Release Blitz: Forged in Desire by Brenda Jackson

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Forged in Desire, an all-new sexy standalone from Brenda Jackson is live!!!

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Forged in Desire by Brenda Jackson
Publication Date: January 31st, 2017
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Strong enough to protect her. Bold enough to love her.

When good girl Margo Connelly becomes Lamar “Striker” Jennings’s latest assignment, she knows she’s in trouble. And not just because he’s been hired to protect her from an underworld criminal. The reformed bad boy’s appeal is breaching all her defenses, and as the threats against her increase, Margo isn’t sure which is more dangerous: the gangster targeting her, or the far too alluring protector tempting her to let loose.

Though Striker’s now living on the right side of the law, he’s convinced his troubled past keeps Margo out of his league. But physical chemistry explodes into full-blown passion when they go on the run together. Surrendering to desire could be a deadly distraction—or finally prove that he’s the only man qualified to keep her safe, and win her love.

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About the Author

Brenda Jackson, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of over 100 novels and novellas, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Jacksonville University. She married her high school sweetheart, Gerald, and they have two sons, Gerald Jr. and Brandon, ages thirty-six and thirty-four, respectively. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her professional writing career began in 1995 with the release of her first book, Tonight and Forever. Since then she has written over 100 titles, which includes a made-for-television movie by BET, One Special Moment as well as the movie, Truly Everlasting. She was a 2012 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Fiction for her book, A Silken Thread; and was named Romance Writers of America’s Nora Robert’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for 2012.

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About Brenda Jackson

Brenda Jackson, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of over 100 novels and novellas, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Jacksonville University. She married her high school sweetheart, Gerald, and they have two sons, Gerald Jr. and Brandon, ages thirty-six and thirty-four, respectively. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her professional writing career began in 1995 with the release of her first book, Tonight and Forever. Since then she has written over 100 titles, which includes a made-for-television movie by BET, One Special Moment as well as the movie, Truly Everlasting. She was a 2012 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Fiction for her book, A Silken Thread; and was named Romance Writers of America’s Nora Robert’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for 2012.

Audiobook Review: Touched with Fire (The Fire Trilogy #1) by Christopher Datta

Audiobook Review: Touched with Fire (The Fire Trilogy #1) by Christopher DattaSource: Novel Publicity

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Touched with Fire by Christopher Datta
Series: The Fire Trilogy, #1
Release Date: December 07, 2016
Pages: • Format: 11 hrs and 12 mins (Audiobook)
Published By: Christopher Datta
Purchase Links:   Amazon USBarnes & NobleAudible

Ellen Craft is property; in this case, of her half-sister Debra, to whom she was given as a wedding gift. The illegitimate daughter of a Georgia plantation owner and a house slave, she learned to hate her own image, which so closely resembled that of her “father”: the same wiry build, the same blue eyes, and the same pale – indeed, lily-white – skin. Ellen lives a solitary life until she falls, unexpectedly, in love with a dark-skinned slave named William Craft, and together they devise a plan to run north. Ellie will pose as a gentleman planter bound for Philadelphia accompanied by his “boy” Will. They make it as far as Baltimore when Will is turned back, and Ellie has no choice but continue. With no way of knowing if he is dead or alive, she resolves to make a second journey – south again. And so Elijah Craft enlists with the 125th Ohio Volunteers of the Union Army: she will literally fight her way back to her husband.

Eli/Ellie’s journey is the story of an extraordinary individual and an abiding love, but also of the corrosive effects of slavery, and of a nation at a watershed moment.

three-stars
I have mixed feelings about this audiobook. I am so glad the author took on the story of Ellie Craft and weaved an incredible story of heroism. But that is also part of the problem for me, parts of it were just that, unbelievable. The first part of this book was focused on Ellie as a young slave girl trying to navigate and come to terms with where she fit in with her family and community. The second part of the book was so heavy on war facts. I didn’t quite enjoy the second part as much because I couldn’t buy Ellie as union soldier hiding in plain sight so to speak. The narrator’s voice was okay but the singing parts grated my nerves.

