(ARC) Book Review: Influenced Love by Shellee Marie

Date Read: February 3, 2022
Published: February 12, 2021
Pages: 300

Book Synopsis:

A beauty influencer polls her followers to pick her date and ends up fake dating a fellow influencer, but real sparks fly when she begins to fall for the man behind his image.

After a scandal threatens her reputation, popular beauty influencer, Alivia Fae, attempts to distract her followers by polling them to pick her date. When they pair her up with a fellow influencer, Moe Gava, he takes notice and asks her out. Unfortunately, she soon realizes he’s not as desirable as he seems online.

Despite her disinterest, when it’s suggested that she and Moe start a fake dating relationship, to keep up engagement with their fans, she begrudgingly agrees. As the plan unfolds, she begins to grow closer to his low-key assistant, Travis. Leading her to re-evaluate what she truly wants to influence her life—love.

My Review:

Overall, I enjoyed this story. I am a very goofy person and it had a lot of laugh-out-loud moments, which I always appreciate. Outside of the romance aspect, I loved the way in which the author tackled influencers, social media, and the media as a whole. There were some really good points made. As for the relationships throughout, this story had a lot going on. The main friendship she portrayed had odd moments for me. Pieces that didn’t connect. I liked the portrayal of fake dating and what it allowed the story to blossom into. The romance was slow-burn, but it had a few “okay, then 😏” lead-up moments. As a whole, the way the romance unfolded was adorable. Transparent and obvious, but it was still cute to read. The delivery for this story has its quirks, but I’d read more from this author.

Book Review: Gravity by AshleyNicole

Date Read: January 30, 2022
Published: December 30, 2021
Pages: 244

Book Synopsis:

Something always brings me back to you…
Cevyn has more responsibility on her shoulders than should be legal. It’s fine because she was built for this. She’s the strong one, and she’ll carry the world on her shoulders alone if it means her sister is okay.
Cevyn and Kas have been jumping in and out of each other’s beds for years. Up to now, they’ve enjoyed a string and love-free affiliation. No matter what happens, though, they always end up back in each other’s beds.
Tragedy strikes, and she’s no longer able to bear the brunt of the world alone. Suddenly, her friend with benefits is starting to look like her knight in shining armor. Can they help each other through this dark, painful time and come out the other side as something more?

My Review:

Cevyn, Ayte…. Nyn, Tyn.

Never did I imagine a book would hit me as hard as Broken Clocks by Danielle Allen… but then I read this beautiful work of art. I put off reading this book once I read early reviews, because I knew as an empath it would rock me to my core. It’s hard to put into words all of the emotions I felt reading this story. But before I try… ASHLEY. YOU 👏🏾 DID 👏🏾 THAT 👏🏾.

Ayte was a superwoman. Cevyn was vibranium. Kas was a universe of peace. Both of them. Opal was an angel sent from above. Omere was beautiful. Both of them. These characters touched my soul. Even as I write this review with red, puffy eyes, I know I’ll visit them again.

Book Review: Capture My Love by Tay Mo’Nae

Date Read: January 22, 2022
Published: November 10, 2021
Pages: 326

Book Synopsis:

Past relationships have left Nova scarred. Finishing up school and opening her boutique were her main focus until she ran into Grayson.
Grayson was worried about being a great father & his photography career when Nova ran into him, in the most literal sense.

While Nova tries to run from Grayson afraid he’ll turn out like the rest of the men who broke her heart, Grayson is determined to show her different. Not the one to let go without a fight he’s determined to show her the beauty he sees behind the lens.

My Review:

Grayson is the type of male book character you wish you come across in real life. From beginning to end I rooted for this couple. Grayson was grown grown and from the gate, he spoke his mind and kept it 100. I loved it. Definitely a new addition to my book bae list. Miss Nova Rae was a treat as well. I loved seeing her come into herself. 10/10 would recommend.

Book Review: Christmas In The Projexs (From The Hood With Love Book 4) by BriAnn Danae

Date Read: January 1, 2022
Published: December 23, 2021
Pages: 107

Book Synopsis:

“I ain’t just from the hood. I am the hood.” – Projex

May the hood never change us. Only mold us. Act as a guide to navigate us to exactly where we’re supposed to be in life. In love.

To the places we’ve called home, friends we gathered on the way and cherished some enough to become family. Head bows to the real ones we’ve lost. Not everyone makes it out, but you can make it.

Those L’s really meant lessons. We’ve learned them. Loved through them. Leveled up from them. Gained an understanding of them.

To the hood… thank you, with love.
Merry Christmas!

