The ladies in this month’s selections often find themselves in a world of trouble. How do they cope with abusive relationships, backstabbing women, or the legal action involved with trying to get deadbeat dads to pay child support? Out of their mouths come nasty insults and snappy comebacks.
- You’re jokin’ but you’re not funny.
- He keep coming back ‘cause he done found him a dummy.
- Bitch, are you and Satan BFFs?
- Put your sneakers on and bounce.
- I know you ain’t lettin’ that trash box get in yo’ way. Girl, that bitch is a ho.com.
- They looked like a pack of sluts in their denim cut offs and itty-bitty tank and tube tops and hooker heels.
- You’ve got a little bit of dog in you mixed with a whole lot of skunk.
- What was he thinking when he dragged you up out of some clogged-up drain?
Pick of the Month
Noire. Sexy Little Liar. The Misadventures of Mink LaRue. Dafina:Kensington. Nov. 2012. 246p. ISBN 9780758266095. pap. $15. F
Mink LaRue doesn’t miss a beat in her scheming ways. Having scammed the Dominion clan out of $125,000 (detailed in Natural Born Liar) and before the super-rich Dallas family knew what blew through their estate, Mink and sidekick Bunni returned to New York City, spending the stolen cash on designer labels, top-shelf booze, and hard partying. A voice of reason comes from Peaches, the 6’5” cross-dresser who is both muse and protector during Mink’s escapades. Peaches cautions Mink, “That damn money is burning a hole in your push-up bra, girl.” But this is a story of the haves going up against the have-nots, and we want Mink to win. The two now-broke girls return to Dallas to re-crank up the scam, and this time, Mink has her sights on $300,000 a year for life. Standing in her way is Dy-Nasty, a rough-edged stripper who’s the spittin’ image of Mink and who also wants the Dominion family inheritance money for herself. Somebody’s face will get seriously scratched in this cat fight.
VERDICT Noire’s wild romp doesn’t contain violent crime, but hot and wild sex scenes that could teach porn stars a lesson or two. Mink is a hoot, and her adventures are fabulous, frisky, freaky fun. Buy lots of copies and brace yourself for the third volume, Dirty Rotten Liar.
DuPree, Kia. Shattered. Grand Central. Oct. 2012. 384p. ISBN 9780446547772. pap. $14.99. F
DuPree’s sequel to Damaged pulls no punches in this tough story about a girl of Washington, DC’s meanest streets. Good luck is a stranger to Shakira Alexis Scott, who goes by Kiki. The 20-something Kiki works dancing for dollars and pulling tricks to add some cash, but she’s also trying to be legit shampooing hair at Peaches’ salon. Flashing back nine years, we learn about Kiki’s disturbing past. When her partially deaf mother loses custody of Kiki and her siblings, 12-year-old Kiki finds herself on the streets with her girlfriend Nausy. Three days later street hustler Dizzle locks the girls in a filthy house, pimping the youngsters out to nasty men for sex. In the present, Kiki’s situation seems to improve when she finds Rich is interested in her. But the owner of a small business has a shady side involving drug smuggling in the Caribbean islands, and disaster hits when Kiki and other women are kidnapped for horrifying reasons.
VERDICT Human trafficking is a current buzz topic, and the novel’s alternating time lines show Kiki constantly suffering sexual and physical abuse. Dupree’s disturbing look at the sex trade features well-written, authentic dialog and a gripping, powerful story.
Ervin, Keisha. Reckless. Urban Bks. 2012. 218p. ISBN 9781601625205. pap. $14.95. F
Ervin (Material Girl 2; Gunz and Roses) has stitched together a patchwork novel threaded with many interconnected and complex relationships. Farah’s career as a St. Louis celebrity stylist is taking off, but she’s also emerging from a dysfunctional relationship with bad boy Khalil. She has had enough of his irresponsible behavior, but Farrah soon hooks up with Mills, a successful businessman who owns BMX bike shops and tattoo parlors. The problem is Mills is Khalil’s homeboy and is also sleeping with Jade, a hot chick who is cheating on Mills by messing with Rock, a NBA star. These folks need to keep their underwear on and listen to Dr. Phil because they think hot sex is the same thing as devotion.
VERDICT The back and forth as Jade walks out on Mills, gets mistreated by Rock, then goes back to Mills, who is bouncing between Farrah and Jade, gets tiresome and very telenovela-esque. But readers who love sexual shenanigans will be satisfied, especially with Ervin’s bombshell of a final paragraph.
Nicole, Alexis. Strange Addiction. Urban Bks. 2012. 294p. ISBN 9781601623621. pap. $14.95. F
With her USC journalism degree, 25-year-old Heiress Montgomery is excited about writing her first article for Black Media Elite magazine. Her subject is King Stevens, the hottest male movie star in Hollywood. Imagine her emotional high when King spends an hour enthusiastically answering her questions and then asks her to dinner! It’s just too good to be true and gets better when King buys Heiress a beachfront home and the former gal Friday plunges into the red carpet lifestyle. Of course there’s a catch. King expects certain things, like Heiress being at home waiting for him to return from 12-hour shoots. Soon, we see that Heiress is in an addictive relationship and falls over herself to accommodate King’s selfish behavior…up to a point.
VERDICT Secondary characters are common stock, such as the loyal lifelong male friend waiting in the wings, a concerned relationship therapist, and King’s uppity Hollywood elite parents. Yet Heiress evokes sympathy in her struggles to live happily ever after. Label this one an edgy romance, but not street lit.
Tucker, Pat. Daddy’s Maybe. Strebor: S. & S. (Zane Presents). Nov. 2012. 336p. ISBN 9781593094041. pap. $15. F
Parker Redman uses his legal expertise and personal background to help men caught in paternity fraud in Tucker’s (Party Girl; Football Widows) story pitting baby mamas against deadbeat dads. His Houston organization, Don’t Force Fatherhood (DFF), is a haven for men caught in a baby drama with no DNA test. But we also hear from the women. Alternating chapters feature a medley of voices including Eboni, who is in a support battle with Houston Rockets NBA star Shawnathon McGee. She fumes, “All he had to do is pay child support on time and we wouldn’t have a problem.” Scenes shift to Lachez and Toni, a pair of released felons who scam men in fake prostitution hookups. Wait, what’s this? Nasty girl Serena claims she had a baby with Parker who is now married to Roxanne? Tsk, tsk, kiddies. If you play, you must pay.
VERDICT The timely topic of paternity issues will draw interest, and Tucker keeps things moving with snappy dialog and scheming villains. The Zane Presents label continues to be a magnet.