Book Talk | Taste for Temptation by Phyllis Bourne

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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Format: eBook (Kindle)
Re-Published: January 17, 2019
*Originally published via Kimani Romance November 2012
Genre: Romance
Series: Temptations #1
Available: Amazon | Add to Gooreads

Brandi Collins is getting back at the man who left her embarrassed at the alter. She’s avoiding chocolate and working out. She plans on showing her ex-fiance what he missed out on. But how can she do that when her new neighbor starts baking….chocolate at that. She can’t win. When she goes to visit her neighbor to ask him or her to stop, she doesn’t expect a literal chocolate gawd to open the door. She’s done for.

Determined to prove his family that he can make his dream happen without their wealth, Adam Ellison leaves his lucrative job and inheritance to purse his desire of becoming a pastry chef like his grandfather before him. And he's doing fine but when his neighbor comes banging on his door one night asking him to stop preparing for an upcoming baking competition....well, he can’t do that but does he offer Brandi his help in assisting with her business endeavors while also hoping to seduce her. She only has to try his chocolate....sweets that is (get your mind out the gutter, lols).
I thought Brandi and Adam had great chemistry together. I loved that Adam wanted Brandi as she was because with her family like hers...girl didn't stand a chance. There was just the right mixture of seriousness and hilarity in the story to keep the flow moving pretty well. Little to no drama and a super quick read. All and all, I enjoyed Taste for Temptation

Side bar: Throw Brandi’s mother all tf away. She was a terrible person. 
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Book Talk | The Prototype Series by Jacinta Howard (A Dual Review)

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

You know what seriously got me about these books, these young men speaking and moving like they were fully grown. What is you trying to do Ms. Howard? Ma’am? Also, if these characters are based off real like folk around you…you know like a brother…uncle…someone along those lines. Uhm, hey…I would like to be your new friend 😊.

These stories focus on the members in the band, Prototype.
Let’s get into these books.

Book 1
Published: 8/2015
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Available: Amazon | Add it to Goodreads
Rating: ★★★★★

I will say that Happiness in Jersey was by far the most intense of these books. Jersey (and yes, this is her name) and Zay just flowed together so perfectly. Jersey Kincaid was just a little bit of a hot head because of the relationship or should I say non-relationship between herself and her father. Not to give away too much but her dad was pretty much a pos that blamed his daughter for things that she entirely had nothing to do with. And because of his inadequacies as a parent, Jersey literally was a talking text book of a chick with “daddy issues” but enters Isaiah “Zay” Broussard with his smooth talking jazz voice, a body some young girl will lay it all on the line for, grey eyes and to boot a attitude that is so damn chill…my goodness, it’s a wonder this girl fell for him.

Zay is able to come into Jersey’s world and do what other young men haven’t been able to do. That is break down steel (and I do mean steel) walls she has managed to build around herself. Jersey doesn’t do relationships, get off a little steam with a dude…sure. But go full blown lovey dovey with someone? Nope. But Zay who has suffered his own kind of lost and has been where Jersey now is. Walking around fully angry at the world. He managed to come out on the other side and plans on bringing Jersey into the light one way or another.
"Well," he said, staring at me again. "I believe God is love. And God created everything. So, love is innately in all of us, thereby making love an inevitable part of life."
Oh, this story was intense…intense. I felt for Zay at times because lawd that young man wasn’t given up on Jersey, whom he deemed as the love of his life. And I felt for Jersey too, it’s hard to have a non-working relationship with a parent especially if they are your only living relative. Because honestly, how are you supposed to have a working relationship with others if you can’t even get along with family? Smh. 

Jacinta Howard was able to make this relationship flow between the serious themes she decided to take on in Happiness in Jersey by adding fully functional young adults and music. Her writing is truly impeccable, and I couldn’t help but root for Jersey and Zay to push through it all.

Triggers: suicide and depression.

Kindle Edition
Book 2
Published: 5/2016
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Available: Amazon | Add it to Goodreads
Rating: ★★★★

Not as intense as the first book, Finding Kennedy still gives young members of our society dealing with truly serious themes as well. We also get dual POVs. 

In the 2nd book in the series, our story follows band member Travis Broussard (Zay’s cousin). A new cutie is in town and Travis is immediately drawn to Kennedy James, they have a connection and Travis plans on fully testing said connection out. Although Kennedy feels this thing between herself and Travis, she has her own issues and is running. Also, what she doesn’t need is some dude all up in her space when she’s trying to make a new path for herself in this little small town of Tyler Texas.

Whew, let me tell you. If I had a dude that was all on me like how Travis was on Kennedy, I’d probably be married by now but alas…lols. 
Anyhoo’s the chemistry between these two was crazy and my goodness what is in the water in Louisiana that has men talking like Travis and Zay?
“Then I figured out the opposite of fear is freedom” he said, raising his gaze to me. “Freedom is life. So now that’s what I strive to hit, every day.”
Sir? Where ya'll come from? Seriously.

Travis however did have is own mess in this book and he almost got on my nerves, but he was so damn intent on having Kennedy around him, he was kinda hard to be mad at...kinda because I was seriously side eyeing his butt at times. And for Kennedy, coming through a traumatic event and being so used to hiding away…that intensity was too much at times. Still, Ms. Howard give us a story full of music lines and crushing young love. Kennedy’s and Travis’s story also flows fluidly and this story will probably have you questioning why you didn’t have young men around you when you were in your college days like the Broussard men.

