Book Review: Two Minute Warning by Alexandra Warren

Date Read: June 23, 2022
Published: June 23, 2022
Pages: 271

Book Synopsis:

There’s a lot that can happen in two minutes or less…

Kendall “Snoop” Dogwood has something to prove.

After a devastating ending to his first year with the Houston Skyhawks, getting redemption is the only thing on the veteran quarterback’s mind coming into the new season. But when a picture of him and a woman he barely knows, but wants to get to know, goes viral on social media, it doesn’t take long before Kendall finds himself on a different kind of mission going into year two.

A mission to pursue her.

As a social media influencer and the daughter of a well-known sports bettor, Shakira “Kiki” Knight is used to seeing her face tied to all sorts of internet gossip. What she’s not used to is having an actual crush on whoever she’s rumored to be involved with. But when it comes to Kendall Dogwood, Shakira just can’t seem to contain her attraction, especially once she learns the Skyhawks quarterback is equally interested in her.

Considering the messy way in which her last relationship with an NFL player ended, Kendall is probably the last man Shakira should be checking for. And after Shakira’s sports gambling ties are unveiled, the conflict of interest makes her the woman Kendall should probably be avoiding at all costs. But the instant chemistry between the two of them makes both of those things worth looking past for the sake of being together… until the stakes get higher and there’s more than just a game on the line.

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My Review:

Shout-out to my fave for delivering another banger. I absolutely LOVED the chemistry between Shake and Snoopy. “How you gone make a nickname from a nickname” 😂 They were honestly such a vibe, and have taken a top spot in my favorite couples from Alex. This book made me feel like I was experiencing those early stages of a crush again. And then to witness how much they both held each other down, showed support all the way around, it was beautiful. As a sports fan, it continues to amaze me how well Alex pens the actual sport interactions. This book had me feeling like I was rooting for my Eagles at times and I loved it. The secondary characters gave me life so much life. From Shakira’s (because she’s my homie by this point so I’m not calling her Kiki) friends to Kendall’s (listen, I think he stole my top spot so I’m using the government) teammates, some of them stole scenes with their antics. And shout-out to one of my favorite female book bars Selena making an appearance 🙌🏾. I can’t wait to meet up with the next Skyhawk, from what I can already tell, this next one is going to be messy and I’m here for it lol

Book Review: Something Bleu by K.L. Hall

Date Read: June 14, 2022
Published: June 2, 2022
Pages: 74

Book Synopsis:

It was one kiss.
One kiss eight years ago that changed everything.
A kiss so unforgettable that the memory still plays in Imani Lavender’s mind to this day.
And then came the disaster that tore her heart to shreds, causing her to put miles between herself and her hometown of Potomac Falls. When she finds herself traveling home for her sister’s wedding weekend, she never imagined she’d ever lay eyes on Dallas “Bleu” Alexander again.
That is until a spilled caramel latte on a Friday plunges her right into the arms of the one man she thought she’d never see again. Bleu was only ever meant to be a teenage crush, but the way his body engulfs hers reminds her that it could be so much more. Imani finds herself having to deal with years of unresolved feelings in one seventy-two-hour weekend while ensuring her sister makes it down the aisle.

Fresh off an eight-year bid, Bleu’s had one thing on his mind for almost a decade: making Imani Lavender his. As the baby sister of his right hand, she’d always been off-limits.
Untouchable.
Unthinkable.
Until she wasn’t.
The kiss had been on replay in his mind for almost a decade. Now the stars have aligned to put them back in the same place they started. He refuses to let any more time pass between them before telling her how he feels. But how will she react? After all, she’s far from the heart-eyed teenager she was back then. To him, she’s so much more.

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DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this quick read. I’m not sure this could be classified as a second chance romance, but I was invested in the reconnection of the main characters. I would’ve loved to see what became of the focal couple, unfortunately, we didn’t get that. However, with the mess we were introduced to, I’m definitely reading the follow-up. Especially after seeing a review on it from one of my favorite readers. Shout-out to Taima of @shadesnpages on IG for putting me on to this book.

