I haven’t read the first book in the Dance Off duology but it wasn’t difficult following Dimitri and Natasha’s story. Dimitri and Natasha both work onI haven’t read the first book in the Dance Off duology but it wasn’t difficult following Dimitri and Natasha’s story. Dimitri and Natasha both work on a dance show; Dimitri is a judge and Natasha is a professional dancer. They have been friends with benefits for a couple of years. Dimitri has never given Natasha any indication that he wanted their relationship to be more than that and Natasha was seemingly okay wtih it. When Natasha’s life implodes, surprisingly it’s Dimitri that comes to the rescue. Soon Dimitri is realizing that he wants more out of his relationship with Natasha but Natasha keeps him at arms length.
I must admit that Dance With Me started off a little slow for me. I couldn’t understand why Natasha would not accept any help or let her friends know that her apartment was uninhabitable and that she needed a place to crash. Her insistence on figuring it out on her own was admirable but there is absolutely nothing wrong with accepting help from friends. But as the story progressed and more was revealed, I began to understand Natasha’s insistence in getting her life together without any help from anyone. All I have to say is, her mother sure did do a number on her.
Dimitri wants his relationship with Natasha to be more but like a typical guy, his words get in the way. He doesn’t know how to express himself because of something that happened in his past and he doesn’t want his feelings to be one-sided. I liked the push and pull between Dimitri and Natasha. Sometimes he was too overbearing but also Natasha was too stubborn.
I loved that Natasha was a heroine who didn’t have her life together. Too many times in romances, the heroine is written as perfect and damn near virginal. Natasha is hooking up with a co-worker with no expectations of commitment. Both Dimitri and Natasha continue to have other relationships outside of what they have. Natasha used to strip, she has breast implants (and she’s proud of them) and she doesn’t make the best decisions financially. It’s like she’s a normal human being who is still trying to get their shit together! I love it!
I loved the friendships that Natasha has with her fellow dancers. Dimitri has an equally good relationship with his family. Even though Dimitri and Natasha already have a physical relationship, the romance was a slow-burn. Natasha resisted Dimitri at every turn. They have great chemistry and they make great partners especially when they’re dancing together.
I really enjoyed Dance With Me and I like Alexia Daria’s voice. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author. I am definitely going to go back and read the first book in this duology, Take the Lead. I hope this isn’t the end of us peering into the lives of the Dance Off dancers. I especially want to know what’s going on with Kevin Ray. We were given a little hint that there was more than meets the eye with the pro dancer. Definitely check this book out especially if you watch Dancing with the Stars. We all suspect there are hook-ups and romances going on behind the scenes. Dance With Me gives us hope that her suspicions are correct....more
Love, Lies & Loyalty has a lot of potential. The plot of the book centers around 4 friends – Sheree,Originally posted at Reading Romance in Color
Love, Lies & Loyalty has a lot of potential. The plot of the book centers around 4 friends – Sheree, Shaina, Maven and Morgan. They’re all in their late 30s. Shaina is married but is having marriage issues. Sheree is single but her long-time boyfriend is trifling. Maven is focused on her career but would like to have a man in her life. Morgan is career-driven and not focused on having a relationship.
I’m always down for a story about close-knit friends and the men they fall in love with. Love, Lies & Loyalty is a little different. The men that 2 of the women are with are trash. Straight basura. So there’s relationship chatter and drama and no one seems to be completely satisfied with where they are in life. That’s fine. But the amount of caca that Sheree and Shaina put with from their men was ridiculous. I guess just because you’re older that doesn’t necessarily mean you know better.