Triggers: mention of suicide, anxiety

Honestly, I’m not much of a young adult, new adult reader. I have two of them around me and chile listen…

But what Jacinta Howard is able to do with the characters in the Prototype series is make them angsty but not overly annoying. These young people have their issues no doubt about that, but this author writes them in a way where as I said earlier you to want to cheer for them to get through the sludge that life often-times throw your way. The young people in these stories are probably some kid you know and that for me makes these stories stellar. Although I did have to by-pass the extremely sexy times because again, I have two and I don’t wanna read or know…at all, lols.

Highly recommended reads, I say add them to your library or recommend them to a youngin’ in your life. 

**I need a novella or something following up on Jersey and this relationship with her father. That man is raggedy and I need him gone from her life. 

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Book Talk | The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Thursday, August 8, 2019

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Format: eBook (Nook)
Published: January 2018
Series: The Wedding Date #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
              Add it to Goodreads

*Eventually I will change the thumbnail for the video but this still shot is how I truly felt while reading this book, lols.

Shotout to Jazmen over at Literally Black Book Reviews for buddy reading this one with me. Check out her review

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Book Talk | The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Format: eGalley (Edelweiss)
Published: August 6, 2019
Series: Modern Love #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Available: BN | Amazon 
                 Add it To Goodreads

I'm only giving this three stars because of the author's writing.  Ms. Rai is able to take current themes (misogyny, feminism, etc...etc...) and give you a good story template.

I did enjoy the premise of the story. Two people seeing one another again after a failed meet up The day after a one-night stand. Also, with both of the characters being competitors in the dating app field put a little extra boost to the tale (or at least it could have).

My main issue however was Rhiannon, it was hard to like her throughout the read. I felt like she was mad for nothing and was real quick to judge Samson for a night she initiated and called the shots on. So her anger or grudge....towards him was IMO too much.

And although I did like Samson, I do feel like he was a bit over apologetic towards Rhiannon. It was like he went out of his way to be this calm gentle giant and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that but for all the fire ol girl was spitting at him…
I mean, did he just have to have her that bad?

So finally, the romantical elements. I don’t know ya’ll, because of the way Rhiannon was set was hard to get into AND believe in this relationship. Almost everything felt forced, there was no flow in between the anger and tension. Stifled is a good word here.

I just couldn’t believe these two were going to be together by the end of the book.
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Like I said, I wanted to like this because the premise of The Right Swipe is spectacular. It's like almost the perfect set up for hell...the perfect romance trope. But for me, it was the character arcs that fell short. 

I feel like at times when we get these feminists stories in romance, the characters are off putting and in the end, it simply doesn't correlate then these characters end up looking crazy in these romance streets. 

But listen, what might not work for me may work for the next reader and I'll definitely give Ms. Rai another read but if The Right Swipe was a book to choose on dating like app? I would definitely swipe left. 

*Thank you to the author/publisher for the opportunity to read/review. 

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Book Talk | Pas De Deux: A Dance for Two by Lynn Turner

Friday, August 2, 2019

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Format: (eBook) Kindle
Published: May 11, 2018
Series: Pas De Deux #1
Genre: Romance
Available: Amazon | Add it to Goodreads

Pas De Deux is a raw and sensual romance. The tension between Mina and Zach, two world class dancers was so very intense....thanks to the beautiful way this author has written their story.

Both Mina and Zach have their own issues and at times seem to hide behind a facade.

Mina still dealing with the lost of a best friend craves for something different than the french ballet so when the opportunity is offered to her to be the star of Zachery Coen's upcoming play, she jumps at the challenge. Zachery didn't want Mina at first because of her world class status, he thought she would bring ego and drama to his stage but....after flying out to Paris, watching her perform and talking to her, he realizes that Wilhemina Allende is his Carmen.

First, let me just say I highly enjoyed the way Ms. Turner incorporated dance into this story. It gave everything such a highly sensitize feeling while reading especially during the scenes where Zach and Mina had to practice goodness, it was so pulse inducing.

The setting of Pas De Deux truly focuses on both Zach and Mina as they try to maneuver a budding relationship. And being that both have traumas they deal with both directly and indirectly, reading this tale was gave me all the feels. I truly love the fact that we got more of Zach and how he realized he was falling for Mina. Him describing his heart was so very swoon worthy:

"His heart did a slippery swirl in his chest, because the war within her filled the silence as surely as if she was fighting it aloud. It felt like the moment in the car when she was deciding if she'd let him in. 
God, what a perfect metaphor" 

I loved the fact that the author doesn't focus so intensely on either of the character's traumas especially Zach's. We know it's there because it helps shapes them but she didn't make them wear them like coats, I can appreciate that. Also, we dive a bit into Mina being a black woman in the ballet world...again, the author doesn't make her character where those transgressions like a coat but I'm glad it was bought up.  Lynn Turner gives her readers many things in Pas De Deux but none of these things over power the romance because that truly is the winner here.

This story has the perfect background within the world of dance, a healthy dose of eccentric and lovable supporting characters to help navigate Zach and Mina towards a too perfect ending. So brava to this author and if you tend to gravitate towards romances that will get you right in the feels *taps chest lightly*, then most definitely add Pas De Deux: A Dance for Two to your reading list.
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*Thank you to the author for the opportunity to read/review. 

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Journal With Me #2

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Hey Babes! It's another post centered around me journaling. I was looking through my last couple of posts and realized that it has been some time in between my journal posts and I had to correct that, lols.

As I've said before, writing and creating pages in my journal is such a help with my mental health, I love it and in all honesty...I need to do it more than I do. But the way I'm set up sometimes...lols. Anyhoo's, here are a couple of pages and then below that will be my flip through since I acquired my travel notebook.

MidYear Journal Flip Through

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