The Perfect Marriage – Book Review

The Perfect MarriageThe Perfect Marriage by Kimberla The Score by Kiki Swinson
Narrator: Shay Moore
Length: 5 hours and 13 minutes
Release Date: January 1, 2013
African American Fiction | Christian Fiction | Women’s Fiction |

This review is going to start with a story to illustrate how I felt about The Perfect Marriage by Kimberla Lawson Roby. I could do the review without the story but… anyways.

You’re walking down the street returning home from a hards day work and pass by a neighborhood bakery. You once purchased a cupcake from the bakery and while it wasn’t the best cupcake of your life, it had promise. In the window you spot a small pretty cake and decide to buy it. You had a hard day and you deserve cake. You tell the clerk you want the cake in the window and she informs you it’s chocolate. Chocolate is not your favorite but you have made up your mind you want the chocolate cake you spotted in the window. You get home, make dinner and leave just enough room in your stomach to enjoy a healthy size of the cake your purchased from the neighborhood bakery. You take a minute to admire the beauty of, the nice and even buttercream frosting (your favorite) and the simple swirls decorating the top and sides. Your mouth waters a little because you know this cake will be moist and delicious. You take your knife and cut. You fail to notice the first cut reveals the cake was a little dry, excitement clouded your eyes. After cutting your slice you gleefully shove a large forkful into your mouth. The cake is dry, dry enough to make you wonder how long ago it sat in the store. And you could’ve made a better tasting cake from a store brought cake mix.

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The Score – Book Review

The Score by Kiki Swinson
Pages: 368
Published Date: January 26, 2015
African American Fiction | Urban Literature | Thriller | 


 Confession 1: I don’t normally read books are categorized as “Urban Literature”. In fact, I will admit when it comes to the “Urban Literature” subcategory of African-American fiction I discriminate, hard. 


 Confession 2: I have called “Urban Literature” several names including “Hood Lit”. 


Kiki Swinson’s The Score was my first swim in the Urban Lit category in years, close to decade. I swore off the genre after trying to read Candy Licker by Noire. I tried to read Family Business by Carl Weber and Eric Pete a roughly two years ago for my book club. I didn’t have high expectations for Family Business from the start and quit before the halfway point. This background in important because I tried to wipe my previous failed Urban Lit experiences from my mind and read The Score without bias. And I also tried to start the book with the same expectations I have for any other book, I will enjoy myself.

Did I enjoy The Score?
Yes, I did.

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New Book Release – Nonfiction (Feb 1 – 6)

The Parker SistersThe Parker Sisters: A Border Kidnapping by Lucy Maddox

Pages: 256
Released: February 1, 2016
Biography | History | Nonfiction | Slavery |


In 1851, Elizabeth Parker, a free black child in Chester County, Pennsylvania, was bound and gagged, snatched from a local farm, and hurried off to a Baltimore slave pen. Two weeks later, her teenage sister, Rachel, was abducted from another Chester County farm. Because slave catchers could take fugitive slaves and free blacks across state lines to be sold, the border country of Pennsylvania/Maryland had become a dangerous place for most black people.

In The Parker Sisters, Lucy Maddox gives an eloquent, urgent account of the tragic kidnapping of these young women. Using archival news and courtroom reports, Maddox tells the larger story of the disastrous effect of the Fugitive Slave Act on the small farming communities of Chester County and the significant, widening consequences for the state and the nation.

The Parker Sisters is also a story about families whose lives and fates were deeply embedded in both the daily rounds of their community and the madness and violence consuming all of antebellum America. Maddox’s account of this horrific and startling crime reveals the strength and vulnerability of the Parker sisters and the African American population.

[ Amazon ] [ Barnes & Noble ] [ Goodreads ]

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New Book Release – January 12 – 26


9780804137416Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves The American Soul by Eddie S. Glaude Jr 
Pages: 192
Released: January 12, 2016
| History | Nonfiction | Politics  |Sociology |


A powerful polemic on the state of black America that savages the idea of a post-racial society

America’s great promise of equality has always rung hollow in the ears of African Americans. But today the situation has grown even more dire. From the murders of black youth by the police, to the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act, to the disaster visited upon poor and middle-class black families by the Great Recession, it is clear that black America faces an emergency—at the very moment the election of the first black president has prompted many to believe we’ve solved America’s race problem.

Democracy in Black is Eddie S. Glaude Jr.’s impassioned response. Part manifesto, part history, part memoir, it argues that we live in a country founded on a “value gap”—with white lives valued more than others—that still distorts our politics today. Whether discussing why all Americans have racial habits that reinforce inequality, why black politics based on the civil-rights era have reached a dead end, or why only remaking democracy from the ground up can bring real change, Glaude crystallizes the untenable position of black America–and offers thoughts on a better way forward. Forceful in ideas and unsettling in its candor, Democracy In Black is a landmark book on race in America, one that promises to spark wide discussion as we move toward the end of our first black presidency.