Each chapter focuses on one of the women and their story is told in 1st person POV. They meet up every Friday at Rico’s for cocktails, food and gossip. It’s a standing appointment and you get to see the dynamics of the friendships. Again, I’m always down with female friendships and #BlackGirlMagic. I start to lose some interest due to editing issues. It got to the point that it became distracting. I couldn’t tell what was part of a conversation or just internal thoughts because quotation marks would drop off. With each of the women having similar sounding names (Shaina/Sheree, Maven/Morgan), I sometimes would forget who’s chapter I was reading. A lot of outside characters were introduced and some of them I felt could have been left out. For example, the lazy hair braider that worked in Maven’s salon. That could have been left on the cutting room floor because for me it didn’t add anything to the story.
Characters outside of the 4 women were having their own drama going on and sometimes that took away from their story. But the piece de resistance that really had me roll my eyes and contemplate not finishing the book was what Morgan did. I would expect something like this from a periphery character but one of the main ones?!?!?!?! Ugh! How am I supposed to continue to read this story and be invested in the friendships knowing that Morgan has betrayed one of her friends?
Apparently there will be a book 2 and I’m not so sure that it should be written in the same format as this book. Introducing the 4 women and their relationships was a nice way to start the series (if it’s going to become one) but to continue writing with the focus being on all 4 and their relationships…it’s too much. They each have enough drama on their own to have their own separate books. That’s just my opinion.
Shelia Sewell is a new to me author and this is her first book. Hopefully the writing and editing will be tighter. It’ll be interesting to see where she takes this. It has a lot of potential. I don’t know HOW she’s going to fix Morgan or if she’s even fixable. Everyone is a hot ass mess. I am a lover of romance. I don’t know if this book categorizes as romance? But all I know is I expect the characters to get their HEA. I don’t know how it’s gonna happen with these people.
p.s. If there’s going to be a lot of sexing and cheating, can I get a little more detail and spice in the sex scenes please?!
Warning: This book contains cheating, shady boyfriend, shady husband, mama drama, family drama, and a backstabbing friend.
Whatever It Takes was originally published in 2005 as part of the Kiss the Year Goodbye anthology. I absolutely love the cover of this novella. The moWhatever It Takes was originally published in 2005 as part of the Kiss the Year Goodbye anthology. I absolutely love the cover of this novella. The model’s cheekbones are serious goals. I don’t think my contouring skills are good enough to even achieve a cheekbone look like that.
I’m always down for an older woman/younger man story. We don’t have enough of them so I was excited to read this novella. The fact that Devin is the son of India’s best friend is even better. It makes this story even more taboo. Imagine my disappointment that Whatever It Takes did not deliver the panty-melting sex scenes that I was hoping for.
There’s not much build up of the attraction between Devin and India. One day India shows up at her girlfriend’s house and Devin answers the door. There’s flirting and then next thing you know, Devin shows up at India’s house confessing that he’s always been attracted to her. Okay. So no history or build-up or flashback scenes to where they were in each other’s presence and fighting the attraction. We’re just gonna go with it. Got it.
The first time India and Devin have sex there was more telling than showing. We get a summary of what they did and where but weren’t privy to any of the details. I was disappointed. I need the juicy hot details! The nosey neighbor Mr. Marcus was comic relief that I found more annoying than funny. His part in the book was entirely too damn long. He could have been cut out and replaced him with some detailed sex scenes!
I’m all for women of all ages getting theirs but don’t throw romance and love into the mix and think that I’m going to believe it. As Devin and India’s relationship progressed, India started coming off as desperate. I would have preferred if the relationship stayed sexual and was just a short-term affair. I actually couldn’t see what they had in common where their sexual relationship would turn into a romance.
The novella was too short to fully flesh out the characters and their relationship. Since Whatever It Takes was originally published in 2005, it was very outdated. The one thing that stood out was the fact that India smoked a lot. In the year of 2017, it’s rare that the main character, especially a woman, would be written as a heavy smoker. It’s unattractive. I wish the novella had been updated to be more current. It felt like I was in a time machine and not in a good way....more
My Boo was originally published in 2005 as part of the anthology Kiss the Year Goodbye. I hate when publishers re-issue previously published works witMy Boo was originally published in 2005 as part of the anthology Kiss the Year Goodbye. I hate when publishers re-issue previously published works without letting the reader know that it was previously published. If you’re going to do this, notify the reader and update the work.
