Friday, January 31, 2014

Review: Strong Heat - Niobia Bryant


I've read a lot of love stories. So much to the point where I shy away from love stories now because they seem to be cliche. However, "Strong Heat" was different. I loved that the characters in the novel are explained in detail, and you begin to have a connection with them. You cry when they cry, laugh when they tell jokes  (which is often), and rejoice when they make it over obstacles.

The Strong family is like any other American family they have secrets, ups and downs, trials and tribulations but the way they work together should motivate anyone to close up the holes they have in their family, and encourage your loves ones, and also it reminds you to be supportive.

My favorite part of the book is the flashbacks from present to the past it helps bring you up to date if you haven't read the other books in the series. Since this is the last book in the series the author ties, every loose string and ends this book very strongly. Although I didn't read the books before this one, I can say that this book is still solid as a read-alone with the help of the references to the past.

The love story of Lisha and Kael is strong just like the title, and it embraces long lasting love which every woman wants. The children represent the younger generation of love, which is different from old-school love.

This was a great emotional read. It started slow but finished very well. I recommend it.

4 Stars


Review: Letting Go - Belinda Tors

In Lois’s group, several members who had left their husbands returned because they couldn’t make it on their own. But I had taken the chance. Other women had made it. I believed I could, too.… 

Margery Arturo has two children and an abusive husband, Tony. Finally, summoning her courage and her meager resources, she leaves her husband of twenty years while he is away on a business trip out of state. With her teenage daughter, Lola, Margery manages to find an apartment and get a job at a women’s shelter as a counselor. Things are starting to look up. But Tony continues to follow her wherever she goes and turns up at their daughter’s school. He makes threats and refuses to give her child support and monies he owes her in a divorce settlement. Margery soon learns that leaving a violent husband has more risks than possibly getting beaten up or killed after she departs. Will Margery be able to make it on her own? 

Letting Go is a compelling novel that takes a hard look at the obstacles women face when trying to escape an abusive relationship—and one woman’s determination to break the cycle of abuse once and for all. - Amazon


I had to start over twice because I wasn’t able to keep up with the characters at first. Once I did and got past the first few chapters, I was moving right along.

I enjoyed this book. It’s a testimony to women that we don’t have to stay in an abusive relationship. There are so many resources out there for women to get help, we just need to do a little research and find them.

This character was tired of being hit and abused, and she shows us that there is a way out. She took us through her struggles during and after her marriage. I felt like I was there with her at times. Coming from an abusive relationship myself, I could definitely relate.

4 Stars


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review: Slave - Brian W. Smith


Slave, by Brian W Smith is about a popular African American Erotica author named Cleo, who is at a plateau in his writing career.  He is not happy with his current agent, Vivian, and is thinking of severing ties with her.  Vivian, however, manages to convince him to give her another chance to take his career to the next level.

As a way to make new connections, and reach a different fan base, Cleo accepts an invitation to attend a book club meeting.  Little does he know; it will be a night he will never forget.

Without giving too much away, I thought this was an interesting  read. It kept my attention the whole time.  I even got a few chuckles from it.  My eyes and mouth were wide open during the “climax” of this torrid tale.  I would recommend this book.

4 Stars


Monday, January 27, 2014

Review: The Cost of Love and Sanity - Jaye Cherie

Alexis 'aka' Alex Carter has a well-paying job at a recruitment agency, helping companies search for potential job seekers.  Unfortunately, her job just may be on the line, since numbers are down. Although Alex feels as if her job is safe, she needs to push herself harder than she ever has to maintain the security of her job. Alex starts to feel the as though life is quickly passing her by.  She realizes that all that she ever wanted she has  except for being a wife and mother. It seems that every time she gets involved with someone whom the relationship does not work out. She has no idea what she is doing wrong. Will her dreams become a reality before its too late or will she have to think of other alternatives for the life she desires?

When Alex runs into an ex-boyfriend, Nathan Chestnut, old feelings of hurt and betrayal resurface. Nathan is intent on showing her that he is not the same man she once knew. It seems that no matter what he does to prove it to her, Alex puts a wall up or attempts to sabotage their relationship even before it really begins. Will Nathan get tired of Alex and her accusations and move on?

The Cost of Love and Sanity by Jaye Cherie is an okay read. It is a story about a woman who is happy with her career choices but disgruntled by her past relationships. Alex has a hard time getting  past the hurts of the past to let love into her heart? The story was very slow and repetitive to be a 305 page book. This could have easily been a 200 page novel considering most of the story kept going back and forth with the repetitive thoughts. All-in-all this was an okay read at best, nothing more...nothing less.
3.5 Stars

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review: Pandemic - Scott Sigler

The explosive conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with Infected and Contagious.

