In her sophomore effort Close Quarters, Shamara Ray offers a passionate objection to the typical laundry list of characteristics desired in a mate. Melina Bradford is a highly focused entrepreneur striving to grow her business. Her efforts to do so include cutting back on expense which drives her to seek a roommate. With few viable options she finally chooses Malik. And even with her doubts about a male roommate, everything seems perfect -- in the beginning. Malik Denton is a ladies man in every sense of the word and what’s worse, he knows it. Becoming roommates with Melina though has put a bit of a cramp in his game but he certainly doesn’t let that slow him down too much. All that changes though when he encounters Kai who makes him begin to seriously reconsider his bachelor lifestyle. Close Quarters provides a fast paced romance narrative with both blatant sexual overtones and subtle backstories which blend into a balanced and entertaining read. The non-primary characters are an integral part of the story and are well written with enough depth to contribute to the overall narrative. Shaw doesn’t provide many surprises in this archetypal relationship plot and the ending is a bit predictable but readers won’t be disappointed.
Make Me Yours Sophia Shaw Kensington/Dafina Publishing
Finding the “right” kind of love is not always easy. A successful businessman who wants for little in life Chad Irvine has it all together or so it seems. A man who gives his best professionally yet understands the importance of family and relationships finds himself at a peculiar crossroads when he unexpectedly encounters Rebecca. Jamaican born Rebecca Isles is a free spirited artist who has set out to find her way and leave her mark. Although personal tragedy spurred her forward, Rebecca is not letting it keep her from experiencing life to the fullest in every way – except where love is concerned. But then she meets Chad. From the moment Rebecca and Chad meet the sparks are flying. Soon they are drawn into each other and both believe that their encounters will go no further than the moments they manage to steal while tucked away on the Grand Strand. Make Me Yours is an enticing tale of two people on entirely different life journeys who meet and become almost immediately connected. Set primarily in South Carolina and Chicago this narrative brings together passion, romance, misunderstanding and mischief. It keeps the reader involved throughout and certainly rooting for love to prevail. In her eighth romance novel, Sophia Shaw takes readers on a journey into lust and love. Her characters are well defined and easy to relate to and even envy in some moments. Even, the insertion of the antagonist is surprising yet well done by Shaw. Make Me Yours is a quick and engaging read that reminds readers that love does not always go according to plan.
The Man in 3B Carl Weber Grand Central Publishing
The Man in 3B is who every woman wants and every man is suspicious of. Carl Weber’s latest tale of mystery and seduction surrounding a handsome, yet private new neighbor Darryl Graham, who moves into a Queens neighborhood apartment building. Bringing together lust, salacious gossip, and whodunit The Man in 3B has a little something for everyone. Residents Connie, Krystal, Nancy and the gossip crew are all longing for something – appreciation, understanding, love and sex. But for different reasons, all are falling short of receiving those things. Male residents Avery, Ben and Benny are also all searching for different things and finding them, both in and outside of this building. But when the Man in 3B is murdered, everyone becomes a prime suspect with the means, motive and opportunity and all of their lives are subject to intense scrutiny. The interwoven relationships of the main characters have been carefully crafted and revealed in a way that the reader can easily relate to and understand. While there are some moments in the book that feel a bit forced or awkward, the overall narrative is clear and well written. Carl Weber’s The Man in 3B is a successful story that moves effortlessly. If a reader completes this entertaining, fast-paced book and isn’t surprised, well, I’d be surprised.