1. Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan. Swoon. Fall in love. Swoon some more. This book will make you want to not move until the last page has turned. I listened to the audio, which made it even better. The poetic way Kennedy Ryan wove the words of this story into an unforgettable love story is nothing short of magic. The abuse, how she overcame it, the triumph in the end. I was here for it all!
2. Hook Shot by Kennedy Ryan. This author has romancing of words down to a science, which continues in book 3 of the Hoops series. Even though it's book three, it's my second favorite book of the year.
3. Block Shot by Kennedy Ryan. (Ahem, first of all, thanks for recommending this series Posey Parks!) This book had BBW issues that held my attention. As you can see, I highly recommend the Hoops series. All three books made my fave list.
4. Vanquished by Leteshia Newton. Think crazy, sexy, and not cool, and you have Vanquished. It’s a train wreck that you can’t look away from. In the end, something from every scene grows on you and makes you fall more in love with the dysfunctional characters. (Crystal Partin, this was a good recommendation)
5. Promised Land by Brenda Hampton. I saw a post about this book idea possibly being lifted by a major film, so I had to read and compare. Being recaptured and forced into slavery is real fear for some (okay, I am some). There was great imagination put into this storyline with comparisons to American slavery and contemporary racial divides. A must read!
6. Truly by Carmel Rhodes. OMG. The words. All of the words. I don’t usually read erotic romance stories about teens, but I loved that it was true to teenage experiences. I would definitely read more from Carmel Rhodes.
7. Zahir by Theodora Taylor. I read the Ruthless Tycoons series, but this book stood out to me. Zahir seemed cruel but damn if he wasn’t seductive at the same time. I think these books are driving me to the dark side—muahahaha. Mean, controlling, yummy Zahir!
8. His Wicked Witch by Siren Allen. I don’t usually read paranormal, but I wanted to read some of my good friend's work. His Wicked Witch made me do what I thought was impossible. I fell in love with magic spells, witches, and sexy shadows in a far away paranormal land.
9. Out of the Flames by J. McCreary. Della’s story of overcoming meth abuse to finding love and someone to share her life with touched my heart, so yeah…all of the feels. Actually, this book and part one of the Kendrick, Pennsylvania series, Under the Sycamore, are great reads.
10. Christmas with the Recluse by Victorine E. Lieske. I read this book after reading Victorine’s book on how to write swoon-worthy romance. I wanted to see how she executed a book of clean romance, and it was a fun read that takes you through all the back and forth emotions she has mastered. I almost gave up on this couple, but they got it together in the end. HEA's abound!
Nonfiction: Team of Vipers by Cliff Sims. It was interesting to read about the experience of a man from Alabama who went to work for the Trump White House.
From My Catalog: Classic Alpha for Christmas. I got so much good feedback about this book that I read it again this Christmas. Omega and Astalia made me smile :)
To spread a little Christmas cheer, Secrets of a Kept Woman is Free on Christmas Day. Whether you're chilling and social distancing at home or spending time with family, my wish is that you have all your heart desires. Stay read- Shani
I come bearing gifts...
At six foot two with honey-brown skin and flowing dreadlocks, Titus Wilson is a walking god, who only has one thing on his mind, making it out of the Sloan Mill projects by any means necessary. Entering the drug game is his ticket to the finer things in life, but it’s called a game for a reason. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. After marrying Shayla, attaining a lakeside property, and having anything he wants at his fingertips, he should be living the good life. But there’s always someone coming for the number one spot.
Shayla Wilson gives up everything for her first love. Her pursuit of being a psychiatrist to help the mentally ill, attending church, and ties with her family are all broken when she marries Titus. However, she loves him too much to let go. Along with Titus, her best friends Gladys LaQuinn and Rhonda Jackson are all Shayla needs until the day she finds out that the people closest to her are not who they say they are. What will Shayla do when her beautiful, expensive, expertly designed house of lies threatens to fall?
As rival drug cartels invade their lakeside property and friends unveil themselves as foes, will the walls come falling down around Titus and Shayla, or will they survive the darkest test of their lives?
December 4, 2015
The very first day she walks her mocha brown sweetness past my classroom door, I fall hard. I rush over to the doorway and watch her walk down the hall, sashaying with the most graceful walk I have ever seen. Her curly hair is in a heap, crowning her head like a halo. She wears a mauve and tan long-sleeved dress, delicate colors to match her subtle beauty that stands out amongst every woman in the crowded space. Her knee-length brown boots move her further down the hallway until one of my students demands my attention by asking for help with the English exercise we’re working on.
