Thursday, April 18, 2019

Book #Review: Black Lace (Detroit/ NIA Book 3) by Beverly Jenkins .@authorMsBev

Book Title: Black Lace (Detroit NIA Book 3)
Author:  Beverly Jenkins|WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: HarperTorch
Genre: Romantic Suspense, African American Romance
Series/Standalone: Book 3
Format: ebook
Cost: $6.99
Pages: 384
How I got it: Borrowed from Hoopla
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: Oct 25, 2005
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Synopsis:
The last thing Lacy Green needs is trouble—and handsome Mayor Drake Randolph has "danger" written all over him . . . especially when "His Fineness" accidentally runs her off the road. Despite Drake's sensuous charm, irresistible magnetism, and unwavering determination to make amends, she's thinking it might be smart to play it safe and keep her distance . . . if only his lips weren't so inviting.

But trouble comes from a different source when Lacy, as the head of Detroit's Environmental Protection Department, launches an investigation into the activities of a ruthless developer. Suddenly, Lacy becomes a target, dragged down into a swamp of greed, corruption . . . and murder. Now Drake Randolph might be the only one in Motown who can keep Lacy alive
I've been marathoning these books and I'm in love with this series. This is Mayor Drake's story and I love the development we get. While I liked the second book, it kind of had a different feel to it, maybe because it didn't focus in on Detroit the way the rest of the stories kind of do, but this one brings us back to the focus of NIA and why it truly exists.  Drake (incidentally another name of a dragon, this is relevant in the family crest and history) meets Lacy Green when his driver a former black indie driver runs her off the road during a surprise snowstorm.

Lacy isn't happy about the accident and the damage it's caused to her baby( her car) or to herself. She's the defacto head of the Environmental department for Detroit and since she only has a small staff she can't afford to be out sick.  Even though she's attracted to His Fineness as the mayor was called she's upset that his recklessness is going to cost her.  Drake is living his double life as a member of NIA and the Mayor of the city, he's burning the candles at both ends and he's beginning to question if this what he wants to do for the rest of his career and life. When he meets Lacy she really brings these questions into sharp focus, he's wondering how he can bring a wife and children into the double life while keeping them safe. 

Their attraction to each other is palpable and I loved that they decided to take it slow. Unlike his brothers Drake didn't put the courting question out there, he just did it. And he pulled out all the stops. Lacy is gun shy due to her previous relationship especially because it was to a powerful man in the limelight, she's got to figure out if she wants the same things with Drake even though she can't deny her attraction to him. While trying to distract herself she makes a pitch for a new department that would help to combat the blight happening in the city by giving this department teeth and the capabilities to go after criminals unlike before. This proposition brings on the ire of a city councilman who lets her know up front he'll be voting it down.  From the get-go we are aware of his corruption and his decision to go after Mayor Drake because he needs him out of the way to enhance his criminal activities. 

As the proposition gains momentum and begins to be implemented the opposition has pulled out all the stops to put an end to the new campaign. First, they try intimidation, and when that doesn't work they escalate. Listen, the lengths they went to?? I see the blight that happens when you drive into certain neighborhoods here in real life and it makes me wonder what happens in those departments. Recently on my way to work in an 'upscale' neighborhood, someone dumped a couch and chairs beneath the underpass, within a day it was gone. In poorer neighborhoods?? It would have sat there for weeks before anything would have happened to it. So this book was a whole lot more personal and real. 

I loved the way the story developed, seeing the corruption in local politics and the resolution to the corruption. Seeing how racism can be used environmentally as well social and societal construct. This isn't new to someone who went from living in NYC to living in a nicer neighborhood in CT. Seeing how something as clean air isn't even guaranteed and how that impacts the everyday health of children. Reading how that anger and being 'woke' to the issues can drive some to go to extreme lengths. Had that group turned the fire inside to better solutions?? This could have ended so differently, but when your options are limited, you don't always do what's right but what works. It was sad to see that his chances were taken from him, and yet know that he had options but wasn't able to see them. 