I found the author’s writing to be basic and rough in the beginning, but in the second part of the story, the author found his groove. In addition, the characters in this story under developed and too one dimensional. even Ellie. The slaves, Ellie’s sister, even Ellie’s actions were either black and white (pun aside). The slaves, Ellie’s sister, even Ellie’s actions were either black and white (pun aside). I found the transitions from scene to scene to be uneven. It just didn’t flow smoothly. It got better later in the book.

Ellen was born a “quadroon”, one quarter black and three quarters white. Ellie was born to a half white slave woman who was raped by her owner. The result was that Elle looked white, a fact that made clear her parentage. For most of her young life, Ellie felt angry that she wasn’t acknowledge by her father as his daughter, even though she knew she was a product of rape. Ellie was also angry at her half-sister for treating her like help, and not recognizing her as her sister and perhaps equal. It just doesn’t compute with what we know of slave paternity issues back then. If you were born of a slave, it doesn’t matter if you have white, you were still a slave and almost never acknowledged. The internal musings of why her father didn’t accept or acknowledge her as his own painted Elle as a child who saw herself as more than a slave. This also supports the other slaves claim that Ellie was uppity and thought she was better. Ellie never bothered to deny these assertions, thus incurred the scorn of the other slaves. So, for the first part of her life, Ellie didn’t see herself as a black slave.

When Ellie was barely a young adult, she had a violent encounter with the creepy Reverend. She began espousing views on her blackness that come out of nowhere to me. But this is part of the story I enjoyed most, When Ellie and William become a couple. There was love with this couple and I enjoyed seeing Ellie for the first time show genuine affection, need and concern for someone else. He made her appear vulnerable and more human so I liked this Ellie. Their attempt to seek freedom required Ellie to pass both as a white person and as a man, that’s when things went implausible for me. It’s one thing to for an illiterate slave to pass as a white person, but as a white slave owner and man travelling. There is more to pretending to be a man than wearing clothes. But Ellie pulled it off for six years as Eli where she was fighting, sleeping and leaving among other men. Either way, I couldn’t connect with Ellie as a young girl nor as this cantankerous union soldier. I really wanted to like her because I had empathy for her plight, but she just always came off as self-centered to me.

The ending of this story got predictable but it was satisfying. This subject matter is a sensitive one and I think the author gave the reader a hero to root for. I just would have liked a little more realism in emotion and actions by the characters. I haven’t read the actual account of Ellen Craft because I didn’t want it to color my opinion of this book. My opinions are based solely on my experience with this author’s narrative.

Getting Inside: (Seattle Grizzlies #1) by Serena Bell

Getting Inside: (Seattle Grizzlies #1) by Serena Bell(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: by Serena Bell
Series: Seattle Grizzlies
Release Date: January 3rd, 2017
Pages: 198 pages • Format: e-arc
Published By:Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble

They’re big. They’re hot. And they play hard.

In the kickoff to Serena Bell’s sexy new football romance series, the heat between a female coach and a cocky linebacker turns the Seattle Grizzlies locker room upside down.

Iona: There’s nothing like the rush of going head-to-head with the boys. Football is my life, and I got my new job with the Seattle Grizzlies because I know how to play rough. But as a woman in a man’s game, I can’t afford any distractions—like panty-melting tabloid darling Ty Williams, my star linebacker. I’ve stared down plenty of good-looking players without losing my cool . . . and yet something about Ty’s intense gaze burns straight to my core.

Ty : Despite what they say in the press, I save my best moves for game day. The Grizzlies aren’t just my teammates, they’re my brothers—no way am I going to let some new coach shake up our defense. But Iona Thomas isn’t just some coach. It’s so tough to keep my head in the game when I’d rather be in bed with her. She may take charge at practice, but if I had her in my arms, I’d be choosing the plays. I just need to figure out what makes her tick—and what makes her want to break the rules.
four-half-stars

I was truly surprised at how much I enjoyed this story. On the surface, it seemed like a typical football and coach romance, but the author took the time to develop each character’s narrative that I was engaged in their personal success just as much as the success of their relationship. I was drawn in almost immediately to the end. That’s what great writing does to a reader, transport the reader into the story.