Damn. I almost forgot I was at work.
Huffing, I reluctantly leave my position at the door to help my A-student, Alana Moore. As I explain the purpose of a complex transitive verb to Alana, my mind goes back to Clark’s new mystery woman. I think of ways to get close to her, whose swaying hips I can’t get out of my mind.
“Ah, yeah, that’s it! Omega’s Christmas party!” I expel, snapping my fingers. I’m too engrossed in ways to meet up with the woman I just saw to think about the grammar lesson I’m supposed to be teaching.
Alana looks at me with confusion. “That’s not an example of a transitive verb, is it?”
“No, I was just thinking aloud. Excuse me.” I leave her desk and return to the front of the room to discuss transitive verbs and their usage in sentences with the entire class. It’s exciting stuff, but nothing compared to the plan brewing in my mind. Omega’s annual Christmas shindig is in two weeks, and it’s the perfect place to hook up with the mystery girl from IT. As soon as my class ends, I call up Omega.
“What’s up?” is his greeting.
“Got a huge favor to ask you,” I begin.
“Yeah, so what’s new?” he teases.
“Ha. Good one. Listen, there’s this new girl that I saw walking to the IT department and she—”
I cannot finish describing her because Omega takes over, and a little too excitedly for my liking. “Oh, yeah? Brown skin, about five-seven, wearing a tan dress with boots today?” he describes the mystery woman to a T.
“Yeah, her,” I respond dryly. “So, you’ve been checking her out?”
“Oh, she’s gold, man. She has this natural look going on that’s killing all these other girls around here.”
Now, I am intrigued. Actually, it sounds like we both are intrigued by this woman. My body tenses at that thought. I have never had a problem with Omega, but being attracted to the same woman could be our first dilemma. A huge one. This woman, I’m not letting go. She’s mine.
“How did you know who I was talking about?” I ask.
“Because I’ve been checking her sexy ass out. She walks through the halls like there’s golden honey between her thighs, and I bet it’s sweet as hell. Probably got that Erykah Badu, the kind to drive a man insane.” His voice is thick as he talks about my future woman, and I can feel the pressure building in my chest as the conversation progresses. I’ve never wanted to lay a hand on Omega, but if he were standing in front of me, I would have decked him. I feel dangerously possessive over a woman I haven’t spoken to yet. I don’t even know the sound of her voice.
“Well, you can stop checking her out right now. You already have Rosae and your tribe, but she’s off-limits. I called you because I want you to invite her to your Christmas party. For me.” It’s far out of my character to ask Omega to set me up with someone, but I don’t want to look like a drooling professor by catching up with her in the school hallway and asking her out on a date. This is the only chance I have at controlling the environment we meet.
“Oh, I see.” Dead air enters the line for a few seconds. “But if you don’t want me to check her out, why do you want me to invite her to my party?” His ass is so arrogant.
There is a bite to my bark when I say, “Just invite her and stay out of the way after that. I’ll handle the rest.”
“Aw, this is sweet. You’re falling for her and you don’t even know her name. This isn’t like you, my guy, but consider it done. She’ll get the golden ticket to come to the party.”
“No problem. Are we still on for the club tonight or what?” he moves the conversation along without missing a beat.
“Definitely still on. I need a change of scenery.” Staying home alone and thinking about her will drive me mad.
He chuckles. “Finally, you’re ready to get out of the house on a Friday, instead of sitting around like some lonely old professor.”
“Ha. Yeah, I’m ready, but don’t act like I don’t hang out with you, man. I just have more papers to grade than you.”
“If you stop giving out so much work, you will have more time,” Omega surmises.
“No, I have to prepare my young people to be great writers.”
“Yeah, we both have young people to prepare. I just do it in less time,” he retorts.
I concede that point and begin to calculate how much time it’ll take me to get home, get dressed, and make it to the club, “I’ll meet you there around eight.”
“Nah, I’ll come to get you since last week you ghosted me.”
“Hey, you still ragging me about that? I told you that I fell asleep reading assignments.”
“Yeah, well, none of that tonight. I’ll be there to get you at eight.”
