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The oldest Lassiter sister finally gets her HEA. When we were introduced to Gadiya, Rana and SadonReview originally posted on Reading Romance in Color
The oldest Lassiter sister finally gets her HEA. When we were introduced to Gadiya, Rana and Sadona Lassiter, the sisters were not looking for love. Sadona was dealing with the decision of whether or not to end her marriage. Throughout Gadiya and Rana’s stories, we were privy to what was going on with Sadona. Always starts with Sadona being divorced and starting her own business. One of the things that she regrets doing is letting her ex, Alec, convince her to forgo her dreams and basically put her life on hold while she supported his.
Thanks to a stray dog that immediately captured Sadona’s heart (and almost became close friends with the front bumper of her car), Sadona meets sexy vet Keith Fremont. Keith isn’t looking for love or a relationship. He was burned bad by his ex and has not (or refuses) to recover. When Sadona walks into his practice, there’s immediate attraction on both sides. But the two are weary of putting their hearts on the line.
What I really enjoyed about Always is that the main characters are grown ass people! Sadona is 42 years old and Keith is 45. Heyyyyyy!!!!!! Keith is established with his veterinarian practice. Sadona is starting over but she’s not a 20 something who’s trying to figure out who she wants to be. Sadona knows who she is; she just had to put it in rice while she was married to her selfish, cheating ex-husband. I love that when Keith and Sadona give in to the attraction and attempt to have a relationship, they agree that they’re going to be 100% honest with each other. There will be no saying one thing but meaning something else. Or playing games. Grown people having grown conversations and dealing with it like adults. Hallelujah!
Of course nothing is going to be 100% easy or perfect. I loved revisiting the other two Lassiter sisters. Gadiya is hilarious, if a bit dramatic, going through her pregnancy. One of my favorite scenes in Always was when Gadiya has a her own Charlotte moment. *Anyone who has seen the Sex and the City movie and remembers the scene where Charlotte sees Mr Big and confronts him…y’all know what I’m talking about*
I found the conflict to be predictable but I didn’t expect Keith to be the asshole that he was towards Sadona. I was ready to cut him off and say that there needs to be a Part 2 for Sadona where she finds a man who deserves her! In the words of the wise Gadiya:
“You, sir, are an asshole.” Always was a nice ending to the Lassiter Sisters series. The characters in Always are around my age and I related to them the most. I loved the portrayal of black romance, black love and the black family. And of course, sisterhood. I hope that we get to see these characters again…maybe when Craven finally meets his Queen to Be *hint, hint*....more
*Note – All of the short stories involve cheating and do not end with your typical HEA*
Most anthologies don’t work for me. Sometimes they’re too long and the quality of the stories are not that great. This isn’t the case with Forbidden. The subjects addressed in the short stories are taboo. Some of them involve cheating. I wouldn’t necessarily call any of the stories “romance” in the typical everyone gets an HEA that we expect. But the characters and their actions were interesting enough and well-written where I didn’t mind that this wasn’t an anthology where everyone gets their HEA.
Tasteful Taboo Joelle and Cameron don’t have the perfect marriage. They currently go to counseling and their counselor suggested that 1 night a year, the couple can swing. They go to a specific event, hosted by the marriage counselor, and the husband and wife have to agree on which couple they are going to swing with. The only rule is that you can’t swing with a couple that you’ve hooked up with before and it can’t be anyone that you know.
Swinging is not the way to go to save your marriage and what kind of marriage counselor even suggests this?? Anyway, The story was a slow build, providing information about Joelle’s marriage and her husband’s past infidelities. He looks forward to these once a year events more than Joelle does but she goes along with it because she thinks it makes their marriage better. [insert eye roll] Once I finished reading this short story, I wanted more. The plot was just really getting good and then, poof, end of story. I enjoyed it. I hated Cameron. Joelle deserves more than her cheating ass husband.
Karma Coated This story deals with the aftermath of when you find out your best friend and your husband were having an affair. Genesis is sticking by her husband’s side while he’s fighting for his life. Her best friend is gone. Should she give in to her anger?
Karma Coated was the most emotional out of the 5 short stories. Can you put aside the anger and pray for someone that you love survival? I don’t know if I could. As a reader there’s no way that you can feel that what Genesis gave into was a bad thing. Genesis and August were both betrayed by people they love. People that were their friends respectively. I would probably be on some get back my damn self. I would say this was also the least sexiest story as well only due to the subject matter.
Rating – C
Decadent Contradictions I’m going to start off by saying this was my least favorite. Joi Friday was annoying as hell and I know women like her in real life and I try my best to stay away from them. She walks around as if gold shoots out her p*ssy and is pissed when a man doesn’t pay her any attention. I was not mad with the ending of this story because it’s exactly what she deserves. She wasn’t trying to change. Joi just wanted another come up without having to work for shit.