My Boo is seriously outdated. You can tell that this was written in 2005. Nothing in the novella was updated to reflect the current times and it prevented me from enjoying the story, among other issues that I had. For example, Chris works as a DJ and he mentioned that he had a gig at H2O. That’s a club in DC that has been closed for years!!!!!
I’m not going to recap the plot because it’s pretty simple. Gina is in a long distance relationship. From the way she complains you’d think her boyfriend, Chris, lived on the other side of the country. But no. He lives in DC and she lives in Philly. Ummmm….that’s a two hour drive and she’s complaining as if she has to hop on a plane every time she wants to see him. Gina is 23 years old so that may be why she’s so damn immature regarding her relationship. She’s mad that he has ambition and drive and wants to be the center of his world. Gina should be happy that her boyfriend isn’t a bum and he makes the effort to see her all the way in Philly. -_-
What bothered me about this novella is that none of the female characters are likable. They are so self-centered and have no redeeming qualities. Chris is a likable guy and he’s too good for Gina IMO. Khalil is a player and the fact that Gina is too self-absorbed to realize that, she deserves to get played.
My Boo is classified as an erotic novella but nothing was hot and sexy about it. The sex scenes were non-existent; not detailed, fade to black. That does not make it an erotic novella. I want hot, sexy detailed love scenes and I did not get that. It was such a disappointment.
My Boo was not an enjoyable read. Painfully dated. Not hot and sexy. The heroine was not likable. I did not like the ending. It was just all over the place with random characters and situations thrown in that had nothing to do with the overall story. Maybe if the novella was updated, I would have enjoyed it more. And if there was more detailed sex scenes. My Boo was a huge no....more
Cady has always plays it safe until she decides not to. What does that get her? Kidnapped and stranded on an island with sexy Navy Seal, Logan. Logan’Cady has always plays it safe until she decides not to. What does that get her? Kidnapped and stranded on an island with sexy Navy Seal, Logan. Logan’s assignment, to protect the ex-President’s daughter, falls through so he’s stuck on a cruise ship to Tahiti. Not too bad of an assignment. He eyeballs Cady sitting at a bar. She eyeballs him back. The attraction is mutual. They chat, drink and dance then decide to head back to Logan’s room. Then things go downhill from there. Cady is kidnapped and Logan is thrown over the ship, assumed dead. Logan ends up rescuing Cady from her kidnappers in a case of mistaken identity but they end up stranded on a deserted island. Sounds dangerous and sexy, right? Not really.
I’m going to preface by saying that from the moment Logan and Cady landed on the deserted island I couldn’t help but think of the TV show Naked and Afraid. Everything they did reminded me of that show from finding food, shelter, and water, to making a fire and even the stubborn man who won’t listen to the woman because “Me man. Man know best” attitude. Honestly, both characters frustrated me to no end and it prevented me from truly enjoying the adventure and romance.
Cady has issues from her past that causes her to play it extremely safe. But her wanting to be safe is also causing her to be stupid. Main case in point is that she kept telling Logan that he was an adrenaline junkie and that he seeks out danger. When in fact, he was saving her life and trying to figure out a way to get them off the island. How does that translate into wanting to face danger?! Logan is trying to make sure they don’t die on the island and this heifer is complaining about it.
Logan is a another story. He’s attracted to Cady but he doesn’t want to give in to the feelings because he sees her as an “assignment”. Every physical move he makes, he apologizes afterwards. Calm down man! You’re on an island with a woman you were going to hook up with before the kidnapping!
