Summer Loving in a Book

June 25, 2018

Summer reading is a thing.  Decades ago, traditional publishing decided to make the most of the long, lazy days by marketing easy reads.  You know the stuff, romances, light humor.  But, many of us prefer a good read with a little of seriousness, some humor and emotion.  I mean sure, who can't appreciate a summer time escape?  But, it seems publishers confused light reading with trivial, forgettable mess!  

 

It doesn't have to be that way!  There's travel, and humor; tears and provocation in the books below,  but be warned - if you loan them out, you will not get them back!  Now that's the mark of a good book!

 

When Camisha Ann Robbins and Lennox Ali Robinson, two seemingly unmatched lovers finally meet after 3 years of riding the train together, they face barriers such as class, family obligations and skillfully disguised insecurities. Join them as they discover who they truly are through their love for one another, with the vibrant city of Atlanta, Georgia as their backdrop.

 

 Lacey’s a beauty queen turned successful business woman who’s hopelessly falling for the effortless charms of Oliver—despite strong misgivings. Olivier’s a carefree barista-cum- chef with an unhappy upbringing that led to him running away as a teenager—and running away ever since. Underneath his easygoing exterior, Olivier is hiding the hurt of his past while trying to reconnect with the very people that caused him to run away: his family. While facing pressure from Lacey to transform into a man more suited for her high polished lifestyle, he’s forced to question whether or not their relationship can overcome his rough edges and her ambitions, or will all of the pressure put him back on the run.

 

 Sunrise had always lived a charmed life. Raised in an exclusive suburb of Atlanta, she enjoyed a blissful childhood with doting parents and loyal friends. She attended the best schools, built a fulfilling career in Jazz, and married into the upper crust of New England society. Everything was perfect until she woke up one day to find her fairy tale existence completely upended. With the remnants of her once perfect life packed up, she heads home to its familiar safety and security, only to find that the hits just keep coming! As Sunrise works on mending her broken heart, she comes face to face with an undeniable truth about who she thought she was and must make a difficult choice: uncover the stark reality or deny a part of herself she never knew existed. What happens when a woman who had it all goes on an unexpected journey to find what matters most?

 

 A delicious departure - Zaye Curry had it all. She had a great family. She married her one and only love. She raised a respectable young man, who attends one of the nation's top universities, and a powerful career in fashion and publishing. She always followed the rules, played it safe and kept up appearances; until it hurt too much. Not wanting to spend another year keeping up appearances, she builds up the courage to leave her perfectly positioned and loveless marriage, to find her own version of freedom. Only days after moving into her very own dream home and a few minutes browsing, Living Social she buys herself a hip hop dance class; where she meets a young, wealthy rapper named Kemani Black. Kemani's brash, controversial and thirteen years her junior, but she can't deny his irresistible charms. With her newly found freedom and her girlfriends rooting her on, she sets about a twisty turny journey to rebuilding her relationship with her parents, redefining her idea of success and most importantly to Finding Ntozake.

 

Desiree Lane has plans. A master plan, to be clear. She's worked hard, studied hard and loved hard. But with a bit of knowledge she's been missing, she sets about devising a master plan to avenge all she's loss to love. In a world where hearts are meant to be broken, will revenge blind her to all she's accomplished or will she learn to trust love again? 

 

Black women are many things--beautiful and mysterious. Through magical and musical verse, Mixon offers alternative narratives, origin stories that challenge the limited societal views of black women. 

An orphan (who is adopted by a storm) tries to hold thunder in her mouth; a battered grandmother taps into her ancestral powers; an adolescent girl befriends a woman at the end of her life; a young woman searches for her elusive mother; a pregnant woman prepares to give birth while her husband is dying; familial love keeps music alive; and Harlem is running late. 

 

King Tremain is driven by two principal forces: He wants to be treated with respect, and he wants to create a family dynasty much like the one he left behind in Louisiana. 

Raised in the steamy bayous of New Orleans in the early 1900s, LeRoi "King" Tremain, caught up in his family's ongoing feud with the rival DuMont family, learns to fight. But when the teenage King mistakenly kills two white deputies during a botched raid on the DuMonts, the Tremains' fear of reprisal forces King to flee Louisiana.  King thus embarks on an adventure that first takes him to France, where he fights in World War I as a member of the segregated 369th Battalion—in the bigoted army he finds himself locked in combat with American soldiers as well as with Germans. When he returns to America, he battles the Mob in Jazz Age Harlem, the KKK in Louisiana, and crooked politicians trying to destroy a black township in Oklahoma. 
 

Jackson St. Clair Tremain hasn’t spoken to his grandfather King in nearly twenty years. Disgusted by the violence and bloodlust that seemed to be his grandfather’s way of life, Jackson chose to distance himself from King and live a simpler life. But now King is gravely ill, and his impending death places Jackson’s life—as well as those of his family and friends—in jeopardy. Reluctantly, Jackson travels to Mexico to see King. But after a brief reconciliation, his grandfather is assassinated, and Jackson suspects that his grandmother Serena may have had a hand in it. Jackson takes control of King’s organization, and as he does, he reflects on the summers he spent in Mexico as a child and the lessons he learned there at the knee of his strong-willed, complex grandfather. 

In Echoes of a Distant Summer, Guy Johnson introduces us to a new hero, Jackson St. Clair Tremain, who learns that, like his grandfather, he must be willing to protect those he loves—at all costs.

 

32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter is the slightly twisted, utterly romantic, and deftly wry story of Davie Jones, who, if she doesn’t stand in her own way, just might get the man of her dreams.  For fans of John Hughes’s “Sixteen Candles”, 32 Candles is a fresh and fun fiction debut for every fan of romantic comedy.  Davie Jones is by far one of the freshest, funniest characters I’ve ever read.  32 Candles is a charmer and will stay with you long after, you've loaned the book out to never be seen again!

 

Beginning with her great-great-great-great grandmother, a slave owned by a Creole family, Lalita Tademy chronicles four generations of strong, determined black women as they battle injustice to unite their family and forge success on their own terms.  But, this is no sad slave narrative - nope! 

There is Elisabeth, who bears both a proud legacy and the yoke of bondage... her youngest daughter, Suzette, who is the first to discover the promise-and heartbreak-of freedom... Suzette's strong-willed daughter Philomene, who uses a determination born of tragedy to reunite her family and gain unheard-of economic independence... and Emily, Philomene's spirited daughter, who fights to secure her children's just due and preserve their dignity and future.  These women will make you stand a little straighter.

 

 

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