“Got you. Just make sure you do that favor for me. Get her an invite.” Her, the mystery woman whose sexy build causes me to lick my lips.
“No doubt,” Omega assures and hangs up the phone.
I’ll go and hang out with him tonight, but I’m really looking forward to his Christmas party, where I hope my wish to connect with her again comes true.
I’m a classic man, so I treat ladies to classic experiences. I take them to the best restaurants; daily excursions of horseback riding, horse-drawn carriage rides, and short adventures are my speed. I do those things with the full armor of chivalry: door opening—she better not touch the handle, chair pulled out, meal covered, walk to the door, or to my bed if we have chemistry. The point is to see how she responds to queen treatment. Not every woman is mentally ready to be treated right, and some downright reject proper treatment.
Malaysia Debaul’s mouthwatering figure burst out of the warehouse. Hustling to the driver side of her car, her eyes roamed over its roof, landing on my vehicle right away. For a tense moment, I thought my cover was blown, stakeout over. She hadn’t come this close to discovering me shadowing her until today. When she vanished inside her ride, she took the most stunning set of plump lips and smooth, caramel skin out of sight too soon. Slender-thick, she was slim in the waist and just about every other place on her body except for her backside. This was a woman who had weight in all the right places. Five feet eleven inches in bare feet, she was damn near perfect for me. Our twelve-year age gap made perfect just out of reach. Dating her was not the reason I was here though.
Relieved she was in too big of a rush to look deeper into my presence, I tipped my head back on the headrest. It was a crying shame that her ride was parked so close by and she was hidden inside it. I could watch her slightly curvy hips and apple-shaped ass all day, as I had been doing for the last month. After accidently discovering she’d moved to Long Island, I stopped silently hunting Tobin Graham against my will. No female had intrigued or captivated me before or since I met Malaysia under the worst of conditions.
One chance meeting with her fifteen years ago altered a core belief I held about myself; I couldn’t be thrown off my game. Well, there was one woman on this planet that could distract me and make me wish I were someone who was capable of loving someone else. She deserved no less. I still wasn’t that guy, but I could still hold a grudge better than anyone. Malaysia was certainly an inescapable distraction while presenting an indirect way to satisfy my grudge with Tobin, who was marked for death.
It was impossible to kill him when a part of me preferred tracking Malaysia rather than him. That forced my plans for him to change. Malaysia was going to be the source of the tremendous pain I inflicted on Tobin. His debt to me had to be paid in full. Leaving my organization without my say-so was high treason.
One day, he and I were teaching Martin Hughes a lesson together that may or may not have gotten out of hand. The next day, Tobin had gone AWOL to join the military. How was that for irony?
After six months in my employ, I saw his potential and quickly began to trust only him. It wasn’t long before I thought of him as my protégé and successor. At forty-nine, I had no kids, didn’t want any either. My rough past, short but brutal military career, plus the level of cruelty I operated at didn’t make me the best candidate for offspring that could smoothly navigate polite society as well as the streets. Even I struggled with that.
Tobin was a flawless fit for ruling the underworld of Long Island and mingling with those in high places. Despite having to play nice with people whose palms that had to be constantly greased, I couldn’t control my cruelty and bluntness. Tobin was calm, collected, and quick thinking on his feet. His quiet disposition and cool head wouldn’t attract unnecessary attention. Powerful fists on each of his wrists meted out street justice like I had trained him myself. Even better, he took orders well.
A better person than him to take over my throne didn’t exist. That was if my organization still existed. It didn’t, thanks to Tobin’s brother taking a fatal bullet in my place. Though an investigation into his death brought the end to my businesses, Greg Graham was a loyal soldier. His killer didn’t last a month in Rikers thanks to some associates of mine.
Too bad Tobin was a traitor. Forgiving his betrayal against me and by default his brother was never going to happen. Hitting him where it hurt the most was a must. Using his girlfriend’s sister-from-another-mother connection with Malaysia to cause him an agony he could not soothe was not my preferred method. Up close and personal was my modus operandi but going about it in a roundabout way would do if Malaysia were involved.
She reversed out of her parking space. My cell phone rung. Instead of following her, I removed an earpiece from my ear, tossing it in the cupholder while swiping the accept-call icon on the car’s radio screen. The GPS locator behind her front passenger-side tire would keep track of her for me. Trailing her now would only heighten her suspicions. I couldn’t have her raising her guards and messing up my kidnapping scheme taking place later tonight.