Iona Thomas worked hard to establish herself as female coach and she made sure never to compromise herself by getting involved with a football player…until Ty Williams.
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Ty Williams is the starting linebacker for the Seattle Grizzlies, a fictional PFL team, and the new linebacker coach is causing all kinds of distractions for him. While she gives very sound coaching techniques, he can’t help but notice her curves or how good she smells.
Both Iona and Ty fight their mutual attraction because Ty is under the microscope for his less than inspired performances of late and Iona has made history as the first female coach in the PFL much to the chagrin of some.

Ty was working through some personal issues and Iona was working on herself esteem as a woman. Ty and Iona seemed to be just what the other needed at this point in their lives, but both were cognizant of what an affair would do to their burgeoning careers. With so much on the line, was it worth it to risk their hearts over the career they were individually building?

Serena Bell really made me believe in both character’s integrity. While there was an almost immediate attraction, the author made them work for the happily ever after. I found the road to love believable, realistic and angsty.
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I applaud her for not going the route of too much sex over plot because I became invested in these character’s aspirations as well as their family lives. I felt their chemistry, I also felt their anguish about what a secret affair would do to each other and the football community. As a person who loves football, I appreciated the author’s effort to being authenticity to the character and the environment that Iona and Ty were a part of. I hope this book is indicative of how this series is going to be because I really enjoyed this story.

*Special Thanks to Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept via Netgalley for the e-arc given in exchange for an honest review.

About Serena Bell

USA Today bestselling author and RT Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee Serena Bell writes richly emotional stories about big-hearted characters with real troubles and the people who are strong and generous enough to love them.

A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen carefully, and she adores hiding in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head.

When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also her enormous collection of constantly changing and passionately embraced hobbies, ranging from needlepoint to paddle boarding to meditation.

Vengeance by Zane

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

on 2016-05-24
Pages: 304
Amazon
Mega bestselling author Zane returns to the world of her hugely popular novels Addicted and Nervous in this dark and exhilarating follow-up featuring a beautiful but emotionally damaged pop star desperate and determined to enact revenge on those who have caused her to hide behind her fame.

After fleeing from Atlanta years ago following a traumatic event, Caprice Tatum decides it’s time to return to her roots—only this time, she’s coming back as Wicket, the international pop sensation who’s the very definition of fame and fortune. And while she may be the perfect diva onstage, offstage she’s desperate to finally lay her past to rest. Her plan? Revenge. The deeper she worms her way into Atlanta’s most elite circles, the more Caprice unravels, putting herself and the few people she trusts at risk, including Jonovan, her childhood crush whose compassion and allure is almost too hot to handle. When her father suggests she see a therapist, Dr. Marcella Spencer, Caprice finally begins to pick up her pieces and find an inner-strength. But can Caprice truly overcome her past? Or will it drag her even further into darkness?
three-half-stars

This story follows popstar Wicket, whose current name LaDonna Sterling is Caprice Tatum. This book is told both in the past and present as the reader to given a front row seat to what motivates LaDonna

After a trauma at age 15, Caprice Tatum ran away from Atlanta to New York City and was adopted by businessman Richard Sterling. Caprice was renamed LaDonna Sterling and was received plastic surgery in order to give her a new lease on life. Her therapist diagnosed her with Intermittent Explosive Disorder, a condition where the sufferer has bouts of intense rage, emotional and perhaps violent tendencies. Richard continues to lavish her with his wealth, to make up for her terrible childhood. Her father’s only condition was that Wicket never returns to Atlanta. A request that Wicket had honored until now. This foray led to the reopening of many wounds that Richard thought were long buried. When LaDonna sees some of those who contributed to her painful past, LaDonna is full of thoughts of Vengeance. She hatches a plot and began exacting the revenge she feels she was denied. These machinations also lead to LaDonna’s undoing.

What I loved about this story is that it wasn’t about sex. It was about a person’s spirit, heart and soul. LaDonna was a very complex character and I am impressed with the author’s thorough laying of foundation. The heroine was not necessarily likeable, but I was rooting for her to overcome her past and forge a stronger future. I don’t know if I loved this story, but I love HOW Zane told this story. I found it compelling, interesting and informative.
I did wish that the author had given us a glimpse into the antagonist’s mind to see whether they had repented or felt any remorse to the events that occurred decades ago with Caprice. It’s clear that the trauma affected the heroine, but how did it affect the perpetrators? This book was definitely about Caprice aka LaDonna aka Wicket’s journey. I was satisfied with her end and there was hope and healing. I highly recommend this book to those who have faced something and need some hope. This book shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

This book was full of quotes that I loved but my favorite was AFTER the book. People change so you can learn to let go. things go wrong so you can appreciate them when they are right. You believe lies so you can learn to trust no one but yourself. Sometimes things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe).

