Tongue Love by Ebony Reese

Genre(s):  Romance, Crime
Pages:  92

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Some people take that Bonnie and Clyde kind of love way too seriously.

If you read TONGUE LOVE, the debut novella from Ebony Reese, you’d understand what I’m talking about.

This  ride-or-die story begins with Jersey, a bartender extraordinaire tired of meeting the same old females in the club. You know the types: the stuck-up sistahs; the desperate types; the every-week attendees; the “I-got-a-man-at-home-but-I-like-a-female-on-the-side” women. It bothered Jersey that couldn’t find a decent love of her own, someone bringing just as much to the table as she would.

Yet, looking out her window was all it took to find this perfect woman when she catches sight of Tropicana. A hairstylist in the salon across the street, the dimepiece enthralls Jersey with her not-so-subtle curves, but she’s too shy to make a move.

The time comes when they meet, and Tropicana is everything Jersey wants: smart, ambitious and ready for a serious relationship. More importantly, Tropicana is fiercely loyal. Considering Jersey’s track record of betrayal from her ex and her recent one-night stand, this is what attracts her to Trop.

Jersey even likes the dark, jealous side of Tropicana – who’s willing to fight anybody getting to close her lover. Especially this one chick, Kim, who doesn’t want to let Jersey go.

When Kim goes missing, Jersey is curious and concerned. Could Trop – who has serious legal and underground connections – have something to do with Kim’s disappearance? How much does Jersey really know about this beauty she intends to wife?

In a small amount of pages, Reese packs a lot of drama and suspense in Tongue Love. Is it believable? I guess, if one could accept that true love can overcome criminal acts that are Law & Order worthy.

Reviewed August 2010

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