangements, but finding someone who can be with them and accept them for who they are is just not in the picture. So the fact that they keep bumping into each other seems, at least to Astrid, kismet. I was happy to see them explore their obvious attraction, and appreciated the story that came from it.
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?!
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…