(ARC) Book Review: The Romance Recipe by Ruby Barrett

Date Read: February 25, 2022
Published: July 12, 2022
Pages: 306

Book Synopsis:

A fiery restaurant owner falls for her enigmatic head chef in this charming, emotional romance 

Amy Chambers: restaurant owner, micromanager, control freak. 

Amy will do anything to revive her ailing restaurant, including hiring a former reality-show finalist with good connections and a lot to prove. But her hopes that Sophie’s skills and celebrity status would bring her restaurant back from the brink of failure are beginning to wane…

Sophie Brunet: grump in the kitchen/sunshine in the streets, took thirty years to figure out she was queer. 

Sophie just wants to cook. She doesn’t want to constantly post on social media for her dead-in-the-water reality TV career, she doesn’t want to deal with Amy’s take-charge personality and she doesn’t want to think about what her attraction to her boss might mean…

Then, an opportunity: a new foodie TV show might provide the exposure they need. An uneasy truce is fine for starters, but making their dreams come true means making some personal and painful sacrifices and soon, there’s more than just the restaurant at stake.

My Review:

If you like slow-burn romance stories, then you just may enjoy this one. However, if you’re like me and you aren’t the biggest fan of slow-burn, then the overall gist of the story may interest you, but be prepared for that. I think I liked the idea of this book more than I actually connected with the book itself. I don’t think there was enough emphasis on the actual romance. The individual characters were cool, but to be honest, I was more invested in what would happen with the restaurant than I was in the outcome of their relationship. Overall, there were pieces I liked, but this one wasn’t exactly my cup of tea.

Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced copy.


Boss Chicks in Black Romance [Part 2]

Black girls. Black women. We are magic. We are strong. We are some of the fiercest bosses out there. Every now and then I come across a boss chick who makes her presence known, like “Blaw Tadow, Watch Out Now” in the words of the Original Queen Bee. And since y’all loved the first list so much, I figured it was time for a new one!

Briyana

Micaiah

Mina

Skylar

Melissa

The Harris Sisters

Neriah

Valarie

Giselle

Book Review: Her Forever Fling by Kimmie Ferrell

Date Read: May 14, 2022
Published: August 24, 2021
Pages: 189

Book Synopsis:

Can Elijah show Melissa he is exactly what the doctor ordered?

Dr. Elijah Grayson isn’t looking forward to presenting at a medical conference. Until a chance meeting provides this cardiothoracic surgeon with the adventure he’s looking for. Spending the week exploring a picturesque French Caribbean island with a beautiful, smart, and intriguing woman reintroduces Elijah to emotions he hasn’t felt in a long time—if ever. Still, navigating a new long-distance relationship and a demanding career is challenging, but he will do anything for the woman who captured his heart.

Melissa Gaines hasn’t stopped thinking about the sexy doctor who helped her check off items on her island bucket list. However, when a job opportunity in a new city brings her face-to-face with Elijah again, Melissa must decide if her deep-rooted fears—thanks to a devastating breakup—outweigh her growing feelings for the handsome surgeon. And maybe he’s the prescription she needs to liven up her life.

My Review:

I love that our lead characters were older. We get a lot of stories about people finding love in their 20s, which are great. However, that doesn’t happen for everyone, so I loved that our characters have lived a little. They’ve gone through some things. It was nice seeing love blossom between people on the 35+ side and their chemistry on point. I enjoyed watching them build something through spending time and just vibing, and that the focus wasn’t completely on the sexual chemistry. This was a first for me by the author, but I’m definitely adding her to my list so I can explore more of her work.

7 Black Romance Books Featuring Thick Madame’s

Just as in real life, our black kings and queens in the literary streets create heroines who come in all shapes and sizes. I figured it was about time I gave the spotlight to women who looked like me; P.H.A.T 💁🏾‍♀️. Pretty, hot, and thick for those who don’t know. Shoutout to Mo’Nique!

