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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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.
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Happy Reading my loves, 

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