5 African American Romances You Need to Read Right Now

32a4b0bc8611f8e4894dd05462c6adce1) Commitment by Nia Forrester

Genre: Contemporary

Page Count: 522 pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.42/5 stars

It was obvious to everyone but them they were all wrong for each other. Riley is a free-spirited boho writer and Shawn is a magnetic and charismatic rapper, riding the highest crest of his career. She doesn’t understand his world and he sure as hell doesn’t understand hers. And what’s worse, while he’s never committed to any woman before, she’s committed to someone else. Still, they can’t stay away from each other. Along with frequent clashes of their equally strong wills, Shawn and Riley will have to face down opposition from friends, family and one extremely motivated groupie, if they want to forge a commitment that will last the test of time.

Get Commitment at your local bookstore now.  Continue reading “5 African American Romances You Need to Read Right Now”

Book Review: Bascomville by Mark A. Calde

Genre: Contemporary, Teen

Page Count: 284

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.67 out of 5 stars

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Welcome to the life of Max Bascom, whose home is Bascomville. Bascomville has its own special kind of normal, where fathers can get job leads from their sons and Christmas dinners can end up to be Chinese take out. Max does his best to navigate Bascomville and to keep it running as smoothly as possible through good times and tragedy. And he also forms a special bond with the girl next door, Janice, who understands Bascomville despite coming from a world much different. 

This book is so fabulously written. I usually don’t take review requests, but I’m glad I did for this book. It’s part romance, part literary masterpiece, and it captures “growing up” so well. I wish I had this book when I was in middle school or high school because I can relate to making your own kind of normal.

“Us? Normal?”

“How do you know we aren’t? How do we know everybody doesn’t make their own?”

She considered this for a moment then dismissed it. “If everybody made their own then nothing would be normal. Nothing could ever be normal.”

“Exactly.”

That’s my kind of definition of normal. And I think everyone needs to remember that normalcy doesn’t really exist a little bit more.

I didn’t see the plot twists coming ahead of time and I never got bored. On top of that, this book is incredibly quotable. There’s some good life advice in here, like when Max helped Janice cover up vandalism on her house:

And I knew then that ultimately we can save neither ourselves nor our loved ones from life. We can only live it.

Max is a complex character that I like and dislike. He is, ultimately, human, not a hero. He tends to overreact sometimes when Janice is involved, but for the most part he’s likeable. He’s loyal to his family, loves his little sister, and wishes for a world with a level playing field.

My favorite character is his little sister Lily, though. She actually has it worse than Max. She lives at home with her parents after Max goes to college and has to deal with her mother pretending she doesn’t exist and her father pretending to be her best friend to make up for it. Her home life is lousy at best and she practically raises herself for her last years of high school. But she’s strong enough to not break under pressure and she’s not one for self-pity.

“Fair is for dorks. I don’t need fair to make things work.”– Lily Bascom

So why only a 4.5 instead of a 5?

It’s because of the long descriptions, like this one that characterizes Mr. Birnbaum, Janice’s father, through his workshop.

I stepped inside and caught my breath. It was, to me, a foreign wonderland, this workshop. I am not a particularly handy person, and the panorama of neatly arranged rows of tools hanging on pegboards, the fittings categorized in plastic bins, the copper piping slung above the rafters, the worktables and vises and clamps and braided electrical cords all echoed the prowess of this man. I felt humbled, and strangely calm. I still wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing but I was no longer nervous about it. I could leave disappointed, even chastised, and be all right with it. Such was the power of Sheldon Birnbaum and this place.

While these descriptions certainly add character and depth to the story, they can sometimes be a little excessive and make my attention lag. This book is certainly not a fluff book and isn’t meant to be one, but the long descriptions make it slightly more harder to get through than it has to be.

This is a good book for anyone to read and I can’t recommend it enough, especially to teens. It helps us remember that we all need to make our own normal.

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5 Romantic Fairytale Retellings that Would Piss off Franklin Graham

Recently, Evangelist Franklin Graham started urging people to boycott the Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast movie  because Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou is gay, or at least sexually confused. In a Facebook post, he accused Disney of “trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of your children– watch out!”

Yes, how dare Disney tell children that people different than them exist. They are monsters.

Here are 5 fairytale retellings that would also piss off Graham.

Continue reading “5 Romantic Fairytale Retellings that Would Piss off Franklin Graham”

Book Review: Telling Jase

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ

My rating: 4/5 stars

Jase grinned, “you were about to tell me why you always hated Marcus?”

Sean closed his eyes. Truth, he reminded himself. He took a few deep breaths. “I envied him, Jase.”