“Jason, is everything set up as it should be?” I asked my lieutenant as Malaysia took a right at the end of the parking lot. She sped off down the road as if hounds from Hell were on her rear bumper. I cringed. Not being able to call and demand she slow down almost hurt me physically. It shouldn’t have, but I wasn’t surprised it did. She seemed to touch me in places I thought long dead, like my emotions. Who the hell really needed such things? It infuriated me that she could invoke mine.
The clicking of computer keys on Jason’s end resonated out of the car’s speaker system. “Yep, boss. I just got word that all your demands were taken care of for your stay in paradise. The keys will be waiting for you in the lockbox on the knob. Everything is in its place for your exile.”
Once I left Long Island for good as mandated by the District Attorney with a shitload of my money in his pockets, a secluded mansion on remote island Cayo Largo in Cuba would be my permanent home. It had been fully stocked for a long stay for two with things like groceries, wine, cognac, furniture, fabric rolls, and a top of the line sewing machine. A private jet was gassed up at a small airport and ready to go. The only thing left to do was secure one other passenger. How long I was keeping her with me had yet to be determined.
This close to all my schemes coming to fruition, I half-smiled. “Excellent, Jason. What about the designer clothes I ordered to be brought there in a couple days?” If Malaysia wasn’t kept busy with creating for the deadline her sponsor had given her, she may just tear down the mansion around my ears. Or, she’d escape it. Neither was an option.
“The shipment is scheduled to be collected late tonight and flown to you as soon as transport is available.” The jet had to return to pick up the packages. Celebrated fashion designer Darren and Dr. Cherise Johnston had more than enough money to repair the doors to their establishments and homes that my men were going to enter quietly. At appointed times, Malaysia’s things would be collected from those places.
“Has a flyer for promoting my new adventure been produced?” In other words, where the hell was my pilot whose silence I had set aside a lot of coins for?
Everything had to be in place and happen accordingly. The window for our departure was tight. Tobin’s ceremony would last no more than three hours. Through the bug planted in the warehouse by one of Darren’s designers that needed an influx of cash, I heard Malaysia mention she’d be coming back here. The warehouse district would be all but vacant then, the opportune time for some to take her. For me, it would be easier to snatch her from the bar where she, Cherise, Tobin, and a close friend of his, Andre, were celebrating at tonight. It was closer to the small airport my hired plane waited at.
A crowd of intoxicated individuals wouldn’t present a problem. Nobody in New York wanted to admit being a witness to a crime when drunk or sober. Nor would they intervene as I carried her off. I just had to wait until she was alone to avoid her friends’ interference. Tobin and Cherise had a bad habit of getting wrapped up in each other. Andre was often at Tobin’s place across town or indulging himself in conversation with the closest woman. Abducting Malaysia was just a matter of picking the right moment when no one was paying attention.
“The flyer was produced and a lot more expensive than it should’ve been, boss, but everything’s in place,” Jason broke into my thoughts. The pilot was on the plane and he had many hours to wait for me to board the jet with Malaysia.
“How much more expensive, Jason?” I requested.
“Only a few more bucks that wouldn’t break the bank.” That meant another ten grand had been added to the twenty-five already agreed upon. “But, we had expected that price to rise at the last hour, remember? So, we’re covered.”
Greed was a rising epidemic in this day and age. Everyone thought they should have more than they were getting. That only increased when folks realized you were in a bind and needed to keep things quiet. Hence setting aside the extra ten grand beforehand and offering the retired pilot a lower price from the start. He had gotten no more, no less than what I intended for him to have.
Presuming Malaysia had gotten far enough away to miss my leaving, I put the car in drive. “Anything I should be worried about?”
“Not on my end,” he quickly contributed. “All you have to do is snatch up whatever you’re taking with you and catch a flight.”
Easing toward the street, I looked for Malaysia’s Jetta loitering nearby. She was nowhere in sight or any other vehicles that might seem out of place. “For sure, I have my end covered, Jason. We’ll talk later.”
I entered the skeleton traffic, glad to end the call. Speaking in code was tiresome when I usually shot straight from the hip. As with my own recent actions, I wasn’t taking chances of someone listening in on the conversation. If I was capable of it, so was everyone else who wanted me out of this town for good. Some wanted me dead. Several million-dollars’s worth of dope I had just secretly received from the cartel in Mexico were seized from my basement during a surprise search warrant executed after Greg’s death.
