The Lex List
Sistah Girls, there are so many books and so little time!
New Releases! A new author and TWO new to me authors! Here is what I read and loved in April and May!
5 Stars for Soul Ties by Miss Candice (NEW TO ME AUTHOR ALERT! My First-time reading Miss Candice)
“I didn’t believe in coincidences. Never had. Either Sienna was stalking me, or we were being pulled together.” -Inner Monologue of Jahad
Sienna receives an anonymous invitation. Jahad is given a hall pass by his wife Leighton. Neither Sienna nor Jahad realizes that their lives are about to collide and be flipped upside down.
One-night shifts EVERYTHING. Trying to go back to their lives as they knew them before their encounter proves to be easier said than done. Is it love or lust, or can a higher power be at work here?
Sienna, Jahad, and Leighton are now intertwined, unbeknownst to Leighton of course. But how soon before the truth comes out and when it finally does, what exactly is the truth?
The chemistry between Jahad and Sienna is explosive. I could not get enough of these two. I felt bad about the circumstances of how they met. Yet all in all, I do feel like everything played out the way it needed to.
This was my very first read by Miss Candice, I am positive it will not be my last.
“Boy, don’t say my name like that. I almost forgot I promised to keep things professional between us.” She laughed, and Synovi put an end to the sound immediately. “Promises can be broken.” -Torin and Synovi
Nothing in Synovi’s life has been easy. As far back as he can remember, things would change, and he had to roll with the punches.
Yet one girl, an alleyway rescue, and a demand for friendship is the beginning of things turning around for his good. Torin is a strong independent young entrepreneur. Her little sister’s recklessness has Torin crossing paths with Synovi.
Soon after this turn of events, Synovi finds himself working for Torin, he begins learning and growing in the best ways possible. Be that as it may, life STILL finds ways to try and crush Synovi. The question is, can he survive the next punch life throws his way?
WHEW! When I tell you BriAnn Danae gave what needed to be given, I mean it. This cute love story had some serious trauma and heartbreaking undertones in it.
The main character, Synovi, pulls you completely into his world and for the reader, his survival is all that matters. I was thoroughly impressed with the care and manner in which Torin handled Synovi. She did not coddle him, in fact, she allowed him to be a man as she assisted with his level-up moments.
The love between the two was inevitable yet it occurred organically. I LOVED THIS BOOK! TOTAL MUST-READ!
4 Binge-Worthy STARS for Straight Outta Dade County (1,2&3) by Diamond Johnson (NEW TO ME AUTHOR)
“If he pulled that trigger on me, though, I was pulling mine, and right there, right now, we could fu*king die together.” -Thoughts of Montana
Alecia Jackson is at the top of her game as one of the best and most sought-after criminal defense attorneys in Miami. Montana King is one of the biggest criminals in Miami. Match made in heaven?! Uhhh..maybe.
Montana has made it known that Alecia will be his. And Alecia refuses to give in to the drug lord’s charm. As their two worlds collide Alecia finds herself falling for the one man she told herself to always stay away from.
Welllll, to be honest, I kept hearing about the infamous Montana in a Facebook group, and I decided to see what the fuss was all about it. I realized I already had the book, so I dove right in.
I spent most of April pretty much binging this series and the one that follows it. It was a very fun hood read with some suspense mixed in. Other couples are featured, and they each bring the drama. In this series you get a strong female lead and a yummy Alpha male, what more can a girl ask for?
4 more BINGE WORTHY STARS for Who Do You Luv (1,2&3) by Diamond Johnson
“All I could do was pick myself up, and I started sprinting. It felt like my legs were going to give out on me at any second, and I felt like I was running after just surviving the beatdown of a lifetime. POW! POW! POW! POW! He was shooting at me.” -Inner monologue of Bria
Who do you Luv follows right on the heels of the previous series, Straight Outta Dade County starring Bria & Efrem (Pee Wee), Orion & Kelsey, and Dace and Duchess.
Bria finds herself falling for her boss (Alecia’s) bad boy younger brother Pee Wee. Kelsey and her boxer boyfriend, Orion, are flying high until Kelsey realizes that Orion is living in denial while placing his career in total jeopardy. Meanwhile, Duchess decides to make a clean break from Dace in hopes of moving on.
Who Do You Love continues with the secondary love stories that were sparked during Montana and Alecia’s series. It’s full of drama, with downright ignorant family members, a dose or two of betrayal, and some gunplay. Overall, it was a fun series! I enjoyed Diamond Johnson’s writing and I already have my next series by her lined up to read soon!