Special Thanks to Atria via Netgalley.

I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillanon 2016-06-07
Pages: 368
AmazonB&N
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting To Exhale is back with the inspiring story of a woman who shakes things up in her life to find greater meaningIn I Almost Forgot About You, Dr. Georgia Young's wonderful life--great friends, family, and successful career--aren't enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless. When she decides to make some major changes in her life, including quitting her job as an optometrist and moving house, she finds herself on a wild journey that may or may not include a second chance at love. Georgia’s bravery reminds us that it’s never too late to become the person you want to be, and that taking chances, with your life and your heart, are always worthwhile.   Big-hearted, genuine, and universal, I Almost Forgot About You shows what can happen when you face your fears, take a chance, and open yourself up to life, love, and the possibility of a new direction. It’s everything you’ve always loved about Terry McMillan.From the Hardcover edition.
three-half-stars

I must admit, I was bored with this one. I was expecting entertaining drama but this quest to dig in the past didn’t hold my attention after awhile.

Dr. Georgia Young has reached 50 years of age and is now reflecting on her life thus far. She is doing well in her career, but her love life didn’t pan out the way she envisioned. She has been divorced twice and now she doesn’t have someone special in her life. Georgia decided to contact all her former flames to let them know what they meant to her and find out what about her (Georgia) they found attractive. Her quest was to learn more about herself.

In the beginning, I felt like this was the machinations of a lonely lady, testing old relationships to see if there was a spark still left. I quickly realized she was truly reflecting on her own weaknesses and strengths. Georgia was also trying to see herself from the eyes of those cared for her once upon a time. I actually found that strength impressive but I just never connected with her journey.
Georgia was open and honest about her past, and this one of the things that I love about Terry McMillan’s work. Strong heroines who just keep it real. The reader was shown the good, the bad and the ugly. In the end, Georgia was set up on a new path. I can’t say that I liked this new path either but I applaud her for taking that step.

*Special Thanks to Crown Publishing via Netgalley for the e-arc received in exchange for an honest review.

Author Spotlight/Review: Love’s Changes by LaQuette ‏@LaQuetteLikes

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Author Spotlight/Review: Love’s Changes by LaQuette  ‏@LaQuetteLikeson June 3rd 2016
Pages: 75
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
A near-fatal shot through his chest teaches Lieutenant Bryan Smyth of the NYPD two things: He wants to live to see more days and he wants to spend them with his estranged husband, Justice.

Poor decisions made under the strain of grief split the seams of their marriage. Now it's up to Bryan to show Justice there's still enough of their love left to salvage from the ruins, still something worth the battle ahead.

Bryan's shooting has opened Justice's eyes to new lessons too. The first, tomorrow isn't promised, the second, life's too short to live in misery. Justice has watched Bryan shuffle back and forth attempting to balance the man he is at home and the man he has to be at the precinct for too long. Now, he's done. The only problem is, Justice's heart is having a hard time adhering to the exit strategy in his head.

Desperate to repair their bond, Bryan does the only thing he can to keep his marriage intact, he calls his crazy sister-in-law, True to stir up some organized chaos. She's a wildcard, yes. As unstable and deadly as nitroglycerin, but she gets the one thing Bryan needs more than anything, results.

The only question left: Is family and fidelity enough to get them through love's changes, or is this really the end?