Overall I enjoyed the story. Cady was annoying as hell and there were parts where I wanted Logan to leave her on the island. Cady wasn’t too stupid to live thank goodness but she was too annoying to deal with. She refused to see the bigger picture which was getting off the island....more
I really wanted to like this book. I really, really wanted to. I love the cover**spoiler alert** Review origninally posted at Reading Romance in Color
I really wanted to like this book. I really, really wanted to. I love the cover. That’s what first caught my eye. And then I read the blurb and felt that The Sweetest Part was the book for me. I managed to stick with Miles and Shayne and their dysfunctional marriage all the way up to the 91% mark. And then I stopped with a ‘Oh hell no!’ and put my Kindle down. There’s no way this book was going to end the way I think it was going to end. No. Effing. Way.
Let’s go back to the beginning.
Miles is married to Shayne. According to Miles, Shayne is the perfect wife with the perfect body and he’s madly in love with her. The problem is, Miles likes to fuck other women. A lot. His wayward dick has gotten him into trouble on more than one occasion. Shayne is aware of her husband’s doggish ways but she loves him and Miles is smooth and manages to apologize and sweet talks his way to forgiveness every time. Plus it’s mentioned that Shayne has dealt with abuse in her past which makes it easy for her to forgive Miles because at least he treats her well [insert eye roll]. I knew when I started reading The Sweetest Part that there will be cheating. I mean, it’s part of the blurb. What I wasn’t expecting was that the author was going to make the wife become a crazy person that no one recognizes and make Shayne be at fault, in Miles mind, for why he cheats. His reasoning is that Shayne looks down on him and makes him feel less than. Never mind the fact that Shayne big ups him all the damn time and pushes him to be his better self. She encourages him and if it wasn’t for her, he wouldn’t be where he was in his career, a career which he loves. Miles makes it sounds like he’s the man for taking care of his wife and providing for her financially. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do as the husband? So which one is it? Not once was there any indication that Shayne thought of her husband as beneath her. The only time she argued with him was when it was about his infidelities. So that was STRIKE ONE.
It’s mentioned several times that Shayne has experienced a lot of abuse in her life. It was touched on briefly about abuse she experienced as a child but not any other abuse she may have experienced in relationships as an adult. Because of her past, this is why Shayne lets Miles slide with the infidelity. And because of Shayne’s past, this is why Miles treats her like a Queen – according to Miles. PAUSE. None of this adds up. Miles isn’t dumb. He has to realize that his constant cheating is a form of abuse. It’s emotional abuse. He’s no better than any of the men from Shayne’s past. Ugh! Miles is a terrible human being. STRIKE TWO.
As the plot progresses, I had a feeling on where things were headed. I was hoping the author would do it justice. I was hoping Miles would get his comeuppance. Unfortunately the author failed big time which is why at 91% I had to stop. Below is a spoiler. Highlight if you want to know. If not skip & continue reading.
During most of the book, Miles has been lusting after an intern, Nia, talking about how this is someone he can see spending his life with. Mind you, he has a former jump-off that’s saying she’s pregnant with his child, his wife is tired of dealing with his shit and yet he’s fantasizing about a life with Nia as if he’s single! So as we approach the 91% mark and Shayne has completely lost her shit, it looks as if the author is going to let Miles have the woman he truly wants, Nia, while his wife is dealing with the consequences of her actions. No! That’s not how this works. This man does not get to go off into the sunset with Nia after all the shit he has done!!! No! To quote Mean Girls, “that’s goes against the rules of feminism”.
After being totally done at 91% I managed to regroup and finish The Sweetest Part and I still wasn’t satisfied. It ends in a cliffhanger so I’m assuming there’s a second book. The title doesn’t make any sense because there was absolutely nothing sweet about this book or about the characters. Everyone is terrible. The fact that the author has the gall to try and redeem Miles is just gross. He’s fucking terrible! No he didn’t put his hands on Shayne but he’s still an abuser. A serial cheater. He played mind games. He used her love against her to manipulate her. He’s a sociopath. If I’m curious enough maybe I’ll read the second book (if there is one) but only if by the end, Miles gets hit by a car and dies. ...more