Nia Badi is THAT girl! Except… …she doesn’t feel like it lately. On the night before her 21st birthday, this award winning music video director, thriving entrepreneur, and girlfriend to one of most influential rappers of her generation, feels anything but celebratory. Indeed she’s fortunate to live at the intersections of love and luxury. However, the ramifications of a jarring event have Nia questioning if she’s truly happy with where she is in both her career, and her “couple-goals” relationship. As she ventures down this new path, will her relationship survive her 21st Birthday? At just 25, Boyden “Bizzy Boy” Miller is living every rap mogul’s dream. Money, stardom, and astronomical success. With chart dominating influence, and a sold-out iconic world tour, what more could he want? Simple: his Nia. During his longest tour of their relationship, she’s been nothing but encouraging, yet he can feel her getting antsy. But when an unorthodox demon from his past rears its toxic head, jeopardizing both his mental health, and cosmic connection to the love of his life, Boyden is forced to reassess his plans. Will Boyden confront his past in order to be the man he needs for both himself and his Nia? ***This novel contains profanity and sexual content. If you do not like those elements in your romantic reads, this is not the book for you.***

Vance Etienne has lived his life on his terms. He enjoyed a fulfilling marriage until the sudden death of his wife scarred him emotionally, but not enough to deter him from being a great person and father. However, things go haywire when his daughter’s boyfriend makes the horrible decision to assault her, changing Vance’s life forever. Although she is twenty-one, she’s still totally dependent on him as she matriculates through college. After suffering the consequences of the decisions he made in regards to the abuse she suffered, he meets a woman that possesses him from the moment their eyes meet. He soon realizes that Jennifer Monroe is offering what he’s been craving since the loss of his wife.

Jennifer Monroe has literally pulled herself from the slums of her past to become a better woman. After being in an abusive marriage for twenty years, she finds herself sinking into a depression so deep she contemplates suicide. Being a retired social worker, she takes advantage of programs to help herself get back on track, falling in love with who she is all over again. Her gained self-confidence becomes evident and she longs for something that she didn’t have for most of her marriage to her ex-husband. Love. The night she meets Vance Etienne, the father of a young woman in her life, she knows he’s her one. But somehow, she finds herself thinking of the past with her ex-husband more often than she should.

There’s no doubt about what Vance and Jennifer feel for one another. Can they let the hurt of the past go to focus on their future? Will their pasts be willing to release them from its grasps to pursue an intentional and all-consuming love?

“Because sometimes all it takes is the first date…”

For Malinda Woods, growing her business is a top priority. And in her opinion, that’s only possible if she eliminates all distractions.

That means no going out, no getting caught up in the daily hype of social media, and of course, no dating. Until she’s set up on a blind date with the perfect man who’s equipped with everything necessary to change her mind.

Whoa.

Note: This novella takes place during the same time frame as Oops! and does contain major spoilers for that title. It is highly recommended that you read Oops! first before going on Malinda’s journey. 🙂

Yetti, Hayes, and Keys sibling love and loyalty. Their circle is tight, and no one comes before family.

After surviving a traumatic childhood, all three brothers are left a little unstable, with hearts of stone. It drives them to succeed in the streets, but creates a void where matters of the heart are concerned. Together, they run an empire that has allotted them money, respect and power, which of course fuels tensions and has enemies lurking in the shadows. Either way, they stand tall and they stand together.

Yetti especially was dealing with some serious demons, one of which was forced by his mother choosing his life over hers. His past has made him unwilling to open up, and his motto in life has basically been hit and run as far as women were concerned. Their only benefit to him was to satisfy his needs. No connection, no emotional commitments until he meets the one woman who can turn his life and his heart upside down.

Keys is set in his ways and enjoying life by his own terms. His status has placed him in the position to have just about any woman he sets his sights on until he runs across Asha. Their first encounter was one for the records. She took control and forced him to play by her rules This only fueled Keys’ curiosity and had him chasing her for more.

Hayes is the baby of the family and seems to have it all together, with a long term girlfriend and beautiful baby girl, you’d think life should be perfect, however new struggles seem to be finding the two of them daily.

The streets aren’t kind when it comes to matters of the heart and defending your empire. Hopefully they will all find their way out with their hearts intact.