Delectable No-No Ayanna has had it with her cheating boyfriend so she decides it’s time to give him a taste of his own medicine. Except she chooses someone who’s little too close to home to exact her revenge. This story was okay. I didn’t like the way Ayanna used this person strictly for revenge. This person was really nice and actually liked Ayanna. To take advantage of that in the name of revenge was kind of cruel. This story is all about cheating but the characters are college-aged so I wouldn’t expect anything different.
Divinely Illicit This story is about Mello and his introduction to sex thanks to his mom’s BFF, Toni. This was probably the sexiest story out of the bunch. Mello is a playa and put those sex skills to good use. Seems like he be having the girls feigning. What I found cute is that he still has a hard-on for Toni. Toni is older but still sexy and good-looking. And Mello still wants to tap that. I really enjoyed the story and this was another one that I wasn’t ready for it to end. According to the author’s website, Mello’s story may become a full-length novel. Cool.
I enjoyed this anthology. For the stories that I really liked, I felt that they were too short. The anthology is only 115 pages. The first and last short stories I really want made into full-length novels. I especially want to know what happened with Joelle and [redacted}.
A Husband by New Year’s is the first book I’ve read by Sean D. Young. This is book 4 of the McClendon Holiday series but I had no problem following the plot or the characters.
Renee has been writing and re-writing her list of qualities that she thinks makes a perfect man. Her sisters and friends thinks that she’s silly and should throw her list and journal in the trash. Renee ends up making a bet with her friend (sort of friend), Julia, that she will/won’t find a husband by New Year’s. Renee stupidly agrees to the bet saying that she will be able to find the perfect man (based on her list) and be married in a year. Renee tries her hand at online dating, to much disappointment. Even her old standby dates aren’t working out. Renee meets Patrick while out on the date. Patrick is the driver. Her date rudely cuts their date short and Patrick ends up taking Renee home. Patrick is good-looking and gentlemanly. Through circumstance they run into each other again and start building a slow romance.
I didn’t know what to expect when I started A Husband by New Year’s. I’ve never read an Entangled Bliss romance but assumed by the “Bliss” aspect that it was going to be a sweet romance with fade-to-black love scenes and I was right. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve been a romance reader since the age of 12 and have been reading romance for 30 years. I’ve grown to expect (and want) some heat and fiyah! But I digress…
The main conflict was Patrick hiding who he was to Renee. He’s dated women in his past where they’ve only want him for his money. When Renee assumes that he’s just a driver he doesn’t correct her. I don’t mind the lie by omission too much because I can understand Patrick’s reasoning. And I figured this would be the main conflict that could break up their relationship.
There was a lot going on plot wise in this book. There’s drama between Patrick and his brother. Renee’s sister, Patrice, is having issues. There was a small hint that there are issues going on with Jennifer and her marriage. Renee and her friend Julia are clashing at work and outside of work. It was a lot to squeeze into a book and because of this, the pacing was a little slow at times. We don’t get a clear answer behind Julia’s actions and anger towards Renee. Seems like it’s more than just an attitude problem.
I loved the family dynamics and how it was presented as a foundation for who Patrick and Renee are as people. Patrick’s family drama kind overshadowed the story at one point and I could have done without it. I hated that it was used as a plot device to bring Renee and Patrick back together.
Overall, A Husband by New Year’s was a cute, sweet romance. Renee was semi-annoying with her journal and the standards that she has for herself, men and the people around her. Sometimes it felt like she was a little to high and mighty, at times judgmental and not flexible. But there’s nothing wrong with knowing what you want but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to compromise a little....more
I have no idea what's going on so I'm gonna DNF. Plus I just finished a 7 book series about nefarious characters, rape, and sex-trafficking aDNF @ 25%
I have no idea what's going on so I'm gonna DNF. Plus I just finished a 7 book series about nefarious characters, rape, and sex-trafficking and I ain't trying to go back to that trope any time soon....more
**spoiler alert** Yeahhhhh I was on board with this romance until after the confrontation with Harmony in the grocery store and Vada rolled out withou**spoiler alert** Yeahhhhh I was on board with this romance until after the confrontation with Harmony in the grocery store and Vada rolled out without saying a word to Ethan like the cowardly bitch that she was. When the next chapter said 1 year later, I was like there's no way this bitch ignored Ethan for A WHOLE FUCKING YEAR!!!!!! But she did. Ethan should have moved on from her ass. If she didn't have the balls to ask him about Harmony then she had no business being with him. The fact that Ethan waited for her that entire time is not romantic IMO. It's pathetic. Vada didn't trust him. Didn't have the decency to confront him. Past issues be damned. Be a damn grown up. Her ass has no business writing romance novels cause she obviously don't know what a HEA consists of. Ethan should have kicked her to the curb. The end. Not my cuppa when stupid "trust" issues keep the H/H apart for a year. Should have kept the story as a hit it and quit it. Would have enjoyed it more....more