The alien intelligence that unleashed two horrific assaults on humanity has been destroyed. But before it was brought down in flames, it launched one last payload-a tiny soda-can-sized canister filled with germs engineered to wreak new forms of havoc on the human race. That harmless-looking canister has languished under thousands of feet of water for years, undisturbed and impotent…until now.

Days after the new disease is unleashed, a quarter of the human race is infected. Entire countries have fallen. And our planet's fate now rests on a small group of unlikely heroes, racing to find a cure before the enemies surrounding them can close in.

This was a good book. I feel it would have made a little more sense to me if I had read the first two installments. Which I will be putting on my TBR list. I have read two other books by this author from another series and really enjoyed them. This was no exception; I liked that this book was very fast-paced and full of action.

The characters were all interesting and made me want to keep turning the pages. I loved the group dynamic of the story and that this unlikely group was humanities only hope for finding a cure to a deadly alien disease infecting the human population.

I liked the authors' style of writing, and I think it worked well with this type of story. I was left with a few questions, that keep nagging me, but I'm hoping for another installment in this series to tie up the loose ends. Great story for anyone who enjoys a post-apocalyptic series.

4 Stars

Billie Jo

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Review: Make Me Beg - Allison Hobbs


Allison Hobbs brings us a sizzling novella that is sure to knock you off your feet.

Meet Vanessa and Spike, a happily married couple that are always looking for new ways to spice up their sex life. They make an agreement that once a month they will engage in different sexual pleasures. All seems to be going well until Vanessa decides to play with fire and have sexual relations with one of her husband business partners. Vanessa and Spike find themselves caught up in a sexual web that will be hard to untangle. The rules have been changed, and they all must decide who will stay or who will go.

This was a very steamy and sexy read. If you're looking for erotica, this book is definitely for you. I enjoyed this story even though I'm not a fan of erotica. I'm glad to see it's not like most and have an interesting storyline. Some parts I felt were a little far fetched but overall a good read.

I wouldn't mind reading more from Allison Hobbs.

4 Stars


Review: A Life Not My Own - T.M. Brown



This story absolutely broke my heart at times. I can't imagine having to go through or endure the types of things that went on in this story.

T.M. Brown takes you on a journey through her life, walks with you through each emotional chapter and gives you a gift that you were never expecting to receive.

I usually don't read autobiographies, but I'm so glad I read this one. This author has to be one of the strongest, and the bravest person, there is. I'm honored to have been able to read about her journey. She is truly a blessing to readers because she chose to share her powerful story with readers.

I gave this amazing book 5 stars, and I think it deserves so much more.  

5 Stars

Billie Jo                          

Review: Painting Your Way Out of a Corner: The Art of Getting Unstuck - Barbara Diane Barry

In the tradition of The Artist’s Way, an exciting program that introduces painting as a jumping-off point for realizing one’s full creative potential in all areas of life.

Based on author Barbara Diane Barry’s popular course Art for Self-Discovery and supported by research in psychology and the science of brain function, Painting Your Way Out of a Corner guides readers through the process of overcoming blocks and expressing themselves freely in painting. Through a series of exercises that emphasize improvisation and risk-taking, readers will learn how to quiet their inner critics and strengthen their creativity. The more we learn to play and accept whatever appears on the page, the more we are able to try new things in life. Readers will be inspired by Barry’s delightful full-color paintings featured throughout the book.

This book was interesting to say the least. It crossed between learning to be an artist and the psychology behind finding yourself along the way. The book included exercises for readers to be able to tap into their emotions through art.
Painting Your Way Out of a Corner is very informative and easy to follow. It just wasn't the book for me. I gave this book 3 stars.
3 Stars
Billie Jo

Review: The Deadly Rose - J.M. Lominy

Pierre-André François is handsome, intelligent, and the greatest soccer player in Haitian history. He also has a well-kept secret; he is an assassin. In fact, Pierre-André François is the vile and feared Haitian assassin known as The Little Rose. Like a skilled painter, he kills with style and finesse, bringing death in broad purposeful strokes and sweeps of red. Signing each piece of work with a fragrant red rose.
It took me a while to get into the story, it dragged in the beginning then picked up after a chapter or two. After that I was able to enjoy the author’s writing style. The story did keep me interested, for the most part. I felt as though I could experience what life was like in Haiti. I was able to find out some interesting facts.
I wished the author would have wrapped the story up, but judging from the ending, there might be a sequel. I’m interested to see how things may play out in the future.
Overall, it was an okay read for me. I would recommend this book if you are looking for something new to pique your interest.
3 Stars
Billie Jo