My Review:

This was such a perfect ending to such a great story. I will forever love Projex and L-Boogie. To see their growth as both individuals and partners from book 1 to book 4 was magical. I didn’t know what to expect in anticipation of this series coming to an end, however the holiday touch was perfect. There’s just something about the that time of the year that makes things that much sweeter. Looking forward to rereading this series from beginning to end. BriAnn, you did that! From BGBG With Love ❤️

Book Review: You’ll Always Be My Baby by Ladii Nesha

Date Read: December 7, 2021
Published: October 2, 2021
Pages: 320

Book Synopsis:

Yana is fresh out of a dull three-year relationship and while she wants to focus on her, Yana’s best friend Jelly has other plans. After being dragged to a popular nightclub, Yana meets a man that makes her reconsider being single, the only problem is he comes with more baggage than she can carry.

Rex is the man of every woman’s dreams. He’s paid, fine, and knows how to treat a woman, but he can’t seem to keep one. It could be because the other women in his life refuse to stay out of his business. His big sisters Vickie and Nu-Nu are dead set on making sure no gold-diggers get too close to their baby brother. Then there is his mother, Linda. She doesn’t mind going to great lengths to prove that no one is good enough for her son. This overbearing mother gives meddling a new meaning, the only problem is this time around it might come back around and give her a taste of her own medicine.

Sit back and enjoy the ride, it should be interesting. After all, mama knows best right?

My Review:

I read this in one sitting when I should have been going to sleep for work in the morning. This story had me hooked. I liked Rex and Yana, but I’ma be real, they weren’t the reason I was so heavily invested in this storyline. The secondary characters gave me everything. The family’s in this book are something I had never come across in a storyline, and I loved every second. They had me wanting to fight them, fight with them, and fight for them. Special shout-out to Jelly and GiGi, we all need riders like them in our corner. While I definitely spent a lot of time laughing, I can’t not point out the light that was shined on the unfortunate toxic parent-child relationships that are out there in this world. Those storylines were grounding. All in all, I enjoyed this big time.

Book Review: Before We Fall by Rilzy Adams

Date Read: November 14, 2021
Published: October 29, 2021
Pages: 408

Book Synopsis:

Tasha Dixon-Turner doesn’t need anybody to save her.
She’s going to save herself.
The man everybody warned her about marrying turns out to be just as bad as predicted. And then some. She’s determined to claw herself out of her situation without letting anybody in on her bitter secret.
Cole Mason threatens all of that when he witnesses a very public fight between her and her husband and Tasha knows can’t risk him revealing the secret she’s worked so hard to keep.
She doesn’t know what to expect when she confronts Cole to ask him to keep her confidence, but it definitely wasn’t him offering to give her the support she’s denied herself for so long.
She didn’t expect him to offer her a soft place to land.
She didn’t expect him… period.
But Tasha has been dancing with the Devil for so long that it’s almost impossible for her to trust the peace she feels when she looks into Cole’s eyes.
Will her desperate desire to be her own savior damn her to hell after all?

Before We Fall is the second book in the Unexpected Lovers series following up Xander and Navaya’s journey in Go Deep. The events of Go Deep and Before We Fall partially overlap but Before We Fall is a contained story and there is no need to read Go Deep before delving into it.

My Review:

This story was the true definition of “it’s a marathon, not a sprint”. Tasha’s journey, much like a big race, was a mental rollercoaster. That feeling of being unstoppable for miles, and then, out of blue your legs stop working. The highs and lows. The times when you’re just cruising on by, passing people and smiling, but also those points of wanting to pull out of the race altogether. We learn quickly that the actual race was only a very small part of the entire process. It’s about the training put in before, and following the plan. That’s the journey we witness throughout the pages of this story. And it’s a beautiful one, filled with pain, triumph, fear, and the greatest soft place to land you could hope for in any given situation.

Book Review: Go Deep by Rilzy Adams

Date Read: November 14, 2021
Published: June 26, 2020
Pages: 121

Book Synopsis:

It was all supposed to be so simple.
Navaya Howard is an erotic writer in a rut. Her readers are fed up of her stale plots and Navaya can’t blame them. She’s been celibate for over a year and a half since finding her now ex-boyfriend’s side chick’s positive pregnancy test on her bathroom counter. How can she write steamy romances if she can barely remember which body parts go into the other?
Navaya enlists the help of her best friend, Xander, to revive the inspiration that used to have her sitting comfortably at the top of her game. What happens when the sex hits deeper than either of them expected and the tender emotions can no longer be denied?
Navaya and Xander’s arrangement has gone far deeper than intended.
Will their friendship and their hearts survive the fall?

