The genre of urban fiction is rife with tales of pimps, hustlers, and boss bitches all looking to live the good life. Most of these stories are rote iThe genre of urban fiction is rife with tales of pimps, hustlers, and boss bitches all looking to live the good life. Most of these stories are rote in nature, following the same beats and giving us characters that are all about the dollar dollar bill, y’all. But it was with an open mind that I approached Platinum Dust, author K.C. Blaze’s recent contribution to the genre.
The protagonist of Platinum Dust is Rahiem Starz—and yes, that’s his real last name—and he is a piece of work. He self-describes as a pretty boy due to his light complexion, green eyes, and nice physique. While these attributes make him near irresistible to the ladies, Rahiem is also almost always on guard as he feels these qualities make him appear “soft.” His mettle is tested early on when he’s attacked in a seedy nightclub by a thug jealous of Rahiem’s prowess with the ladies. Little does Rahiem know, this seemingly random, insignificant, violent encounter will have consequences later on.
Furthermore, Rahiem, who fancies himself a manager for a couple of high-end escorts, has grown tired of the revolving door of women who constantly pass through his bedroom. His favorite is the beautiful, compassionate, and intelligent Felicia; and though he’s slow to realize it, Rahiem may actually be in love with her. Needless to say, despite her playing it cool and knowing her role, Felicia’s feelings for Rahiem run deep.
Complicating matters even more is Rahiem’s relationship with his mother, Janet, who’s serving time in prison for the murder of Rahiem’s father, Carlos. It’s not just the murder that has earned Janet the enmity of her son—she also kicked him out of the house and into the streets at a young age. Though he (and eventually his straight-laced, God-fearing brother Amir) is taken in by a loving relative, Rahiem is unable to let go of the anger and hurt his mother caused him.
What sets Platinum Dust apart from the pack is its emotional quotient. All the characters are believable and well-defined, and express a genuine range of feelings. Rahiem is dismissive of women (he refers to them by the day of the week he sleeps with them), but that’s only due to his mother’s treatment of him. Felicia truly loves him, and wants him to love her back, but she won’t risk playing the fool. Janet is slowly losing her sanity in prison, and though she schemes to use Rahiem to get out, she, too, discovers unexpected feelings coming to the surface. We even get a glimpse into the mind of Amir, who is remorseful over the feelings he has for a mysterious young woman he meets at church. “The flesh is weak,” he explains to God. “My lower half always willing to rise to the occasion betrayed me also.”
There is, of course, plenty of sex and action in Platinum Dust. Rahiem’s stable of ladies is plentiful, and he seemingly picks up a new woman at random on a daily basis, paving the way for a number of steamy sex scenes. And when Rahiem discovers he’s the target of a revenge plot, it’s a revelation that could endanger the lives of everyone he loves.
Platinum Dust is a sexy, fast-paced, entertaining read filled with memorable characters and situations. It’s the first in a series of books about Rahiem, and I, for one, am curious to see what happens next....more