**This book is a spin off from the Queens of Kings series featuring Bryan Smyth and Justice Amare. Although related to the Queens of Kings world, you do not need to read that series to understand this one.**

MY 4-STAR REVIEW

38 year old Lieutenant Bryan Smith and his husband Lieutenant Justice Amare are at a crossroads in their five year marriage. After tumultuous few years, Justice asked Bryan for a divorce. Justice has been openly gay for most of his life but Bryan isn’t out. Justice cannot take being the secret anymore and if Bryan can’t be open acknowledge their relationship, and then Justice is ready to move on from the man he has loved for twenty-one years.
Bryan loves Justice and doesn’t want to dissolve their relationship. But as a career marine, can jeopardize the respect, admiration and accolades he has garnered over the years?
I enjoyed this novella and the writing as this short story packed a quite a punch. It featured broken characters and a broken relationship that was eventually healed because of love. Bryan and Justice were able to mend their marriage and it was thanks to family. I love stories that revolve around family units. I really like Justice from the onset and later Bryan. This story is a perfect example of how love and familial support or lack thereof affects the acceptance of one’s sexuality.
“Love’s changes will happen whether we want them too or not. But that’s what love is; change, evolution, growth. If we don’t change, don’t adapt, we die, it dies.”
I like how the author made the characters complex, but still likable. Both men are obviously good people, they just need to find their way back to each other. At the beginning, I was sad but I was quickly encouraged by the response of those who loved Bryan and Justice. The author definitely left a thread of optimism to encourage the reader. People can get to their breaking point and still find their way to love.
I haven’t read the prior books in this series but the Amare families were great secondary characters. I have to read them so I can get some of the background but the dad and sister added pizzazz to this novel. This is definitely an engaging beginning to a new series.
four-stars

LaQuetteAuthor Q&A with LaQuette

  1. Are you a fulltime writer or do you have another occupation?
    LaQuette: Working on becoming full-time in the very near future.
  2. Can you describe a day in your life as an author? Your writing process, like how long you typically spend writing, notepad or typewriter, music, special locations etc.?
    LaQuette: My life is very…busy. Lol, I have a five-year-old and a three-year-old that work very hard at keeping me on my toes.  Throw the husband, the house, and writing into that mixing bowl and you’ve got a perfect mixture for crazy. Lol  I usually write about two hours a day, every day.  I’m a digital writer.  Laptop, cellphone, anything that has a keyboard.  I don’t write longhand at all.  The tapping of the keys mixed with music in my ears keep my words flowing.  I also write mostly at night, because…kids. lol
  3. How do you typically connect with your fans, book conventions, book store signings etc.?
    LaQuette: Wherever I can. Sometimes that’s at conventions, through social media, even author/reader events.  It’s always an amazing feeling to meet someone who has taken a real interest in my work.  They’re excited to meet me, but they don’t realize I’m probably more excited to meet them. Writing has always been my passion, to be able to meet someone who has read my words and enjoyed them…there is nothing like it in the world.
  4. We connected because of Sleepy Hollow, are you going to continue with the show? Are there any other shows you are excited about?
    LaQuette: Up until the very last moments of the season three finale, I had so many hopes for that show. Unfortunately, as a viewer and fan of the show, I felt the show basically strung the audience along, tricking them into viewing to boost ratings, in my opinion. All of season three the show wooed its viewership by showing Crane and Abbie—for all intents and purposes—as an espoused couple.  This was a storyline the viewership, myself included, had been aching for.  In my opinion, they did all of this to capitalize on ratings and then at the end the rug was pulled out from all of us, and Abbie is dead.  I love Tom Mison as an actor, and I wish him nothing but success in the future, but I watched Sleepy Hollow for the Crane/Abbie chemistry.  Everything else on that show didn’t even register for me.  Without Nicole, without the bond between Crane and Abbie, I don’t really see a need to watch it. If I did this as a romance author, my readers would lynch me.  You don’t play with people’s emotions like that.  You also don’t attempt to sideline a character who has been a co-lead for three years, by demoting her with one line on screen.  It felt disrespectful to the character, and to the viewers who loved her, loved the show, and loved Crane and Abbie as a unit.
  5. Who is your favorite or go-to-author? Favorite book?
    LaQuette: Too many to name. I read a lot.
  1. How long did it take you to write Love Changes?
    LaQuette: Drafting it took two weeks. Editing takes much longer.
  2. If you had to recommend one of your books to someone who has never read your book, which book would It be and why?
    LaQuette: Wow, that’s a really tough one. I think there’s an important message in each one of them.  For continuity’s sake, I’d suggest Heart of the Matter: Queens of Kings: Book 1.  It’s the first place we get to meet all of the major characters who appear in the following books, including this spin-off, Love’s Changes: A Losing My Way Novella.**Thank you so much for having me, it’s been a pleasure to chat with you.