My Review:

Friends to lovers is without a doubt one of my favorite reading tropes. And this one knocked it out of the park. I’ve been seeing Rilzy Adams on my bookstagram timeline for forever, and I couldn’t tell you why it took me this long to finally get to her work, but babyy. I’m glad I did. This story, a few pages in, already had me in the mindset that I’m about to binge her whole catalog. This was beyond hot, had me pulling out my phone to text my guy type of hot. I loved the chemistry between Nav and Xander. What I loved most though was how Rilzy got them to that point. She didn’t brush over any awkwardness as if it shouldn’t have existed when a relationship with a bond that deep transitions the way it did. As I make my way through more of her catalog I hope to see a story for my favorite second place best friends, because sis, I need that tea 👀

Book Review: The Piece I Needed by A.S. Wilson

Date Read: November 12, 2021
Published: October 2, 2021
Pages: 92

Book Synopsis:

Khaleef and Danai are engaged and madly in love—until Danai finds evidence of betrayal. Khaleef is driving home when she calls to break off the engagement and tell him not to return home. When his car spirals off the road and crashes, leaving him with a brain injury and amnesia, Danai finds herself torn between the love and the pain she feels.

Having put her career on the backburner, Danai sees the opportunity to get back to her old self and the dreams she had before she fell in love, but she puts her dreams on hold again to help Khaleef recover and attempt to restore his memories. Determined not to jeopardize his recovery, Danai vows to wait until he can handle hearing that their relationship is over. However, as they spend time together, trying to recover memories and building new ones along the way, Danai realizes that their relationship might just be the piece she needs to put together the life of her dreams.

Can she forgive and forget, or will she find herself moving on?

My Review:

I couldn’t fathom being in the shoes of either main character in this book. Couldn’t imagine my life being flipped upside down, twice, in a matter of minutes and then being left with making life altering decisions. On the flip side, I couldn’t imagine waking up to a life I couldn’t remember and feeling in your gut that the person you’re being told you chose to spend the rest of your life with can’t stomach being near you but is doing everything in their power to care for you. All while trying to piece your life back together mentally. I wanted this couple to win, despite their circumstances. I couldn’t help but root for them. I thoroughly enjoyed this short read from beginning to end. Definitely one I’d recommend.

Book Review: Wicked: A Sexy Halloween Short by Té Russ

Date Read: October 31, 2021
Published: October 28, 2021
Pages: 56

Book Synopsis:

It’s Halloween season. The time of year when inhibitions are a little lower and boldness is a little higher. The perfect time for Annecia and Xane to be a little…wicked.

My Review:

Miss Té. Girl. This gave me so much life. It was sexy as hell and left me wanting more. The chemistry between the main characters was scorching. And when they acted on that chemistry, babyyyy. Let’s just say, I was inspired 😂

Book Review: A Love that Melted A Capo’s Cold Heart by Miss Jenesequa

Date Read: October 12, 2021
Published: May 1, 2021
Pages: 408

Book Synopsis:

After fleeing her hometown for ten months due to her broken heart, Danaë Westbrook is summoned home and forced to get her act together. No longer fond of her free-spirited nature, Danaë’s father wants the apple of his eye to put her brains to use and makes her his newest employee. The weekend before starting her new job, or imprisonment as she calls it, Danaë takes a spontaneous night out with her best friend and the night leads to an innocent game of Truth or Dare. A game that soon lands Danaë in the path of a dangerous new attraction.

Cassian Acardi is a man of few words, but when he speaks, you sure as hell are going to listen. The tragic loss of his daughter made an icebox form where his heart once was. Leaving no room for him to care about seeking a genuine romantic connection. His family’s empire is his number one priority in life. As a boss, he’s used to being the one that sets everything in motion. So when Danaë approaches him first, placing him in the passenger seat, Cassian is intrigued. However, he tries to suppress his curiosity about the gorgeous stranger who boldly stepped to him, until their paths cross again. This time, neither of them can run from fate’s hypnotic pull determined to bring them together.

Could Danaë be the one to melt the cold-hearted Cassian or will Cassian fall victim to his inner demons, convincing himself that he doesn’t deserve love and ultimately pushing Danaë away for good?

My Review:

This was funny from start to finish and sexy as all hell. I thoroughly enjoyed this storyline and the characters. The characters were unique individually. Their backgrounds and the ins and outs of their life were eyebrow raising at times. Each had moments where I wanted to yell at them for their stupidity. The author made me feel like I was dealing with a couple of friends. I rooted for them though. Their vibe was just natural. And did I say sexy? Baby, whew. Cass had Trey Songz playing in my head on repeat. Pick any of his kinkiest songs, it doesn’t matter which one. It’ll fit lol can’t wait to read more from this author.