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Review: Spartan & The Green Egg - Nabila Khashoggi

Spartan, his three friends, and his dog, Grimm, as they travel the Universe. The mission of this talented team is to gain and share knowledge of their amazing discoveries. With the power of their minds, they made contact with a race of alien explorers, who communicate with them via an egg-shaped spaceship that is itself an organic alien being. Their expeditions are made even more exciting through the use of new technology and cool gadgets, provided by their new friend, who goes by the name of Egg.
Spartan & The Green Egg is a wonderful addition for your children's book shelf. The illustrations in this book were very vibrant. The story is written in a comic book style which I loved. Author Nabila Khashoggi transports readers to a new & exciting world. This book also shows children how much fun they can have when they use their imagination. This is the debut book of a ten part series. I can't wait to read more from this series. Whenever I read a children's book for review, I give the book to my kids to read to see whether they will enjoy it or not. My children fell in love with this book. I was happy that after reading this book, they had questions about the environment. Even my husband became curious and read the book.
I highly recommend this book.

4 Stars

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Review: Sweet Thing - Renee Carlino


 I absolutely loved everything about this book!! The chemistry between Will and Mia was off the charts. There were times I wanted to throw this book, but I couldn't bring myself to put it down. I had a love-hate relationship with Mia throughout the entire book. Mia makes such dumb decisions when it comes to Will, and at times seemed like a cold-hearted woman, then she surprises you and makes your heart melt for her.

She has a lot of trust issues"(And I mean A LOT). Will's character is amazing, in my opinion; he never gives up on Mia. He has so much patience and understanding for what she is going through, anyone else would probably run for the hills given the circumstances. This was a beautifully written story that had my nerves wreaked most of the time, but I loved every minute.

If you love a story that takes your emotions on a roller-coaster ride, then this will be the perfect book for you. I gave this book 5 stars, but deserves so many more!!! Great job!!!

5 Stars

Billie Jo

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Review: Nightmare in Niceville - Amberle Cianne


Welcome to Niceville… where it looks like you have stepped out of a Norman Rockwell painting. The lawns are near perfection. Everyone smiles at you when you walk pass, and even the dogs find time to catch a few rays from the sun.

Lily Strykes and her family moved to Niceville, Florida a few years ago to get a fresh start on their lives. The past has a way of rearing its ugly head when you have let your guards down.
A fun night out with friends ends up being a night of bloodshed.

Nightmare is Niceville was written by 17-year-old, Author Amberle Cianne. I think this is a good debut novel for someone her age. As she continues along this path – hopefully she will grow to become a great writer. There were some editing issues with this book. There were also some slow and repetitive moments in the story. I did have to remember this was written from a 14-year-old point of view.

(The author is currently 17 – this story was written when she was 14.)

I would love to see Amberle continue to bloom as an author.

3 Stars


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Review: Real As It Gets (Rumor Central) - Reshonda Tate Billingsley

Rumor Central: Real As It Gets by Reshonda Tate Billingsley is the third book in the series and Maya Morgan, dubbed the Gossip Diva, dishes out the scoop on the hottest celebrities. When the latest story comes across her desk that a new drug has hit the scenes, and quite a few celebrities have fallen victim to it, it stuns Maya even more when someone she knows personally has fallen victim to this drug. Maya is even more stunned to find out that this drug, has been circulating throughout Miami and a few of her classmates have also fallen victim to this drug.

In other news, Maya's cousin, Travis comes to stay with them. It seems that Travis got himself into some trouble back home and to be less of a stress to his mom, that is sick, he was sent to stay with Maya and her parents. Maya likes having Travis around, but she is not sure how she feels about sharing her parents with him, since she is used to being the only child. Not only does Travis attend the same high school as Maya, he seems to be just as popular, if not more, especially with those of the opposite sex. Which becomes a serious problem with Maya. Not only, that but her curiosity gets the best of her, and Maya wonders what kind of trouble Travis got himself into back home. When she gets to digging, she finds out that Travis is not the cousin she once knew.

As Real As It Gets by Reshonda Tate Billingsley is the third book in the Rumor Central teen series. Although, I did not read the previous books in the series, this book is a stand-alone novel. It is a novel that touches on a teen issue throughout the United States, no matter what background they come from; drugs are available to teens everywhere. The less expensive the drug is to get a high, the better.

As Real As It Gets shows teens the dangers of using drugs, and the lasting effects it can have on one's family and friends. Although, the novel had a good moral to be learned from the story, it lacked the depth and suspense. Without giving a spoiler to the novel, it was too much towards the end and was unbelievable on how everything came to a head and abruptly ended. Aside from that, it was a quick and easy read.

3 Stars



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