While the overall story gave us a hell of an adventure, the romance between Drake and Lacy was sweet and delicious. Their slow build up and the development of their relationship was outside of the craziness stemming from their jobs.  I loved the interactions of the bothers and the families they have created. The talk about how the Vietnam war impacted their lives and how it impacted their grandmother?? That moment took me out, I needed a second to get it together.  While this story wrapped up well several lines were left open. Will Drake run for office again?? And I don't believe he ever addressed NIA with Lacy. I'm hoping she left these open because she's going back into the world of NIA and needs a way in to do so.  There are also other agents that are never fully described that I would love to get their stories. In other words I don't want to leave this world alone. Keep giving me stories and I'll keep buying them. 

I can't recommend highly enough my loves, as an environmentalist, as a lover of suspense and romance, you need to get you a copy ASAP.
 ★★★★☆
Reviews in Series
Happy Reading my loves, 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Book #Review: The Edge of Dawn (Detroit/NIA Book 2) by Beverly Jenkins .@authorMsBev


Book Title: The Edge of Dawn (Detroit/NIA book 2)
Author:  Beverly Jenkins|WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: HarperTorch
Genre: Romantic Suspense, African American Romance
Series/Standalone:  Book 2
Format: Mass Market, ebook
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 384
How I got it: Purchased from Thriftbooks
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2004
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Synopsis:
The beautiful daughter of a prominent Michigan doctor, Narice has never strayed anywhere near the wrong side of the law. Then her father is brutally murdered—and suddenly federal agents are swarming around her like flies, making accusations about a stolen North African diamond. But before they can interrogate her, she is wrested from their grasp at gunpoint by a shadowy figure—and Narice Jordan is on the run.

But is this dark, good-looking stranger, who calls himself Saint, her kidnapper or her savior? Narice knows nothing about any missing gem, yet there are two things she knows for certain: Only at Saint's side can she find her way to her father's killers.

And she'll have to trust this dangerous, ruthless, and deadly mystery man ... if she wants to keep breathing.
Going into this one I wasn't sure who the characters were going to be. I finished the first book then went right into this one with only a few hours of break in between. I was pleasantly surprised that Saint got his story and I couldn't wait to see what he was going to share with us.

Starting with Narice who is on the way home after her father passes away in a fire, she's quickly brought into an intriguing world that she's left unprepared for because she has no idea her father had any connections to this kind of life. As the story got started I was so anxious for her and wondering how she was going to get out of this situation because OMG who wouldn't freak out a little?? Then the next round of craziness pops off and the story is off and running.

I felt myself trying to read as fast as possible to get to what was happening; because what a world of intrigue. We get Narice who is in the middle of mourning her father, she's been rescued and told that her father's death may not be an accident and he was involved with the transport of piece that would aide in the fight for a monarch's place in her country. Narice is a successful teacher who has founded her own exclusive school back home isn't really someone built for a world of intrigue, spies and hunts for treasures, but to have her father's murderer exposed she's willing to become a Bond girl. Saint is a member of the shadowy group NIA who are trying to bring Detroit back from the brink by any means necessary, he also works for the government doing this and that, this is one of the cases the government can't have their fingerprints on.

This is for those who love history like I do a great journey through the south using a part of the Underground Railroad and it's hidden maps. I loved learning more about the history of these maps and of course I have put those books on the tbr pile for later in the year.

Narice and Saint meet with a Queen who gives them a mission and lays out the alternative in a way that let Narice know she really needs to do this.  As the adventure gets started and we are rolling through the south and heading towards the hidden treasure we have choppers trying to drive people off the road, missiles from hidden compartments, two or three other villains working to get to the treasure before Narice and Saint do. And with many missions, as the danger levels rise so too does the attraction between Narice and Saint. Saint has been doing these missions for a while and he's never been this attracted to a woman before, as the danger rises and she rises to the different challenges to help him stay alive he realizes he might have met his match. It's interesting to watch them try to navigate a relationship that fits the scenario while working towards claiming the prize before their enemies do.

As Narice is held to the fire each time the danger climbs she's discovering parts of herself she didn't realize were hidden. While as a person who believes a gun is a girls' best friend I understood her hesitancy but girl it's your life or theirs, and they won't be pulling their punches.  I loved how she and Saint discussed things and while he wanted to coddle her, he was also real about their options.