Neil McClain is the screw-up, the one everyone hopes will win but expects to lose. He wants to live a better life, one that his late mother would be proud of, but his belief in himself is weak.

Sage Moniba is in need of a major miracle or she’ll be forced to give up the only life she’s known.

Neil is searching for freedom from the demons of his past.

Sage is in desperate need of help.

Could it be that what each one needs resides in the other?

“Worried about it, I’m putting pressure. You’ll only cut me if I let you. No, we ain’t doing this just for pleasure. Either learn me or I’m a lesson.” — H.E.R

Work.
Health.
Finessing.
That’s the hierarchy of Finley Thomas’ life. The loc-haired, stenographer was raised by a proud gold digger and against her delight, she inherited mischievous qualities from her mother. After receiving a devastating prognosis, the twenty-eight-year-old finds herself wrapped in a double-life and overly preparing for a day that may never come. Amid her downward spiral, Finley’s small circle is cracked, giving outsiders the chance to snatch her from her comfort. Mounted in the crosshairs of a fraudulent deal, Finley finds herself confronted with her secrets and forced to move her ears from her pockets to her heart or end up in the dark alone.

Business.
Family.
Business.
For five years, that’s all Preach Carbine has thought about. Knowing the weight of his last name, the meticulous man has always been strategic with his moves and as a member of a notorious street family, the arms dealer is known for meditating one minute and cutting out tongues the next. Nonetheless, with Preach knocking on thirty, he is ready to set aside family traditions and put his dreams in motion. On the flip, a tainted arrangement triggers the high-powered man to turn his scope to the people he loves and a woman he can’t seem to shake.

It’s been said that seeing is believing. What happens when one’s vision is blurred and the only thing you can trust is what you feel?

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?

Series Spotlight – The Harris Sisters by Renee A. Moses

Meet the Harris Sisters ~ Noelle, Nina, & Lyric

Nina and Mekhi Fuller have it all together on paper. Love, family, and successful careers. However, Nina being a business owner requires the type of time and commitment Mekhi isn’t ecstatic about giving up. Success demands sacrifice. Will their love for each other be enough to survive temporarily unmet needs?

Noelle Harris wants to find the type of love her parents had. Man after man, she searches for the one that will give her the love story of her dreams. Devin Simmons blows into her world, making her feel that her dream could finally come true. His prior life will challenge her hopes. But when you know what you want, you fight for it.

Lyric Phillips is an honorary Harris since she’s known Noelle and Nina since elementary. She has everything she wants: a man who loves her and multiple others that please her in any way she deems necessary. What more could she ask for?

The Harris sisters will soon find out that life can throw anything at any time. Whether they bring it on themselves or get caught in a situation beyond their control. Fall in love with these ladies on their road to happiness.

The Cost of Loving You

I Thought I Knew You

Never Stopped Loving You

Not Good Enough For You

I Want It All With You

(ARC) Book Review: The Long Game by Rachel Reid

Date Read: February 23, 2022
Published: April 26, 2022
Pages: 453

Book Synopsis:

To the world they are rivals, but to each other they are everything.

Ten years.

That’s how long Shane Hollander and Ilya Rozanov have been seeing each other. How long they’ve been keeping their relationship a secret. From friends, from family…from the league. If Shane wants to stay at the top of his game, what he and Ilya share has to remain secret. He loves Ilya, but what if going public ruins everything?

Ilya is sick of secrets. Shane has gotten so good at hiding his feelings, sometimes Ilya questions if they even exist. The closeness, the intimacy, even the risk that would come with being open about their relationship…Ilya wants it all.

It’s time for them to decide what’s most important—hockey or love.

It’s time to make a call.

My Review:

I absolutely loved Shane and Ilya in Heated Rivalry, and the chemistry was still there in The Long Game. While Heated Rivalry was a great start to capturing the awareness of their feelings towards one another, The Long Game was a true insight into their actual relationship. A look at their core.

This storyline was beautifully written in a way for us as readers to witness the continuation of their romance. It was the more we didn’t know we needed. This felt like a whole new beginning, one I’d love to read more of.

Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced copy!