 

About LaQuette

2015 Swirl Awards Bronze winner in Romantic Suspense, 2015 Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award Finalist in Erotic Romance, bestselling erotic romance author, LaQuette, is a native of Brooklyn, New York.
She spends her time catering to her three distinct personalities: Wife, Mother, and Educator.
Writing–her escape from everyday madness–has always been a friend and comforter. She loves writing and devouring romance novels. Although she possesses a graduate degree in English Lit, she’d forego Shakespeare any day to read something hot, lusty, and romantic. She loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running around in her
head causing so much trouble. Contact her on Facebook, Twitter, her website, NovelsbyLaQuette.com, Amazon, her Facebook group, LaQuette’s Lounge, and via email at NovelsbyLaQuette@gmail.com.

The Blackbirds by Eric Jerome Dickey

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Blackbirds by Eric Jerome Dickeyon 2016-04
Pages: 384
AmazonB&N
New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey delivers his next delectable, erotic romance   They call themselves the Blackbirds. Kwanzaa Browne, Indigo Abdulrahaman, Destiny Jones, and Ericka Stockwell are four best friends who are closer than sisters, and will go to the ends of the earth for one another. Yet even their deep bond can't heal all wounds from their individual pasts, as the collegiate and post-collegiate women struggle with their own demons, drama, and desires.   Trying to forget her cheating ex-fiancé, Kwanzaa becomes entangled with a wicked one-night stand--a man who turns out to be one in five million. Indigo is in an endless on-again, off-again relationship with her footballer boyfriend, and in her time between dysfunctional relationships she purses other naughty desires. Destiny, readjusting to normal life, struggles to control her own anger after avenging a deep wrong landed her in juvi, while at the same time trying to have her first real relationship--one she has initiated using an alias to hide her past from her lover. Divorced Ericka is in remission from cancer and trying to deal with two decades of animosity with her radical mother, while keeping the desperate crush she has always had on Destiny's father a secret... a passion with an older man that just may be reciprocated.    As the women try to overcome-- or give into-- their impulses, they find not only themselves tested, but the one thing they always considered unbreakable: their friendship.
four-stars

Eric Jerome Dickey has a powerful command in the portrayal of relationships. This new story is no different then his other books. His characters was very relatable and the story was emotionally gripping. I laughed at some parts, shook my head sometimes and I cried at parts. This book was like Sex and the City or Girlfriends. This plot revolved around a sisterhood featuring Kwanzaa Browne, Destiny Jones, Ericka Stockwell and Indigo Abdulrahaman. These best friends have seen each other through various phases of their lives and now they have made a pact to celebrate each friend in a special way on their respective birthdays.

Kwanzaa is still reeling from the breakup of her six year relationship after he had given her an STD. She is torn between moving on and maybe listening to the pleas of her cheater fiancée.

Destiny has been going by the name “Kismet” to hide her identity because when she was a victim of a gang rape that was recorded and the video went viral. Since her name pulls up this traumatic and humiliating period of her life, Destiny actually avoids people all together.

Indigo, the Nigerian beauty is caught in a love triangle between two men and will need to make the decision between the one that she wants and the one she needs.

Erika was really the glue that held the friendship together but she was really coming to terms with dissolution of her marriage. She is a cancer survivor with a mother who treated her atrociously. She harbors a lot of pain from childhood but she tries to be strong for the Blackbirds.

This year is a pivotal year for the Blackbirds as they are trying to leave behind the pain and grab onto happy. They are doing things outside their comfort zone like sky diving and they are pledged to be rock if any of them are floundering. It was refreshing to see that were honest and real with each other, especially the sharped tongued Indigo. I felt like Indigo was the scene-stealer because she was hilarious. She was gave it verbally to the guys and girls equally. She was so entertaining.

The love the ladies had for each other really made this story endearing. The author writes really memorable characters and this one was no exception. I love the resolution in the conflicts each character was dealing with and felt each woman was in a much stronger place emotionally than they were at the beginning of the book. My only complaint, which is a consistent one with this author’s book, is the length. It was too long and it would have been even more powerful with a trim.

This story will still command your attention from page 1. If you want The Girlfriends experience, then pick up this book now.

*Special Thanks to Penguin via First to Read for the book given in exchange for an honest review.