I hadn’t made it home in time to verify the shipment’s amount then send the agreed upon amount for it back by courier before all hell broke loose in my world. A drug deal wasn’t the type of transaction you wanted a bank to handle, creating a paper trail. I didn’t keep millions laying around locally or in my pockets either but in offshore accounts. The stupid ass pigs were already implementing a search warrant in my house when I got there. They thought I had something to do with my clean-up man’s murder, a sloppily performed one at that, just down the street from my home.
Just about everyone who knew Greg knew he worked for me in some capacity, and he was often at my old home I should say. It had been sold, gone like my business was. Now, I had to lay low until the heat from local authorities were off me. Jason would go to the mainland of Cuba to go get my money out of a local bank then fly to Mexico, to pay Dominguez when it was safe. Until then, we’d hold up on a remote island, and I was taking Malaysia with us.
Leave a comment to tell me what you think of Shane's chapter?
Also, ain't he pretty?
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By this time, you might have heard that Rhonda is coming back. She's here to bring closure to the Secrets of a Kept Woman series.
Check out the synopsis to book 4!
With what seems like only a slap on her wrist by a judge, Rhonda Jackson is a free woman. Some think she gets away with everything, and that may be true until she’s faced with murder charges for killing one of the guards at her mental health facility. This time, Rhonda may have done something so damaging that even her good luck won't be able to save her.
By the end of this page-turning, riveting drama, you won’t know if you love her or still hate her. It’s going to be a long road getting there, but Rhonda’s road to redemption includes real soul searching and revisiting demons from the past. Will she ever walk into the light she tried so hard to avoid her whole life, or will the darkness finally consume her?
My last few series have been about billionaires or white supremacy groups. I enjoy writing romance about a man who can give a woman everything, so billionaire romances are my favorite to write. However, I started writing about white supremacy groups based on a vision I was given when visiting Lafayette, AL. (Definitely, not insinuating that there is a white supremacy group there, but it was just a vibe I got when I was inside of a gas station there, and the plot for a new story unfolded right then and there.)
Fast forward and now I'm venturing into military romance. Why? Well, here's the full disclosure. I'm a part of a group that sells blurbs and outlines for stories. When I read the blurb for sexy, alpha Marine, Tobin Graham, and saw the Hero cover, I fell in love wiht it. I said, "heck yeah, I have to do something with this."
That was almost two years ago, and now it's Tobin and Cherise's time to make their debut. I can't believe the release date is one month away!
(I've added more to the blurb. What do you think?)
☆ Cherise ☆
He found me again.
I moved ten times in the past year.
Each time, the bastard found me.
Worst part...I had no idea who he was or what he looked like.
I’d always prided myself on being a strong black woman.
So I hated him for making me such a nervous wreck.
I couldn’t date.
I couldn’t go out with friends.
I couldn’t stay home and feel safe.
One day, I got a call from a guy who was ex-military and looking for a therapist.
He needed clearance to join the FBI.
He could be my stalker, or he could be a hero,
but I was determined not to live in fear any longer.
I told him I would help him.
After my brother's suicide, I realized in serving my country,
I'd done a disservice to my family.
So I snapped and broke some shit.
And they quickly accepted my request to leave the military and return home.
As a former Navy SEAL, if I ever wanted to get into the FBI, my next goal,
I'd need to prove I wasn't a safety concern.
Apparently, people with anger management issues shouldn't carry weapons.
So, I took the advice of my superiors and found a therapist—a female therapist.
We were all of fifteen minutes into our session when I realized all was not right in her world.
She was on edge because she had a stalker.
Lucky for me, I wasn't currently employed.
Lucky for her, I was highly trained and intensely motivated to save her.
I'd always been a sucker for a damsel in distress.
And this woman needed a hero.
It's been almost two months, and I'm still super excited to have my first audiobook! After working so many years as a writer, it's a milestone to migrate my books into another format.
I've written novels and had them in ebook and paperback, performed on stage in theater form, and now audiobooks!
Shout out to Chantelle Clarke who narrated part 1. I'm currently working on getting the rest of the Breathless books on audio.
It's a learning process, so if you have or decide to listen to the book, please leave a comment on what you think.
Click Here to check out the audiobook on Amazon.