5 BEAUTIFUL (WORTH THE WAIT) STARS for Needful Noor by Takerra Allen
“Tell me. What do you want, Noor?” Noor thought about it. Was honest in her reply. “To be happy, I guess. To be loved…to have someone to love.” – Debroah and Noor
Noor Ebanks is what most consider a vagabond, but she is also a survivor. After having survived some unimaginable horrors from her childhood, Noor finds herself on the opposite coast of her California dreamin’ youth and planted in New Jersey.
A new job as a caretaker for the mega-rich, beautiful, and influential Emmelyn Hill introduces Noor to the world of the wealthy. Things really take a turn when Noor begins to fall for the one man who should be completely off-limits to her, Dorian Hill. Emmelyn’s husband.
Cunning. If I had to use one word to describe this book, the word would be cunning. I was completely enthralled by this story and its characters. It took me almost a week to read it. In the end, believe it or not, I was smiling and content. Needful Noor was well worth the wait! It is easily placed in my top 5 reads of 2023.
3.5 STARS Misguided by Dominique Thomas
“Do you trust me?” he asked. Masami nodded without having to think about it.
“You know I do Daddy.” Her father smiled at her words. -Masami and her father, Mafia Don, Carlos Toussaint
On the day of her wedding, Meilani Toussaint and her big sister Masami discover that their shipment was stolen, and the only thing left behind is a scarf from a ghost in their past.
Leaving the mafia sisters with more questions than answers. The ultimate betrayal holds lies on top of lies, one arranged marriage with a second in the works, anger issues, jealousy, a devil for a father, and two more stolen shipments keep the Toussaint sisters on their toes. Oh, and this is only book one!
Please, I repeat, please don’t let my 3.5-star rating fool you. I enjoyed Misguided, however, the book fell a tad bit short for me due to the various storylines taking place all at once. Which is actually Dominique’s style, the problem for me is, for some reason with THIS story it was too much going on.
I wish Dominique gave us 60% of Meilani’s story with smaller doses of the three other sister’s stories weaved in. Because honestly, they deserve it. Each plot is so juicy and I can see how they are weaving together into a major arc layered with multi plotlines.
I’m not sure how many books will be in the series but if she could slow the pace jusssst a tad, that may work better as well. Overall, I enjoyed it but again, sooo much was happening at once.
3 STARS for Hood Love Don’t Play Fair by Unique (NEW TO ME AUTHOR ALERT)
“I sometimes say shit without thinking and she reacts. When shit is good between us it’s good and when it’s bad, it’s tumultuous.” -Horatio
Lourdes and her high school sweetheart Horatio aka Heavy are going strong and have been planning out their futures…that is until their teenage love affair takes a downward spiral, friendships are tested, an old acquaintance resurfaces to wreak havoc and moments of passion reveal hidden truths.
Trust me, when I say this, the relationships left standing may shock most readers–because it somewhat surprised me.
This was my first read by Unique, I liked it, the story was easy to follow, and it had two things I love, teen romance that grows into an adult romance. Although there were errors that are hard to miss I was still able to keep up with the story. Will I read more by this author? Probably.
5 STARS for both Soul Crush, Soul Glitch, and Soul Tie (Soul Series) by Gabriela Ge (NEW AUTHOR ALERT)
“I kept choosing wrong. The wrong people. The wrong actions. And every single time I thought I made the right choice; it imploded in my face in the worst way’ -Inner Monologue of Arabella
A secret lying dormant comes to light and causes a ripple effect in the lives of Kain and Arabella Carter. The dark revelation leads Arabella in a downward spiral where she is swallowed whole by pain.
Arabella finds herself doing the wrong things with the wrong people with zero shame. Kain tries but has an increasingly hard time keeping up with her. Shrouded in darkness, Arabella is in a race to reach the light and she doesn’t even know it.
HOLY SMOKES! Readers beware that this entire series may be triggering. But boy oh boy is this a good read! Gabriela Ge does not hesitate to dive headfirst into the very intense life issues her characters are battling.
This includes but is not limited to mental illness, heavy drug abuse, and addiction plus more. Both Arabella and Kain are fighting for their lives and it keeps readers on the edge of their seats. This series is in my top 3 best reads of 2023!
IF YOU’VE READ ANY OF THE BOOKS FEATURED I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS!
For The Curious: Now, I don’t know how others base their ratings but the following is how I base mine and why. The writing style of an author holds major weight for me. Even though I have a few preferences, I’ve decided to go by a template with regard to how I judge a book to avoid being biased.
How appealing are its characters, how well do they develop, plot developments, and how descriptive is the writing or lack thereof? Then I follow it by looking at the author’s ability to properly foreshadow future events, resolutions to major and minor events, and how well the author carries multiple themes and/or plotlines throughout the book.
Basically, judging the story’s overall structure which should be important to any writer, and because of all of this, I am extremely stingy with giving out stars.