This story was a great mix of treasure hunting while making our way through some of America's history. The chemistry between the two was good to read.  We do get a glimpse of characters that will be in later books and of course we get to see the characters from the first book The Edge of Midnight.  I highly recommend for those who love adventure stories, history, kick-ass female lead and hot romantic moments between gun battles.
 ★★★
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Happy Reading my loves, 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Book #Review: The Edge of Midnight (Detroit/NIA Book 1) by Beverly Jenkins .@authorMsBev

Book Title: The Edge of Midnight ( Detroit/ NIA book 1)
Author:  Beverly Jenkins|WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: HarperTorch
Genre: Romantic Suspense, African American Romance
Series/Standalone: Book 1
Format: Mass market, ebook
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 384
How I got it: Paperbackswap
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: Feb 13, 2007
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Synopsis:
Blackboard bestselling author Beverly Jenkins launches her first contemporary romantic suspense with this exciting sizzler. Sparks fly when Mykal Chandler, the head of a covert government agency, fights to protect the woman he has fallen in love with.

Sarita Grayson is desperate. That's the only explanation for her late night rendezvous with a bag of stolen diamonds. But then a handsome stranger stands between her and a clean getaway. In the struggle for freedom, she accidentally shoots him.Mykal Chandler, head of a covert government agency NIA, can't believe he's been shot. He's shocked, he's furious, but he's also attracted to this sassy woman. Unfortunately, Sarita has stumbled unto a smuggling plot and he'll need to protect her, even if he has to kidnap her to do it. But Sarita isn't one to go quietly into the night...
I absolutely loved this one. I went into this one because once I posted my review of what turned out to be the fifth book in this series; Ms Bev corrected me in letting me know there was a series name and an order to read the books and I took my homework seriously.  With my new directions and a map of how to read these books, I was off to the races and I'm so glad I had them on hand. I finished this one in a day and I loved everything about it.

This is the series starter, in this, we meet Myk the head of a successful architectural firm and brother tot he mayor of Detroit. Myk's also head of secret experimental government agency called NIA. Nia's purpose is to aid in the restoration of Detroit by any means necessary, and for a few weeks now those means include busting in the doors of known drug houses.  While doing so they learn of a big deal going down and decide to intercept the goods before the deal happens.

Sarita is a good woman, the kind that aides her neighborhood anyway she can. She's fighting a losing battle to keep her neighborhood community center open, especially after she receives a letter letting her know the building is being foreclosed on. Desperate when offered a deal she can't refuse she takes it. Even if she hates the person offering her the help. All she has to do is steal some goods and she and her building are safe. Except Myk intercepts her in the process of stealing the goods and she needs to get away.

I laughed so much reading this one. Especially after the opening scenes. Myk wasn't prepared for the craziness that Saria would bring to his life and she wasn't prepared for the over the top opulence Myk was used to.  I loved their chemistry, the misunderstanding that led to them being in the situation they were in lead them on a bit of journey to discover who they were together.  Throw in a contract, Myk's secret life, someone wanting to get back at Sarita for the missing goods and you have one heck of a story. Like all the couples Beverly writes this couple had a healthy sexual relationship that blows you out of the water.

I loved that Saint popped up every once in a while and kind of added levity to the situation while giving Sarita a person to talk to who had her back completely.  Sarita was used to finding a way to make her life run with little and isn't sure what she's supposed to do with the abundance Myk keeps showering her with. Myk for his part isn't sure what he's supposed to do with his attraction to this woman who isn't anything like what he's gone for before. He can't charm her the way he normally does so he's had to learn to meet her where she is and build up the things she loves. He's fighting to save the city and she's fighting to save its future (the children) and it's soul (the neighborhood).  I loved that she talked about giving the kids discipline and making this a place they could be proud of.

I loved that Myk's family history was used as a way to bring them together, and I can't wait to read that historical novel because the Vachon ancestor sounds like a deeply romantic man.  I loved their romance and their explorations of each other, their love scenes were extremely hot. I loved the push and pull of their relationship, the doubts they both had, as well as the issues of trust. Could Mykal trust Sarita with his biggest secrets and what would he do if and when he had to tell her?? All of this while they tried to solve the mystery of who was after Sarita, who did the good really belong to and just how far would they go to get them back.

I love how her contemporary romances connect back to the historical romances she writes. I laughed so much when we found out who Sarita was related to because talk about being so much like her ancestor.   I highly recommend this one my loves. I was so addicted to this one. I started this at work during lunch and I was useless the rest of the day. I was hooked this was an amazing ride, & adventure to the end. I loved how they met and the mystery of who they were. 
 ★★★★
Reviews of the Series


Happy Reading my loves,