Review: Charming Blue (Fates, Book 8) by Kristine Grayson

charming blueHeroine: Jodi is a light skinned black woman and is very old (bless those witchy genes!), though she doesn’t look it. She calls herself a fixer. It is what she excels at and she combines it with helping other magical beings to realize their Hollywood dreams. Jodi works as a talent agent and helps book clients into fantasy and paranormal movies and television shows. We open with Tank (a mouthy fairy) who asks Jodi to help her friend Blue.

Hero: Somebody is going around scaring women ala Bluebeard-style by appearing in their rooms and threatening them. Bluebeard does have a reputation of being a woman killer (supposedly committing 15 murders), but is there any truth to that? Most are too scared to get to know Blue, and those that aren’t are repelled by his drunkenness. Good thing we meet him in a rehab center!

Review: Entertaining and enjoyable. I could have used less of Tank. Loved that Blue is a virgin hero, but wish he had been more guts. Jodi was fine, but tended to use magic when things got too tough. The romance was slow going, while the mystery was not.


Buy: Charming Blue

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Review: A Moment on the Lips by Phyllis Bourne Williams


By: Cara Lynn, guest reviewer

A Moment on the Lips by Phyllis Bourne Williams is a sweet love story. I picked it up from the library because the cover was different. It is an artist’s rendering of a lovely black woman about to eat a strawberry. It is a Leisure Book, and I will certainly look for more.

Grant Price is a wealthy, high powered executive who is used to getting his way in business, but his life is ruled by how busy he is. He and his father wish to recruit Melody Mason, but she has more or less disappeared from business life, after being at the head of her game. Grant goes to find her, determined to bring her back for the company. They had been in college together where the two of them were rivals, spurring each other on to bigger heights.

Melody has left the business world, originally for health reasons, but also because she no longer loved it. (There isn’t an emphasis on the problems.) Being responsible for other people’s money, even though she is very good at it, was also stressful. She cared enough that those invested with her were more than a number, even if she didn’t know their names.

When Grant comes to offer his business proposal in person, she counters his proposal with one of her own. If he will stay in her small town in Tennessee for one week, without a cell phone, laptop, fax machine or contacting the office, she will go with him for one week and present a seminar. She doesn’t think he will stick to it. He feels she will come to work for more than a week.

Melody’s reason is that she doesn’t want him to have the health problem she had because of his Type A personality. Grant has his own misgivings because he wished to pursue another career, only his father overrode him in his youth.

Melody is in process of opening a knit shop. Grant doesn’t realize how far along the plans are.

Her small town has the usual cast of characters — a town gossip, a homeless man, many long time friends, the intertwining of lives.

Melody suspects Grant is only using her to get her to make money for the firm. She has had two engagements fall through when she realized both men only wanted her for the money she could make them. She also isn’t the typical heroine — she is nearly 40, mature in her body and her thinking — so she is skeptical of his involvement in her life and has been hurt enough that trust doesn’t come easily for her.

Of course, they fall in love. There is humor and realism; possible marital problems with a friend whose marriage had always been happy; enough romance to be satisfying; and grown ups living lives not too far out of the realm of reality. The various threads in the story are cleared up nicely, but not in ways that seem contrived.

If you are interested in a black romance, this is well done. However, the book is not particularly black. Other than the descriptions of the two main characters and a small bit mentioned about hair weaves vs. natural curls, the other characters could be black — or not. There is no colloquial language.

Rating: 4 Stars

It was a happy read for a hot summer day.

Buy: A Moment on the Lips

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