Review: In Service to the Senator by Shakir Rashaan

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Sometimes, politics make the strangest of bedfellows…and enemies.

Terrell Warren is a rising star within the ranks of the Democratic Party. Buoyed his former heroic exploits in Desert Storm, the two-term senator has ascended quickly, currently being vetted as a part of the party’s presidential ticket in the upcoming election cycle, entering rarified air as an African-American politician. He’s charismatic, devilishly handsome, and possesses both the pedigree and the type of bipartisan support that could have him sitting in the Oval Office as Commander-in-Chief in the near future.

Even his unconventional marriage to the stunning Kianna Warren doesn’t seem to sway the public, as rumors from media circuits continue to swirl around their alternative proclivities. After all, who wouldn’t want to surrender and be in service to the powerful, irresistible statesman? He has managed to claim the American public’s imagination, providing the catalyst as the face of the wave of the future of the party.

Unfortunately, there are forces at work that wish to derail the inevitable, and they will stop at nothing to ensure that Senator Warren is discredited.

Kianna’s unexpected abduction takes him off the campaign trail, as the mysterious organization taking credit for her abduction has made one rather extraordinary demand—one that threatens to revert American foreign policy back to the previous century’s “Cold War” history. The ultimatum is clear—either comply with the demands, or his wife will be killed.

In Service to the Senator is the latest explosive tale from best-selling author Shakir Rashaan, where a race against the clock might mean the difference between life and death.

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Politics. Intrigue. Suspense. Drama. Sex.

You get all of that and some more in the newest release from Shakir Rashaan. I was not sure what to except because the material is quite different than what this author has written in the past. I would classify this book as political suspense with a hint of erotica. The synopsis clearly states what the book is about so there is no need to rehash that here. The race against time is filled with so much drama and imagery, that I could close my eyes and imagine how it would actually play out and to me that is the sign of some excellent storytelling skills.

I’ve been quite critical of Mr. Rashaan’s work in the past, but I can say without a doubt, that this was my favorite book of his to date. There was politics, suspense, drama, and of course his signature style of giving us some insight into the BDSM lifestyle. I sometimes wonder if certain folks have their current positions because of their intelligence and/or if they slept their way there and after reading this book I will be even more leery. One last thing, they say there’s nothing like a woman scorned and In Service to the Senator proves it!!

 

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Buy a copy of In Service to the Senator here!

 

Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. What everyone wants to know is: What really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could destroy her community. It could also endanger her life. 

Wow, what a timely read!!! At this moment I can’t even adequately put into words how I feel about this book. I experienced anger, sadness, understanding, empathy, and so many other things. There’s no way it should have taken me a week to finish this book, but sometimes life gets in the way. 

In the spirit of Stand Your Ground by Victoria Christopher Murray and Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, The Hate U Give gives us a perspective into racism from a point of view we rarely see in the news. This time we hear from the eyewitness of a police shooting. The short premise is that Starr saw one of her childhood friends get murdered by a police officer and we see the media attempt to dehumanize/criminalize the friend so Starr wrestles with the decision of testifying and having her memories of the night turned around. My heart truly went out to her and I can totally see why this book is already being turned into a major motion picture. It is THAT good and it is a story worth telling. 

I could say so much more about this book, but I’ll simply end this with a passage:

“It’s about Oscar. 

Aiyana. 

Trayvon. 

Rekia. 

Michael. 

Eric. 

Tamir. 

John. 

Ezell. 

Sandra. 

Freddie. 

Alton. 

Philando. 

It’s even about that little boy in 1955 who nobody recognized at first – Emmett. 

The messed up part? There are so many more.”


Review: Back to December by Danielle Allen

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Life made me resilient.
Love made me vulnerable.
Marriage made me… Emily Diaz.

When I married the man of my dreams, I assumed it was forever.

So when circumstances called for me to leave the man I loved, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life.

But betrayal changes everything.
And everything happens for a reason.

Being in love with myself enough to walk away brought me back to life.
Being in love with my life again brought me back to reality.
Being in love with someone else, well, that brought me back to December.

 

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Emily…Em…Auntie Em…Whatever name she is going by, the main character in Back to December is a woman that we currently are, we once were, or she reflects one of our girlfriends. I honestly have never felt this personally connected to a character since Ben from Arsen which I read back in 2014. Emily is a broken woman due to an unfortunate string of events but the main reason is being betrayed by her husband.

Emily starts on a journey to see who she really is as a woman without a husband. The agony, pain, and the feeling of being defeated is beautifully and perfectly written by Allen. And, to be completely transparent, I make that statement because I could have easily switched out a few of the details as far as the husband’s profession and his choice of words and Back to December could be a part of my life story. There is something exceptionally special about a book that truly touches your spirit and this book does just that.

“You said you don’t know about marriage, but do you have it in you to love again?”

Emily meets a colorful cast of characters during her journey of finding self. And, the question posed above is one that made me sit and reflect on how I would even answer that. Love in itself is hard, but love after divorce is even harder. We get a row seat into how Emily navigates life as she goes through a divorce and shortly thereafter. Ms. Allen has a tremendous gift in being able to perfectly illustrate with words what it means to allow yourself time to hurt/mourn, bounce back, to allow others in again, and most importantly, how to fall completely in love with yourself after someone tried their best to break you!!!

I don’t do this often, but I highly recommend Back to December. This could totally be because of selfish reasons because I am pretty sure that I am not the only woman in the world that has been through and/or will share an experience similar to Emily’s. This was my first time reading a book by Danielle Allen, but it definitely won’t be my last!

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Buy Back to December here!