Love & Money Don’t Mix by KoKo B

Publisher/Date:  Angel Pearl Publishing, Dec. 2007
Genre(s):  Contemporary Romance, Intrigue
Pages:  220

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

If money can buy love, then it can never be true. This is the case in LOVE & MONEY DON’T MIX, the debut novel authored by KoKo B.

The story revolves around Amanda and Shaun, a seemingly perfect couple who first meet a party. Becoming inseparable almost immediately, the two grow together through the years, sharing their lives. There are things that bother Amanda, the narrator of this tale, such as Shaun’s uncomfortable distance from her family and her overly ambitious nature. However, Shaun is a go-getter in every sense of the word, and only wants to make a better life for herself and Amanda.

So when she takes a job with a dubious businessman, Russo Tolentino, the money is flowing and Shaun is thrilled to have such a high-powered post. In fact, the money’s so good, it blinds Shaun to the fact that there might be more than meets the eye with her boss. It’s only when employees come up dead that the couple realizes this job is placing their own lives in danger.

Someone is after them, and with crooked cops in the mix, Amanda and Shaun only have each other to lean on. Can their love be enough to get them through this unsavory situation?

Love & Money Don’t Mix is an intriguing book, one you could easily sit down and breeze through in an afternoon. While there are some interesting plot twists, the story doesn’t live up to its premise of a lesbian couple on the run. I felt Amanda and Shaun’s characters weren’t as fleshed out as they should have been, and therefore I wasn’t as invested in the couple’s struggles. The excessive grammatical errors don’t help either. With that being said, Love & Money is still a story that can hold your attention.

Reviewed August 2008

Unconventional Love by Yvette Michelle Hall (Feb. 2006 Pick of the Month)

Publisher/Date:  PublishAmerica, Jan. 2005
Genre:  Romance
Pages:  153

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

When a novel with the title UNCONVENTIONAL LOVE appears, you’re never quite sure what to expect. Would it contain a passionate romance, a puzzling mystery or some nail-biting intrigue? Yvette Michelle Hall’s debut novel is a wild roller-coaster ride that has all of those things and more, and the author paints a picture with words where things aren’t always as they look.

The protagonist of Unconventional Love is Rocky, a blonde-haired, Robert-Redford look-alike who works as an auto mechanic. While out one night with the boss and a potential client, Max Constantino, she introduces herself to Coco, a sexy, pecan-tan stripper, and they exchange phone numbers at the end of an extremely private dance. Pretty soon, they’re spending a lot more time together and become live-in lovers. Despite Rocky’s disdain for her seedy profession, Coco manages to dance her way into Rocky’s heart – but it also sets her up for danger after she’s abducted.

The novel also follows the relationship of Max and his wife, Leslie, a woman who is tired of her husband’s cheating ways. What she doesn’t know is that Max’s most recent lover has a little something extra – and is blackmailing him to keep it underwraps. Meanwhile, Leslie’s having her own fun with a handsome stud, one who just might turn her out.

There’s a lot more – I mean, a lot more — going on in Unconventional Love, but that you’ll have to read for yourself. The point of Unconventional Love – a novel with several plot twists and turns – is discovering just who is who in this jumbled story. Hall pulls it together nicely, and the book’s quick pace will have you wondering what will happen next. Although the author’s occasional stiff delivery and dialogue can derail the flow, Hall is a good writer who I believe will definitely improve with each novel.

Don’t let this stop you discovering this great novel – and learning just how unconventional love can truly be.

Reviewed February 2006