[ Amazon ] [ Barnes & Noble ] [ Goodreads ]


9780393070590The Illegal: A Novel by Lawrence Hill
Pages: 400
Released: January 25, 2016
| General Fiction | Literary Fiction |


Lawrence Hill spellbound readers with Someone Knows My Name (made into the television mini-series, The Book of Negroes), hailed as “transporting” (Entertainment Weekly) and “completely engrossing” (Washington Post). The Illegal is the gripping story of Keita Ali, a refugee—like the many in today’s headlines—compelled to leave his homeland.

All Keita has ever wanted to do is to run. Running means respect and wealth at home. His native Zantoroland, a fictionalized country whose tyrants are eerily familiar, turns out the fastest marathoners on earth. But after his journalist father is killed for his outspoken political views, Keita must flee to the wealthy nation of Freedom State—a country engaged in a crackdown on all undocumented people.

There, Keita becomes a part of the new underground. He learns what it means to live as an illegal: surfacing to earn cash prizes by running local races and assessing whether the people he meets will be kind or turn him in. As the authorities seek to arrest Keita, he strives to elude capture and ransom his sister, who has been kidnapped.

Set in an imagined country bearing a striking resemblance to our own, this tension-filled novel casts its eye on race, human potential, and what it means to belong.

[ Amazon ] [ Barnes & Noble ] [ Goodreads ]


9781617739682The Score by Kiki Swinson
Pages: 368
Released: January 26, 2016
African American Fiction| Suspense | Urban Fiction


Going once…
Identity theft mastermind Lauren Kelly has always had a taste for the finer things—including Matt Connors, her lover and accomplice. But she’s not the only one…

Going twice…
When their partner, Yancy, stumbles onto a tycoon’s multi-million dollar bank account, Lauren expects everything will go smoothly—until she discovers Yancy and Matt are planning the ultimate betrayal…

Someone’s going to be gone…
Fortunately, Lauren is one step ahead of Matt. Once she disappears with every last dollar, they’ll have no doubt they chose the wrong woman to deceive. But all three of them chose the wrong target…

[ Amazon ] [ Barnes & Noble ] [ Goodreads ]


No More Mr. Nice Guy: A Family Business Nove by Carl Weber & Stephanie Covington
Pages: 288
Released: January 26, 2016
African American Fiction | Urban Fiction |


Ripped from the pages of his New York Times bestselling Family Business series, Carl Weber brings you No More Mr. Nice Guy, the origin of Niles Monroe, the super-bad hitman who will one day become Paris Duncan’s one true love.

Niles has just returned from eight years of serving his country as a Special Forces sniper. He’s looking forward to a consulting job with Dynamic Defense and spending time with his family, including his bi-polar mother, Lorna, and his hard-drinking uncle, Willie. What Niles doesn’t know is that Dynamic Defense is actually a CIA front. He’s not interested in joining them, but they won’t take no for an answer.

Bridget St. John is one of the most beautiful women Niles has ever met, and she is also the most deadly. It is her job to recruit Niles to the Dynamic Defense team by any means necessary. When Niles is arrested for a murder he does not commit, Bridget makes him an offer he can’t refuse: working for Dynamic Defense in exchange for his freedom.

With Niles on board, Bridget begins to train him in ways he never imagined. Sometimes, however, the student becomes the teacher. Before she realizes what’s happening, Bridget falls in love. When circumstances in his personal life collide with his work, Niles is forced to use his military skills to protect those closest to him.

Fans are sure to appreciate this action-packed thriller that delivers love, drama, and suspense with Weber’s trademark flair for unexpected twists and turns.

[ Amazon ] [ Barnes & Noble ] [ Goodreads ] [ MahoganyBooks ]
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Best Friends Forever – Book Review

Best Friends ForeverBest Friends Forever by Kimberla Lawson Roby
Pages: 192
Published Date: January 05, 2015
African American Fiction | Christian Fiction | Women’s Fiction | 



plural novellas or no·vel·le play \-ˈve-lē\

1) plural novelle : a story with a compact and pointed plot

2) plural usually novellas : a work of fiction intermediate in length and complexity between a short story and a novelMerriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

Novellas can be a beautiful thing. Novellas are great for there isn’t time to invest in a novel and they have more substance than a short story. Depending on the length a novella can take a couple of hours to read. Quick entertainment via book. But novella’s can be tricky to master. Their length provides enough space to go into greater detail than short stories and more chances for thorough character development. Novellas are short enough for some stories feel crammed into tight page limitations. Unfortunately, Best Friends Forever by Kimberla Lawson Roby is longer novel crammed into novella format.

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