“What? Why?”

Truth, truth, truth. “Because he got to have you, and I didn’t. Because I wanted you. I wanted to be with you. Jase, I… I think I still want that.”

Sean “Tag” Taggert’s fiancee abandoning him and their son, Cody, is a blessing in disguise. Sean had never loved her and only committed to her for Cody’s sake. He was really in love with his best friend and former college roommate Jase, and now he might have the chance to tell him that.

But there was just one problem. Jase didn’t know Sean was bisexual. And Sean had no idea how Jase would react to the news that he had been in love him for three years.

Jase is incredibly hot and I can see why Sean’s attracted to him. He’s sexy and dominant, but also sweet, and caring, and great with kids. Jase is always there for Sean and a good friend. And Jase is also very attracted to Sean. There is no question at all about that.

And damn, they have good chemistry between them. Their relationship isn’t forced or fake at all.

Jase pulled off his t-shirt and tossed in on a chair. Tag stared at him with hungry eyes, and pulled his shirt over his head as well. Jase bit his lip and held back a groan. Tag had more tattoos. There were at least three new ones that he could see, tribal patterns on each pec, and a dragon, low on his left stomach, that halfway disappeared beneath his drawstring pants.

Jase ended up hopping quickly into the bed, when the thought of following the dragon’s tail into Tag’s pants caused in him a very noticeable reaction.

Sean killed the light and climbed in next to him. He scooted over till his shoulder was pressed against Jase’s chest. Jase reached across Tag’s body and grabbed his hand. His forehead touched the side of Tag’s head. He smells like home, he thought. He squeezed Tag’s hand and whispered. “Nite, Tag.”

“Nite Jase.”

They are so cute together. Telling Jase is the perfect story to put you in a good mood.

But it’s not completely perfect. The beginning is awkward. Sean comes home early to hear Jase and his then-boyfriend having sex in their room and within a matter of minutes he knows for sure he’s bi and in love with Jase. Just because he got turned on by sex sounds. That felt forced and insta-love, even if most of the story doesn’t.

I also couldn’t picture Lisa as a real person at all. Even though we never actually see her in the story, she plays a huge part. Despite all of the time Sean and Jase spend talking about her and all the time Sean spends thinking about her, she remains an undeveloped plot device instead of a real character.

Despite those flaws, this story is worth 4 stars. It’s a quick, fun read that I highly recommend.

You can read Telling Jase on Smashwords for free. Please let me know what you thought of the book — and this review — in the comments. And go ahead and click on the little heart if you liked this review.

 

Holiday Book Review: The Mistletoe Bride

Sometimes we all need a little bit of a pick-me-up during the holiday season. It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year and all that, but it’s frickin’ stressful. Between the in-laws and the holiday shopping (not to mention the calories. Yikes!), December can quickly turn into a jolly nightmare. However, The Mistletoe Bride is perfect for getting into the holiday season.

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Book Review: Hart Broken by Annie Arcane

31358357Genre: Contemporary

Goodreads Rating: 4.75/5 stars

My rating: 4/5 stars

Mickey Hart doesn’t do one-night stands. Until she wakes up in a luxury penthouse. With nothing but a t-shirt. And no idea who it belongs to.

Enter Cale Windermere. Driven. Ambitious. Successful. And so gorgeous he could’ve walked straight out of a romance novel…

Except he can’t walk. Not that it ever stops him from getting what he wants. And he wants Mickey. Even if she’s keeping secrets from him. 

 

 

This book…

Where do I even begin? It has a strong start and it stays strong. Mickey is awkward and funny. She starts out at the perfect chick lit character.

Continue reading “Book Review: Hart Broken by Annie Arcane”

5 Teen Romance Novels to Read If You Like Jackie and Hyde from That 70’s Show

tumblr_lo3sjpglvz1qbtz74o1_500Okay, I have a huge confession: I’ve been watching a lot more of That 70’s Show than I should be. And I really like Jackie and Hyde together. They’re a hilarious and unlikely pair with great chemistry, which makes them one of the most popular pairs on the show.

For those of you who haven’t watched That 70’s Show, the show is about a group of teenagers growing up in rural Wisconsin in the 70’s. Jackie is a rich, spoiled, and shallow girl while Hyde is the group’s burnout bad boy. Orphaned, broke, and not at all interested in applying himself for a better life, he seems like a very poor match for the status-obsessed Jackie. But somehow they manage to keep from killing each other and bring out the best in each other. Here are 5 teen romances to read today if you like Jackie and Hyde together.

Continue reading “5 Teen Romance Novels to Read If You Like Jackie and Hyde from That 70’s Show”